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Will Hermes

Will Hermes

Will Hermes is the author of Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever (Farrar, Straus & Giroux/Faber & Faber, 2011), an acclaimed history of the New York City music scene in the 1970s. A senior critic for Rolling Stone and a longtime contributor to National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered,” his work appears periodically in The New York Times; he has also written for the Village Voice, Spin, Slate, Salon, The Believer, GQ, Minneapolis City Pages,and other publications. He co-edited SPIN: 20 Years of Alternative Music (Crown/Three Rivers, 2006), and his writing has been included in the Da Capo Best Music Writing series.

Love Goes to Building On Fire

List of articles in the library by artist

Adele: 21

Review by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, February 2011

ADELE ADKINS' retro-soul debut, 19, was striking less for her songs than for that voice: a voluptuous, slightly parched alto that swooped and fluttered like a ...

Alabama Shakes' Unlikely Triumph

Interview by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, March 2013

BRITTANY HOWARD, the powerhouse 24-year-old frontwoman for Alabama Shakes, isn't much for red carpets. ...

Tori Amos: Don't Mess With Mother Nature

Interview by Will Hermes, Spin, October 2001

Taking shots at male violence, the gun lobby, and Eminem, Tori Amos has made an unlikely covers record — a cross between Sybil and Quadrophenia. ...

Arcade Fire Go Big at Madison Square Garden

Live Review by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, August 2010

A FEW YEARS BACK, U2 used Arcade Fire's recording of 'Wake Up' to pump up arena crowds before they hit the stage. ...

A Tribe Called Quest: Beats, Rhymes and Life (Jive)

Review by Will Hermes, Spin, September 1996

LESS INTROVERTED THAN De La Soul and less weird than the Jungle Brothers, A Tribe Called Quest were always the populists of the Native Tongues ...

Barenaked Ladies: Northern Exposure

Interview by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, December 1998

The improbable and partially nude true story of how five funny guys from Toronto called Barenaked Ladies became the biggest new rock band in America ...

Belle And Sebastian: Belle and Sebastian: Dear Catastrophe Waitress (Rough Trade)

Review by Will Hermes, Spin, October 2003

BELLE AND SEBASTIAN are more than a band of underachieving indie-rock layabouts from Glasgow. ...

The Black Keys: El Camino

Review by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, December 2011

OVER 10 YEARS and seven albums, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have turned their basement blues project into one of America's mightiest bands. ...

Charli XCX: Sucker (Atlantic/Neon Gold) ****

Review by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, December 2014

The U.K. singer reinvents pop punk on her loud, fun, ridiculously catchy new LP ...

Vic Chesnutt: Gravity's Rainbow: Vic Chesnutt

Profile by Will Hermes, Village Voice, The, November 1998

LIKE PLENTY of other folks in wheelchairs, Vic Chesnutt doesn't want your sympathy. In fact, he can challenge the compassion of even those closest to ...

Coldplay: Dodge Music Center, Hartford, Connecticut

Live Review by Will Hermes, Spin, October 2005

Even after The New York Times declared them "the most insufferable band of the decade" (does that include the new INXS?), Coldplay continue to exist ...

Daft Punk: Random Access Memories

Review by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, May 2013

FRENCH DUO Daft Punk helped create our current stadium-shaking, Coachella-dominating dance-music moment, and their new album is by far the year's most anticipated EDM set. ...

Nelly Furtado: Folklore

Review by Will Hermes, Spin, December 2003

POP RADIO is so appalling that even a modest charmer like Nelly Furtado's 'I'm Like a Bird' makes you kneel in gratitude. ...

Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Yanqui U.X.O. (Constellation)

Review by Will Hermes, Spin, March 2003

GODSPEED'S 1997 debut CD, f#a#?, began with words so eerily prescient that it's a wonder the Montreal band aren't currently being held at Guantánamo Bay. ...

Ellie Goulding: Halcyon

Review by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, October 2012

ELLIE GOULDING emerged in 2010 with a one-two punch: first, her (still-rising) helium-voiced hit 'Lights', then, an elegant read of Elton John's 'Your Song' that ...

Hot Chip: Coming on Strong (Astralwerks)

Review by Will Hermes, Spin, January 2006

TIMMY THOMAS' 1972 beat-boxdriven hit 'Why Can't We Live Together?' is a paradigm of how machine rhythms can make the human voice sound simultaneously stalwart ...

Jay Z, Kelis, N*E*R*D: N*E*R*D: Irving Plaza, New York City

Live Review by Will Hermes, Spin, September 2002

WHAT do you do when you're a studio rat who's passed the Courvoisier with Busta Rhymes and P. Diddy and logged hits for 'N Sync, ...

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, 1948-1997

Obituary by Will Hermes, Spin, November 1997

IT'S SADLY IRONIC that superstar qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan — the uncontested voice of modern Pakistan — would die on August 16, only ...

John Medeski, John Scofield, Medeski, Martin & Wood : Jam On It: Hippies, Jazzbos, and Beat Junkies Build One Nation Under a Mutant Groove

Report and Interview by Will Hermes, Village Voice, The, April 2002

LET US NOW praise great Americans: Louis Armstrong, Jerry Garcia, and Grandmaster Flash made their history with equal parts pioneer cojones and improvisatory derring-do. They ...

M.I.A.: Matangi (Interscope)

Review by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, November 2013

IF MAYA ARULPRAGASAM has a persecution complex, she's earned it. ...

Phish: Slip, Stitch and Pass

Review by Will Hermes, Rolling Stone, December 1997

LIKE The Grateful Dead, the eternally jamming Phish are best judged by their concerts. ...

Phish: Madison Square Garden, New York City

Live Review by Will Hermes, Spin, April 2003

YEP, the drummer still wears a housedress. The band still pause mid-song for the occasional "silent jam". And the shows still draw more deadlocked whiteys ...

Sigur Ros: The New Ice Age

Interview by Will Hermes, Spin, March 2003

Do you suffer from skammdegispunglyndi? For many Icelanders, the cure for this brand of wintertime depression — in addition to drinking — is making weird ...

Vampire Weekend: Vampire Weekend (XL)

Review by Will Hermes, Spin, June 2008

AT 1:32 A.M. last Valentine's Day, a demo titled 'Oxford Comma' by a band of Columbia University buds was posted on the blog Music for ...

Caetano Veloso: Tropical Truth: A Story of Music and Revolution in Brazil (Knopf)

Book Review by Will Hermes, Village Voice, The, September 2002

IT'S TOUGH TO imagine an American pop star penning a memoir like Tropical Truth. That's not just because our musical celebs are rarely imprisoned for ...

List of genre pieces

Love Goes To Buildings On Fire: 1977 New York gets the VH1 treatment and, oh my, wasn't it fun back then!

Retrospective by Will Hermes, Village Voice, The, July 2007

OH YES, it was wicked cool: getting jacked at machete-point on the subway after a night of clubbing, and at bayonet-point outside of high school. ...

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