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A Note from Wax Atlas' Owner RE RSD

This is the full text of a flyer that I gave out to my customers on RSD 6/12/21. Each was signed by me. Wax Atlas owner Andy Phillips here, adopting the first person to say what an utter dream it is to be part of such a vibrant, supportive, collaborative, and caring record community. Baltimore […]

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Before rock; before hip-hop; before be-bop, there was....

By Kim Te & Andy Phillips From the back porches of Mississippi to the chilly streets of Chicago, the Blues was as much a people’s movement as a sound, one so quintessentially American that it remains at the root of every beat to come after. Whether addressing race, class or just hankering heartbreak, the Blues […]

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Lift the Spirit. Psych the Soul: Wax Atlas Celebrates Soul, Jazz, and Spirituality in the 70s

With far-reaching jazz and soul excursions, 60s artists like John Coltrane and Sun Ra laid the groundwork for a new kind of Black representation in art. They rejected European norms, creating innovative soundtracks for a more afro-positive future. By 1970 Free Jazz, Funk and Psych had become mainstays of both pop and the avant-garde underground, […]

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Advice to a Young Music Critic

EXCERPT FROM: “What’s the Write Word: 100 Music Writers offer advice to aspiring critics…” To make it as a music critic, you need to consume music at a psychotic pace. Not forever, but definitely for now. Being a music writer isn’t the same as being a music fan. When I was starting out, I would […]

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Make them Grow: Vashti Bunyan on Freak Folk and a Life Away from Art

Vashti Bunyan would have made a frustrating friend. In the late ’60s she possessed an undeniable gift: an inner eye that pierced the very essence of her surroundings. Like a sage, her words were weighty and her melodies transcendent. But her temperament was far less sublime. A look at her career (or lack thereof) reveals […]

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INTERVIEW: Chris Rock Gets Down to Earth

Eyeing the movie industry, the raunchy comic takes situation comedy from 'PG-13' all the way to 'R'

Chris Rock hits hard and takes no prisoners. Unencumbered and unrelenting, Rock’s outrageously forthright brand of comedy levels potshots at white America, black America, the rich, the poor and, in the end, leaves everyone both a bit insulted and a bit amused. Now, after success in stand-up and on TV, Rock sets his sights on […]

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8 Accessible (but off-the-radar) Albums You Can Use To Out-Gun Any Music Elitist

Nothing’s more satisfying in life than out-gunning a pack of unrepentant music elitists. Of course, you have to do your homework first (after all, it’s pretty easy to get flustered when music nerds start jaw-boning on needlessly obscure albums). After the jump we offer ammunition and eight off-the-radar but mainstream-accessible albums that non-nerds can listen […]

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Bad Riddance to Good Rubbish: A Sort-of Tribute to CBGBs

As the New York's punk club doors are wrenched closed, a hurt-so-good account of its final show with Bad Brains.

Trash bags line the New York City streets—it’s the smell of piss and rotting animals. The stench builds as each large, black bag is tossed to the curb, churning used diapers and stale lettuce washing-machine style inside the plastic. The funk is manmade, but it’s taken an epic, unworldly turn in the early autumn heat. […]

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Why the New York Times (and Other Outlets) Infantilize Smaller Cities

New York Times writer Tim Kreider may not live in Baltimore, but he sure knows how to get its goad. In a recent Sunday Review section, the writer waxed nostalgic about time spent slumming in Charm City a decade ago. Part memoir, part trend piece, part white-flight fear made plain, the article traverses the city’s […]

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Print the Myth?

A conversation with Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, 6 months before his death....

Blender’s Andrew Phillips reflects on a recent, unpublished interview with now-deceased Factory Records founder and 24-Hour Party People progenitor Tony Wilson. For all the self-aggrandizing and lofty, self-serving liturgy, infamous Manchester TV personality, record guru, and public punching bag Tony Wilson’s most famous quote, the one that echoes through the rafters of every room he […]

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