Monthly Archive:: February 2011

Album Review: Blackmore’s Night – Autumn Sky

It may come as a great shock to discover that Ritchie Blackmore — the man responsible for one of rock’s most immortal and primordial riffs (the centerpiece of Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water,” but then you knew that) turned away from that style rock more than a decade ago. Blackmore’s current focus is on

Ken Brown: “Some Other Guy” is Gone

I just learned that Ken Brown died last June. Ken was briefly a member of the Quarrymen with George Harrison, Paul McCartney and John Lennon. Ken and I corresponded a lot back in the 90s. He had written a very rough manuscript; it was the story of his time with the group that would become

A Conversation with The Church’s Steve Kilbey (part two)

Continued from the previous post, here’s part two of my conversation with The Church’s Steve Kilbey. All photos © Bill Kopp. — bk Bill Kopp: Your band The Church has gone in a number of different directions over the years; in addition to acoustic renderings of your songs, album-long improvisations like “Bastard Universe,” the covers

A Conversation with The Church’s Steve Kilbey (part one)

Australian foursome The Church are something of an institution in their native country, and throughout their thirty-plus years together they have enjoyed worldwide success as well. Their commercial apex was undoubtedly the hit single “Under the Milky Way” from the 1988 album Starfish, but every one of their twenty-three albums has its high points. A

Album Review: Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak Deluxe Edition (disc 2)

In 2011 Universal released a Deluxe Edition of Thin Lizzy’s legendary Jailbreak album, filling a second disc with related and relevant goodies. For the most part, the remixes of “The Boys Are Back in Town” and “Jailbreak” offer up minor differences; the production aesthetic is slightly, ineffably, more modern-sounding. A few guitar flourishes are added,

Album Review: Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak Deluxe Edition (disc 1)

There’s an old axiom that sets forth this idea: nearly every band has at least one good song in them, but few have more than that. If one accepts that assertion, the odds of a band coming up with a great song are a mere fraction of that total. Now, extrapolate that out to the

Yoko Ono is Not a Witch.

Today is Yoko Ono’s 78th birthday. Here’s a feature/interview of mine from four years ago, around the time Yes, I’m a Witch was released.– bk No, she’s not a witch. Not at all. In fact, this writer found Yoko Ono to be a most diplomatic, self-deprecating interview subject. She made a genuine effort to use

Album Review: Agony Aunts – Greater Miranda

Some pop auteurs are almost too clever for their own good. There are those rare students of the pop form who seem to completely understand it on a molecular level. Some of them are music critics (ha!) and a smaller number actually practice the form. Even more rarely, a bunch of these pointy-headed lovers of

Album Review: Dreaming in Stereo – 2

They’re not afraid to list their influences: Todd Rundgren, Jellyfish, Yes, King Crimson. Put another way, the members of Miami, Florida-based Dreaming in Stereo dig precisely-crafted yet challenging music. They like ear candy that hold up to careful listening. Better yet, they craft music that aims for – and largely meets – those lofty standards.

Album Review: Cake – Showroom of Compassion

When Cake hit the scene more than a decade and a half ago, I was firmly in the not-impressed camp. John McCrea’s deadpan, atonal vocals left me cold, and the horns felt like a gimmick. They kept at it, though, and gained some critical notice. Like many bands that refused to cater to whatever the