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Richard Gehr

Richard Gehr

A regular contributor to SPIN, the VILLAGE VOICE, NEW YORK NEWSDAY and a host of other American publications, Gehr is a native of Oregon who relocated to Brooklyn via Los Angeles (where he worked for several years on the LOS ANGELES READER).

List of articles in the library by artist

Butch Hancock, The Flatlanders, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely, Terry Allen: Lubbock on Everything: The Best Little Neo-Country Town in Texas?

Retrospective and Interview by Richard Gehr, unpublished, 1996

In 1996, Richard Gehr went down to Texas to explore the history and mythology of Buddy Holly’s home town. This was his unpublished report for ...

Ash Ra Tempel, Can: Krautrock Revisited: Life After Can and Ash Ra Tempel

Essay by Richard Gehr, Spin, July 1998

EVEN BEFORE KRAFTWERK'S great mid-'70s cars, trains, and airwaves trilogy, Krautrock was largely about getting away – especially from Germany itself. The band Can in ...

Derek Bailey: Ben Watson: Derek Bailey and the Story of Free Improvisation

Book Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, August 2004

FREE IMPROVISATION is the automatic writing, the abstract expressionism, or as British critic Ben Watson most aptly describes it, the "stand-up comedy" of musical performance.  ...

The Band: Band on the Rerun: Rowdy, haunting and resonant, The Band is the voice of a vanished America

Retrospective by Richard Gehr, My Generation, February 2001

A GORGEOUS MELANCHOLY lies at the core of the music created by The Band, four Canadian rockers and an Arkansas drummer who, some argue, brought ...

Pato Banton, Smiley Culture: Motormouth Dub: Smiley Culture/Pato Banton

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, September 1986

Some warp-speed world we live in, eh? It’s lucky we’ve got fast-forward buttons on our VCRs, quick-check lines at the A&P, automatic banking, speed-racer drugs, ...

Bongwater: Double Bummer

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, June 1988

MARK KRAMER doesn't simply produce records, he saturates them. Even the quieter moments of such swell yet dissimilar albums as Half Japanese's Music To Strip ...

Jack Bruce: Basscapades

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, February 1990

If you were born November 26, 1968, the day Cream gave its farewell concert at the Royal Albert Hall, let me stand you a legal ...

Butthole Surfers: Irving Plaza, NY

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, May 1986

SORRY, THRILL SEEKERS, unlike the Butthole Surfers’ recent Danceteria appearance, there were no Live Sex Acts Onstage this time around. At Irving Plaza April 26, ...

Camper Van Beethoven: Camper Van Beethoven (Rough Trade)

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, January 1987

CAMPER VAN Beethoven's first LP, last year's Telephone Free Landslide Victory, contained ‘Take the Skinheads Bowling’, an absurdist manifesto and immediate college-radio hit whose popularity ...

Captain Beefheart: Grow Fins

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, July 1999

SINCE THE 1969 release of Trout Mask Replica, the artist dubbed Captain Beefheart has incarnated the gold standard by which "weirdness" in rock music has ...

Eugene Chadbourne: The President He Is Insane and other albums

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, April 1986

URBAN ANTHROPOLOGISTS are well aware of the phenomenon of mystico-hysteric telephone-pole manifestoes tacked up by paranoid complusive types who deem it necessary to disseminate their ...

Elvis Costello: Mighty Like a Mouth

Interview by Richard Gehr, Creem, June 1991

What do we talk about when we talk about pop music? "Rock & roll is a ludicrous response to most things," admits Elvis Costello. ...

Cream, Ginger Baker: The Ginger Baker Challenge

Interview by Richard Gehr, Spin, January 1986

WHAT THE HELL is drummer dinger Baker doing in New York? Hanging out with the Celluloid Records central committee, of course, and laying down tracks for ...

DJ Spooky: Spooky After Dark: The DJ as Dead Dreamer

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, June 1996

DJ SPOOKY'S Songs of a Dead Dreamer (Asphodel) magically distills the mysterioso live performances the artist (and occasional Voice contributor) otherwise known as Paul D. ...

Firehose: fIREHOSE: Ragin’, Full-On (SST)

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, February 1987

LIFETIMES AGO, in 1982, the Minutemen titled their debut album What Makes a Man Start Fires? The Political power trio proceeded to answer their musical ...

Bill Frisell: America Lost and Found

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, December 1994

Guitarist Bill Frisell is the cowlick on the towhead of American music. In his most signature mode, he favors a languorous, spacious sound that combines ...

Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia: An Interview with Jerry Garcia

Interview by Richard Gehr, Newsday, September 1991

IT WAS THE first thing that happened to the Grateful Dead when they arrived in New York City on June 1, 1967, and Jerry Garcia ...

Gomez: Irving Plaza, NYC

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, September 1999

WHEN GOMEZ SINGS the line from 'Here Comes the Breeze' that goes, "There's no shame in going out of style," you have to admire the ...

Grateful Dead: Nassau Coliseum, Long Island, NY

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Newsday, March 1992

ICY WINDS RIPPED ACROSS Long Island Wednesday night as the Grateful Dead launched the first of three sold-out Uniondale evenings with the meteorologically inspired 'Cold ...

Grateful Dead: The Grateful Dead: Meadowlands, New Jersey

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, April 1987

‘S FUNNY. Today the Grateful Dead can’t capture the attention of the so-called alternative audience, just as they couldn’t the so-called straight audience in the ...

Mickey Hart, Robert Hunter: Hart and Hunter: Opening the Mystery Box

Interview by Richard Gehr, Rolling Stone, May 1996

So what's so mysterious about the Mystery Box?Mickey Hart: The musical mystery is, How do you marry tuned percussion and voice? And on a metaphorical ...

Ofra Haza: Sacred Samples

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, March 1988

Ofra Haza: S.O.B.’s, New York ...

Joan Jett: Her Life Was Saved By Rock & Roll

Interview by Richard Gehr, Music & Sound Output, July 1988

IT FIGURES THAT JOAN JETT WOULD BE A BALTIMORE ORIOLES FAN. Like the Orioles, the three-chord rock’n’roll she’s purveyed for more than a decade has ...

Robert Earl Keen: Gringo Honeymoon

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, October 1994

ONCE OR TWICE a year I can count on a new country album to sidle up and tear apart my cement-encrusted heart. More often than ...

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Party: Town Hall, NYC

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Newsday, October 1992

SITTING CROSS-LEGGED on an Indian carpet, surrounded by his seven-man qawwali "party," rotund Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan may look like Jabba the Hut but he ...

Los Lobos: Wild Gift

Profile and Interview by Richard Gehr, Spin, June 1996

Years down the road, Los Lobos defy all odds, making the most radically experimental music of their career. Richard Gehr hones in on their secret ...

Metallica

Interview by Richard Gehr, Music & Sound Output, September 1988

LARS ULRICH has recently risen from the sleep, dreamless or otherwise, of the very successful. His band, billed fourth (between Led Zep wannaboys Kingdom Come ...

Negativland: Escape From Noise

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, December 1987

IF I RAN THE marketing department at SST Records, I’d do burritos with someone over at the University of Minnesota Press and make sure Negativland’s ...

Augustus Pablo 1953-99

Obituary by Richard Gehr, Spin, July 1999

JAMAICA'S A QUIRKY PLACE, to say the least, so it's oddly appropriate that its foremost instrumental soloist would turn out to be a low-key virtuoso ...

Van Dyke Parks: A Yen for Japan

Interview by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, October 1989

Studiously blasé vibes radiate from within the overlit television studio on West 25th Street. Van Dyke Parks, our downwardly mobile country’s greatest unstaged musical-theater composer, ...

Lee 'Scratch' Perry: Lee "Scratch" Perry: Time Boom or De Devil Dead (On-U)

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, June 1987

History. It started as a stripping-down process concocted to provide Jamaican reggae with skanky instrumentals over which crooners might croon and toasters might toast. ...

Phish: Billy Breathes (Elektra)

Review by Richard Gehr, Rolling Stone, September 1996

Phish's sixth album, A Live One (released last year) distilled a decade's worth of dedicated roadwork by a group that reinvented improvised rock for a ...

Shabba Ranks: Dancehall Invasion

Report by Richard Gehr, Newsday, August 1992

CURRENTLY MAKING impressive inroads into the American market, dancehall reggae may be the most challenging--and, many would say, irritating--style of popular music since rap, which ...

The Residents: Taking Care of Business

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, January 1990

The Residents used to be such irritating misfits, what with their art school disguises and grating resentful satires of '60s pop music. Nerds and outsiders ...

The Residents: Residents Only

Profile and Interview by Richard Gehr, Spin, April 1986

Take a good hard look at America's preeminent underground avant-pop ensemble – you might like what you see. ...

The Residents: Part Four of the Mole Trilogy (Ralph)

Review by Richard Gehr, Spin, January 1986

PART THREE of the Residents' Mole Trilogy doesn't exist, but we can't let that keep us from utter confusion. It all comes down to the ...

Silver Apples

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, January 1997

AN AKIMBO version of hippie-band staple 'In the Midnight Hour' was the only thing about the Silver Apples' recent appearance suggesting they were anything other ...

Frank Sinatra/Don Rickles: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Spin, January 1994

"HE TOUCHES his dick more than Robin Williams does," mocked my wife as a tuxedoed Don Rickles lumbered around the square, center-court stage like a ...

Souled American: Flubber

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, June 1989

BECAUSE DAD SOLD toys for a living (a mixed blessing, believe me), I was the first kid on our block to own a glob of ...

Souled American: Weird Old Country: The Disinternment of Souled American

Retrospective by Richard Gehr, Spin, July 1999

WITH DUE RESPECT to old Uncle Tupelo, it was the cultishly-revered country-and-Midwestern combo Souled American who laid the deep, dank groundwork for the No Depression ...

Skip Spence : Alexander Spence: Oar; Various Artists: More Oar

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, August 1999

IF EVERY Sgt. Pepper's begets its Satanic Majesties Request, and every Woodstock its Woodstock '99, Alexander "Skip" Spence's post-Bellevue Oar, first released in 1969, resembles ...

Sun Ra And His Intergalactic Harmonic Divergent Jazz Arkestra: S.O.B.'s, New York

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Spin, January 1993

WHEN SUN RA opened for Sonic Youth in Central Park last summer, the bill confirmed at least one unavoidable equation: No Sun Ra equals no ...

The Swimming Pool Q's: Royal Academy of Reality

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, August 2003

"HER LIGHT HAS been delayed" are the first words sung by Jeff Calder on a record a decade or more in the making, by a band that's ...

Caetano Veloso: Town Hall, New York City

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Newsday, August 1991

Brazil's most respected singer-songwriter is a velvet-voiced visionary with a surreal sense of humor. Richard Gehr at Town Hall, Saturday night. ...

Tom Verlaine: The Sound of Silents: Tom Verlaine

Live Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, October 1999

IF THE MODEST obligation of a silent-film accompanist is to serve the movie, Tom Verlaine succeeded admirably during his Arts at St. Ann's appearance on ...

Frank Zappa: Frank Generation

Profile by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, February 1988

If I may be so crass as to adjudge a rock icon by his fans, I'd say Frank Zappa might have a demographics problem. Admittedly, ...

Frank Zappa: Too Much or Not Enough?

Retrospective by Richard Gehr, unpublished, April 1999

By the time of his death from prostate cancer on December 4, 1993, Frank Zappa's taste for life on the road had all but vanished. ...

Frank Zappa: The Mother of Inversion

Profile and Interview by Richard Gehr, Fanfare, June 1991

FRANK ZAPPA is a long-standing foe of warning about violent or sexually explicit lyrics – advocated by the Parents’ Music Resource Center and adopted by ...

Tom Ze: Tom Zé: Fabrication Defect (Luaka Bop/Warner Bros.)

Review by Richard Gehr, Village Voice, May 1998

TOM ZÉ'S peculiar contribution to the Tropicalistas' highly influential 1968 collaborative album Tropicalia: Ou Panis Et Circencis was the satiric antidevelopment anthem ‘Parque Industrial’, which ...

List of genre pieces

The Great Rave/Jam Band Crossover Syndrome

Report and Interview by Richard Gehr, Spin, August 2000

THE DISCO BISCUITS are onstage at Philadelphia's Trocadero surrounded by the entire contents of their living room: the bong-water stained sofa, a decrepit TV (with ...

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