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Dark Impulses — At night, downtown Phoenix is a ghost town – except for a few bright spots

Published in New Times, December 11, 2003

Fast Times at Westwind junior high — Any way you add it up, kids at one Valley middle school were dealing meth out of their backpacks. (By Jimmy Magahern and Robert Nelson)

Published in New Times,December 15, 2005

News Shorts

Katrina's Second Wind — Hurricane refugees jump to the head of the line — ahead of the Valley's needy — for subsidized housing

Published in New Times, October 6, 2005

Let It Ride — Profile of young skateboarder Aaron Homoki

Published in New Times, September 29, 2005

Wrong Number — Laid-off AT&T workers refuse to hang up

Published in New Times, February 19, 2004

Music Stories

Everybody Loves Rayman — But when will the rest of the country world take notice?

Published in New Times, October 6, 2005

The Real Deal — Art imitates life for balladeer

Published in New Times, August 25, 2005

Die Hards — Redfield makes the rock 'n' roll lifestyle look easy, but behind the scenes, it takes a lot of work.

Published in New Times, July 21, 2005

Feedback Kings — The Reflection finds the odd ring in near-perfect harmony

Published in New Times, April 7, 2005

Straight Outta (Bill) Compton — Radio Free Phoenix takes the city's ghost radio to the next level

Published in New Times, February 3, 2005

Mr. Happy — Brian Wilson gets his SMiLE on

Published in New Times, October 28, 2004

Mr. Natural — Tempe ambient musician Slim Golba goes back -- way back -- in search of good vibrations

Published in New Times, April 8, 2004

Bounce Back Blues — Survivalist discovers there's baller status to be found in a Yugo -- sorta

Published in New Times, February 12, 2004

Original Soul — This time, it's personal: Our look back at an intimate year in music.

Published in New Times, January 1, 2004

Win, Lose or Jam — Capturing the sounds, the souls and the smells of Battle of the Jams

Published in New Times, November 6, 2003

What a Wuss! — But, boy, is Shawn Harrington of Jed's A Millionaire good at it!

Published in New Times, October 9, 2003

Slap Happy — Much like his Hawaiian waves, flip-flop folkie Jack Johnson finds a near-perfect groove

Published in New Times, August 7, 2003

Disturbed & Disturberer — Ozzfest mates Disturbed and Chevelle prove balance and metal can mix

Published in New Times, June 26, 2003

Here Comes the Groom — Now that they have that Mexico bug out of their system, Ticker Tape Parade talk about achieving musical matrimony

Published in New Times, April 10, 2003

Family Stone — They've got the parents. Now the Rolling Stones are out for the kids.

Published in New Times, January 30, 2003

The Seeds of Time — People remember 1982 for Men at Work more than they do for Elvis Costello or Gang of Four. Why should 2002 be any different?

Published in New Times, January 2, 2003

Preservin' the Real — Jurassic 5 stays true to hip-hop -- even as its core audience lives in an alternative universe

Published in New Times, November 14, 2002

X Marks Its Territory — Legendary L.A. punks are still shoving it in your face, but gracefully so

Published in New Times, November 7, 2002

Teen Steam — A little girl with a big bass saves justincase from being just another boy band

Published in New Times, September 26, 2002

Belle du Jour — Songstress Michelle Branch enjoys the spoils of success

Published in New Times, September 26, 2002

Glam Slam — What's so funny 'bout big hair and power riffs? Warrant gets in on the joke.

Published in New Times, September 12, 2002

Revenge of the N*E*R*D — After stepping out of the studio, Pharrell Williams finds the rock-star role suits him just fine.

Published in New Times, September 5, 2002

Boyz Band — Don't hate them because they're buff and rich. B2K is okay.

Published in New Times, August 29, 2002

Americano Idol — Marc Anthony's rabid fans divulge the key to his Latin-pop crossover triumph, and the rules of salsa

Published in New Times, August 8, 2002

This Year's Model — Norah Jones is a retro-chic ride on a pop highway crowded with look-alikes. And so far, she's got the lane all to herself.

Published in New Times, July 25, 2002

Into the Mouths of Babes — How graying scribes are turning teen pop ballads into songs of experience

Published in New Times, July 18, 2002

Street Sweet — The three regular Jersey girls of 3LW look angelic. But the devil's in the details.

Published in New Times, May 2, 2002

Cyber-Hit Factory — Tonos.com is connecting aspiring songwriters with the teen-pop music machine

Published in New Times, March 21, 2002

Immaterial Girl — With a diverse following and a stand-alone attitude, Nelly Furtado hit it big by being herself. But how long can it last?

Published in New Times, February 7, 2002

Pretty Vacant — New Times' panel of critics searches for musical gems in a disheartening 2001

Published in New Times, January 3, 2002

Distilled Gin — The Gin Blossoms re-form again, and this time it might be for more than one gig

Published in New Times, December 27, 2001

Sturdy Branch — Sedona's contribution to teen pop has emerged as the anti-Britney

Published in New Times, November 1, 2001

Crushing Groove — Bionic Jive's hip-hop/metal fusion is an accident that's about to happen

Published in New Times, October 18, 2001

Playa's Paradise — Survivalist is taking west Phoenix hip-hop national, with smooth R&B hooks

Published in New Times, October 4, 2001

Better Off Dead — Phoenix native Vince Welnick makes good on Grateful expectations

Published in New Times, December 5, 1995

In Brief

Too Sexy for His Skits — If you don't have anything nice to say about comic Tracey Morgan, buy him a drink

Published in New Times, August 11, 2005

The Big Bounce — Lowriders get a little higher — visibility, that is

Published in New Times, August 4, 2005

Quiet, Please — Art at work in exhibition

Published in New Times, August 4, 2005

Fur Balls — Bowling brings out the beasts

Published in New Times, August 4, 2005

Dirty Dozen — An evening of feel-bad music

Published in New Times, July 28, 2005

Legend City — A Hall of Fame is born

Published in New Times, April 14, 2005

In Store — Music to participate in the economy by

Published in New Times, August 4, 2005

Streaming Consciousness — Wickenburg's KBSZ brings real Mayberry radio to the Web

Published in New Times, November 10, 2005

Your guide to the Valley's Internet radio stations

Published in New Times, August 11, 2005

Getting Tail — What music is being wagged by the news this month

Published in New Times, September 15, 2005

Legend City — Tucson's Club Congress throws a mammoth 20th-anniversary party

Published in New Times, September 1, 2005

Archives: New Times work

I started my writing career as a freelance music journalist in 1982, writing the first of what would become over 275 published articles for the Phoenix-based New Times before the end of the 80's.

In 2001, I returned to writing music stories for New Times and, two years later, became a staff writer, creating another roughly 90 articles for the weekly (now part of Village Voice Media) before returning to freelancing in January of 2006.

On this page, you'll find links to all of my articles written between 2001 to 2006, as well as a sampling of work written from 1989 to 1995. (For articles published previous to that, you'll have to scan the microfilm at the Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix.) I've grouped a few samples into categories, below, to help you find the type of story you're interested in. — Jimmy

Different Voices

Kid Sharpton  

I always strive to bring a diversity of voices and viewpoints into my stories. If there’s one thing we can all relate to, it’s the ring of truth in what others say.

Kid Sharpton   Published in New Times, February 3 , 2005

Jarret Maupin is the reverend Al's handpicked protégé. Is Phoenix City Hall ready?

Postcards From the Edge   Published in New Times, October 20, 2005

Hi, Mom! I'm crossing the border!

Storm Troopers   Published in New Times, September 22, 2005

Black people calling Phoenix the promised land? The Katrina evacuees in the Valley haven't been getting out enough

Quiet Riot   Published in New Times, November 17, 2005

Rockin' the house but shying from the spotlight, DJ Element is the Valley's no-flash grandmaster


Comic Relief
Balloon Man  

Taking our frivolity seriously is the only way to get through life. Blow up balloons, but get really into it, and it may even get you through a tragedy or two.

Pop Culture   Published in New Times, January 12 , 2006

Super-talented "twisters" are blowing up all over the Valley

Jokers Wild   Published in New Times, September 8, 2005

Making it big in the valley's comedy scene is no laughing matter

Big Cheese   Published in New Times, May 19, 2005

Valley export Mark Davis plots to kill his lounge-pimp alter ego, Richard Cheese


Generation Next
DDR kids  

I write about teens like I write about adults - and sometimes the teens don't like it. "You never chalk anything up to their age, which is, by the way, young," wrote a reader in response to Brainiacs. But they're also very real - just hang out with them for a while.

Dance Dance Fever   Published in New Times, September 9, 2004

Valley arcade rats find fame on the DDR Dance Pad

I'll take care of your kids!   Published in New Times, May 8, 2003

For troubled 'tweens, forget the parents: Nothing beats the hip techie uncle with the PC room

Brainiacs   Published in New Times, January 15, 2004

International Baccalaureate students learn that the best revenge for a nerd is a great education -- in elitism

Small World   Published in New Times, December 13, 2001

Radio Disney feeds the new pop underground with music for tweens


Action, Jackson!

Mile High Guy  

Being a confirmed guy myself, I tend to do a lot of "guy stories" - action-packed yarns about street racing, cage wrestlers and high-flying, swinging bachelors. Got a problem with that, buddy?

The Mile High Guys   Published in New Times, July 10, 2003

With unlimited free flying and online access to singles worldwide, working for the Valley¹s hometown airline is the next best thing to being James Bond

The Fast and the Frustrated   Published in New Times, March 4, 2004

All revved up with no place to go, Valley teens -- and hemi-ed up husbands -- go wild on the streets

Caged Heat   Published in New Times, August 4, 2005

Rage in the Cage promoter Roland Sarria lets loose the Valley's modern-day gladiators

Turning Japanese   Published in New Times, July 8, 2004

Desert drifters import "car surfing" to Arizona's hot streets


Geek Squad
War Driving  

From wardrivers to podcasters to gamers who maybe take Battlefield Vietnam just a little too seriously, there's always something new that really r0x0rs in Nerd Nation.

Geeks Gone Wild!   Published in New Times, August 14, 2003

Wardriving hackers take the revenge of the nerds to the street

War Games   Published in New Times, May 6, 2004

For the Valley's extreme gamers, the action is often too big for a computer screen

The ME Show   Published in New Times, March 24, 2005

See me, hear me, feel me, fund me! Are vlogging and podcasting the ultimate slacker careers?

Game Boys   Published in New Times, September 30, 2004

The Minibosses show us why dorks rock


Words and Music

Ghost Radio  

I started out as a journalist writing music stories for the New Times in the early 80's. I still do it, although probably from a different perspective today.

Ghost Radio   Published in New Times, September 18, 2003

Who's behind Arizona's nonstop oddball rock time capsule?

Mad Max   Published in New Times, May 22, 2003

Metal dad Max Cavalera rocks the thrash scene – and his Phoenix neighborhood

Mouf Wash   Published in New Times, March 6, 2003

Conservatives and hip-hop fans weigh the pros and ho's of Ludacris

Ooh Child   Published in New Times, August 30, 2001

MTV's blockbuster TRL Tour proves black is beautiful and profitable

Droll Call   Published in New Times, May 6, 2004

Veteran Valley music oddballs plot to top the Sponge Monkeys


Next, the Phone Book!


I love the challenge of crafting a good, entertaining read about subjects most writers would consider too mundane. 5,000 words about the mall? Hey, you'd be surprised how much life goes on there if you hang out long enough.

Big Time Mallin'   Published in New Times, December 9, 2004

Living, loving and loathing in the mini-cities of the Valley's malls

Might As Well Jump!   Published in New Times, May 20, 2004

A hot new sport -- from France -- gives teens an excuse to act like kindergartners


Mixing It Up

Riopelle at arcade  

What's famed mime Robert Shields doing checking out a B-Boy battle? Why is 70's rocker Jerry Riopelle playing GuitarFreaks in a video arcade? I brought 'em there, to add twists to their stories. I love a good sport.

Robot Wars   Published in New Times, January 9, 2003

A thriving Arizona break-dancing culture rediscovers the state's grandmasters of boogaloo

So Young   Published in New Times, December 29, 2005

Thanks to a bright invention, Valley favorite Jerry Riopelle is finally on the verge of becoming cool



ASU grad   No job too small! From time to time, I'm called on to write something that doesn't ramble on for nine pages. Here's a quick look at some of my quick reads.

Beyond Biff   Published in New Times, December 8, 2005

Back to the present for Tom Wilson.

Drummerpalooza   Published in New Times, September 8, 2005

Rock's greatest drummers come together in a benefit for photographer Lissa Wales.

Party System   Published in New Times, September 2, 2004

A recent grad dishes dirt on ASU's party daze

High on the Hawg   Published in New Times, March 25, 2004

Adrenaline junkies gather for the love of bikes


Older Music Features

Shower Of Power   Published in New Times, August 28, 1991

Still Overflowing With Guitar Magic, Carlos Santana Remains Thirsty For Change

Ten Years After   Published in New Times, July 3, 1991

Can Two Of The Valley's Most Promising Punks Really Be Happy As A Lounge Act? 

The Headbangers' Headbanger
   Published in New Times, May 22, 1991

Actually, When Push Comes To Shove, Security Pro Jerry Mele Has A Better Way Of Keeping The Peace 

Traffic Jams   Published in New Times, May 1, 1991

After A Decade As A Pop Entertainer, Steve Winwood Returns To His Roots 

The X Factor   Published in New Times, April 3, 1991

INXS's New-Model Rock

Dust Bowl Descendants   Published in New Times, March 6, 1991

Patriotism, Protest And Parenting Keep Arlo Guthrie Forever Young

The Blue Edition   Published in New Times, February 6, 1991

The Bubblegum Princes Of The Eighties Are Pop's New Love Gods

This Is The Dawning Of The Age Of Aquarium   Published in New Times, January 23, 1991

Heroes On The Half Shell hit big with "Tot Rock”

Turtles At War

   Published in New Times, January 23, 1991

With America at war and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on a rock concert tour, some tips for parents asking, "Why aren't the Turtles going over to help our soldiers?"

Feelin' Groovy   Published in New Times, January 16, 1991

Michael Brecker Is Happy Playing Simon Says

Damage, Inc.   Published in New Times, November 7, 1990

After Showing Some Courtroom Metal, It's Big Business As Usual For Judas Priest 

Divine Inspiration

   Published in New Times, October 3, 1990

Jingles for junk food and jeans are one thing. But after a long night of spreading the good word of the Lord, it ain't exactly Miller time for Take 6.

By The Time They Get To Phoenix . . .   Published in New Times, September 5, 1990

The Jeff Dayton Band Will Have Toured The Country Once Again On Glen Campbell's Gravy Train

Electric Youth   Published in New Times, August 1, 1990

A New, Young Band Helps Robert Plant Get The Led Out

Country Cookin'   Published in New Times, July 11, 1990

Retired Rockers Train For A New Career With Southern Pacific

Kitschy, Kitschy Cool   Published in New Times, July 4, 1990

For Cher, Success Means Reaching Over The Top 

The Girl Group Grind   Published in New Times, April 18, 1990

With Eight Top 10 Singles In A Row, Expose Still Struggles For Respect

Cooper-Duper   Published in New Times, April 4, 1990

In Alice's wonderland, even trash turns platinum 

Copy-Cat Cavalcade   Published in New Times, March 21, 1990

Roy Orbison and Marilyn Monroe on the same stage? Impostors liven up the festivities at Legends in Concert. 

Name and Fortune   Published in New Times, February 28, 1990

Is musical success all relative for Sean Penn's big brother Michael? 

Live and Well   Published in New Times, January 17, 1990

Todd Rundgren's Nearly Human LP overcomes rocks overdubbing obsession 

Commercial Success   Published in New Times, December 20, 1989

Michael Jackson and Madonna were two of the eighties' biggest pop stars--soda, that is 

The Ace of Clubs   Published in New Times, December 6, 1989

Chuy's Jim Simmons brings Yes man Trevor Rabin down to size 

Gross Profits   Published in New Times, November 15, 1989

Is metal band Warrant dirty, rotten, filthy, stinking, or rich? Try all of the above. 

The Doobie Double   Published in New Times, September 27, 1989

Is the Brothers' new album classic rock--or classic shlock? 

Twisted Metal Logic   Published in New Times, September 6, 1989

If you buy Jon Bon Jovi's claim that his Ferrari is a Camaro, we've got some New Jersey swampland... 

Sex And The Single Singer
   Published in New Times, June 28, 1989

Why is Sandi Saraya a shadowy siren? Her label wants her to be Jon Bon Jovi II 

Quake, Rattle and Roll   Published in New Times, May 24, 1989

The cars with the boom give suburbia a bass-lift 

For Mold Times' Sake
   Published in New Times, May 3, 1989

KZZP takes burned-out balladeer Benny Mardones "into the night" one more time 

Elusive and Loving It
   Published in New Times, April 26, 1989

English teen temptress Tanita Tikaram twists away from categorization in the colonies 

Madonna Mauls Madison Avenue
   Published in New Times, March 22, 1989

The sultry singer pulls the old switcheroo on Pepsi 

Rock O' the Irish
   Published in New Times, February 22, 1989

Faith and Begorra! Is this another invasion we're havin'? 

Gross To The Max   Published in New Times, February 15, 1989

Cashing in on the Boss is a gig that can't be beat — even with a stick


Jimmy's articles published by New Times from 1982 to 1989 are available on microfilm at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ