Album Mini-review: R. Stevie Moore and Jason Falkner — Make it Be

File next to: Martin Newell, The Orange Peels, Fountains of Wayne With output that makes Guided by Voices’ Robert Pollard look like Boston’s Tom Scholz, lo-fi hero R. Stevie Moore knows how to write indelibly catchy songs. But he often doesn’t: on his 400-plus albums, Moore’s decidedly skewed pop often wraps accessible melodies inside ultra-quirky,

The Jason Falkner Interview: Part Three

(continued from Part Two) Jason Falkner: The Early Years And the fun of making records is a theme to which Jason Falkner often returns. Like many artists who have their own singular identifiable talent, he’s a big music fan. Falkner is a major student of pop music. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than on

The Jason Falkner Interview, Part Two

(continued from Part One) “Dad-rock” Not surprisingly, Jason Falkner concedes that “I’m just trying to entertain myself. I just want to hear a song that really gets me off, so there are some elements that I put in there that are nostalgic for me.” He thinks back to influences he absorbed early in his childhood.

The Jason Falkner Interview, Part One

For more than twenty years, fans of a particular few strains of rock have known about Jason Falkner. Tagged early and often as something of a pop wunderkind, Falkner is one of that fairly short list of artists who can (and does) do it all. He plays guitar, drums, keyboards and bass. He sings lead

Bootleg Bin: Jason Falkner – “Can You Still Feel?” Demos

Note: Next week I’ll publish my extensive three-part interview with Jason Falkner. The multi-instrumentalist is a former member of the Three O’Clock, Jellyfish and the Grays, and has recorded with artists including Air, Dennis Diken, Beck, Charlotte Gainsbourg and many others. As a teaser/preview of that piece, here’s a review of a bootleg um, unauthorized

The Story Behind Jellyfish’s Final Lineup, Part Two

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: How did Eric Dover come to join Jellyfish? Roger Joseph Manning: The whole thing was just weird. In a nutshell, we had put out that announcement for a guitarist replacement, and got all kinds of submissions … well, as much as you could pre-internet. About 50 submissions, which

The Story Behind Jellyfish’s Final Lineup, Part One

One of the most beloved and critically-acclaimed bands of the 1990s, Jellyfish made a pair of superb albums. But after 1990’s Bellybutton, the band fell apart. Co-leaders Roger Joseph Manning and Andy Sturmer had to rebuild the group with new musicians. Today – more than a quarter century later – The Lickerish Quartet reunites three

Three is the Magic Number: The Lickerish Quartet (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One … Manning says that the never-made third record would have been a double-LP that showcased each member’s songwriting, one side each. “Like Sloan’s Commonwealth,” Manning suggests. That 2014 double LP “still sounds like Sloan, but you really get each guy’s personality. And as a Sloan fan, I was just so envious

Three is the Magic Number: The Lickerish Quartet (Part 1 of 3)

A new group, The Lickerish Quartet, has released the first in a series of EPs. But the group isn’t exactly new, and its it’s not a quartet. Roger Joseph Manning, Eric Dover and Tim Smith first played together more than a quarter century ago in the progressive/art/powerpop rock band Jellyfish. After years of working on

Album Review: International Pop Overthrow Volume 22

Now comes the 22nd volume in a long-running series of compilations chronicling the current state of powerpop. If this set is Exhibit A, the evidence is strong that it’s in fine shape. Right out of the gate, this new collection fires on all cylinders: the first seven tracks are all powerpop gems of the highest