pop Archive

Album Review: Crooked Ghost — Skeleton House

When artists describe their music (or have it described by others) as dream-pop, that’s usually a reliable signal that the mood of the music focuses on one of two musical perspectives: it’s either happy and ethereal or—more likely—minor-key, somewhat glacially-paced music that conjures an unsettling, foreboding and deeply textured mood. And by that measure, the

Album Review: Pale Blue Dot — Anatomy

From a music standpoint, Charlottesville, Virginia is perhaps best known for the jam-band hero Dave Matthews (who’s South African, but is associated with the city). Appalachian music plays a part in the city’s scene as well. So Pale Blue Dot is something of an anomaly. Hard-driving melodic rock and concise songwriting are the hallmarks of

Album Review: Randal Branham – Simple

Piano players have an uphill battle when trying to place themselves at the center of a rock band (I say this as a keyboard player myself). When it works – Ben Folds, Elton John – it can be fantastic. When it doesn’t work (and for once I’ll avoid naming names), it’s insipid and even gruesome.

Album Review: Jared Weiss – Isolated Thunderstorms

The press kit tells us that Isolated Thunderstorms began its life as a folk record, and evolved into a rock one. I’ve no particular reason to doubt that sequence of events, but what I can tell you is that the song construction owes a lot more to rock and pop than to folk. Though exceptions

A Teenager in Rock: The Regrettes’ Lydia Night (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Other than being signed, what was the Regrettes’ first big break? A really huge moment for us was when we played Conan [The Regrettes performed “Hey Now” on O’Brien’s late-night show on April 11, 2017].That was a really nerve-wracking thing to do, I think. And you played Coachella last month …

A Teenager in Rock: The Regrettes’ Lydia Night (Part One)

Los Angeles-based rockers the Regrettes came roaring out of the gate with their debut single, “Hey Now” in 2015. The song introduced the group’s template: hooky, catchy classic pop delivered in aggressive riot grrl style, a sound that draws equally from pre-Beatles Brill Building pop and razor-sharp 1970s punk. Onstage the young band – leader,

Micky Dolenz is Still a Believer

The original lineup of pop sensation the Monkees lasted for a brief period: the quartet that scored number-one hits with “Last Train to Clarksville,” “I’m a Believer” and “Daydream Believer” was together from fall 1965 to very early 1969. In the nearly 50 years since then, there have been several reunions among the group; Micky

Paul Williams: “Someday” and Today (Part 4)

Continued from Part Three… Another characteristic of Paul Williams’ lyrics is their universal quality. Listening to or reading his words, the thoughts and emotions expressed could as easily be coming from a female as from a male. Williams doesn’t dispute that characterization, saying that his lyrics often display “an androgynous, one-size-fits-all heartache. I will always

Paul Williams: “Someday” and Today (Part 3)

Continued from Part Two… Once Williams had moved on to A&M, he and Nichols began work on a proper solo album, this time featuring only songs by Nichols (music) and Williams (lyrics). The process of writing songs had already been established through the pair’s earlier collaborative efforts. “We’d write from ten o’clock in the morning

Paul Williams: “Someday” and Today (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… He quotes some of his best-known lyrical phrases to illustrate his point (seemingly, Paul Williams has a preternatural ability to remember the words to the countless tunes he’s penned). “For a guy to be singing about ‘That’s enough for me,’ or, ‘Pleasure makes me cry,’ or, ‘I won’t last a day