Patrick Wall

Killer Mike and El-P began trading recording favors, and the razor sharp, badass hip-hop duo Run the Jewels was born. Publicity photo.

Tag team: Run the Jewels takes chemistry to the next level

The collaboration between Killer Mike and El-P, the two indispensable and bomb-throwing emcees who form the uncompromisingly raw and forward-thinking rap duo Run the Jewels, has been as perfect as it was unexpected. They seem, at first, like odd bedfellows: El-P’s a noise-loving Brooklyn firebrand with an independent streak as long as Bedford Avenue; Atlanta […]

A sober-yet-still-cynical Justin Townes Earle plays cuts from his new album Single Mothers at the Jefferson on Sunday. Photo credit: Joshua Black Wilkins

Justin Townes Earle avoids the artistic slump of maturity

The highlight of the back half of Justin Townes Earle’s Single Mothers, the 32-year-old singer-songwriter’s superlative fifth record, is “White Gardenias,” a tribute to one of Earle’s favorite musicians, jazz singer Billie Holiday. Holiday seems an unlikely inspiration on Earle, who’s nominally an alt-country troubadour. But a close listen to the way he sings on […]

Soul singer Sharon Jones is back in action after battling a rare cancer. Jones is on a campaign to bring soul music to the mainstream on her Give The People What They Want album tour. Photo credit: Kyle Dean Reinford

Sharon Jones beats cancer and fights to save soul

The opening track to Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings’ Give the People What They Want is the burning and brassy “Retreat!” Nominally, it’s a song about the fury of a woman scorned, and Jones sings it masterfully, filling her vocal barbs with impassioned invective. But for Sharon Jones, the song has a deeper, unintended meaning. […]