Unfinished Business

Feb 3, 2015

One thing you can say for the improbable return of Olympia punk deities Sleater-Kinney: By the standards of a Greatest Indie Rock Band of Their Generation, it's off to a rousing start. Not just with critics and fans, but possibly also with people who've never bought a Sleater-Kinney album before.

It turns out Bob Dylan is big Frank Sinatra fan. You just probably won't hear it from him. To promote Shadows In The Night, an album of songs Sinatra made famous, Dylan gave just one print interview — to the AARP.

Sunday night, in the middle of Katy Perry's flashy Super Bowl Halftime Show featuring dancing beach balls and sharks, rapper Missy Elliott and her dancers dropped in.

They were five guys struggling to make music careers for themselves, ranging in age from 12 to 21. When a Florida businessman put them together to make a band, there was chemistry, tight harmonies, creative facial hair — and a formula for success.

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SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: (Singing) Dance to the music. Dance to the music. Dance to the music. All we need...


On the eastern edge of North America there's a sprawling Canadian island known for its dramatic coastlines, expansive barrens, and dense evergreen forests. Not exactly the place where you might expect an indie-rock band to find a following.

The story of Paramount Records is a story of contradictions. It was a record label founded by a furniture company, a commercial enterprise that became arguably the most comprehensive chronicler of African American music in the early 20th century. And yet, for Paramount's executives, music was an afterthought.