More Writing by Ian S. Port

From the  Stax Museum of American Music , Memphis, Tennessee.

From the Stax Museum of American Music, Memphis, Tennessee.


"That Winsome Moan"

Oxford American, 2017

"With a slide—a short length of glass bottleneck or metal pipe slipped over a finger, once improvised and now produced as a standard accessory—the most basic acoustic guitar can sing, can sound human, in a way the instrument otherwise cannot. A guitar neck is divided up by frets, the vertical bands that define where one note ends and another begins. The slide bypasses this order, allowing the player to drift between notes, creating an eerie, metallic wail. Contrary to the Hawaiian steel theory, folklorists—and many players like Dickinson—have long believed that the technique evolved from one-stringed instruments used in Africa, knowledge of which was transported to the New World via the slave trade. According to this history, the diddley bow was passed down through generations until it turned up in accounts of the South in the 1930s, forming a link between American blues and its ancestral strains of music on the other side of the Atlantic..." >>>

"Suicide City"

Village Voice, 2017

"Vega wanted to bring the hostility of the streets into the club, to turn the violence he saw everywhere in postindustrial New York back on his audience. Instead of singing over Rev’s noise box, he screeched and howled, muttered and pleaded, even abandoning the stage for long stretches while Rev pounded knobs. They described their sets as “punk music,” making them the first band ever to do so. What came afterward — with the downtown music scene as the Seventies edged into the Eighties — has since become legend..."  >>>

"The Man Who Made Animal Friends"

Rolling Stone, 2015

"Antle is the alpha male of the compound. Boisterous and brawny at 55, with a soul patch the same blond as his pony tail, he has three decades of experience training big cats, apes and elephants. He and his 12 staff members don’t simply care for the animals; they live with them – Tarzans and Janes with iPhones, feeding orangutans Chipotle burritos..." >>>