The Vinyl Diaries: Favorite Music of 2014

Albums discussed in this column:

  • Lydia Loveless, Somewhere Else
  • Felice Brothers, Favorite Waitress
  • Bob Mould, Beauty & Ruin
  • Sturgill Simpson, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
  • The Hold Steady, Teeth Dreams
  • Beck, Morning Phase
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Hypnotic Eye
  • Ryan ...

Popdose Giveaway: R.E.M., “7IN – 83-88” Box Set

UPDATE: Eastern to Mountain, third-party call: We have a winner!  Congrats to Reader Lisa W. of Glen Burnie, MD, and thanks to all who entered. – RS

 

Hard to believe R.E.M. broke up three years ago, partly because 2014 has seen ...

The Vinyl Diaries: Various Artists, “American Hustle”

This Friday is Black Friday, the uniquely American occasion in which citizens of all economic stripes and strata are encouraged to spend as much money as they can afford—unless they want to spend more than that; they’re encouraged to do that, too—enticed ...

Popdose Giveaway: Alvin Lee Reissues

UPDATE: We have a winner!  I gotta admit, the sheer number of Alvin Lee fans out there surprised me—and from all over the globe!  People from Portugal, Denmark, Croatia, and Australia emailed entries!  The man is definitely loved and missed.  But the ...

Popdose Giveaway: Joni Mitchell, “Love Has Many Faces”

UPDATE: We have a winner! Congrats to Reader Steve M. of Kannapolis, NC!  Thanks to all who entered. – RS

For years, Joni Mitchell was steadfast in her adamant rejection of record company entreaties to please, please, pretty-please put out a volume ...

Popdose Giveaway: “The Beatles in Mono” Vinyl Box Set

UPDATE: We have a winner!  Congratulations to Maria H. of Alexandria, VA!   Let us all take the next moment or two to seethe with jealousy.

Wasn’t that fun?  Thanks to all who entered. – RS

I want this box set. But I ...

CD Review: Hook & Anchor, “Hook & Anchor”

In January, I listen almost exclusively to the Grateful Dead. Not just this past January; for many Januaries, going back years. I listen to them at other times of year, as well—a month or so ago, in fact, a long drive was soundtracked ...

The Vinyl Diaries: Aerosmith, “Done with Mirrors”

Remember when Aerosmith’s Music from Another Dimension was supposed to be the band’s return to rockin’ form, a Seventies-style throwback to the groovin’, Stonesy, Yardbirdsy, slap-happy lewdness of Toys and Rocks, complete with the full-album return of Jack Douglas, who’d been behind ...

Popdose 2013: Rob Smith’s Favorite Music of 2013

 

If these records could talk …

1. Jason Isbell, Southeastern

The last time I saw her, she was standing in a doorway, about to go inside and do something—something, that is, in addition to transitioning from a physical presence to a ...

Truth & Salvage Co.: The Popdose Interview

If you were looking for me the last few months and couldn’t find me, it’s very possible that I was off somewhere, curled up inside “Pick Me Up,” the title track of the new Truth & Salvage Co. album (Megaforce Records). Behind ...

The Vinyl Diaries: U2, “The Joshua Tree”

See that kid on the right?  Smooth-faced, hair neatly parted, wearing the sport coat he hates?  That’s me. The old fart down at the bottom of the page is me, too, but I don’t want to talk about him yet.  I want ...

Rob Smith Can’t Say No: Milkshake, “Got a Minute?”

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE HONORABLE STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE, MAYOR OF BALTIMORE, MD.

Dear Mayor Rawlings-Blake:

I don’t need to tell you about the wealth of local treasures your city has to offer. True, it’s got some problems. For one, lots of people ...

Rob Smith Can’t Say No: Leroy Justice

Even though I pretty much shut this column down a while back, my friend/editor/collaborator/occasional thorn-in-side Jeff Giles (y’all) will occasionally try to lure me back to it, quite often with the difficult-to-resist bait of new work from the ...

The Vinyl Diaries: Juice Newton, “Juice”

A couple years back, I was charging my iPod at work, and had iTunes open on my PC desktop. A colleague wandered into my corner of the cubicle ghetto and, out of curiosity (I suppose), took my mouse and clicked the iTunes ...

CD Review: Nine Times Blue, “Falling Slowly”

The title track of Atlanta-based Nine Times Blue’s debut album (Renegade Recordings) is a keeper—muscular and melodic, it conjures in my mind a humid summer evening in 1993, leaving work after another interminable late night, when the absolutely correct song ...

Popdose 2012: Rob Smith’s Favorite Music of 2012

I have no preamble. Goodbye, 2012, and thanks.

  • Father John Misty, Fear Fun (Sub Pop). After the war broke out, we headed down to the bunker—Fifties-issue, concrete walls, boxes of canned food, smells a little moldy—but Cayla couldn’t stand my smoking, or my ...
  • Hayley Reardon: The Popdose Interview

    Part of me fears for Hayley Reardon. The 16-year-old singer/songwriter’s voice has the same timbre as Kasey Chambers, or a young Maria McKee, and in that voice I hear the echoes of records I’ve loved for longer than she’s been ...

    The Vinyl Diaries: Kenny Loggins, “High Adventure”

    My crushing cynicism about life cannot withstand the blunt-force power of certain phenomena that seem to exist purely to negate the cynic’s strength. I am impervious to baby photos, for example, but put me in the room with one of the little ...