Monthly Archive:: July 2010

Album Review: Frank Royster – Innocence is Bliss

Since we’re such close friends, dear reader, I’ll reveal something about myself. I always get a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye when I watch Tom Hanks‘ 1996 film That Thing You Do! There’s something transcendent about pop music — the creation of it, the performing of it, the listening to

Concert Review: Paul McCartney – July 28 2010, Charlotte NC

Though I did my best not to, as the July 2010 Paul McCartney concert in Charlotte kicked off, I already had in my head a couple of ideas I thought I’d use in my post-show summary. But besides putting on a great show, McCartney managed to be something I hadn’t expected: just slightly unpredictable. Sure,

Album Review: Los Lobos – Tin Can Trust

Chances are, if you only know one thing about Los Lobos, it’s that they’re a band of Mexican American heritage. If that’s all you know, 2010 is a great time to correct that situation. The band’s latest album Tin Can Trust is a consistently engaging listen. The record — their 14th studio effort — has

Album Review: Various Artists – Soul Revival

For the reviewer, multi-artist compilations are a curious beast. How to measure them? What factors to consider, and how to weight them? Sometimes comps are a cash-in on a flavor-of-the-month sound or style. Shout! Factory recently launched an ongoing series of releases that are essentially genre exercises. The latest of these is Soul Revival, a

Reconsider, Baby: Split Enz – See Ya ‘Round (1984)

Note: “Reconsider, Baby” is my title for a series of occasional essays in which I’ll take a look at albums that were unjustly panned or ignored on their original release. A connection between two seemingly totally dissimilar albums recently occurred to me. By 1972 Creedence Clearwater Revival had an impressive catalog of work behind them.

Album Review: The Stone Foxes – Bears & Bulls

Among those who view the mid 1960s as something of a Golden Age for rock music, consideration of the period 1976-1989 is sometimes greeted with a grimace and a shrug. But quite a lot of interesting music was produced during that time, and once you dig past the commercial stuff, you’ll get grudging agreement from

DVD Review: Paul McCartney Really Is Dead – The Last Testament of George Harrison

To the Irish author Brendan Behan goes the attribution of a quote which reads in part, “There is no such thing as bad publicity…” In light of the possible status of this line as some sort of universal truth, I have serious misgivings about reviewing such a piece of irredeemable exploito-garbage as the new DVD

Album Review: Deer Tick – The Black Dirt Sessions

The Black Dirt Sessions virtually defines the terms moody and atmospheric. With hints of everything from Americana (of the [Canadian] Band variety, as it so happens) to a dialed-back Roky Erickson (13th Floor Elevators) to gospel hymns, Deer Tick has created something spookily inviting. There’s a strong melodic sensibility to all of the album’s eleven

Bootleg Bin: John Fogerty – Hoodoo

The year was 1976, not a banner year for mainstream rock music. The charts were populated with the likes of England Dan & John Ford Coley, Firefall and The Eagles; soft-centered mid-tempo artists all. A few groups turned out rock albums of merit (Wings, Ted Nugent, The Tubes) but other than Boston and Frampton Comes

Bootleg Bin: Moby Grape – Monterey Pop Festival, June 17, 1967

In the summer of 2007 I spoke at length with rock impresario Lou Adler, in connection with the 40th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival. During our talk, I brought up a question he had heard many times before: What ever happened to the film of Moby Grape‘s set? The San Francisco-based Moby Grape was