Author Archive

Album Review: Jem Records Celebrates Brian Wilson

Here we go again. I’ve long held that various-artists tribute albums are by definition uneven. Some acts try to take the songs too far from their essence, stripping the songs of whatever made them special and noteworthy to begin with. Others are too slavish by half, effectively adding nothing to the discussion, making what amounts

30 Days Out, June 2021 #2: Supatight, Min Xiao-Fen, Love Bubble, Dots

Welcome back to the world, friends. I have some exciting musical news to share. I’m happy to say that the four shows spotlighted below are merely a slice of your live music options in Asheville, N.C. over the next thirty days. And while there are plenty of options, these four come with the Musoscribe seal

Musoscribe at 12

This month marks the 12-year anniversary of this here Musoscribe site. I’ve been writing much longer than that, but I started archiving/posting my work online in June 2009. It seems like a lifetime ago. As I’m currently consumed with finishing my second book, I’d like to pause a beat and take the opportunity to glance

The JackTown Ramblers: Blue Notes and Bluegrass

To most listeners, the musical connection between jazz manouche (also known as “gypsy jazz”) and Appalachian bluegrass isn’t immediately obvious. But Western North Carolina sextet The JackTown Ramblers explore the region on the Venn Diagram where those styles intersect. The members of the group are well positioned to understand and explain the relationship between those

Vagabond Crowe: Balancing Roots and a New Direction

Hendersonville, N.C. band Vagabond Crowe began as an alternative American/folk band, and recently recorded and released its debut album, Fortune Teller. But as co-leader, songwriter Mitch Stewart explains, creativity often means change, and today the group looks and sounds different from before. Your website says that the songs on Fortune Teller were “written in the

Album Review: Johnathan Pushkar – Compositions

File Under: Too twee for me, but perhaps not for thee. This by-the-numbers powerpop album would seem to have all the requisite elements: catchy choruses, creamy vocal harmonies, and a sunny, upbeat disposition. But there’s something just too saccharine about the whole thing. When The SpongeTones made Beatle-y music, it was inspired. When the That

Dialogue Now! Consolidated Returns From a Self-Imposed Exile

An edited version of this feature appeared previously in SF Weekly. Socialism is back. Though it was widely popular in the United States in the first half of the 20th century, the political philosophy endured years in the wilderness thanks to its vilification during the McCarthy era, the “me decade” of the 1970s, the Reagan

The Get Right Band: Taking a Left Turn at Number Four

Over the last seven years, Asheville-based psychedelic indie rock trio The Get Right Band sharpened their skills as writers and musicians; each album represented a step forward in their effective use of the recording studio. But for the group’s fourth and latest, Itchy Soul, the band members – bassist Jesse Gentry, drummer Jian-Claude Mears and

Jason DeCristofaro: Immersed in Music

Western North Carolina is ripe with creative talent. For a pleasant diversion (or to supplement their income), many residents play music. A much smaller number are completely immersed in the world of music, drawing artistic fulfillment and their livelihood through a life in music. Jason DeCristofaro is just such an individual. His work includes piano

Oklawaha Synth Community: Bringing the Weird

Open-mic music nights are fairly common at the bars and breweries in Western North Carolina. But responding to the challenges brought on by the pandemic, some enterprising musicians took the regular event in a new direction. A little weird and a lot intriguing, the Oklawaha Synthesizer Club (formerly the Hendo Synthesizer Community) isn’t just for