new wave Archive

Best Music of 2016: Reissue/archival Releases

I love new music, but I’m also attuned to keeping up with the latest in reissues and archival releases. Sometimes those feature some of my favorite artists; other times they turn me on to music of the past that I’ve never even heard. In 2016 I’ve been able to select my Top Ten reissue and/or

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

A Look Back at “Now Wave Sampler” (1979)

I’m not ashamed of my age: for most of 1979 I was fifteen years old. Living in the suburbs of Atlanta – even then very much a “car city” – I already had my learner’s permit. But one couldn’t drive without a license-carrying adult in the passenger seat, and I didn’t own a car, so

Hundred-word Reviews for September, Part 6 of 8

Today I take quick looks at excellent reissue and compilation releases from three labels that excel at that kind of thing: Omnivore Recordings, Light in the Attic and Real Gone Music. Low Down Original Motion Picture Soundtrack The 2014 film tells the story of jazz pianist Joe Albany and his (ultimately unsuccessful) attempts to break

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2015, Part 2

Five releases from five acts from five different countries (Poland, The United States, Germany, Belgium and Sweden) are the focus of today’s brief reviews. Lunatic Soul – Walking on a Flashlight Beam Bassist/vocalist Mariusz Duda seems to be taking a cue from the astoundingly busy Steven Wilson; he’s involved in several musical projects all at

Album Review: The Fad — The Now Sound

If you lived through the early 1980s in the United States – and were old enough to be at least somewhat plugged in to popular culture – you were aware of the proliferation of “new wave” groups. Many of these acts traded in a style of music that drew inspiration from the pre-“rock star” era,

Hundred Word Reviews for May 2015, Part 6

Last week I presented 25 capsule reviews; 100 words each, these were quick critical looks at new CD (and vinyl) releases. This week, I dive into the pile of reissue/compilation CDs that have been crowding my office. Don’t mistake my relative brevity for mild praise; all of the discs reviewed deserve attention. Chuck Berry –

Hundred Word Reviews for May 2015, Part 4

My unrelenting trip through my CD backlog continues today with five more capsule reviews. These five are rock and/or soul and/or pop. The Monochrome Set – Spaces Everywhere Heroes of the first wave of new wave, The Monochrome Set formed in the late 1970s. Though they never achieved any measurable success in the USA, they’ve

Sometimes People Remember: A Conversation with Translator’s Steve Barton (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… “When you’re working with a producer like David Kahne or Ed Stasium, they care about the process, too,” Steve Barton notes. “Everyone has an interest in how the final record is going to sound. So it’s all of a piece: the punkier stuff on the demos, and how the records ended

Sometimes People Remember: A Conversation with Translator’s Steve Barton (Part 1)

Though they’re perhaps best known for their 1982 single “Everywhere That I’m Not” – a quirky yet extremely catchy rock tune that subsequently found its way onto more than a half dozen compilations of the 80s/new wave era – San Francisco’s Translator released four excellent albums during their major-label run (roughly 1982 to 1986). The