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Mark Rowland


Features

A Life in Music (2021)

Mark Rowland - A Life in Music

In her series 'A Life in Music', in which she talks to Pennyblackmusic writers about the personal impact and influence of music on them, Cila Warncke, discusses with Mark Rowland his changing musical tastes, the importance of solid music journalism and the hypocrisy of rock mythology.


Related


Interviews

Volunteered
Interview Volunteered - Interview

John Clarkson speaks to Mark Rowland, the frontman with London indie band The Volunteered, about his band's growing line-up and sound and their second EP ‘We Fall Apart’.


Volunteered
Interview Volunteered - Interview

John Clarkson speaks to London-based singer-songwriter and guitarist Mark Rowland about his new indie-folk project The Volunteered and its debut EP, 'We Don't Listen'.


Death
Interview Death - Interview

Mark Rowland chats to long lost 70's Detroit garage rock outfit Death about their sudden emergence from obscurity to cult act and their recently released third retrospective


Pere Ubu
Interview Pere Ubu - Interview

Mark Rowland talks to David Thomas, the front man with influential alternative rock act Pere Ubu, about his band’s new ‘dance’-influenced album, ‘The Lady From Shanghai'


Thomas Newman
Interview Thomas Newman - Interview

Mark Rowland chats to American film composer Thomas Newman about his soundtrack for the new James Bond film, 'Skyfall'


Cosmo Jarvis
Interview Cosmo Jarvis - Interview

Mark Rowland chats to London-based singer-songwriter and filmmaker Cosmo Jarvis about his low budget new film, 'The Naughty Room', which is about to receive its first television showing


Laetitia Sadier
Interview Laetitia Sadier - Interview

Ex-Stereolab front woman Laetitia Sadier speaks to Mark Rowland about the strong and angry political nature of 'Silencio', her new solo album


Busdriver
Interview Busdriver - Interview

Mark Rowland and Jamie Rowland speaks to Los Angeles-based rapper Busdriver at a show in London about the internet's influence on rap and his own musical history


Meat Puppets
Interview Meat Puppets - Interview

Mark Rowland speaks to Curt Kirkwood, the front man with seminal country/ psychedelic/punk rockers the Meat Puppets, about his band's unusual songwriting influences and style of recording


Monroe Transfer
Interview Monroe Transfer - Interview

Epic and dramatic-sounding seven-piece London-based group the Monroe Transfer talk to Mark Rowland about about their entirely instrumental and unclassifiable brand of rock


Plumtree
Interview Plumtree - Interview

Catriona Sturton, the bassist with the now disbanded Canadian indie group Plumtree, chats to Mark Rowland about the renewed interest in her group after it provided the inspiration for the 'Scott Pilgrim' comic books and film


A Certain Ratio
Interview A Certain Ratio - Interview

In our second interview with him, Mark Rowland speaks to Jez Kerr, the bassist with pioneering Mancurian post-punks A Certain Ratio about his group's first album since the 90's, 'Mind Made Up', and Sum Ratios, his new offshoot group which consists of several ex-members of the band


Yeasayer
Interview Yeasayer - Interview

Mark Rowland speaks to Ira Wolf Tuton, the bassist with New York-based art rock band Yeasayer, about his band's acclaimed second album 'Odd Blood' and how it has both translated and also developed on stage


Television Personalities
Interview Television Personalities - Interview

Mark Rowland speaks Dan Treacy, the front man with influential C86/punk group the Television Personalities about his return to making music, his much publicised mental and physical health battles, and the band's new album which is due out next year


Yo La Tengo
Interview Yo La Tengo - Interview

One of the most innovative bands of the last 25 years, Yo La Tengo have just released their latest new album, 'Popular Songs'. Mark Rowland speaks to the band's front man Ira Kaplan about it and adaptable and constantly changing nature of his band


Pere Ubu
Interview Pere Ubu - Interview

Pere Ubu frontman David Thomas speaks to Mark Rowland about the problems he and his band faced making their latest album ‘Long Live Pere Ubu’, which is a musical adaption of Alfred Jarry’s absurdist drama, ‘Bring Me the Head of Ubu Roi’


Luke Morris
Interview Luke Morris - Interview

Luke Morris, the producer of the new 'All Tomorrow's Parties' film talks to Mark Rowland about its making and the initial reaction towards it


Daniel Johnston
Interview Daniel Johnston - Interview

Mark Rowland speaks to damaged musical genius Daniel Johnston about his forthcoming album, 'Is and Always Was'. which has been produced by Paul McCartney producer Jason Falkner, and his long musical history


Wavves
Interview Wavves - Interview

San Diego act Wavves began as a bedroom project before becoming a live act. They recently had to cancel a European tour after the stress and health problems of front man Nathan Williams came to a public head at the Primavera featival. A few days before the incident, he spoke to Mark Rowland


Banjo or Freakout
Interview Miscellaneous - Interview

Mark Rowland speaks to Turin-born, but London-based musician Alessio Natalizia about his bedroom project Banjo or Freakout and forthcoming debut alabum


Profiles

Dinosaur Jr
Profile Dinosaur Jr - Profile

Mark Rowland examines Dinosaur Jr's four 1990's albums, which have just been re-released in expanded and remastered editions on Cherry Red.


Green River
Profile Green River - Profile

Mark Rowland examines the career of grunge pioneers Green River, whose 1987 EP 'Dry as a Bone' and 1988 posthumous album 'Rehab Doll' have recently both been re-released.


Ryan Adams
It’s Time We Torpedoed Rock Mythology Ryan Adams - It’s Time We Torpedoed Rock Mythology

With the recent allegations against Ryan Adams, Mark Rowland says that it is finally time to stop forgiving our rock stars for their abusive behaviour.


This Mortal Coil
Profile This Mortal Coil - Profile

This Mortal Coil’s three albums are being remastered and reissued in new deluxe editions on CD and vinyl. Mark Rowland, a This Mortal Coil novice, digs into their back catalogue.


Television Personalities
Profile Television Personalities - Profile

With the first four Television Personalities LPs set for a reissue, Mark Rowland takes a look at their legacy


Big Star
Thank You, Friends: Big Star's Third Live ... And More Big Star - Thank You, Friends: Big Star's Third Live ... And More

Mark Rowland enjoys DVD tribute concert 'Thank You, Friends: Big Star's Third Live ... And More' which features Big Star members Jody Stephens, Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer and also guests including REM's Mike Mills, Robyn Hitchcock and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy


Wag Club
Profile Miscellaneous - Profile

While the original 80's club could be horrendously snobby, Mark Rowland finds that a new four CD Wag Club compilation BOX SET digs out some long forgotten gems


Wedding Present
Profile Wedding Present - Profile

Mark Rowland reflects on the first decade of the Wedding Present's career, who are about to have their first six albums, from 1987's 'George Best' to 1996's 'Saturnalia', reissued in deluxe three CD and DVD boxsets


Rocket Girl
Interview with Vinita Joshi Miscellaneous - Interview with Vinita Joshi

Mark Rowland talks to Vinita Joshi, the owner of Rocket Girl, which now has released over a hundred records, about her long-standing London-based label which she has run since 1997


Book-Rob Jovanovic
Big Star: The Story of Rock's Forgotten Band Big Star - Big Star: The Story of Rock's Forgotten Band

Mark Rowland examines Rob Jovanovic's revised and updated biography 'Big Star: The Sory of Rock's Forgotten Band' while tells of the frequently tragic story of Memphis-based band Big Star


Profile
Small Faces Small Faces - Small Faces

Mark Rowland looks back on the career of 60's mod outfit the Small Faces, whose four albums have just been been re-released in double CD editions


Comment
The Decline and Fall of the NME Miscellaneous - The Decline and Fall of the NME

With circulation figures at a low, Jon Rogers, Mark Rowland and John Clarkson discuss the reasons for the decline and fall of the UK's only surviving music weekly, the 'NME'


Rocket Girl
Interview with Vinita Joshi Miscellaneous - Interview with Vinita Joshi

Label boss Vinita Joshi talks to Mark Rowland about her early musical influences and career and the impact they have had on her London-based label Rocket Girl, which she first formed in 1997


DVD
Oil City Confidential Dr Feelgood - Oil City Confidential

Mark Rowland is impressed by new DVD 'Oil City Confidential', which tells the story of still under-rated, but influential 70's Canvey Island-based pub rock act, Dr Feelgood


Alex Chilton
1950-2010: “I think Slade records are good, too” Alex Chilton - 1950-2010: “I think Slade records are good, too”

Mark Rowland looks back and reflects upon the life and career of the Big Star front man and solo artist, Alex Chilton, who died in March at the age of 59


Profile
Daniel Johnston Daniel Johnston - Daniel Johnston

Frail musical genius Daniel Johnston's albums will be reissued gradually over the rest of this year. Mark Rowland reflects upon the first of these reissues, his 1983 album, 'Yip/Jump Music', and a compilation, 'Welcome to My World'


Book
Punk Fiction Miscellaneous - Punk Fiction

Mark Rowland examines 'Punk Fiction', a charity collection of short stories, in which assorted writers including Nicholas Hogg, Martin Lloyd Edwards,John Niven, Kate Jackson, Billy Bragg and Billy Childish write short stories based on punk rock songs


Film
Sounds Like Teen Spirit Miscellaneous - Sounds Like Teen Spirit

Mark Rowland finds refreshing and oddly moving British filmmaker Jamie J. Johnson's new light-hearted documentary about a Junior Eurovision song contest forchildren aged between 10 and 15


Ron Asheton
1938- c.2009 Stooges - 1938- c.2009

...while Mark Rowland looks back over his life


Film
Ben X Miscellaneous - Ben X

The affecting, but somewhat erratic debut of Belgian director Nic Balthazar, Mark Rowland finds new film 'Ben X', the story of a teenager with Asperger's syndrome who is only truly comfortable when playing a fictional online role playing game, to be an intriguing mass of ideas


Live

Idles
Abbey Road Studios, London, 29/8/2020...30/8/2020 Idles - Abbey Road Studios, London, 29/8/2020...30/8/2020

Mark Rowland watches Idles play a remarkable three set lockdown session over two days at Abbey Road Studios in London.


Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto
Roundhouse, London, 13/5/2011 Ryuichi Sakamoto - Roundhouse, London, 13/5/2011

Mark Rowland at the Roundhouse in London watches Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and electronic artist Alva Noto play a show of tense, but enormous emotional impact to promote 'Summvs', their firfth collaborative album


Pere Ubu
Blackheath Halls, London, 27/2/2010 Pere Ubu - Blackheath Halls, London, 27/2/2010

Mark Rowland watches an enjoyably different and visually striking show from Pere Ubu in which they merge music, theatre and animation at a gig to promote their 'Long Live Pere Ubu' album at Blackheath Halls in London


Passion Pit
KOKO, London, 28/10/2009 Passion Pit - KOKO, London, 28/10/2009

Mark Rowland discovers Massachusetts-based electronic band and former bedroom act Passion Pit to have an increasingly comfortable stage presence at a gig at ther KOKO in London


Deerhunter
Scala, London, 18/5/2009 Deerhunter - Scala, London, 18/5/2009

At the Scala in London, Mark Rowland watches Atlanta punks Deerhunter play an impulsive, yet charismatic and powerful set


Animal Collective
Forum, London, 24/3/2009

At a keenly anticipated, strikingly visual show at the Forum in London, Mark Rowland watches pioneering electro act Animal Collective play a set which completely splits its audience


Of Montreal
KOKO, London, 16/10/2008 Of Montreal - KOKO, London, 16/10/2008

At the London KOKO, Mark Rowland finds Athens, Georgia-based band Of Montreal's eccentric form of orchestral rock and stage theatricals occasionally becoming too pretentious for their own good, but overall totally riveting


Radiohead
Victoria Park, London, 26/6/2008 Leonard Cohen - Victoria Park, London, 26/6/2008

At a gig at London's Victoria Park to promote their 'In Rainbows' album, Mark Rowland watches Radiohead play an enthusiastic, eco-friendly set to an ecstatic crowd


Bob Mould
KOKO, London, 27/5/2008 Bob Mould - KOKO, London, 27/5/2008

In front of an appreciative crowd at the KOKO in London, Mark Rowland watches former Husker Du and Sugar front man Bob Mould prove that he is still able to carry a rock show like a man half his age and play a fiery, rapid fire set of Greatest Hits and new songs


Sebadoh
KOKO, London, 7/5/2008 Sebadoh - KOKO, London, 7/5/2008

Sebadoh are not known for being a dynamic live force, but Mark Rowland finds the reformed American indie rockers compelling at a Don't Look Back gig at the KOKO in London in which they revisited their 1993 album, 'Bubble and Scrape'


Wedding Present
Manchester Academy 3, Manchester, 21/2/2005 Wedding Present - Manchester Academy 3, Manchester, 21/2/2005

At an audience largely dominated by over excited middle aged men, Mark Rowland watches the reformed Wedding Present play a flawless set to an exuberant crowd, but sees David Gedge's Cinerama songs go down less well


Move Festival
Old Trafford , Manchester, 9/7/2004...10/7/2004 Cure - Old Trafford , Manchester, 9/7/2004...10/7/2004

At the Move festival in Manchester Mark Rowland enjoys sets by the Cure and former James frontman Tim Booth, but finds himself totally enthralled by the Pixies, back together after an absence of more than a decade


Million Dead
Brickyard, Carlisle, 18/4/2004 Million Dead - Brickyard, Carlisle, 18/4/2004

One of the rising punk bands , Million Dead recently toured Britain. Mark Rowland watches "one of the better new rock bands in Britain at the moment" put on a rabble-rousing show at the Carlisle Brickyard


Trumans Water, Ten Grand, I'm Being Good
Camden Underworld, London, 3/6/2003 Trumans Water - Camden Underworld, London, 3/6/2003

Mark Rowland's dislike of London's Camden area was recently intensified when he was robbed in the street there, but, despite this, he still manages to forget temporarily his troubles at a post-punk night at the Underworld


Candies
Garage, London, 30/5/2003 Candies - Garage, London, 30/5/2003

Since interviewing frontman Giulio Calvino for the first time, Mark Rowland has waited almost two years to see Italian post-punk trio the Candies, but finds the experience well worth the wait at the London Garage


Reading Festival
Reading Festival, 23/8/2002...25/8/2002 Miscellaneous - Reading Festival, 23/8/2002...25/8/2002

Always an experience, the Reading Festival probably had the best line-up of all the British music festivals this year. Mark Rowland has an an exhausting, but exciting three days


Sonic Mook Showcase 2
London Dingwalls, 7/8/2002 Miss Black America - London Dingwalls, 7/8/2002

...but Mark Rowland at the same gig , despite finding much of its emphasis on fashionablity unbearable, in contrast enjoys the experience much more


D4
London Garage, 12/7/2002 D4 - London Garage, 12/7/2002

In the second of our D4 live reviews of this month, Mark Rowland at a show in London finds the New Zealand punks to be the ultimate live experience


Alec Empire
London Mean Fiddler, 30/4/2002 Alec Empire - London Mean Fiddler, 30/4/2002

The missing link between hard dance and punk metal, Alec Empire and his Digital Hardcore label now have a legendary cult following. Mark Rowland watches the Atari Teenage Riot frontman play a "spectacular" solo show at the Mean Fiddler


Albums

Cardiacs
Sing to God Cardiacs - Sing to God

In our 'Re: View' section, in which our writers look back on the albums from the past, Mark Rowland reflects on English art rockers the Cardiacs' recently reissued 1996 album. 'Sing to God'


V/A
Roots of Rap Miscellaneous - Roots of Rap

In the latest in our 'Re : View' section, in which writers look back at albums from the past, Mark Rowland writes about 'The Roots of Rap, a flawed, but funky 2005 compilation of early rap hits


Re : View-Pere Ubu
The Modern Dance Pere Ubu - The Modern Dance

For our 'Re : View' slot, in which we look back on old albums, Mark Rowland writes about Pere Ubu's 1976 classic debut album 'The Modern Dance', which has recently been reisssued


Re : View-Miles Davis
Kind of Blue Miles Davis - Kind of Blue

In the latest in our 'Re : View' series. in which our writers reexamine great albums from the past, Mark Rowland looks back on Miles Davis' 50's jazz classic 'Kind of Blue'


Re-view : Dillinger Escape Plan
Miss Machine Dillinger Escape Plan - Miss Machine

Mark Rowland explains why Dillinger Escape Plan's ' recently released second album 'Miss Machine' takes punk and metal into new places and will have an impact on the indie scene for years to come


Re : View-Pavement
Wowee Zowee Richard Last Group - Wowee Zowee

There were few better indie rock bands in the 1990's than Pavement. 'Wowee Zowee', their 1995 third album, was their most experimental record. Mark Rowland explains why in the long-term he also believes that it is their most rewarding


Features

Fuzz Fancies Bandcamp Explorer - Fuzz  Fancies

Inspired by own search for a fuzz pedal for his own band The Volunteered, Mark Rowland in 'Bandcamp Explorer' looks for the best fuzz-influenced bands on Bandcamp.


:Digging into Obscure Electronic Genres Bandcamp Explorer - :Digging into Obscure Electronic Genres

In 'Bandcamp Explorer' Mark Rowland searches on Bandcamp for electronica and discovers some of its more unusual genres and subdivisions.


Envelope-Stretching Soul Bandcamp Explorer - Envelope-Stretching Soul

In 'Bandcamp Explorer' Mark Rowland examines some of the best soul records available on Bandcamp.


Golden Lo-Fi Nuggets Bandcamp Explorer - Golden Lo-Fi Nuggets

In his ‘Bandcamp Explorer’ column Mark Rowland examines some of the best lo-fi bands and albums that are available on Bandcamp.


Cracking Compilations
Bandcamp Explorer - Feb 2021 Bandcamp Explorer - Bandcamp Explorer - Feb 2021

This month's Bandcamp Explorer column is an ode to the compilation album, with six great examples to be found on Bandcamp. Let Mark Rowland be your guide.


Alternative Alternatives
Bandcamp Explorer - Dec 2020 Bandcamp Explorer - Bandcamp Explorer - Dec 2020

Mark Rowland takes a deep dive into the fare on offer this month on Bandcamp, a site that has become established as a melting pot of nascent talent. Taking on the genre formerly known as indie, here is his guide to 'alternative alternatives'.


Spooky Genres
Bandcamp Explorer - Oct 2020 Bandcamp Explorer - Bandcamp Explorer - Oct 2020

In his new series 'Bandcamp Explorer' Mark Rowland reviews some of the spooky genres on Bandcamp.


Indie Cuts
Bandcamp Explorer - Sep 2020 Bandcamp Explorer - Bandcamp Explorer - Sep 2020

In his new series 'Bandcamp Explorer' Mark Rowland reviews the best indie acts on Bandcamp.


Gringo Records
Bandcamp Explorer Gringo Records - Bandcamp Explorer

In his new series 'Bandcamp Explorer' Mark Rowland goes orienteering through the Bandcamp wilderness to find its hidden gems and begins by profiling the latest releases of Nottingham label Gringo Records.


Soundgarden
Ten Songs That Made Me Love... Soundgarden - Ten Songs That Made Me Love...

In the wake of the untimely death of Chris Cornell, Mark Rowland revisits in 'Ten Songs That Made Me Love...' some of the Soundgarden songs that shaped him during his formative years


Pavement
All Tomorrow’s Parties, Minehead, June 2010 Pavement - All Tomorrow’s Parties, Minehead, June 2010

Mark Rowland relives his favourite gig of all time, a long-awaited chance to see Pavement at their curated All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Minehead


Sebadoh
Ten Songs That Made Me Love... Sebadoh - Ten Songs That Made Me Love...

In our series, in which our writers write about ten songs that made them love a favourite band or artist, Mark Rowland reflects on his favourite songs by the American alternative rockers Sebadoh


Flaming Lips
(Gig of a Lifetime) Lovebox, London, July 2008

Mark Rowland, in our 'Gig of a Lifetime' series, writes of seeing the Flaming Lips for the first time at the Lovebox Festival in 2008


Rock 101
Buying Records Miscellaneous - Buying Records

In Rock 101 Mark Rowland reflects upon the joys even in present times of buying records


Rock 101
Sick of the 60s? You'll Have to Change the World Miscellaneous - Sick of the 60s? You'll Have to Change the World

In 'Rock 101' Mark Rowland reflects upon the massive debt the world owes to the 60s, but also asks if we have stepped back as a result of it


Rock 101
Film Composition: A Tribute Miscellaneous - Film Composition: A Tribute

In the latest in his 'Rock 101' column, Mark Rowland looks at writing music for cinema, and what makes an effective film score


Rock 101
Indieconomy: The Rise of the Bandcamp Bands Miscellaneous - Indieconomy: The Rise of the Bandcamp Bands

Mark Rowland in 'Rock 101' looks at how, through internet sites and market stalls such as Bandcamp, groups are increasingly avoiding record labels all together to put their albums and singles out


Rock Salt Row
Stereotyping Miscellaneous - Stereotyping

Mark Rowland in 'Rock 101' looks at the media's habit of pushing everyone into different categories


Rock 101
Pop's Example to the World's Young Men Miscellaneous - Pop's Example to the World's Young Men

Mark Rowland in 'Rock 101' reflects upon the disturbing attitudes that are often displayed by the music industry with regard to violence and sexism against women


Rock 101
Heavy Metal: The Sci-fi/Fantasy of Music Miscellaneous - Heavy Metal: The Sci-fi/Fantasy of Music

In his 'Rock 101' column, Mark Rowland reflects upon the often maligned genre of heavy metal and asks if it can ever become cool







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