Album Review: Anton Barbeau — Manbird

If Todd Rundgren were a bit younger and a dash more underground/indie-inclined, he might resemble Anton Barbeau. Among other similarities, Ant shares with Todd a predilection for going his own way – bouncing effortlessly between styles, resolutely defying easy pigeonholing – and for making music that is at once accessible and requiring of active participation

Album Review: The Corner Laughers — Temescal Telegraph

Based in Redwood City, The Corner Laughers craft a brand of pop that’s sophisticated, clever, erudite and memorable – one that follows in the proud tradition of great songwriting artists like Carole King and Paul McCartney. Across the group’s several singles, EPs and albums, a love of wordplay combines with subject matter beyond the simple

Album Reviews: Various Artists — The Big Stir Singles Series

Back in the days when it still actually played music videos, MTV put together a promo clip featuring David Bowie. The Thin White Duke smiled rakishly at the camera and intoned, “Too much is never enough.” And to make sure viewers got the point, Billy Idol, Cyndi Lauper and The Police told them the same.

Hundred-word Reviews: September 2017

Time for some more hundred-word reviews; new music from many different genres. Linsey Alexander – Two Cats (Delmark) A lot of modern-day blues has a sterility that makes it the sonic equivalent of a museum display: too perfect, too slick, soulless. Linsey Alexander is having none of that on Two Cats. The 75-year old blues

Album Review: Various Artists — Songs, Bond Songs

Andrew Curry‘s label has released an impressive clutch of tribute-type albums, including ones focusing on 80s pop, “lite rock” and so on. For the most part, the artists involved tend to fall at least loosely into the power pop subgenre. Curry Cuts’ latest project is Songs, Bond Songs. And as the title (and wonderfully clever

Album Mini-review: Allyson Seconds — Little World

File next to: Anton Barbeau, Corner Laughers Pop music has long featured engaging artists who don’t write their own material. Going back to perhaps the greatest of them all, Frank Sinatra never wrote a song in his life. Linda Ronstadt‘s long and successful career was built in large part upon her canny choice of material.

Album Mini-review: Anton Barbeau — Magic Act

Often swimming in the quirkier end of the power pop pool, the prolific Anton Barbeau most recently made a pair of albums fronting Three Minute Tease; there he applied his own personal spin to the music, bending the sound made by Robyn Hitchcock‘s former band mates (Andy Metcalfe, Morris Windsor) toward his own unique aesthetic.

Anton Barbeau’s Traveling Magic Act, Part 3

Continued from Part Two… Anton Barbeau feels similarly about progressive rock. “At one point, I decided, ‘Oh, I don’t like that stuff at all.’ But not long ago on one of the XTC [online] forums, people were debating how much of a prog band XTC was.” He continued, “And I see it now, even though

Anton Barbeau’s Traveling Magic Act, Part 2

Continued from Part One… Once Anton Barbeau realized that the new album wouldn’t be a Three Minute Tease project, he “started looking around for other ways of doing it. I was back in Sacramento, and I had always had musician friends there. So I called some of them up. And,” he added, “that’s normal for

Anton Barbeau’s Traveling Magic Act, Part 1

From my point of view, it’s a strange world in which a recording artist can craft highly melodic, accessible tunes, release a long string of consistently well-regarded albums, and still go largely unnoticed in the commercial marketplace. But of course, such circumstances happen all the time. Even if one allows for the lack of commercial