Author Archive

Album Review: Tim Williams — Sorry

Some would argue that the album era is over. There’s even a Wikipedia entry defining said era as the mid 1960s to mid 2000s. Prior to the middle of the ‘60s, the 45 r.p.m. single was the coin of the realm in the world of popular music. The Beatles and many others shifted the paradigm

Album Review: Marty Thompson — My Kind of Woman

I expressed some mild reservations about Thompson’s previous album, 2018’s Romantic Stories. On the plus side, it was a varied collection. Working against it was a slightly ragged, unfinished production aesthetic. I would never presume to have influenced an artist, but I’m happy to report that My Kind of Woman is a far more professionally-put-together

Unspoken Tradition: Bluegrass Speaks to Today

It’s something of a tightrope walk to move forward musically within the confines of bluegrass; there’s a subset of the genre’s fan base that resists change. But Unspoken Tradition confidently masters that path, with a sound that’s firmly rooted in history yet forward-looking. The group recently released its third album, Myths We Tell Our Young.

Pistols Were a Gas: ‘The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle’ at 40 (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… The same is true—even more so—when the Sex Pistols attack “Stepping Stone.” Jones changes the chords around, and Lydon flails as is his wont, but here he seems to know all of the words. The cavernous production aesthetic isn’t really needed, but the tracks works on all levels. The other band

Pistols Were a Gas: ‘The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle’ at 40 (Part One)

Regardless of how one felt (or feels) about them, the Sex Pistols affected a cultural revolution in music. They were neither the first nor the best punk rock group, but—for a time—they were the biggest. And though hearing their music today it has lost some of its ability to shock, when the band exploded onto

A Conversation with Laura Davis-Chanin, Author of ‘The Girl in the Back’ (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… I thought that your citing the Rashomon effect was really effective. Since the book has come out, have you heard — either directly or indirectly —from any of the characters in it that, “Hey, that’s not the way I remember it”? Oh, my God. You have no idea. We had a

A Conversation with Laura Davis-Chanin, Author of ‘The Girl in the Back’ (Part One)

Laura Davis-Chanin is in a unique position to write a personal chronicle of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s New York rock scene. As the drummer in the Student Teachers, she experienced firsthand the scene happening in places like CBGB’s, Max’s Kansas City. She got to know many of the main players in that scene.

Album Review: Effigy Seed

Combining rap vocals with a musical foundation based upon 1980s-era synthesizer textures, Effigy Seed bridges old and new(ish) on its self-titled full length release. The Asheville hip-hop/electronica duo of Philo Reitzel and Linus came together in January 2018, with its first live performance in July of that year. Effigy Seed mixes up the various sides

Album Review: Outerfield – Pleasant Grove Hotel

The opening lick on “Wondering If You’re Real” suggests that Pleasant Grove Hotel is going to be a swampy, Southern-fried blues rock outing. As it turns out, that description isn’t accurate of the album as a whole. With a basic, two chord foundation (see also: “Feelin’ Alright” and eleventy billion other tunes), it’s a catchy

Moves: Movin’ On Up

More than a decade ago, guitarists Stephen Murray and Matt Martin launched their band, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, as a sort of hybrid between ragtime jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. Seven albums, two EPs and countless gigs later, the band looks much the same. But it sounds completely different. Reflecting that change, the band is