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30 Days Out, June 2020 #1: TAUK, Ben Folds, Vancouver Electronic Ensemble, John Prine Tribute

In recent weeks I’ve conducted interviews with a number of professions whose businesses involve servicing the music community in various ways. A consensus seems to be forming – and this isn’t likely to come as any surprise to you, I suspect – that widespread live concerts aren’t likely to return until 2021. Festivals and small

Busker Abby ‘The Spoon Lady’ Roach Brings Out the Fine Silverware

Train-hopping hobos are part of America’s cultural fabric. From the late 19th century through the 1940s, hundreds of thousands of itinerant people in America made their lives on the fringe of society, traveling the rails, picking up work wherever they could. The hobo subculture developed its own traditions in music and folklore. And while today

Never Giving Up on the Blues: Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials

Lil’ Ed Williams is Chicago blues royalty. Nephew of Blues Hall of Famer J.B. Hutto, Williams launched a band of his own, Li’ Ed and the Blues Imperials, in the mid 1970s. A fine electric slide player, Williams knew how to put on a show. He fronted a band that Alligator Records founder Bruce Iglauer

Album Review: The Corner Laughers — Temescal Telegraph

Based in Redwood City, The Corner Laughers craft a brand of pop that’s sophisticated, clever, erudite and memorable – one that follows in the proud tradition of great songwriting artists like Carole King and Paul McCartney. Across the group’s several singles, EPs and albums, a love of wordplay combines with subject matter beyond the simple

Album Review: Bonniwell Music Machine

There’s an esteemed list of albums from the 1960s that didn’t get their due the first time around; the era was so rich with gems that plenty of great albums slipped by the public’s notice. For every Pet Sounds, Revolver and Days of Future Passed there’s an obscurity that – while it may not have

Album Review: Game Theory — Across the Barrier of Sound

One of the larger projects that Omnivore Recordings has undertaken in recent years is the Game Theory catalog. The alternative rock band (there are other labels that might apply, but the group’s work is eclectic enough that none fits perfectly) led by Scott Miller released five albums and a pair of EPs during its time

Album Review: Andrew Gold — Something New: Unreleased Gold

Andrew Gold’s name has been circulating quite a bit of late, at least in music nerd circles. And that’s pretty remarkable considering that he passed away just about nine years ago. The first instance of his name popping up on my radar screen was around the time that Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice

Album Review: Four Early Allman Brothers-related Titles

A group as great as The Allman Brothers Band doesn’t simply burst forth fully formed. There has to be a back story. And while it’s true that the greatest bands are so often more than the sum of their parts, the creative artistry of Duane and Gregg Allman cannot be denied. Some years ago, the

Who Can It Be Onstage Now: Colin Hay

Note: This essay was written to preview a March 2020 Colin Hay show; due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tour was cancelled (or at least rescheduled to 2021). Men at Work scored international success with their MTV-era hit, “Who Can It Be Now.” That song was part of an impressive string of hits from the