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James Medd

James Medd

James Medd is a freelance writer who grew up on Radio 1, Smash Hits and a "100 Greatest Albums" special issue of Rolling Stone. Formerly Associate Editor of Esquire, he has written for The Word, Q, MOJO, The Times, The Observer, The Guardian, The New Statesman and more. Though music is his first and greatest love, all of culture is his playground, from film and television to comedy and fashion, history and sociology. He feels blessed to have interviewed Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Keith Richards, Polly Harvey, Diane Warren, Bill Callahan, Marc Ribot, most of The Clash and horrible old Lou Reed. His favourite Bob Dylan album is John Wesley Harding.

31 articles

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Air: One for the Ladies

Report and Interview by James Medd, Esquire, January 2004

"IN FRANCE, the more you have girlfriends,the more you are a seductive man, and the more you are healthy," says Jean-Benoit "JB" Dunckel. "In France, ...

Lily Allen: Celebrity: Lily Allen

Interview by James Medd, GQ (Australia), February 2009

She's released a new album and that string of expletives at Elton John at the UK Men of the Year Awards. So how will GQ ...

Belle And Sebastian, Alice Cooper, Grateful Dead, The Jam: Slaves to the rhythm: What the non-frontmen have to say

Book Review by James Medd, New Statesman, 18 June 2015

That's Entertainment: My Life in the Jam Rick Buckler Omnibus Press, 384pp, £14.95 Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams and Drugs with the Grateful Dead Bill ...

David Bowie: Let's Not Pretend: David Bowie's Brit Award was for being alive

Comment by James Medd, New Statesman, 20 February 2014

Musicians and pundits need to get over their obsessive, nostalgic hero-worship. In 2014, David Bowie is irrelevant. ...

Nick Cave: Original Sin

Interview by James Medd, Word, The, October 2009

Nick Cave's new fiction hero is a monstrous expression of the male psyche grotesquely obsessed with sex, he tells James Medd. Did he evolve from ...

Nick Cave: Out of the Shadows

Interview by James Medd, Word, The, December 2003

After years on the dark side of the street, Nick Cave lightens up. ...

The Clash: Paul Simonon: The Clash's Ace of Bass

Retrospective and Interview by James Medd, Rake, The, August 2017

Without him, The Clash would still have been a great band, but with him they became iconic. Paul Simonon was built for rock 'n' roll and ...

Leonard Cohen: Zen Len pens ten

Profile and Interview by James Medd, Esquire, October 2001

Leonard Cohen proves that you can take the songwriter out of the Zen monastery, but you can't take the Zen monastery out of the songwriter. ...

Bob Dylan: How Dylan's Blonde On Blonde created the modern album

Retrospective by James Medd, Bigmouth, 23 May 2016

Fifty years ago, Bob Dylan turned pop entertainment into a vehicle for dazzling visions – and it's been that way ever since. James Medd investigates the album that invented an ...

Giant Sand: Mercury Rev: Snowflake Midnight (V2); Calexico: Carried To Dust (City Slang); Giant Sand: Provisions (Yep Roc)

Review by James Medd, Word, The, October 2008

Cosmic cowboys Mercury Rev, mushroom mariachi merchants Calexico, heartbroken hobos Giant Sand. Can you even call this stuff Americana anymore? ...

PJ Harvey: Let England Shake

Review by James Medd, Word, The, March 2011

PJ Harvey is "a human being affected by politics" in an absorbing new record suffused with imagery from wars past and present. And they said ...

PJ Harvey: Polly Harvey: An Interview

Interview by James Medd, Word, The, June 2011

SHE'S SO ON-BRAND, it's like 20 years never passed: a black sleeveless vest top over a physique suggesting food is not an interest, the black ...

The Horrors! The Horrors!

Profile and Interview by James Medd, Independent on Sunday, 18 February 2007

They came out of nowhere (well, Southend) and then suddenly they were everywhere. Now, with a full-length album to back up their formidable haircuts, James ...

King Creosote: Choose Fife: The Fence Collective

Report and Interview by James Medd, Esquire, January 2004

THE SIGNS have been there for a while,in current artists from Bonnie "Prince" Billy to Portishead's Beth Gibbons and Kings of Convenience. And it was ...

Ladyhawke: Walls and Bridges

Profile and Interview by James Medd, Word, The, March 2012

Like David Byrne and Gary Numan, Ladyhawke suffers from Asperger's — a tough call in an industry based entirely on communication. ...

Lambchop: Paranoid Schizophrenia

Report and Interview by James Medd, Esquire, March 2004

On Lambchop's new twin CDs, Black Sabbath mix with soul and country. Call it what you like – just don't call it a double. ...

The Magic Numbers: You'll like this...

Profile and Interview by James Medd, Esquire, May 2005

The Magic Numbers: two guys and two girls make instant pop bliss. Count yourself a fan. ...

Metallica: Band on the Ruin: Metallica's Some Kind of Monster

Report and Interview by James Medd, Word, The, October 2004

Metallica was facing meltdown and group therapy — then the film crew arrived. The result is the greatest music documentary ever made. ...

Morrissey

Interview by James Medd, Esquire, June 2004

From his unlikely hideout on the West Coast of America, pop's Greatest Living Englishman has emerged triumphant with his first album in seven years. "Pop ...

Phoenix: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (V2)

Review by James Medd, Word, The, June 2009

The hot-air balloon, the electric iron and the current trend for shiny '70s and '80s-inspired synthpop: the French tend to get there first. ...

The Ramones: Bruvvas In Arms

Report and Interview by James Medd, Esquire, December 2004

The Ramones mixed pop cuteness with garage-band crudity and came up with punk. You'd think nothing could be more fun. You'd be wrong – very ...

Röyksopp: Music to Watch Grills By

Interview by James Medd, Esquire, August 2005

Royksopp say they've made the perfect soundtrack for your barbecue. ...

Ty Segall: Garage rock's Pied Piper leads a new march

Profile and Interview by James Medd, Guardian, The, 21 September 2013

The hardest-working slacker in lo-fi has another album coming out, but this time he's having a bash on drums. ...

Smog: Bill Callahan: Searching For Smog

Profile and Interview by James Medd, Word, The, April 2011

How, after 11 albums, has the mysterious Bill Callahan stayed so supremely unknowable? ...

Tom Waits: Albums of the Decade: Tom Waits' Real Gone

Review by James Medd, Word, The, January 2010

ISTHERE A musician whose stock is higher? It's certainly hard to think of another whose songs are covered by both the singer of Led Zeppelin ...

Yo La Tengo: You Never Knew There Was So Much In It

Profile and Interview by James Medd, Word, The, September 2009

James Medd meets Yo La Tengo – American music's feverishly industrious purveyors of jazz-folk-funk-samba-epic-ballad-space-rock. ...

List of genre pieces

Andy Kershaw

Interview by James Medd, Word, The, August 2011

"THE FIRST 50 years have been eventful, haven't they?" asks Andy Kershaw, reassuringly still the cocky young'un off The Whistle Test despite 2009's half-century. ...

David Hajdu: Love for Sale/Marc Meyers: Anatomy of a Song/ Ed Ward: History of Rock'n'Roll, Vol. 1

Book Review by James Medd, New Statesman, 14 January 2017

For decades, white male critics have championed white male rock. Can a new school of writing re-evaluate the history of pop music? ...

Kent Hartman: The Wrecking Crew – The Inside Story Of Rock And Roll's Best-Kept Secret

Book Review by James Medd, Word, The, February 2012

If it's Monday it must be the Beach Boys, Tuesday it's Sinatra. The fantasy life of L.A.'s fabled sessioneers told as soap opera ...

Light Years: The Golden Age of the Night Club

Retrospective by James Medd, Rake, The, December 2016

When you think of the '70s, what do you see? How about Bianca Jagger on a white horse at Studio 54, or Grace Jones on ...

Love Me Do: Rock's Pantheon

Comment by James Medd, National, The, 8 May 2008

The road to rock'n'roll's Hall of Fame is long – and with many a winding turn. James Medd asseses the greats and the ones who ...

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