pop Archive

Album Review: Jim Ruiz Set – Mount Curve Avenue

Mystery Lawn Music has become associated with a particular kind of music; in broadest terms, it’s highly tuneful, melodic sunshine-y pop. (Look for a feature/interview featuring Allen Clapp, of the label’s flagship group The Orange Peels, coming soon.) But from their earliest days, they’ve cast a wider net than that, bringing in artists outside the

Album Review: Barbara & Ernie – Prelude To…

I truly admire the people at Real Gone Music. They continue to unearth music from ages ago that is in some cases long-cherished. In other cases it’s long-forgotten but worthwhile. And in yet other cases, the music never got much of a hearing to begin with; you can’t forget what you never knew. And it’s

Album Review: Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective

Seven CDs represents quite a lot of music. And all of the music on Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective was recorded in the space of six and half year years. The earliest tracks date from spring 1965, and the latest cuts were recorded in fall 1971. But the 129 tracks span an impressively wide stylistic

The Felix Cavaliere Interview, Part 4

Conclusion, continued from Part Three… Bill Kopp: I have to admit that – like a lot of people – I don’t actually own, and haven’t even heard the late-period Rascals albums Peaceful World [1971] and The Island of Real [1972]. What I have read about them, mostly in critical-reassessment-type reviews, is that they’re not at

The Felix Cavaliere Interview, Part 3

Continued from Part Two… Bill Kopp: The song “Love is a Beautiful Thing” is one that has always really knocked me out. It has a really subtle yet powerful riff; those four chords. And it makes really effective use of the spaces between the notes. As far as the arranging of that and other songs,

The Felix Cavaliere Interview, Part 2

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: I find that it’s difficult for me to think of Rascals songs removed from their social and historical contexts. When I saw your band in, I think, 2002, many people in the audience had tears in their eyes during the show. I know that the word soulful is overused

The Felix Cavaliere Interview, Part 1

In the Summer of 2010, Felix Cavaliere released an album in collaboration with Steve Cropper – their second together – called Midnight Flyer. In connection with that release, I interviewed both musicians for an in-depth feature. But Felix was kind enough to grant me a “part two” to my interview with him: we discussed the

Capsule Reviews: March 2013, Part 2

Here’s yet another in my occasional series of capsule reviews; once again I had a huge stack of CDs deserving of review, but time doesn’t allow for full-length reviews of everything, and these were in danger of gathering dust. They deserve better. As per usual, my self-imposed limit for this particular exercise is 150 words

Concert Review: Elsten Torres, Asheville NC 2 March 2013

It’s always a tough gig playing as the opening act. It’s even more so when the show is like the one I recently witnessed at Asheville’s Civic Center. First there’s the venue: a sports arena more often home to gun shows and ice-skating (not at the same time!), the room simply isn’t designed for music

DVD Review: Paul Williams Still Alive

It would seem that filmmaker Stephen Kessler (Vegas Vacation) and I have a lot in common. We both look back fondly upon a fixture of our childhood years: Paul Williams. The quirky and diminutive songwriter / actor / personality was absolutely everywhere in the 1970s. In addition to penning some of the era’s most durable