Hundred(plus)-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Four

Here’s a quick look at five new releases. Four are reissues; the other is a compilation of previously-unreleased material. All are simply superb; essential, even. For the first time in a decade-plus, I’ve allowed myself to exceed my 100-word limit. Flamin’ Groovies – Now Originally released in 1978, this album was – intentionally or not

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two … You’ve said – only half joking, I’d guess — that the main goal of the San Francisco Radical Lab was attracting women. Well, it wasn’t much more than that. And I came up with the name “San Francisco Radical Laboratories.” At the time, one of the things that I was

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … The Moog Model III didn’t come with a manual. How much was it hit-or-miss to develop the sounds that you wanted? Well, I pretty much grasped immediately what a high/low pass filter was. Because, in my lecture demonstration, with the microphone and my mouth, I would do exactly the same

Rad Lab: Doug McKechnie and the Moog Model III (Part One)

In the late 1960s, Doug McKechnie and his roommate launched the San Francisco Radical Lab, an experimental endeavor launched (in part, as you’ll read) to explore the capabilities of the then new and novel Moog Model III modular synthesizer. The Lab had one of the earliest of that instrument, with the serial number 004. Now

Doug McKechnie’s ‘San Francisco Moog: 1968-1972’

In the late ’60s, the Moog modular synthesizer was still very much an experimental tool. While there had been some ambitious attempts to use the Moog as the centerpiece of recordings — Mort Garson’s 1967 LP The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds was likely the first album to feature the synthesizer prominently — “serious” use of the

Hundred-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Three

And here’s the last of this current run of hundred-word reviews covering new releases. Soul, powerpop and blues; something for most tastes. All worth your time. Sonny Green – Found! One Soul Singer Don’t let the cheesy, lurid, chartreuse album art dissuade you from the contents: this is the real deal. Sonny Green is one

Hundred-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Two

Here’s five more quick reviews. Powerpop, ambient, jazz and more. Nick Frater – Fast & Loose The title might lead the uninitiated to suspect that Nick Frater’s album is something along the lines of the Stooges. Well, it’s not. Instead, it’s melodic, tuneful and highly appealing rock that has the best elements of subgenres (classic-,

It’s Still About Chemistry: A Conversation with Semisonic’s Jacob Slichter

In my last feature, I shared bonus content from my interview with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson. That piece featured parts of our conversation that didn’t make it into the story I wrote for Goldmine Magazine. Today it’s more bonus content: the best bits from my conversation with Semisonic drummer (and keyboardist) Jacob Slichter. – bk Your

Lightning Strikes Again: A Conversation with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: One thing that has always surprised me is the way in which Semisonic – and this was true for Trip Shakespeare as well – got lots and lots of critical acclaim, but you didn’t really explode into the superstar commercial realm. I certainly thought you should have. Do

Lightning Strikes Again: A Conversation with Semisonic’s Dan Wilson (Part One)

This summer I spoke with Dan Wilson and Jacob Slichter of Semisonic about the band and its new EP, You’re Not Alone. (Vacationing with his family at that time, bassist John Munson was unavailable, so I missed the opportunity to follow up with him on our 2015 conversation.) Large bits of our conversations are featured