Author Archive

Heart, Head, Hands and Feet: The Paper Crowns

It’s the age-old chicken-or-egg question. Which came first: the marriage of Spiro and Nicole Nicolopoulos, or their musical collaboration, the Paper Crowns? “Technically,” Nicole responds with a laugh, “the musical collaboration, then marriage.” Spiro clarifies things: “We had a year-and-a-half relationship before any musical collaborations.” Starting as friends, building a relationship, launching a duo and

One Good Reason: Alan Parsons on the ‘Ammonia Avenue’ Boxed Set … and More (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: Back in the ’70s and the early ’80s, did Arista Records ever put pressure on you to assemble a live band? Alan Parsons: No, I don’t think so. They knew my identity was in the studio, and that’s what I was. I was a producer and engineer, and

One Good Reason: Alan Parsons on the ‘Ammonia Avenue’ Boxed Set … and More (Part One)

Alan Parsons is a unique figure in popular music; very few people go from working as a recording engineer and producer to becoming an artist in their own right. After working behind the scenes with the Beatles and Pink Floyd, Parsons formed his own Project (not, he explains, a group). Between 1976 and 1987, the

30 Days Out, July 2020 #1: Blake Ellege Band, Rocky MTN Roller, Life Like Water, Mr. Jimmy

Once again it’s time for a look at live music events in and around Asheville in the coming 30 days. And for the first time since early March (and those mostly ended up canceled) there are some actual live-and-in-person performances to spotlight. That said, caveats apply. (1) Will these shows actually happen? Who knows!? Best

Album Review: Juniper Shelley — Juniper

I should admit right up front that I look with skepticism upon an album featuring a 15-year-old girl. It’s simply that I don’t expect the music to be aimed at (nor of any great appeal to) the particular demographic to which I belong. “Yeah, well, buddy, that’d be your loss,” the universe seems to tell

Boxed Set Review: Mojo Nixon — The Mojo Manifesto

Years ago while watching some or other “madcap” comedy film, I came to a realization: drama is comparatively easy, but comedy is difficult. It’s a fairly straightforward affair to tug at a viewer’s heartstrings; it’s quite another matter entirely to make them laugh. The same is true in music; writing a weepy ballad –not to

Album Review: Aloud — Sprezzatura

When I reviewed Aloud’s debut single more than two years ago, I expressed my belief that the group had real potential. I had no idea just how right I would turn out to be. The blaring horns that open “Loving U’s a Beautiful Thing” (and the album) signal that Sprezzatura is going to be a

Album Review: Sonar with David Torn — Tranceportation (Volume 2)

In my April 2018 review of Vortex, the first collaboration between Sonar and guitar master David Torn, I likened the music to ‘80s-period King Crimson at its most accessible, citing Crim’s “The Sheltering Sky” instrumental as a useful reference point. Between then and now I seem to have missed an album by this aggregation, because

d&b audiotechnik on What the Future of Music Might Sound Like

This story is the third of three this week in which I connect with Asheville-based companies serving the music industry. — bk With its headquarters for the Americas in South Asheville, d&b audiotechnik makes loudspeakers and amplifiers for live music and other applications. Manufacturing is done at the parent company’s factory outside of Stuttgart, Germany;

Moog Music in a Pandemic World

This story is the second of three this week in which I connect with Asheville-based companies serving the music industry. — bk Asheville, North Carolina-based Moog Music has reacted to new challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic in both expected and novel ways. While a number of the electronic music instrument manufacturer’s 100 employee-owners