About Matt Smith Lahrman

NBN Episodes hosted by Matt:

James Greene Jr., "This Music Leaves Stains: The Complete Story of the Misfits" (Scarecrow Press, 2013)

September 27, 2013

This Music Leaves Stains

James Greene Jr.

New Jersey. Home to Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Yo La Tango. . .and the Misfits, a hardcore metal horror rock band from Lodi. In This Music Leaves St…

William J. Bush, "Greenback Dollar: The Incredible Rise of the Kingston Trio" (The Scarecrow Press, 2013)

September 10, 2013

Greenback Dollar

William J. Bush

After the huge success of Elvis Presley there was a moment when it looked as if rock 'n' roll might, indeed, be nothing more than a fad. Its successor…

Steve Bergsman, "The Death of Johnny Ace" (Dancing Traveler Publishing, 2012)

July 24, 2013

The Death of Johnny Ace

Steve Bergsman

It's Christmas Eve at the Houston City Auditorium, 1954, and Big Mama Thornton is belting out "Hound Dog," her hit from the previous year. It's the ye…

Howard Marshall, "Play Me Something Quick and Devilish: Old-Time Fiddlers in Missouri" (U Missouri Press, 2012))

June 18, 2013

Play Me Something Quick and Devilish

Howard Marshall

What's the difference between a fiddle and a violin? What about the difference between a hornpipe and a reel, a hoedown and a breakdown? The answer to…

Don McLeese, "Dwight Yoakam: A Thousand Miles from Nowhere" (U Texas Press, 2012)

May 23, 2013

Dwight Yoakam

Don McLeese

Born in Kentucky, raised in Ohio, apprenticed in Los Angeles, Dwight Yoakam is not your typical mainstream country music star. Indeed, his honky-tonk …

Laina Dawes, "What are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman's Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal" (Bazillion Points, 2012)

April 25, 2013

What are You Doing Here?

Laina Dawes

Extreme metal, punk, and hardcore. Slayer. Sick of it All. Cro-Mags. Decapitated. Behemoth. Musically aggressive rock bands with growling vocals and l…

Peter Benjaminson, "Mary Wells: The Tumultuous Life of Motown's First Superstar" (Chicago Review Press, 2012)

March 9, 2013

Mary Wells

Peter Benjaminson

Who is Motown's first real star? The answer, of course, is Mary Wells, singer of such classics as "My Guy," "Bye Bye Baby," "The One Who Really Loves …

Reiland Rabaka, "Hip Hop's Amnesia: From Blues and the Black Women's Club Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Movement" (Lexington Books, 2012)

February 19, 2013

Hip Hop's Amnesia

Reiland Rabaka

In Hip Hop's Amnesia: From Blues and the Black Women's Club Movement to Rap and the Hip Hop Movement (Lexington Books, 2012), the second installment o…

Preston Lauterbach, "The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock 'n' Roll" (Norton, 2011)

January 15, 2013

The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock 'n' Roll

Preston Lauterbach

Where does rock 'n' roll begin? In The Chitlin' Circuit and the Road to Rock 'n' Roll (W. W. Norton, 2011), Preston Lauterbach makes a strong case …

Jesse Jarnow, "Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock" (Gotham Books, 2012)

December 20, 2012

Big Day Coming

Jesse Jarnow

From the ball fields and barrooms of Hoboken to your turntable, uh, CD player, uhm, MP3 player comes Yo La Tango, uh, Tengo, and with them alternative…

Greg Prato, "Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets" (Lulu, 2012)

November 17, 2012

Too High to Die

Greg Prato

Disclosure: I am a Meathead, an avid fan of Meat Puppets. I have been since 1986 when I first heard their version of "Good Golly Miss Molly" from Out …

David Kirby, "Little Richard: The Birth of Rock 'n' Roll" (Continuum, 2009)

October 2, 2012

Little Richard

David Kirby

"A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop, a-lop-bam-boom!"And so rock and roll was born. And so American culture changed forever. So says David Kirby in Little Richard: T…

Reiland Rabaka, "Hip Hop's Inheritance: From the Harlem Renaissance to the Hip Hop Feminist Movement" (Lexington Books, 2011)

September 11, 2012

Hip Hop's Inheritance

Reiland Rabaka

Cultural movements don't exist in vacuums. Consciously or not, all movements borrow from, and sometimes reject, those that came before. In Hip Hop's I…

Andrew S. Berish, "Lonesome Roads and Streets of Dreams: Place, Mobility, and Race in Jazz of the 1930s and '40s" (U Chicago Press, 2012)

August 23, 2012

Lonesome Roads and Streets of Dreams

Andrew S. Berish

American history is all about movement: geographical, cultural, ideological. Economic depression and war make the 1930s and '40s a dramatic example of…

Sara Marcus, "Girls to the Front: The True Story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution" (Harper Perennial, 2010)

July 3, 2012

Girls in Front

Sara Marcus

Harkening out of the United State's Pacific Northwest in the early 1990s, Bikini Kill and Bratmobile made a big enough splash that their names and son…

Bob Riesman, "I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy" (U Chicago Press, 2011)

June 13, 2012

I Feel So Good

Bob Riesman

Big Bill Broonzy was a master storyteller. From his name, he was born Lee Conly Bradley, to his age, he typically added a decade, to the facts of his …

Barry Kernfeld, "Pop Song Piracy: Disobedient Music Distribution Since 1929" (U Chicago Press, 2011)

May 17, 2012

Pop Song Piracy

Barry Kernfeld

Have you ever illegally downloaded a song from the internet? How about illicitly burned copies of a CD? Made a "party tape?" Bought a bootleg album? Y…

Will Hermes, "Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York that Changed Music Forever" (Faber and Faber, 2011)

April 18, 2012

Love Goes to Buildings on Fire

Will Hermes

"New York City tends to erase its history, endlessly reinventing itself: that is its way, " writes Will Hermes on the final page of his book Love Goes…

Robert Pielke, "Rock Music in American Culture: The Sounds of Revolution" (2nd Edition; McFarland, 2012)

March 13, 2012

Rock Music in American Culture

Robert Pielke

If, as John Lennon reportedly stated, "Before Elvis there was nothing," then after Elvis there had to be something, right? That something, argues Robe…

Andy Neill, "Had Me a Real Good Time: Faces Before, During, and After" (Omnibus, 2011)

February 9, 2012

Had Me a Real Good Time

Andy Neill

In Had Me a Real Good Time: Faces Before, During, and After (Omnibus 2011) Andy Neill provides a detailed account of Faces, one of the most popular an…

Kevin Avery, "Everything is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson" (Fantagraphics, 2011)

January 24, 2012

Everything is an Afterthought

Kevin Avery

Paul Nelson, the Rolling Stone writer and Mercury Records A & R guy who signed the New York Dolls, is quoted in Kevin Avery's Everything is an Aft…

Alice Bag, "Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage, a Chicana Punk Story" (Feral House, 2011)

December 16, 2011

Violence Girl

Alice Bag

I saw "The Decline of Western Civilization," Penelope Spheeris's film documenting the late seventies punk scene in Los Angeles, when it was first rele…

Roberto Avant-Mier, "Rock the Nation:  Latin/o Identites and the Latin Rock Diaspora" (Continuum, 2010)

November 15, 2011

Rock the Nation

Roberto Avant-Mier

In Rock the Nation: Latin/o Identites and the Latin Rock Diaspora (Continuum, 2010), Roberto Avant-Mier challenges the traditional historical notion o…

Sean Wilentz, "Bob Dylan in America" (Doubleday, 2010)

October 25, 2011

Bob Dylan in America

Sean Wilentz

From carrier of the folk torch to electric rebel, lyrical genius to literary thief, white-faced minstrel to born-again Christian-Jewish singer of Chri…