Author Archive

A Look Back at ‘Redd Blood Cells’

This is the third of three non-overlapping Redd Kross features. Enjoy. — bk Way back in 2001, the White Stripes were riding high with the release of their third album, White Blood Cells. Though the guitar-and-drums approach had been explored decades earlier by bands like Flat Duo Jets (not to mention countless early blues duos),

Hot off the Press: Redd Kross’ Hot Issue

This is the second of three non-overlapping Redd Kross features. Enjoy. — bk In a way, Redd Kross is a band captured in time. When brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald launched their punk group in their hometown of Hawthorne, California (a fertile musical ground that also gave the world the Beach Boys and Emitt Rhodes),

Shootout at the Bubblegum Factory: Redd Kross

This is the first of three non-overlapping Redd Kross features. Enjoy. — bk Since forming in 1980, Hawthorne, California-based Redd Kross has been expertly straddling the link between punk rock and power pop. And at its best, the band has erased the arbitrary line between those styles. Nearly 15 years after ending a lengthy hiatus,

Album Review: Vince Junior Band — Refreshingly Soulful Blues

On one hand, Refreshingly Soulful Blues is a mightily odd title to give to an album; it reads more like sales copy or a review than a proper title. From the standpoint of truth in labeling, it does better, earning a 67% rating or better (refreshing, yes; soulful, yes; blues, sort of but not really).

Bianchi & Cofod

This is my original version of a feature written in 2018; the previously-published version included some editorial additions that were not part of my article as filed and that didn’t reflect my perspective. — bk A longtime fixture on the Western North Carolina music scene, Scott Bianchi imbues his original songs with regional influences, a

Album Review: Lavender Blue — Dusk

A sense of humor is not typically at the top of a list of notable characteristic of a singer-songwriter. By definition—and with some exceptions, of course—singer-songwriters tend to be a serious, introspective lot, rarely given over to playful subject matter in their work. But Asheville-based artist Lavender Blue (the stage name for Kayla Zuskin) has

Peter Asher and Jeremy Clyde: Vintage British Pop’s Modern-day Dynamic Duo

Note: This is the second of two feature/interviews with Peter Asher and Jeremy Clyde, originally written for two different print outlets. There’s a tiny bit of overlap in the introductory sections, but the bulk of each story features original material unique to that feature — bk Back in the early 1960s there appeared in London

They Go to Pieces: Peter Asher and Jeremy Stuart Team Up

Note: This is the first of two feature/interviews with Peter Asher and Jeremy Clyde, originally written for two different print outlets. There’s a tiny bit of overlap in the introductory sections, but the bulk of each story features original material unique to that feature — bk Pop music fans of a certain age will remember

Girlpool: Sweet and Sour

Los Angeles-based band Girlpool started out in 2013 with a stripped-down, clattering style that echoed Violent Femmes. But as the band has grown and developed, it has moved in two opposite directions at once: the group’s recordings have become more soothing and melodic (think Elliott Smith), and today, its onstage vibe often leans toward a

They Showed Us: ‘The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands’ at 40

By the beginning of 1968, the concept album was very much in vogue; the form was in its ascendancy, with high-profile releases like the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds (released May 1966), the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (released May 1967), The Who Sell Out (December ‘67) and the Moody Blues’ Days of Future