Monthly Archive:: September 2009

Album Review: Jim Duffy – Mood Lit

Pop-jazz. Jazz-pop. The labels are mere shorthand for a sort of music that’s tough to describe. The terms can often be applied in a pejorative sense, used to describe (and dismiss) disposable music. But that’s not at all what we have here. Mood Lit, the second album from Brooklyn pianist Jim Duffy, is a delight

Album Review: The Smithereens Play Tommy

The Smithereens are well-known rock fans. Their unique, canny take on rock music is informed by everyone from the Four Freshmen (drummer Dennis Diken cites them as a large-looming influence) to Black Sabbath (guitarist Pat DiNizio wrote a tribute of sort to Iommi and Co. on the first ‘Reens LP). And their affection for rock

It Can’t Get Better Than This

The only thing better that spending an evening interviewing Dennis Diken of The Smithereens — discussing his new album Late Music (in stores tomorrow! review here) would be to interview him and then see the Smithereens in concert. No, there’s something better than that: interviewing Dennis Diken and then seeing two Smithereens shows — one

The Bigelf Interview: Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Mellotron!

The plan was not for the scheduled interview with Bigelf‘s leader Damon Fox to focus primarily on equipment. But to some extent, that’s how it worked out. As a keyboard player myself, I was especially fascinated with Fox’s use of the legendary Mellotron as his primary instrument onstage and on record. The Mellotron — a

Album Review: The D.I.’s – Rare Cuts!

Note: the album is included as a bonus CD in the deluxe package of The Gears‘ Rockin’ at Ground Zero (reviewed below), but it deserves its own review. The 2009 Hep Cat release of Rockin’ at Ground Zero includes a bonus CD of cuts entitled, appropriately enough, Rare Cuts! After the demise of The Gears,

Album Review: The Gears – Rockin’ at Ground Zero

Initially I had reservations about even spinning my review copy of Rockin’ at Ground Zero. While I wasn’t familiar with The Gears, I do know enough about the L.A. punk scene of the late 70s and early 80s. And that era of punk doesn’t really do much for me. The L.A. variant seemed musically angrier

We’re #37

And now for something a little different, courtesy of Paul Hipp.

One From the Vaults: Green Fuz – Back From the Ashes

Late 1960s legends The Green Fuz are back! But unless you’re an aficionado of garage compilations, an inveterate record crate digger, or a fanatical collector of hopelessly obscure 45s from forty years ago, this news probably strikes you as something less than earth-shaking. In fact, chances are quite good that you’ve never heard of The

DVD Review: Muddy Waters Live at ChicagoFest

Muddy Waters Live at ChicagoFest is a 1981 performance of the master bluesman onstage. The concert — filmed at Chicago’s famous Navy Pier — features Muddy with his band and some Very Special Guests. Chicago takes its blues very seriously, and the packed crowd at Navy Pier is no exception; Muddy enjoys an enthusiastic and

In the Warm Embrace of Ozric Tentacles

One of the most memorable lines in John Landis‘ film The Blues Brothers takes place when the band arrives at a roadhouse. Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) asks the proprietress, “What kind of music do you usually have here?” She comes right back with her reply: “Oh, we got both kinds. We got country and western.”