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Mark Rowland - Features


Ukraine - Bandcamp Explorer

In his 'Bandcamp Explorer' column Mark Rowland examines some of the best music that is currently available on Bandcamp from the Ukraine.

Bandcamp Explorer

Bandcamp Explorer - Metal

Mark Rowland in 'Bandcamp Explorer' examines the best releases on Bandcamp of recent metal recordings.

Bandcamp Explorer

Bandcamp Explorer - The Best of ‘The Best of Bandcamp’

In 'Bandcamp Explorer' Mark Rowland looks at some of the best releases on Bandcamp of the last year.

Bandcamp Explorer

Bandcamp Explorer - World Tour

Mark Rowland in 'Bandcamp Explorer' goes on a continent-by-continent trip around the world.

Bandcamp Explorer

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.

Mark Rowland

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.

Bandcamp Explorer

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.

Bandcamp Explorer

Bandcamp Explorer - Envelope-Stretching Soul

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

Bandcamp Explorer

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.

Bandcamp Explorer

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.

Bandcamp Explorer

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'.

Bandcamp Explorer

Bandcamp Explorer - Bandcamp Explorer - Oct 2020

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

Bandcamp Explorer

Bandcamp Explorer - Bandcamp Explorer - Sep 2020

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

Gringo Records

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...

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

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...

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

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


Miscellaneous - Buying Records

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


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


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


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


Miscellaneous - Stereotyping

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


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


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


Miscellaneous - The Christmas Song Remains the Same

In his 'Rock 101' column Mark Rowland explains why he thinks that Christmas music needs more albums, rather than just singles


Miscellaneous - The Snobbery Behind 'Selling Out'

In the second instalment in his 'Rock 101' series, Mark Rowland reflects upon why so many music fans object to and take issue with bands and acts that have become popular


Miscellaneous - Burning Out or Fading Away?

In the opening instalment in his new regular column, 'Rock 101', Mark Rowland questions whether it is better for rock bands to burn out or fade away


Miscellaneous - London, 29/10/2010

Mark Rowland writes of an enjoyable evening of music at the Pennyblackmusic Bands Night at the Half Moon, Herne Hill, South London which saw sets from the Willard Grant Conspiracy, the Monroe Transfer, Adam Donen and Altai Rockets


Miscellaneous - Velvet Underground and Soul Music

In our 'Soundtrack of Our Lives' column, in which a different writer writes each month about the personal impact of music on them, Mark Rowland describes how an an unhappy adolescence led to him discovering both the Velvet Underground and soul music


Miscellaneous - London, 20/3/2010

Mark Rowland tells of a memorable night and a mixed bag of highs and lows at the Pennyblackmusic Bands Night at the Half Moon in Herne Hill, London on the 20th March


Miscellaneous - Commuting to Lightning Bolt

In the first in a new series, in which our writers write about the importance of music at memorable times in their lives, Mark Rowland explains how Lightning Bolt has kept him sane throughout commuter hell

Dinosaur Jr

Dinosaur Jr - Profile

After Lou Barlow's departure from influential late 80's grunge group Dinosaur Jr the band carried on with J Mascis taking the helm. Mark Rowland looks at the band's first post-Barlow albums, 'Green Mind' and 'Where You Been' which have been reissued


Love - 1945-2006

Mark Rowland looks back on the stormy career of Love guitarist and singer Arthur Lee, who died after losing his battle against leukaemia on August 3rd


Miscellaneous - Star Trippin' : The Best of Mick Wall 1985-91

'Star Trippin’ is the anthology of former 'Kerrang' rock journalist Mick Wall. Mark Rowland finds very enetertaining 'Star Trippin', which tells of his interviews with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, and the one which ended his 'Kerrang' career with Axl Rose


Miscellaneous - Tapestry Goes West

The Tapestry Festival in Cornwall is one of the few British festivals to play host to smaller bands, rather than the usual festival acts. Mark Rowland looks at director Caroline Catz's new DVD film about it

Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth - Reissues

Mark Rowland assesses the recent reissues of three Sonic Youth-related albums-their self-titled 1982 mini album, side project Ciccone Youth's 1988 album 'The Whitey Album' and Thurston Moore's 1995 solo record 'Psychic Hearts'


Miscellaneous - Phenonomen or Hype ?

The Myspace site has expanded dramatically in recent months . With many bands now having their own Myspace page as well as regular web page, Mark Rowland assesses its increasing impact on music culture


Miscellaneous - Sex, Censorship and 21st Century Cinema

After Anthony Strutt's review of Mike Winterbottom's controversial '9 Songs' last month, Mark Rowland takes up the debate and writes about cinema, sex and censorship

Flaming Lips

Flaming Lips - The Fearless Freaks

The new Flaming Lips DVD, like many other current rock doc films,looks beyond band member’s public personas to their personal experiences. Mark Rowland finds that it is a must for Flaming Lips fans, but also a fascinating documentary in its own right

Mission Of Burma

Mission Of Burma - Profile

Often criminally over-looked, Mission of Burma made some of the most influential post punk of the late 70's and early 80's. Mark Rowland looks back on the Boston rockers all-too-short career


Miscellaneous - Retrospective

In his 40 or more years with the BBC, John Peel launched the careers of hundreds of bands. Six months on his from the Radio 1 DJ's death Mark Rowland looks back on his life and the continued impact of his loss to the independent music world

Tim Buckley

Tim Buckley - Profile

It is thirty years since Tim Buckley died from a combination of alcohol and heroin. Mark Rowland profiles and reexamines the career of the legendary folk artist


Miscellaneous - What Does the Future Hold ?

The culture of MP3 has come more prominent in recent months with improvements in its technology. Mark Rowland asks if it continues to grow if it will eventually lead to the downfall of the CD


Monkees - Head

As a film in itself, the Monkees 'Head' is something of a disaster. As a document of both the late 60's acid movement and of a band at a very strange time in its career, Mark Rowland, however, explains why it makes compelling viewing


Miscellaneous - Rise of New Folk

The new folk movement has been on the rise for a couple of years. Withartists such as Elliot Smith, Jeff Buckley and Nick Drake popular all over again, and new ones such as Damien Rise in the charts, Mark Rowland profiles the new movement


Miscellaneous - Part 3-The Changing Face of Punk Rock : 1994-

In the third and final part of his series on American hardcore punk, Mark Rowland examines the years between 1994 and the present day


Miscellaneous - Part 2-Punk Learns How to Play 1984-1994

In the second in his series on the American hardcore movement, Mark Rowland examines the years between 1984 and 1994, and the impact of bands such as Husker Du, Bad Religion, the Jesus Lizard and Fugazi


Miscellaneous - Part 1-The Early Years 1977-1986

In the first in a series profiling the rise of American hardcore, Mark Rowland examines its early years and the long-term impact of five of its best known bands, Minor Threat, Black Flag, Bad Brains, the Dead Kennedys and the Descendents

Big Black

Big Black - Profile

One of the guiding lights of the US hardcore scene, Steve Albini fronted the controversial Big Black, and also produced Nirvana's 'In Utero'. Mark Rowland examines his extraordinary career

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