compilation Archive

Album Review: John Lee Hooker — Whiskey & Wimmen

John Lee Hooker was one of the most important blues artists of his – or any other – generation. With a style that managed at once to be thoroughly authentic and somehow commercial, Hooker’s output has become part of the American musical lexicon. After a stint on a smaller label, Hooker signed with Vee-Jay, for

Album Review: Emerson Lake and Palmer – Once Upon a Time in South America

By the early- to mid-1990s, ELP had seen its share of ups and downs. The band that had created some of the most compelling progressive (and often classical-leaning) rock of the 1970s had fallen victim not only to changing tastes, but – it must be said – to the vicissitudes of a post-creative-peak world. After

Musoscribe’s 8th Anniversary Post: Four from Playback Records

Today I’m celebrating the eight-year anniversary of this Musoscribe online music magazine. I started the blog in June 2009, but I had already been writing for many years. Eventually I went back and archived nearly all of my pre-2009 work, back-dating the pieces (if somewhat arbitrarily). So now you’ll find nearly 2,500 posts – reviews,

Album Review: The Best of Big Star

As fate would have it, here’s a special (and exceedingly rare) Sunday blog post. — bk File under famine-then-feast. On their original release, the three albums by Memphis’ Big Star could barely get a hearing. The reasons were legion, but chief among them was the fact that Stax – the parent label of Ardent, the

Album Review: The Jigsaw Seen — For the Discriminating Completist

File next to: Baby Lemonade, The Who, Fountains of Wayne Laboring just below the radar for more than a quarter century, Los Angeles-based The Jigsaw Seen have been releasing consistently satisfying records since its 1990 debut, Shortcut Through Clown Alley. The group’s body of work shows its musical inventiveness and effective synthesis of a wide

Situation Critical: “Code Red” Compilation Supports the ACLU

To many observers, statements by presidential candidate (and now President-elect) Donald Trump during the 2016 election cycle raised serious concerns. The reality TV star and purported billionaire made many public pronouncements that suggest a hostility toward free speech and civil liberties. From calling for bans on Muslim immigrants to “open[ing] up our libel laws so

Album Mini-review: Pink Floyd — The Early Years, 1967-1972, Cre/ation

File next to: Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Yes Unless one is both the hardest of hardcore Pink Floyd fan and wealthy, The Early Years Box Set probably isn’t under consideration (it retails for more then $500). But for those with an interest in the band that goes beyond their best-selling albums, this new 2CD set is

Album Mini-review: Various Artists — Friends and Frenemies

File next to: Sloan, Matthew Sweet Based in the redwoods of Northern California, Allen Clapp‘s Mystery Lawn Music has in recent years become a trademark of pop music quality. Originally formed as a vehicle to self-release 20/20 – perhaps the best album by his group the Orange Peels – Clapp’s label has become a collective

Album Mini-review: Game Theory – The Big Shot Chronicles

File next to: The Three O’Clock, Guided by Voices Scott Miller‘s quirky Game Theory was one of 1980s college rock’s (the precursor to alternative/indie rock) most criminally overlooked groups. But Miller and his changing lineups didn’t exactly make things easy for fans: while Game Theory’s jangle quotient was consistently high, Miller’s songs often displayed a

Album Review: Big Star — Complete Third

The third album from Big Star is the most difficult in the Memphis group’s slim catalog of 1970s releases, and quite unlike its predecessors. The band’s debut – 1972’s #1 Record – is full of gems in an off-kilter power pop vein. Thanks in no small part to distribution problems at Ardent Records’ parent label