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

The Corner Laughers Let the Music Do the Selling

It’s a source of some mild amusement that when I Google “corner laughers,” the right-hand side of the resulting screen lists a number of the Bay Area group’s songs as dating from 1971. I’m pretty certain that at least two of the group’s number – bassist Khoi Huynh and his spouse, vocalist/ukulele player Karla Kane

Album Review: The Corner Laughers – Poppy Seeds

With the impossibly winsome vocals of Karla Kane out front, The Corner Laughers‘ pop style is a tasty recipe indeed. Their 2012 release Poppy Seeds continues in their grand tradition. While the opening voice-and-ukulele of “Grasshopper Clock” suggests – if for a moment – a lighter-than-air confection, the clever melody unfolds gradually, revealing a quality

Album Review: Various Artists — Higher Than a Mountain

It can’t have been easy being Andy Gibb. It would be challenging enough to have a famous older sibling scoring hit after hit and then trying to have a music career of your own. But Andy had three older brothers doing it. Not only could Barry, Robin and Maurice sing, but they could write. Andy

Album Reviews: Big Stir Singles — The Seventh and Eighth Waves

Time was, Jordan Oakes reigned as the tastemaker supreme in the powerpop world. His Yellow Pills compilation series shone a light on the very best that the genre had to offer. And the four volumes in the series – all quite expensive today if you can even find them (you can’t have mine) – hammered

Album Review: Marshall Holland — Paper Airplane

It’s a bit unnerving to realize that it has been six and a half years since I first heard Marshall Holland and the Etceteras. As I noted at the time, that album – despite its misleading title – is the work of one man. And it’s a very good one, brilliantly displaying the finest pure

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 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