“I get on the mic and I don’t stop rappin,’” Oakland’s Too $hort proclaimed on his low-tech, hyper-local 1985 debut cassette, and nearly 30 years later, he’s outlasted anyone who wanted to get on after him. The long-tail approach has served him well — anyone who tries to distribute their raps independently is nodding in the general direction of the teenage $hort, famous for getting his start by making custom tapes for his classmates and hawking his wares out of his trunk. His unrepentantly graphic tail-chasing makes him a pioneer as well, though this aspect of the persona only seems more regrettable as the years mount.
By John Morthland on 05.17.11 in Icons
There's never been a country music career anything like that of Merle Haggard. Launched soon after he was released from San Quentin, it presented him first as a reckless, paranoid, yet rather proud honky-tonk man, the el...
By Douglas Wolk on 03.03.14 in Interviews
Linda Perhacs follows up 'Parallelograms' after 44 years. Douglas Wolk speaks with her about 'The Soul of All Natural Things.'
By Douglas Wolk on 12.12.13 in Who Is...?s
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Gabe Fulvimar has been hovering around the music world for over a decade, but he came into his own in 2012 with the release of his first album under the name Gap Dream — a one-man project...
By Douglas Wolk on 11.19.13 in Who Is...?s
Audacity got a head start on their career — their two singer/guitarists, Matt Schmalfeld and Kyle Gibson, have been playing together in one band or another since they met in elementary school in 2002. Over the past decad...