Welcome to No Surf Music:
Your source for the best in Americana, alt.country, indie rock and more
If there is one person alive upon whose grave I most hope to piss (besides, of course, LeBron James and Dick Cheney), it would have to be Robert Christgau. That’s because the self-proclaimed “Dean of American Rock Critics” has done more damage to music than just about any other writer. At the height of his career, the man listened to dozens of albums a day, scribbling out curt, virtually thoughtless “reviews” based only on those first cursory impressions. But those reviews were popular, if only because nobody else was covering rock ’n roll at the time, and so that model was copied over and over again, strangling popular music criticism in its cradle.
Music reviews don’t have to be like that. At No Surf Music, we believe art criticism and analysis can be an art in itself, and that’s what we strive for. Here, you won’t find 30- or even 300-word reviews that barely mention the music. You’ll find well-considered pieces that seek the essence of the works and strive to give true audiophiles the tools they need to discover their new favorites. We don’t publish fifty articles a week—sometimes we don’t even publish one—but we feel that what we do publish represents the highest quality music journalism produced today.
We review the best (and worst) new albums in The No Surf Review, interview the artists you need to know in Burning River Fireside Chats, and recount the most engaging live performances in North Coast Nights.
Check out the latest additions here on our homepage or click on a banner below to see all the articles in that series.
September Featured Review:
Review Date: September 22, 2015
Previous Surfy winners Harpeth Rising uniquely combine highly literary lyrics with a sound drawing from folk, bluegrass, rock & classical roots. But does Shifted live up to their high standards or represent an unfortunate deviation?
August Featured Review:
Brent Kirby and His Luck
Review Date: August 4, 2015
North Coast music scene stalwart Brent Kirby is back with a talent-packed new band & an album full of Heartland rock tunes, but is Patience Worth a stroke of luck for his fans or not worth their time?
Review in Brief:
Ray Flanagan & the Authorities
A Hard Shell to Break
Review Date: August 18, 2015
Smokin' Hot Interview:
#37 Ray Flanagan
Interview Date: June 13, 2015
#36 Brent Kirby
Interview Date: December 27, 2014
North Coast Nights is currently on hiatus while we prepare for a new format for the feature that will focus more on videos and photos to capture the concert experience. In the meantime, click here to check out NoSurfTube, our YouTube channel, where we've already uploaded tons of live videos. Check back here soon for even more live music action!
Even No Surf isn't entirely immune to end-of-the-year hoopla, so here's our list of 2012's best albums, songs and live performances, as well as our picks for Best Artist, Best Emerging Artist and Best Debut Artist. All of them win a web-based virtual statue conservatively valued at $2.76 million!