new release Archive

Saturday Bonus Post: Short-form Roundup

Now and then I receive an EP or even a single for potential review. In general those don’t make the cut, as I prefer to write about full-length albums that provide a fuller picture of an artist’s work. But when a short-form release rises to the level of something special, I’m happy to cover it.

Album Mini-review: Siena Root — A Dream of Lasting Peace

File next to: Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Iron Butterfly When Siena Root debuted with 2004’s A New Day Dawning, their music displayed a solid fixation with heavy, 1970s-style rock. The music was solid if a bit undistinguished. But in the decade to follow, the Swedish quintet honed its approach to a sharp point, and –

Album Mini-review: Peter Hook & the Light — Unknown Pleasures Tour 2012

Peter Hook was the bassist, multi-instrumentalist and (occasional) singer in two of the more influential bands of the last several decades. These days he’s capitalizing on the enduring popularity of Joy Division and New Order. His current group, Peter Hook & the Light has made a career out of covering his old bands, and releasing

Resonant Rogues’ Musical Welcome Mat

Led by the duo of Sparrow and Keith Smith, Asheville-based band Resonant Rogues combines flavors of Appalachian old-time, early jazz, and Eastern European folk to create a distinctive and original sound. The group’s latest album, Hands in the Dirt uses that sound as a backdrop to lyrics that focus on universal – and sometimes very

Album Review: Malcolm Holcombe — Pretty Little Troubles

One of the first things one notices when listening to Pretty Little Troubles – the 15th album from Weaverville, N.C. folk artist Malcolm Holcombe – is the sharp contrast between the music and the singing. For this album, Holcombe has enlisted the musical support of multi-instrumentalist and producer Darrell Scott and a short list of

Album Mini-review: Slowdive — Slowdive

File next to: Pink Floyd, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine How much difference does 22 years make? That will be most listeners’ first question upon learning that shoegaze heroes Slowdive have released their fourth (and self-titled) album, their first since 1995’s Pygmalion. (Two of the band’s founding members did remain busy in the intervening years

Album Mini-review: Derrick Anderson — A World of My Own

File next to: Redd Kross, Chris von Sneidern From a largely heretofore unknown quarter comes a winner of an album in a genre that doesn’t get enough appreciation. Up to now, Derrick Anderson has been best known as “the (black) guy in the Bangles.” As if that weren’t enough; playing bass in one of the

Ian Anderson: System Latency and the Opportunities of Multimedia

British Progressive legends Jethro Tull have been around in one form or another for nearly half a century. From 1967 until now, the group’s mainstay has always been Ian Anderson: as songwriter, singer and flautist, Anderson has long cut a distinctive figure. His trademark standing-on-one-leg flute solos accent the band’s reliably high-energy performances. Even today

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

Book Reviews: Two by Rev. Keith A. Gordon

Today I present a special Saturday blog post. — bk And I thought I was prolific! One of the leading lights among my music journo brethren has released yet another – actually, two – book in his ongoing series of criticism/review collections. With astounding regularity, in recent years the Right Reverend Keith A Gordon has