Book Review: Shut Up You Animals!!! A Remembrance of Dirk Dirksen

Dirk Dirksen wasn’t known as musician, but his importance to the music history of San Francisco is substantial. Imagine a sort of Bill Graham writ small, with a perhaps unexpected interest in (and affinity for) the then-new punk rock and new wave, and you’ll have the beginnings of what he was all about. Dirksen –

Book Review: Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area

San Francisco has a rich and varied cultural history. The city by the Bay has been home to a long succession of cultural scenes, form the Beat poets to the psychedelic explosion to the punk and new wave phenomenon of the late ‘70s and early 1980s. Relevant to my own interests, I’m writing a book

Album Review: Richard Barbieri — Under a Spell

For several years, Richard Barbieri was the keyboardist in art rock band Japan; his atmospheric work was a key component of that band’s sound. And once Steven Wilson transformed his DIY project Porcupine Tree into an actual band, Barbieri performed a similar role in that group. (No-man was a sort of bridge between those projects,

Book Review: Paul Collins — I Don’t Fit In

One of the finest among the so-called new wave bands of the late-late-late ‘70s and very early 80s (the subgenre’s peak period) was The Beat. Renamed Paul Collins Beat to differentiate itself from the similarly-named UK ska-rock band (renamed to the English Beat, the group led by guitarist Paul Collins made some compelling music that

Album Review: Peggy Lee — Something Wonderful

A casual listener might only be able to name “Fever” – and possibly “Is That All There Is” – but Peggy Lee scored a lengthy run of hit singles. The primary arc of her career ran from the early ‘40s (when she was the singer in Benny Goodman’s big band) through 1974, when she hit

30 Days Out, May 2021 #1: Mayday AVL, the Wooks, DeeOhGee, Doom Flamingo

The time last year the term social distancing was just starting to creep into wide usage. And use of the term pods to describe clusters of seating at concerts was a thoroughly alien concept. But here we are heading toward the middle of 2021, and while live shows are indeed returning, the ground rules are

Pop music’s Terrestrial Paradise: Joel Selvin’s ‘Hollywood Eden’

Many authors have sought to chronicle the cultural ferment that gave rise to the Southern California pop music explosion of the 1960s. And while some efforts have yielded worthwhile books, Hollywood Eden: Electric Guitars, Fast Cars, and the Myth of the California Paradise stands apart. The newest book from Joel Selvin – author of nearly

Album Reviews: ‘Richard Pryor’ and ‘Craps (After Hours)’

Comedy albums are unique in the album world. Unlike music, for most listeners, they’re a one-and-done affair. You may well have bought Robin Williams’ Reality: What a Concept when it was released in 1979, but if you’re like me, you listened, enjoyed, and then moved on, rarely taking it off the shelf for another spin.

Album Review: Keb Darge Presents The New Mastersounds

As the leaders of the funk-soul boogaloo revival, The New Mastersounds have churned out along and impressive string of deep funk/groove albums, exploring the part of the musical Venn diagram in which jam-band and dance music intersect. With impeccable taste and even better chops, the foursome originally from Leeds UK (but now based in Colorado)

WWNBB: An Italian-American Confederation to Combat Boring Music

The global pandemic hasn’t stunted the creativity and output of indie musicians. Far from it: especially when it comes to DIY-leaning artists who create and record their original music at hone instead of in recording studios, this period of confinement has often yielded a bumper crop of new material. And one locus of musical activity