FEATURES & PROFILES
I cover music, arts and culture for Advance Media New York in Syracuse, New York. My feature reporting and criticism have also appeared in The New York Times and The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina.
I write short fiction, too, and have 4+ years experience in professional tutoring (English and communications) at both the secondary and higher education levels.
Currently, I'm a full-time proofreader at ChaseDesign in Skaneateles, New York.
I'm always looking for more freelance work in editing and writing. Drop me a line if you think we should work together -- or if you want to talk about your favorite bands and horror movies.
MA Arts Journalism, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
BA Creative Writing, SUNY Purchase College.
FEATURES & PROFILES
Additional reporting credit.
Carey Eidel earned his Screen Actors Guild card for his performance as a Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller in the 1984 cult horror film, "C.H.U.D."
What does a punk venue look like by day? Just like your living room, only slightly dirtier.
With a prolific 40-plus-year film career behind him, the 69-year-old John Carpenter gets to be the rock star he never thought he'd be.
When Jack Sholder thinks of "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge," the 1985 sequel to New Line Cinema's smash hit "A Nightmare on Elm Street," he thinks, appropriately, of being terrified.
"It's not just our festival, but our hometown," Harris said.
"It's back, baby, with a vengeance," Wilson said. "It's really getting back to the good old days."
Cook's goals going into college were simple: learn about the music industry, facilitate a community of musicians and artists and form a band of his own. He did all three.
Brantley Gilbert considers himself a "what you see is what you get" guy.
The year 2016 was a big one for Maybird, a band that finds its roots in Rochester.
What does one call a store that sells plants and plant supplies? Most would say that's a garden center...
A Miami-born, Nashville-based group called The Mavericks will headline Friday evening at the 35th annual M&T Syracuse Jazz Fest. Sound familiar? You may have caught them at last year's Jazz Fest. "It's a lovely festival," said Raul Malo, the leader of the band. "The crowd was fantastic, so it was a really fun show.
The Grateful Dead is "the new Real Book," or so says Brian Lauri, keyboardist of local Dead tribute group Pearly Baker's Best. The original Real Book is best known as the underground, unofficial Bible of jazz music -- a widely circulated, handwritten compilation of lead sheets for jazz standards that has, over time, seen multiple volumes and one legal republishing.
It was in 1985, at the tail end of the Golden Age of the Slasher, when "The Mutilator" was released.
Until 2016, the seven musicians in popular Syracuse reggae group Root Shock had not released any recorded material.
Local musicians gather at Alto Cinco on Westcott Street every other Tuesday night to improvise together.
Preview featuring an Interview with longtime David Bowie guitarist and John Lennon collaborator Earl Slick.
Preview featuring an interview with Keith Urban.
Preview featuring an interview with Rob Thomas.
Spoleto Festival 2016 retrospective. Triple byline (with Maggie Gilroy, Tionge Johnson).
Preview featuring an interview with Nathaniel Rateliff.
The Spoleto Festival finale at Middleton Place this year includes three local bands, The High Divers, Jordan Igoe and Susto.
Double byline (with Jeremy Reynolds).
Double byline (with Jeremy Reynolds).
Preview of 1927's 'Golem,' featuring interviews with writer-director Suzanne Andrade and animator Paul Barritt.
Preview of The Ben Folds Orchestra Experience, featuring an interview with CSO Pops Conductor Yuriy Bekker.
Premiere coverage of Lauren Waring Douglas and Roberta Marie Munroe's documentary.
Mini-profile of Grady Hendrix, horror author.
Randy Weston has a challenge for Americans. "Imagine America without Africa," he said. "You'd be dead."
On December 17, 2014, Cuban-American pianist and composer Arturo O'Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra gathered around a television set in Havana to hear something monumental.
Preview of Snarky Puppy performance, featuring an interview with bandleader Michael League.
Feature article in "Events" portion of Dome 35, a multimedia story package looking at The Carrier Dome in its 35th year.
Preview of Mac Sabbath performance, featuring an interview with band manager/shock rock musician Mike Odd.
Lockheed Martin band "Defense Mechanism" took top prize at the annual benefit concert.
Indie bands perform and record their music at a big house they call 'The Scarier Dome.'
After a grueling 17 rounds, an eighth grade student from Christian Brothers Academy won the bee.
B-movie guru Ron Bonk aims high with a new project called "House Shark."
Syracuse musicians pay a haunting tribute at Vinyl Albums Live VI.
11 young women vied for titles Miss Syracuse, Miss Salt City and Miss Erie Canal at the 2016 Miss Syracuse Triple Crown Competition.
Jason West of Camillus is trying to make underground VHS horror movies a career.
The SU alum talks industry, screens his own work plus a frightening favorite at the Syracuse International Film Festival.
A day at "The Hollow," where city folk give an economic boost to country operations.
The Halloween spirit is in the air with Syracuse Fashion Week's third Snarl fashion show.
A troupe of zombies descended upon a Cicero gas station to clean cars for charity.
Findings in Syracuse's historic Westcott neighborhood on the sunny, mid-September afternoon of its 24th Annual Cultural Fair.
Steve and Shelby George live with their two teenage children in a 40-foot geodesic dome on Otisco Valley Road in Marietta.
This summer in Syracuse, ice cream stands double as free sing-along show venues.
To have a good time at the Bluegrass Ramble Picnic, all you need is a penchant for acoustic music and a lawn chair.
'Mysteries are a great way to draw people in and get them excited about libraries.'
REVIEWS & BLOG POSTS
Weezer and Pixies, as it turns out, make for a thrilling show -- one that's equal parts artistically stimulating and plain, stupid fun.
Things are still looking up for Paramore -- and thankfully so, because this group is just a gem.
Double byline with Katrina Tulloch.
A retrospective with Tony Curulla, Len Fonte and Linda Lowen.
It is in the best interest of every filmmaker to take up an instrument, form a band with his family members and perform, in front of a live audience, selections from his film scores as clips from said films play on a giant projector behind him.
This was entertainment, through and through.
"Horse's mouth versus clickbait," Keenan announced from his platform, which was positioned upstage, unlit and enshrouded in fog for all of the evening.
Reddin's script seems more like a treatment; it's bland, clunkily written and feels a touch two-dimensional considering its weighty subject matter and historical bent.
"Nothing changes, and everything changes." That's what appears to be the thesis of Jeffrey M. Jones' "70 Scenes of Halloween."
A good farce is not unlike a good ballet.
"Metalheads are very tolerant. Everyone is welcome. You come to a metal show and get knocked down, someone will pick you up."
The strongest song in the Marshall Tucker Band's set at Chevy Court on Tuesday afternoon did not feature Doug Gray.
Progressive rock is not dead. Granted, no one really said otherwise with much finality, but as rock 'n' roll itself strays further from pop radio with each year, the prog subgenre by association becomes more distant to mainstream listeners. By default, prog is now kind of niche; passe.
"What do you say about a band that was in the vanguard of the British Invasion at just fifteen years of age?"
On Friday, for one night only, Syracuse stood in for Brantley Gilbert's backyard in small town Georgia.
Imagine regularly encountering a crowd of strangers wearing T-shirts branded by the face of your father.
Famed Texas blues outfit The Fabulous Thunderbirds touched down at Chevy Court at the New York State Fair on Friday afternoon.
Styx is likely the truest "They've still got it!" band this town will see in some time.
"The history of rock 'n' roll is littered with terrible band names" -- this according to John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls.
In the second act of Syracuse Summer Theatre's "Spring Awakening," a cluster of chairs becomes a row of tombstones in a graveyard.
K-Rockathon is back in business.
In the middle of his set on Friday night at The Lost Horizon, Sam Roberts announced that his shoe had come untied.
What does a Third Eye Blind fan look like?
So, it rained.
On Saturday, June 3, at the festival of festivals that is Taste of Syracuse, Limp Lizard smoked chicken wings on the grill while Kenny Wayne Shepherd smoked his fingers on his Stratocaster.
"Because some things just have to be / Exactly what they are, / And a song must be sung / One way or another." Those are the last four lines of Carrie Newcomer's poem, "Singing in the Kitchen," which she read to an audience of more than 200 women and men on Sunday during a benefit concert for the Samaritan Center at Park Central Presbyterian Church in Syracuse.
When The Slackers played this tune on Sunday, April 9 at a hopping Funk 'N Waffles Downtown, it felt like the start of the weekend again.
There's a new live music series in town.
Of all the genre hyphenates, "comedy-drama" is in many ways the most curious.
The Brooklyn indie pop band barrelled through The Westcott Theater in Syracuse on Friday, December 9.
It's a strange coincidence that much of the Manchester, England indie rock group's sound and aesthetic hinges on what was certainly a benchmark year in popular culture.
Syracuse University should be envious of Ithaca College.
BeatleCUSE's first show as a 501(c)(3) was a success.
"Take your eyes off The Commodores!"
Just minutes before Toto took the stage at Chevy Court on Friday, another band was already playing "Africa" under a beer tent.
Say what you want about the Lakeview Amphitheater: the new outdoor venue has brought together local fandoms.
Keith Urban had a hard time coming up with a setlist for his 2016 ripCORD World Tour.
The odds were not in favor of Counting Crows and Rob Thomas earlier this week.
Forget Christmas in July. On Saturday evening at the Lakeview Amphitheater, it was Halloween in July.
For many Zac Brown Band fans, just getting to the Lakeview Amphitheater for the 2016 "Black Out the Sun" Tour on Thursday evening was a borderline miracle.
The first ever summer lawn concert at Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards was a great success.
Few keyboard parts are as powerful and immediately recognizable as the one at the start of Journey's "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)."
A seriously stacked North American metal tour just began on Saturday evening at the Lakeview Amphitheater.
These days, soul music is "in."
5 Seconds of Summer is an act that knows its audience.
If there were ever any doubts as to the coolness of the trombone, Troy Andrews obliterated them.
On Saturday night, composer-pianist Jason Moran transformed the Cistern Yard into a classroom. His lesson was in the three Fs: Funk, Family and Fats.
No band is more aptly named than Randy Weston's African Rhythms Sextet.
Ketch Secor and the famous Old Crows gave a distinctly South Carolinian performance on the eve of Spoleto’s 40th year opening celebration.
At the historic Landmark Theatre, passionate head-bobbing reached plague-like proportions.
Chicago's Chance The Rapper was Block Party 2016's spiritual headliner.
More than 50 Syracusan musicians and two living rock legends transformed The Landmark Theatre stage into a Beatles-themed time machine.
Luke Bryan may well be a country superstar in the making, or at least his hips might make one think of the second coming of Elvis Presley.
Review of parody metal band Mac Sabbath's 3/26 performance in Syracuse.
The pop rock band performed for a full house in Syracuse.
Thoughts on 'The Witch.'
You don't have to be a fan of country music to enjoy a Brad Paisley show.
[Also editor] Includes: Review, 'Green Room' (2016) and 'Twin Peaks' (1990-1991).
Michael Dougherty's 'Krampus' is the ridiculous Christmas disaster flick this generation needs.
For those who like their horror films in small bites, or love to binge watch, we suggest classic anthology horror movies to watch this Halloween.
See how far we've come since Doc and Marty McFly were sent to the future in Robert Zemeckis’ 'Back to the Future Part II.'
[Also editor] Includes: Reviews of spooky tracks from various artists.
Kenan Thompson bucked a traditional stand-up comedy set, opting for slower storytelling of wild experiences from his long career in television.
Review/personal essay hybrid discussing David Robert Mitchell's 'It Follows.'
Q&A with TV writer-turned-novelist Caroline Kepnes, author of 'You,' one of Suspense Magazine's Best Books of 2014.
[Also editor] Includes: Thoughts on minor characters in 'Parks and Recreation.'
[Also editor] Includes: Review, 'The Babadook' (2014) and 'Adaptation.' (2002)
An examination of author/screewriter GIllian Flynn, "gonzo feminism" and 'Gone Girl' as a horror narrative.
[Also editor] Includes: Reviews of spooky tracks from various artists.
Q&A with Vincent Palmeri, singer/songwriter & guitarist of unsigned indie rock group The Bellegards.
MULTIMEDIA & PODCAST APPEARANCES
Do you like a little food with your live music?
You could easily look at this list of metalcore, psychobilly, world music and electronica acts and, in confusion, cry out, "Cacophany!"
We live in a great music town.
A handful of national acts are passing through Central New York this week.
Does the bitter end of election season find you antsy and looking to cut loose?
This week in Central New York, you can celebrate Halloween with a couple spooky surf groups, check out some game-changing jam bands and an unorthodox, storytelling cellist.
As far as live music goes, this week in Upstate New York's a weird one.
This week in Upstate New York music sees some jazz, some soul and some emo.
Tabla and dulcimers and post-hardcore: Oh, my!
Every major influencer in the Syracuse music scene will likely tell you that there is a show happening every day in this town.
This week: A show for every mood!
There's a lot of room to make a meaningful contribution to the music scene in these next few days.
Summer has come and gone, but live music in Syracuse is pretty much immortal.
It's time to start thinking about getting back into the Syracuse music scene, so here's what's happening in the city's finest venues this week.
The 2016 Chevy Court lineup just keeps getting better.
Music in Syracuse is coming to a real boil this week.
Like every week in Syracuse, there's lots to see when it comes to live music.
If you think this smattering of shows sounds too bizarre, read on. It's all real.
When it comes to music in Upstate New York this week, there's something in the water on Wednesday.
Whether they're local or making a stop on a national tour, there are a variety of acts performing in Syracuse and Ithaca this week worth mentioning.
There are a lot of great songwriters in the world, and somehow, so many of them managed to find themselves playing in Upstate New York this week.
This week could read like the "Superlatives" page in a yearbook.
This week is full of historic musical moments, joyful reunions of some favorite Syracuse bands of yore and fireworks to boot.
July in Syracuse is looming, and that means a whole lot of live music.
If you're not feeling tailgates and Berkinstocks, flannel shirts and cowboy boots, there are plenty of shows at smaller venues to explore.
Installment in original, multi-author "Choose Your Own Adventure" piece.