Evelyn McDonnell

  • Buzzsounds

    THE RANDOM PLAY button on my six-CD player is my own personal DJ. It’s free-associating discreet pieces of information, but that’s as bricolage-y as we’re going to get. I want my music to tell me something, not reflect my environment back at me in freaky fractals, and I’ve stacked this deck so the player will deal me meaning in spades. 1-2-3-4-5: 3 the machine stops and makes a joke, “Beep! Mark, it’s the wicked witch of the west, your mother.” It’s “Voice Mail #3” from the Rent soundtrack; talk about disrupting the narrative! Then the player goes meta on me—guitars like jackhammers and a voice,

  • the Raincoats

    Somewhere out there on an emblematic night, a crew-cut singer sets the pace for a mosh-pit hoe-down with a hurried “1-2-3-4!” In the current punk revival, loud fast rules; the rudimentary hardcore of the past has just become better produced, more tuneful, easier to chew—like bubblegum.

    But the crude, cathartic pleasures of the Ramones, Sex Pistols, and Black Flag were always only one aspect of Janus-faced punk. Kurt Cobain understood this, on the day he went in search of the Raincoats’ tough-to-find first album, setting off a chain of events that caused the London band to reunite. Cobain cherished

  • Evelyn McDonnell


    What happens when an artist plays music in the woods and no one’s there to hear it? In the pop world, where the moment is everything, silence equals death; artists absent too long from the public eye must be revived or resurrected. Not surprisingly, musicians don’t enjoy having years of their lives erased. Ask one about her comeback and she’ll inevitably respond that she never went away. “I was with you always,” PATTI SMITH told a Toronto crowd in July, at her first show with a band in 15 years. “When I was cleaning my toilet, I thought of you. When I was doing my laundry, I thought