Monthly Archive:: December 2011

Dirty Little Secrets of the Record Business: Why So Much Music You Hear Sucks

This is a reprint of a feature/interview I wrote in 2007 for a now-defunct magazine. But Hank Bordowitz’s book remains relevant, and it’s a great read besides. — bk “A lot of the popular music you hear out there, especially on the radio, is just crap,” says Hank Bordowitz, author of the provocatively-titled Dirty Little

Musoscribe’s 2012 Preview

Lots of interesting material going into 2012. Here’s a quick preview of just some of what’s on deck for coverage in the Musoscribe blog in early 2012:   Album Reviews Jethro Tull‘s Aqualung 2cd 40th Anniversary Edition Morgan Agren/Henry Kaiser/Trey Gunn – Invisible Rays The Boddie Recording Group box set form the Numero Group label

Album Review: Thelonius Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall

In my occasional Blast from the Past blog entries, I take a quick look at notable reissues from notable recording artists — some you’ll recognize; some you probably missed. All are worth a closer look. Jazz fans know that one of the most legendary collaborations in the genre was the string of live 1956-’57 Monk

Album Review: Yes – In the Present: Live in Lyon

In some ways, Yes can be said to have ushered in the live album era of the 1970s. At the height of their fame, the group released Yessongs, a lavish 3LP set documenting their impressive and varied stage show. Excessive? Perhaps, a bit. But then this is progressive rock we’re talking about, so conventional notions

Best of 2011: Interviews

Jack Casady – It’s funny how this one came about: in summer 2011 I saw that Jorma Kaukonen would be playing a November show at Asheville’s Grey Eagle, so I reached out to his publicist about an interview. “Great! Let’s set it up when the date gets closer,” she said. But in the meantime, did

Best of 2011: New Music

This was easily the most difficult category for me. So many amazing albums came out that it’s pure folly to limit myself to only five. So I haven’t (but six was still tough). DC Fontana – La Contessa — For me, this group had the hands-down best album of 2011. The near-perfect La Contessa brings

Best of 2011: Reissues and Compilations

I tend to gravitate toward reissues and compilations. It’s not that I want to hear the same material over and over again – I don’t – but I do enjoy the recontextualizing and re-evaluation that reissues invite. And the bonus tracks are often fun. Here are my five top reissues for 2011. Note that many

Best of 2011: Concerts

As usual, I attended quite a few live shows this year. Picking the best was difficult, and in all likelihood it’s a mood-based decision: no doubt if I make this list again a week from now, it will be different. But here goes. The Church – Despite what I wrote above, this one would remain

Best of 2011: Books

Honestly, when I got into this reviewing gig I had no real plans to review music-related books. I sort of fell into it, and I’m glad I did. A number of titles that might have otherwise gone unnoticed instead landed on my desk. And I jumped at the chance to tell my readers about them.

Best of 2011: DVDs

From my standpoint, this past year has been a good one for music-related DVDs. I reviewed several here, but the most noteworthy among them are these: Ballad of Mott the Hoople – This loving documentary takes an in-depth look at the ups-and-downs that characterized the band. Featuring the cooperation of all surviving ex-members, it’s great