The Friday Five: April 10, 2015

Friday Five : |ˈfrīdā – fīv| : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button in iTunes and share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll ...

EP REVIEW: Laura Joy, “Between Our Words”

Hailing from the Windy City, singer-songwriter Laura Joy offers up her sophomore effort – a five-song EP, Between Our Words.  Low-voltage, lo-fi and warm, this is a fine mixture of acoustic based pop (!) and soothing vocals.  For someone who ...

BOOK REVIEW: David Ensminger, “Mavericks Of Sound”

Mavericks of Sound: Conversations with the Artists Who Shaped Indie and Roots Music (to give it its full title), is a compendium of interviews done by music scholar David Ensminger with indie artists who inadvertently and thankfully spearheaded the “roots ...

Soul Serenade: The Cookies, “Chains”

 

The history of the Cookies goes all the way back to Brooklyn in 1954. It was there that Dorothy Jones and her cousin Beulah Robertson got together with Darlene McCrae. Robertson didn’t last long with the group however, and ...

EP REVIEW: Ohnomoon, “VVV”

This is great.  I’ll cut to the chase.  New York-based Ohnomoon release their debut EP, VVV and it’s a knockout.  Tight, melodic, familiar and combining the elements that I love from my ’80’s younger days, this band make it their ...

ALBUM REVIEW: The Splashing Pearls, ‘Tabloid Tales’

Get your aural tastebuds ready, because the Splashing Pearls are going to rearrange everything you ever thought you loved about music. This amalgamation of ukulele, steel drums and upright bass is an unlikely combo for sure, but for some reason, it ...

EP REVIEW: Sir Cadian Rhythm, ‘Self-Titled’

With a name like “Sir Cadian Rhythm,” you’d be disappointed if the members weren’t somewhat noble, right? Though they have adopted the knightly moniker, their backgrounds belie their true prowess and talent. The group consists of musical theater performers, Juilliard graduates, music ...

EP REVIEW: The Shift, “7th Direction”

Six songs from this new New York-based trio and a nice find – The Shift’s 7th Direction is filled with chunky riffs, a water-tight rhythm section and melody.  Hard rock, the way it should be done.  The production is also ...

EP REVIEW: Return for Refund, ‘Self-Titled’

In the tradition of great, grunge-tinged, guitar-driven rock comes Return for Refund, preaching the gospel of that timeless, Southern-fried anthemic noise that’s almost as American as apple pie and baseball. But, hold on to your ears, people; these masquerading musicians are Canadian, ...

ALBUM REVIEW: Rachel Garlin, “Wink At July”

It’s only fitting that a former schoolteacher could write so eloquently and with a sense of poetic finesse.  Thus, Rachel Garland delivers these kinds of lyrics on her new – and equally warm and tuneful – album, Wink At July.  ...

VIDEO PREMIERE: Saint James Band, “Always Be With You”

Some musicians are destined for their craft; some are pre-destined. For George Castrinos of the Saint James Band, his penchant for guitar was almost mystical. “When I was a kid my guitar was my higher power,” he says, “and when I would ...

A Fan’s Notes: Brian Wilson, “No Pier Pressure”

There are some people who think that Brian Wilson should be graded on a curve. Personally, I find that insulting, and I suspect that he would too. While artists may be proud of their legacies, the best of them want an ...

The Friday Five: April 3, 2015

Friday Five : |ˈfrīdā – fīv| : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button in iTunes and share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll ...

ALBUM REVIEWS: The Who, “Sell Out”

The brilliance – musically and conceptually – of The Who’s third album, humorously titled The Who Sell Out, cannot be overstated or underestimated.  Only two years on in their contracted recording career and they were breaking huge chunks of ...

Soul Serenade: The Isley Brothers, “That Lady”

 

I spent last weekend in New Jersey. It’s always good to be back in my home state, but I’m beginning to wonder if there’s a place for me there, if I still fit in. It’s been over four years ...

ALBUM REVIEW: The Who, “A Quick One”

Started in September of 1966, the second album by The Who was to be a very different affair from their debut, My Generation, for several reasons:  gone was producer Shel Talmy, who had signed the band, oversaw their recordings and ...

CD Review: Riki Michele, “Push”

Riki Michele had the cards stacked against her when she went solo in the very early 1990s, often unfairly. I enjoy her solo stuff, particularly 1993’s One Moment Please, but she was coming from the highly influential band Adam Again. Her ...

A Conversation with Eric Hölljes of Delta Rae

Major labels simply don’t have the patience to watch a band develop. If their first album isn’t a breakthrough success, they’re quietly kicked to the curb. Most bands don’t get a chance for a second major label record. Delta Rae is the ...

ALBUM REVIEW: The Who, “My Generation”

With The Who’s 50th anniversary here, Universal, the owners of The Who’s catalog, have seen fit to bring out vinyl reissues of the band’s landmark first three albums.  Geffen Records in the United States have been assigned the back catalog ...

The Friday Five: March 27, 2015

Friday Five : |ˈfrīdā – fīv| : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button in iTunes and share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll ...

Pearl Jam Bring Citizen Dick To Record Store Day

If you remember the ’90s movie Singles, helmed by Cameron Crowe, you’ll recall the band Citizen Dick. Or rather, you’ll recall Pearl Jam stalwarts Eddie Vedder, Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament’s implausible backstory about the band and their one hit, ...

Soul Serenade: The Coasters, “Down In Mexico”

 
What record do you think of when someone mentions the Coasters? Most people would have said “Yakety Yak,” “Charlie Brown,” or “Poison Ivy.” That was before Quentin Tarantino entered the picture with his 2007 film Death Proof. The ...

Live Review: Lloyd Cole, One Lucky Guitar, March 21, 2015

Lloyd Cole is the type of songwriter who incites travel, perhaps because he himself is nomadic and restless–a musical omnivore who’s traversed sparse folk, Velvet Underground-esque rock, electronica and dour jangle-pop (to name a few) during his three-decade career. And so when my husband ...

ALBUM REVIEW: Joe Pug, “Windfall”

This new album from Austin, Texas native Joe Pug has a lot going for it, considering its genesis was in a not-so-positive situation.  From imbibing too much alcohol to feeling disconnected, Pug almost walked away from music but instead, turned ...