Music Reviews

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posted: February 26, 2014

English Oceans

ATO LP, CD

In his excellent new book I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March Up Freedom’s Highway, veteran critic Greg Kot discusses the harmonic blend of styles that distinguished the late 1960s/early 1970s era Muscle Shoals sound from every other locale in America. Read More


posted: July 15, 2015

Calexico Edge of the Sun

Anti-Records, LP and CD
Calexico

Few artists can slip into different stylistic skins while also maintaining identities distinctly their own. It’s the hallmark of painters like David Hockney and of musicians like Beck and Bjork. Calexico may not share that level of renown or impact, but the group’s gift for creative osmosis is the same. Read More


posted: May 19, 2009

Cat or Yusuf? Roadsinger

Universal CD, LP
Cat or Yusuf?

The singer formerly known as Cat Stevens pretty much dissappeared from the world of popular music in 1979 when he became a Muslim.  There is plenty of information on the web about what he’s been up to since, but he resurfaced again in 2006 with his last release, An Other Cup.

An Other Cup got mixed reviews and while a decent record, did not really come together stylistically. Read More


posted: September 9, 2012

Cat Power strikes again

While it’s only been six years since Cat Power, a.k.a. Chan Marshall, released her last album of original material, The Greatest, it sounds like well over 60 years have passed.

For the aforementioned effort, Marshall recruited musicians Leroy “Flick” Hodges and Mabon “Teenie” Hodges—the brothers who helped define Al Green’s Hi Records sound back in the early 1970s—and set out for Memphis’ Ardent Studios to record a warm, lush album steeped in vintage soul. Read More


posted: April 19, 2009

Children

The 70′s are in the air again, in more ways than one.  Heavy bands are making concept albums again, which I find very cool.  Children’s new record is their take on a post apocalyptic world.  Children is the essence of heavy rock, with everything I like in a band; a pair of blistering lead guitarists, a powerful drummer that summons your caveman blood and a lead singer that screams his guts out, so that you get exhausted just listening to him. Read More


posted: July 15, 2015

Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth

About ten years ago, Bassist Chris Lightcap formed his own group on a whim. He had already done the hard work to make a considerable name for himself—so much so that he could draw from the pool of top young New York-based improvisers. Since the late 1990s, he served as a sideman to the likes of Regina Carter, Joe Morris, and Matt Wilson. Read More


posted: April 2, 2009

Classic Album Friday:  FEAR

As a departure from our normal new music routine, Friday’s will feature great albums from our past that we love. If you missed them the first time around or need a fresh copy because you played it too much, you can click on the “purchase” link to buy one from Music Direct. Read More


posted: April 16, 2009

Classic Music Friday

While most Sonic Youth fans cite 1988′s Daydream Nation as that’s group’s masterpiece (and rightly so), I always had a warm spot for Goo. This 1990 album, Sonic Youth’s first major label release on Geffen, nearly defined the term “art rock,” causing even the most urbane pseudo-hipsters to suddenly latch onto the group’s heroin chic and declare themselves suddenly edgy. Read More


posted: April 24, 2009

Classic Music Friday – Boston

It was 1976, and my older brother had just come home on leave from the Air Force. He had driven 15 hours straight all the way from Fairchild AFB in Spokane, Washington to Garden Grove, California, and he surprised us all when he rolled up in a brand new jet black Camaro with all the fancy racing stripes and decals. Read More


posted: February 25, 2009

Coldplay – Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends

If you’ve been watching TV at all for the last few weeks, you’ve seen that psychedelic colored iTunes ad featuring Coldplay.  Just the fact that Apple deviated from the standard monochromatic iTunes ad made me think that we might be in for something really big.  According to the chatter on the Internet (the record was released June 12 in the UK), the masses are very polarized about the current Coldplay project because it is a major departure from their past efforts. Read More


posted: June 9, 2017

Cuong Vu 4tet

Ballet, by trumpeter Cuong Vu’s 4tet with guitarist Bill Frisell, functions as sort of a double sequel. In 2015, Cuneiform released Michael Gibbs & The NDR Bigband Play a Bill Frisell Set List: Gibbs arrangements of tunes Frisell composed or played. This short set of Gibbs compositions returns the favor. Read More


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