Monthly Archive:: December 2009

Bootleg Bin: The Remains – Garorock Festival 2006

I’m putting the finishing touches on a feature/interview with Barry Tashian of the Remains. That feature will run in London-based Shindig! magazine sometime in 2010. As a bit of a teaser, here’s one from the archives: a review of an unreleased audience recording of a Remains reunion show. Enjoy, and Happy New Year. When music

Juke Joint: Hookers, Batwings, Pigs’ Feet and Hair Tonic

Central to the African American experience of the 1950s and 60s was the juke joint. An unlicensed liquor dispensary, it was a place for people to get together, relax, dance and drink. Free of the pressures of home or work, the juke joint was in many ways the only place where people could be themselves.

Review: Paul McCartney – Good Evening New York City

At age 67, Paul McCartney has nothing to prove. As the world’s most successful songwriter, with a vast back catalog of Beatles, Wings and solo albums, he could easily (a) retire without recrimination or (b) put together an oldies package and tour on the strength of his older material. He’d be well within his rights

Essay: “My Brilliant Non-career” part 4

On the group’s 2004 full-length album release, Sun Greets the Dawn, I used the Roland RD-300s for piano sounds; the Emu Vintage Keys for Farfisa, Mellotron strings, Vox Continental, Hammond B3 and electric piano sounds; the Roland Alpha-Juno for some additional Farfisa sounds, the Ensoniq Mirage for some more electric piano sounds (I think, anyway);

Essay: “My Brilliant Non-career” Part 3

ANYway, I digress. So I bought this thing, more or less expecting it to arrive and require a few hours of plug-and-play assembly. What I found instead was an “unstuffed” printed circuit board and a plastic baggy full of things that looked like little Sputnik satellites the size of Tic-Tacs. Yes, I know, I know…

Essay: “My Brilliant Non-career” Part 2

The Poly 800 had lots of sounds, was relatively easy to reprogram with different sounds, allowed saving of the sounds, and weighed about 15 pounds. It had pegs at either end, so of course I had to buy a strap and go all 80s on it. Sometime around this time I let go of the

Essay: “My Brilliant Non-career” Part 1

When I was little my parents had this toy of a keyboard called a Magnus Chord Organ. Most 1960s homes seemed to have one. It was a two-and-a-half-octave affair, with (I believe) slightly undersized keys, and two rows of buttons that played “chords.” Black buttons were minor; white, major. Even as a child I loved

Musoscribe’s Best of 2009

2009 shaped up to be a great year for pop music, if not for the music business. In no particular order — here are my choices for the Best of 2009. The Twilight Hours – Stereo Night. Veterans of underappreciated groups Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic come together to create a masterful pop record. Available on

Interview: Jamie & Steve (Jamie Hoover & Steve Stoeckel)

Formed in Charlotte NC in the early 1980s, the Spongetones have long charted a rather unique path in pop music. Beginning with their debut LP (1982’s Beat Music), the quartet wrote and recorded two- and three-minute pop classics that bore the unmistakable influence of the Beatles. In fact, songs like “Here I Go Again” and

Album Review: King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King (40th Anniversary Series)

There was little precedent for the music on King Crimson‘s 1969 debut album. Titled In the Court of the Crimson King — An Observation by King Crimson, the album gave a clear signal that something had changed in the world of music. In 1969 rock and popular music were in the midst of a fertile