compilation Archive

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

A Holiday Treat for Musoscribe Readers

‘Tis the season for … a bonus weekend post. I almost never post features or reviews on a Saturday, but these two titles warrant the exception. Plus, if I wait until I have an open weekday, you won’t read about this until late February 2017. Some people simply detest holiday music. I grew up in

NRBQ: the Unity of Man (and of former members), Part 2

Continued from Part One … From NRBQ‘s start, jazz pianist Thelonious Monk was a hero to Terry Adams and his band mates. “The music of Thelonious had a big impact on me when I was a teenager,” he says. “I took a lot in, and heard him live many times, and needed to give it

NRBQ: the Unity of Man (and of former members), Part 1

Longtime critics’ darlings NRBQ has kept the music going in one form or another since before recording and releasing its self-titled debut album in 1969. While sales figures of NRBQ’s more than 30 albums haven’t made the group a household name, the Q’s rich blend of American musical forms – rock, jazz, blues, rockabilly and

Hundred-word Reviews for Nov./Dec. 2016, Part 4 of 10

Happy Thanksgiving. Here are five more quick reviews. Today it’s all jazz. John Surman et. al. – Morning Glory If your tastes extend toward free and modal jazz – think Ornette Coleman, for example – then a new reissue of this 1973 live album may be just the thing for you. Alternating between high-flying musical