Author Archive

Up Close and Personal with The Damned’s Captain Sensible

Among the most irreverently good-natured bands to come out of the mid 1970s London punk rock scene, the Damned made their indelible mark on music with their debut album, 1977’s Damned Damned Damned. Newly reissued to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its release, that record has an immediacy that sounds as fresh today as it

Class Reunion: The Damned, Stars of Punk’s ‘Class of ’77’ Tour America

Note: I recently had the pleasure of interviewing not one but two members of the Damned. Here’s Dave Vanian; tomorrow it’s Captain Sensible. — bk The Damned were part of British punk rock’s so-called “class of ’77,” a group that included the Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Buzzcocks, the Stranglers and select other bands. But

Album Review: Jean Jacques Perrey — Moog Indigo

Perhaps Jean Jacques Perrey shouldn’t be thought of in the same context as Jean-Michel Jarre, Hans-Joachim Roedelius and other early pioneers of the synthesizer-as-musical-instrument. His work wasn’t as edgy and experimental as that of those other guys. But here’s the thing: a half-century on, spinning a Perrey album is far more likely to bring a

Saturday Bonus Post: Short-form Roundup

Now and then I receive an EP or even a single for potential review. In general those don’t make the cut, as I prefer to write about full-length albums that provide a fuller picture of an artist’s work. But when a short-form release rises to the level of something special, I’m happy to cover it.

Adrian Belew: Twang Bar King in a Trio Format

Guitarist Adrian Belew has had a long and staggeringly impressive career. With one foot in the progressive world and the other firmly planted in mainstream pop, he’s played and toured extensively with David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, Nine Inch Nails and many others. He was guitarist and primary vocalist for rock legends King Crimson

The Allah-Las: Record Store Days

The Allah-Las make original music that evokes the shimmering, melodic end of mid-to-late 1960s psychedelic scene. But because the members of the Los Angeles-based group write and perform their own material, they shy away from the “60s revival” tag. Still, there’s no denying that they honed their songwriting craft by absorbing the influences of that

Album Mini-review: Siena Root — A Dream of Lasting Peace

File next to: Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Iron Butterfly When Siena Root debuted with 2004’s A New Day Dawning, their music displayed a solid fixation with heavy, 1970s-style rock. The music was solid if a bit undistinguished. But in the decade to follow, the Swedish quintet honed its approach to a sharp point, and –

Album Mini-review: Peter Hook & the Light — Unknown Pleasures Tour 2012

Peter Hook was the bassist, multi-instrumentalist and (occasional) singer in two of the more influential bands of the last several decades. These days he’s capitalizing on the enduring popularity of Joy Division and New Order. His current group, Peter Hook & the Light has made a career out of covering his old bands, and releasing

Resonant Rogues’ Musical Welcome Mat

Led by the duo of Sparrow and Keith Smith, Asheville-based band Resonant Rogues combines flavors of Appalachian old-time, early jazz, and Eastern European folk to create a distinctive and original sound. The group’s latest album, Hands in the Dirt uses that sound as a backdrop to lyrics that focus on universal – and sometimes very

Russian Circles: Making Music in a Post-rock World

In a valiant attempt to provide helpful points of reference for music listeners, journalists have concocted all manner of genre labels. Some – folk-rock, for example – are useful in describing a style of music. Others are virtually meaningless. So it is with post-rock, a term first used in the mid 1990s to describe music