new release Archive

Boogarins’ Soundtrack for the End of the World

English language-speaking countries haven’t cornered the market for swirling, deeply textured psychedelic rock. Led by the multi-talented Gustav Estjes, Sweden’s Dungen has amassed a tidy catalog of boundary-pushing, progressive psych. Originally from Argentina and now based in Spain, Capsula makes heavy psychedelic power-trio rock. And from Brazil comes Boogarins, a quartet that spins out dizzying

Three More New Album Reviews

Cody ChesnuTT – My Love Divine Degree File next to: D’Angelo, Shuggie Otis Atlanta-based Cody ChesnuTT is the kind of artist who frustrates and fascinates – in equal measure – both critics and fans. His 2002 debut, The Headphone Masterpiece was roundly praised for its quality, all the more remarkable for having been a lo-fi,

Three New Album Reviews

Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow and Bobby Previte with Iggy Pop – Loneliness Road File next to: Stooges, Tony Bennett Popular music has seen some unlikely pairings: Bowie and Bing Crosby, Lou Reed and Metallica. And beyond the marquee value of the artists involved, such collaborations don’t always work. On the face of it, a project

Album Review: BJ Leiderman — BJ

You know that Morning Edition theme on National Public Radio? BJ Leiderman wrote that, and a lot more for NPR besides. Understandably wanting to trade on those achievements, the 61-year old musician-composer planned to title his debut album Natural Public Leiderman (get it?) but apparently cooler – or more litigation-focused – minds prevailed, and after

New Music Review Roundup, Part 3

Today I wrap up three days’ worth of reviews of new music. Dig if you will. The Pollyseeds – Sounds of Crenshaw, Vol. 1 As far as I know, none of the music on Sounds of Crenshaw Vol. 1 is used on the soundtrack of the Amazon Original series Bosch, but – like that crime

New Music Review Roundup, Part 2

Here’s the second of three collections of reviews. The Hangabouts – Kits & Cats and Saxon Wives Good-timing, cleverly-written melodic pop is what’s on offer on the latest album from the Hangabouts. It rocks a bit harder than their last outing, and there are hints of some of the more adventurous end of early 70s

New Music Review Roundup, Part 1

I’ve got lots of new music to tell you about. Eighteen albums in all, which I’ll cover over three days. Let’s get started. The Brigadier – Wash Away the Day Imagine a hybrid of mid-sixties Brian Wilson, the Raspberries, Brill Building girl group pop (sung by a guy) and the Rubinoos. Now add a dash

Jonathan Coulton Bucks the Industry, Still Makes Traditional Albums

Brooklynite Jonathan Coulton has been making albums for years without becoming a household name, but he made news in 2011 when he told an NPR interviewer that he was making more than half a million dollars a year from his music. Operating completely outside the traditional musical industry, Coulton nonetheless makes highly tuneful, accessible pop

Christopher Paul Stelling: Embracing the Unknown

Christopher Paul Stelling is a singer-songwriter; he doesn’t include an ability to predict the future among his skills. Yet unlike some of the most respected pollsters, the seismic political changes that took place in the United States last November didn’t come as a surprise to him. The songs that he wrote as the future began

Skunk Ruckus: Disrupting the Old-time Vibe

Nearly everything about Asheville-based band Skunk Ruckus is suffused with humor. But the band is very serious about its music. The inherent tension between those two realities is part of the band’s recipe for success, as is the band’s musical style: equal parts punk and mountain music, delivered in cheeky style. Skunk Ruckus celebrated the