Jesse Jarnow

Hi! I’m Jesse. I’m a writer and a DJ on WFMU. The Frow Show airs live late-night every Monday from midnight to 3am on WFMU–91.1 in NYC, etc.–and wherever in time-space you are through the archive. You can follow along with whatever I’m currently doing by way of Twitter.

My new book, Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America, comes out on March 29th, 2016 through Da Capo. You can read more about it (and order it) here. I’ll be doing some readings & other events in the spring & beyond. You can find out about all upcoming Heads events via the good ol’ @HeadsNews Twitter account, its Facebookly stepchild, and the weekly Heads News email bulletin, the latter summarizing the good stuff from the former with some new original writing every week.

I’ve also launched a more personal newsletter, to be dispatched judiciously, with book news, recent articles, Frow Show updates, links, and other ephemera.

Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock came out in 2012 via Gotham Books. You can acquire it via Powell’s or other fine book purveyors. A Spanish translation by music journalist Ignacio Julià is available through Sones. Follow @big_day_coming for rare YLT/indie nuggets, current setlists, playlists, ephemera, deep cuts, and book news.

I’ve got a highlights reel of favorite articles and miscellaneous writing here. All episodes of the Frow Show are archived. I’ve written liner notes for the Grateful Dead, Numero Group, RVNG, and others, and talk about that and related/unrelated topics in an interview I did with

A few years ago, I helped assemble and wrote lots of notes for a DVD of my father’s animation, called Celestial Navigations: The Short Films of Al Jarnow, produced by the truly excellent humans at Numero Group, collecting the films he made for Sesame Street and elsewhere.

Some pieces I’ve done have been featured in collections. I’ve also done a bit of educational writing. There’s lots of material scattered around this site, mostly under the category headers on the right-hand column.

I play in a band. You can follow our adventures on Twitter.

Which is also where I’m at most of the time.

Some recent work:
New Art by Ned Lagin (, 4/16)
Alternate Routes: Contemporary Peyote Songs, Electric Indian Mandolin Bliss, Custom Melodies, a Synth Oddity, & Recent Yo La Tengo Jams (Flavorwire, 4/16)
BOOK EXCERPT: How An Army of Deadheads (& Their LSD) Invented Silicon Valley (, 4/16)
Why Our Crazy Smart-Smart AI Still Sucks At Transcribing Speech (, 4/16)
BOOK EXCERPT: Magic Mushroom Guru Terence McKenna Talks Science & UFOS (AlterNet, 4/16)
BOOK EXCERPT: Phish: A Psychedelic Pedigree (Cuepoint, 3/16)
The Feelies: Only Life Time For A Witness (Pitchfork, 3/16)
Sahel Sounds: Music From 21st Century West Africa (Pitchfork, 2/16)
Why I (Sometimes) Miss Williamsburg’s Infamous Murdered Slumlord (Gothamist, 1/16)
Tortoise: Return of the Terrapin Rhythm Section (Relix, 1/16)
Alternate Routes: James Joyce, Baseball, and ’90s Film Inspire Wildly Ambitious Musical Experiments (Flavorwire, 1/16)
Best of 2015, new music & more (Google Doc, 1/16)
Phish Pull Disappearing Act at Jam-Heavy NYC New Year’s Show (, 1/16)
The Anti-SantaCon: ‘Unsilent Night’ Is a Shimmering Musical Celebration of Cities’ History and Present, a visit with composer Phil Kline (Flavorwire, 12/15)
Acid Tests Turn 50, the Merry Pranksters’ first Acid Test & Hugh Romney’s lesser-known Lysergic A Go Go (, 11/15)
Apple’s iTunes is Alienating Some of Its Most Music-Obsessed Users (, 11/15)
America’s Last Great CD Dealer Doesn’t Care If You Think CDs Are Dead (Flavorwire, 11/15)