pop Archive

30 Days Out: January 2020 #2: Jake Shimabukuro, Tinsley Ellis, The Seratones, Ashley Heath & Her Heathens

Artist: Jake Shimabukuro Venue: The Orange Peel Date: Friday, Jan 24, 8 p.m. Door: $30 Ukulele probably isn’t the first instrument that comes to mind when one thinks of powerfully rocking music. But Jake Shimabukuro is the sort of artist who can make that comparatively humble instrument work in a surprising variety of contexts. His

Johnny Mathis is Still “Wonderful! Wonderful!”

Pop stars and pop music fashions come and go. But a select few performers endure through the years. At the top of that short list is Johnny Mathis. Recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, member of that organization’s Hall of Fame and an artist with more than 70 albums placing on the Billboard charts,

Boxed Set Review: Land of 1000 Dances

Though there were certainly earlier examples, the era of the lavish boxed set began a few decades back; it more or less coincided with the CD era. And it persisted well into the 21st century. In the last few years, it seems to have trailed off, though superb exceptions to that rule continue to pop

Album Review: Curt Boettcher & Friends — Looking for the Sun

Those who take the trouble to dig deep into pop culture know that there exist around the margins an untold number of worthy artists who never got their due. Said artists might have engendered a cult following, or they may have gone largely unnoticed until long after their prime (an in some cases their entire

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #3

Here’s the final installment of the year (and the decade!) of my quick, condensed album reviews. Ten titles, 100 words each. Seven are new releases; the remaining three are archival and/or reissue releases. There are some SERIOUS gems in here. Sweet Lizzy Project – Technicolor When most people think of Cuban music, their thoughts turn

Hundred-word Reviews for December 2019, #1

As 2019 heads toward its end, there’s time for one more house-cleaning set of quick reviews. Here’s a look at notable new releases in jazz, blues rock and even country. Junior Watson – Nothin’ to it But to Do it Let’s not hold it against the artist that the cover art for this album is

Your Favorite Thing: Sugar’s ‘File Under: Easy Listening’ at 25

By the time Bob Mould debuted his rock trio Sugar in 1992, he was a well-known figure in music. With his previous group, Hüsker Dü, Mould had been a key figure in the hardcore/underground rock scene of the 1980s. But the Minneapolis band always stood apart from some of its more one-dimensional compatriots; the songs

Album Review: Big Star — In Space

To those who followed Alex Chilton’s musical activities in the 1980s and beyond, the thought that he would ever revisit his Big Star-era music – much less put the band back together – seemed extraordinarily unlikely. So when it finally happened, with original drummer Jody Stephens plus the Posies (Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow), it

Album Review: Young Mister — ‘Sudden Swoon’

Young Mister is the performing name of Steven Fiore, a Tryon-based singer songwriter. His background includes membership in the jazz band led by actor-musician Jeff Goldblum, co-writing experience with Art Garfunkel and eight years as a writer for Universal Music’s publishing arm. Young Mister’s self-titled debut was released in 2016, and 2017 saw the release

Single Review: The Embryos — Singles Club Volume 2

I was already predisposed toward liking this 45 before I heard it; The Embryos’ Open the Kimono (reviewed a few months back) is an instantly likable collection of chiming, catchy pop-rock. “Popular Character” has shades of Raspberries, Pilot and Matthew Sweet. So yeah, it falls loosely into the popwerpop subcategory. But if that’s not your