DAVE MANDL is a writer (the Rail, the Wire, Slate, the Believer) and musician. He hosts the weekly music show World of Echo Sunday nights on WFMU.
I was a Brooklyn TownieBy Dave Mandl
Im from Brooklyn. I mean, Im really from Brooklyn. I was actually born here.
Non-Fiction: Better Me than DemocracyBy Dave Mandl
Studieseven pop studiesof the sociological aspects of the American system of government seem to be a vanishing species. In keeping with the nasty, selfish, finger-pointing tone of most mainstream political discussion this century, its no surprise that books on the subject tend to be highly partisan attacks on political parties or figures.
Notes from (the Pop) UndergroundBy Dave Mandl
Jad Fair & R. Stevie Moore FairMoore, Old Gold Records 2002 FairMoore brings together two fiercely original figures in the American music underground. Jad Fair, with his brother David, was the co-founder of the hugely influential post-post-punk group Half Japanese, who, as Fair gloats on his website, "have recorded more albums than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined." (Incidentally, thats post-post-punk in style, not time; the groups first, home-recorded record was released back in 1977.
The Greatest Compilation EverBy Dave Mandl
I cant remember the last time I was asked about my Desert Island Discs, but for nearly twenty years my robotic response was the same: the two-LP Recommended Records Sampler (1982). There may have been more important compilations released in my lifetime, but I cant think of one at the moment.
TextFM with Graham HarwoodBy Dave Mandl
Though you might not be aware of it if you live in the U.S.where mobile-phone technology is still a creaky Tower of Babeltexting is a massively popular phenomenon in the rest of the industrialized world, especially among young people.
Laura Nyros UniverseBy Dave Mandl
Singer-songwriter Laura Nyro is surely one of the most famous unknowns in rock-and-roll history.
ROCK N ROLL JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLBy Dave Mandl
Rock camps and rock schools for kids are a very recent phenomenon, but the idea is already so established, and seems so natural, that it feels like theyve been around forever.
AIDE-MEMOIRE FOR CONTEMPORARY MUSIC LOVERSBy Dave Mandl
For the past 14 years, the London-based music mag The Wire has run a bi-monthly series of Primers that serve as quick-study guides to the artists and genres that are generally considered essential in the non-mainstream universe that is the magazines home turf.
Deserted Cities of the HeartBy Dave Mandl
While I cant claim to be the biggest fan of Jack Bruces work since, oh, 1974 or so, I consider the man virtually beyond reproach. A musical prodigy who was performing Dvorák and listening to Monk and the Modern Jazz Quartet when he was a teenager, Bruce is indisputably one of the most original and influential bassists of all time.
(Ex-)Editors NoteBy Dave Mandl
As I near my 11th anniversary as the Rail’smusic editor, a slew of other obligations has made it impossible for me to continue tending the section in my usual obsessive-compulsive way, so I’ve decided to move on.
review: Meadow House’s Tongue Under a Ton of Nine-VoltersBy Dave Mandl
Regarding great marginal or underground musicians, it’s often true that the less well known they remain, the better.
Un-Liberating the Airwaves WFMUs Ken Freedman on the PostJanet Jackson FCCBy Dave Mandl
Ken Freedman, station manager of WFMU, recently spoke with Rail music editor Dave Mandl about the current FCC controversies.
By Dave Mandl
How Pandoras Music Genome Project Misrepresents the Way We Hear Music
When youre a Silicon Valley tool with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Among other things, this means that nearly any object or phenomenon known to man is reducible to some formula or algorithm, and thus replicableonly better!in a lab or startup garage.
In Praise of the SegueBy Dave Mandl
The cultural changes wrought by the iPod and the MP3-trading movement are now well known, but heres something to add to the list: It seems that radio listening habitsor at least online radio listening habitshave been deeply affected as well.