Lowe’s Straitjackets

Though he’s known primarily for his 1979 hit single “Cruel to Be Kind,” singer-songwriter Nick Lowe is a revered figure in rock and pop music. A key figure in the British punk and new wave scenes of the late 1970s and early ’80s, Lowe has since turned his own music in a more low-key direction.

¡Veinte Preguntas para Los Straitjackets!

I first saw Los Straitjackets onstage in February 2004. Their music and image is – to use a Hollywood term – “high concept.” Picture this: a four piece band, all clad in matching black turtlenecks and slacks, Chuck Taylor Converse high-tops, customized medallions around their necks, and – wait for it – faces hidden behind

Los Straitjackets: A New Twist on an Old Sensation

Legendary instro-rockers Los Straitjackets have taken worthwhile stylistic excursions before. While their primary métier is surf music, they joined with a host of vocalists for 2001’s Sing Along with Los Straijackets. And their upcoming release–Rock en Español, which should hit the streets by the time you read this–will feature vocals by the front-men of Los

Album Review: Turnstyles – Cut You Off

Members of Jack Oblivian’s band, Seth Moody (guitar) and Graham Winchester (drums) are Turnstyles. From Memphis, this group/duo deals in the rocking yet cheerfully loose vibe that characterizes many of the Bluff City’s rock legends. Listeners will hear echoes of Tav Falco, post-Big star Alex Chilton and the like, but Turnstyles are a shade or

Album Review: Roomful of Blues — In a Roomful of Blues

There are a handful of retro (or, if you prefer, classic-minded) acts that transcend nostalgia, doing something special. They trade in forms that had some great popularity in the past, but they continue, making new music in the style, adding their own personal spin. NRBQ is one. Los Straitjackets are another. And Roomful of Blues

30 Days Out: March 2020 #1: The Yawpers, The Fritz, Southern Culture on the Skids, Eric Johnson

Punk/Americana hybrid. Funky soul that’s equal parts Donny Hathaway and funk/fusion. Unbridled rock ‘n’ roll with a sassy Southern flavor. And some of the most appealing electric guitar tone you’re ever likely to hear. Those are just some of what’s on offer on concert stages in Asheville in the coming thirty days. Artist: The Yawpers

Hundred Word Reviews for August 2019, Part Two

Ten more reviews. All new music, covered in the space of 100 words each. Jazzmeia Horn – Love & Liberation I love instrumental jazz, but I have to admit that vocal jazz resonates less strongly with me. Thus, you’ll find remarkably few reviews here that cover jazz vocalists. This is well worth an exception; very

Hundred-word Reviews, November 2018 Part 2

Here we go: even more hundred-word reviews. All new or recent releases, all worth a listen. RC & the Moonpie Band – All This I love me some rock ‘n’ roll. And I like (and occasionally love) the blues. What I enjoy far less often is the point on the Venn Diagram in which the

NewCity Music

For some years now, I’ve been writing essays for Chicago altweekly NewCity, previewing upcoming shows in and around the city. The essays are a kind of boiled-down biography and critical assessment (every once in awhile including interview quotes), and I’ve covered a wide variety of acts. A full list is here, but below are links

Album Review: Hearts Gone South — Little Things

In an era filled with twanged-up, Eagles-style lite rock passing as country, it’s bracingly refreshing to encounter an album of classic country such as Hearts Gone South’s latest, Little Things. Vocalist Trish Tripp knows how to deliver a slyly humorous line with style, and the band’s sound – highlighted by the keening and exciting pedal