pop Archive

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

Capsule Reviews: March 2013, Part 1

Here’s 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. My self-imposed limit for this particular exercise is 150 words on each album. Deni

DVD Review: Brian Wilson, Songwriter 1969-1982

A few years back, a British based concern called Sexy Intellectual released a 2DVD set, Brian Wilson, Songwriter 1962-1969. This three-hour-plus(!) documentary took an in-depth critical look at the work of the Beach Boys leader. Focusing less on the pop culture angle and more on serious analysis of his songwriting, its influences (and influence) and

Album Review: Tony Bennett – As Time Goes By

In 2005, Concord Music Group brought together all of the music Tony Bennett cut for his own label and issued a sprawling, four-plus-hour box set called The Complete Improv Recordings. That set included five reissued albums plus an assortment of previously-unreleased material. For serious Bennett fans, it’s clearly an essential purchase. For more casual fans

Album Review: Jamie & Steve — Imaginary Café

I’ve probably told the story before: growing up in Atlanta, I discovered the Spongetones‘ debut LP Beat Music in the bin of an indie record shop not long after its release. I was taken in first by the cover photos, images that clearly suggested these guys has a Beatles fixation (always a good thing in

Album Review: Vermouth — RetroFuture Pop Exotica

Being of a certain age, I remember the short-lived exotica revival of the nineties. If you blinked, you might’ve missed it: for a brief few moments in 1994, the pre-Beatles hi-fi-centric craze was all the rage. The fleeting revival had as its exemplar a band named after a cocktail, Combustible Edison. Fronted by a female

Album Review: The Cleaners From Venus – Living With Victoria Grey

I sometimes wonder if Martin Newell gets tired of all the Ray Davies comparisons. I mean, the man (Newell) has released something like thirty or forty albums (many of these on cassette, back in the 1980s) as Cleaners From Venus, Brotherhood of Lizards, and under his own name. While many of these were zero-budget, decidedly