pop Archive

Your Most Valuable Possession: Ben Folds Five’s ‘…Reinhold Messner’ at 20

North Carolina-based Ben Folds Five came on the scene in 1995 with their self-titled debut album. The Chapel Hill band had been together two years, honing their unusual (in a rock context, anyway) approach: a piano, bass and drum trio with no guitars. The sonic space customarily occupied by lead guitar was filled with Robert

Moves: Movin’ On Up

More than a decade ago, guitarists Stephen Murray and Matt Martin launched their band, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, as a sort of hybrid between ragtime jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. Seven albums, two EPs and countless gigs later, the band looks much the same. But it sounds completely different. Reflecting that change, the band is

200-word Reviews: Five Vinyl Records

Few people are mas pleased as myself to witness (up close and personal) the vinyl revival. I’m not getting into the warmth-versus-digital argument; all I know is that as an old-school type who began purchasing LPs at age eight, I will always prefer the vinyl LP format. Plus, the artwork and liner notes are better

Hundred-worders for May 2019: Vinyl

A subtle hint to any press agents or label reps who might happen to read this: a near surefire way to get your client’s album reviewed on Musoscribe is to send me a vinyl record. Unless I wholly detest it – and that’s not likely to happen if you check in before sending to make

Not Long for This World: The Grays’ ‘Ro Sham Bo’ at 25

By the 1990s, radio programming had completed its shift into a narrowcasted, focus-grouped, thinly-sliced target marketing based approach. There seemed little room for rock that wasn’t of the classic variety (Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd etc.) or overblown, stadium-oriented mass-consumption fodder (Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard). Intrepid programmers, however, sensed an opening and pursued

Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds: All in the Family

Arleigh Kincheloe knew from a very early age that she wanted to go into the “family business.” Today she’s the singer (and co-leader with brother Jackson) in Brooklyn-based soul band Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds. The father of the Kincheloe siblings had his own band in upstate New York, and both Arleigh and Jackson

EP Review: Daniel Shearin

Ask most any musician and they’ll tell you: in many ways, performing with a band is easier than playing solo. There’s a safety-in-numbers characteristic to playing as part of an ensemble; not to put too fine a point on it, but it’s easier to hide among a stage filled with other people, musical instruments and

Hundred-worders for May 2019

Here we go again, kids. If you’ve visited Musoscribe before, you likely know the drill: new albums worth your (and my) time, covered in the tidy space of precisely 100 words each. Proper Ornaments – 6 Lenins Here’s a nice one. With shades of Echo & the Bunnymen and the Church, this London group makes

Those Were the Days: Mary Hopkin’s ‘Post Card’ at 50

Mary Hopkin was a mere 18 years old when she was signed to the Beatles’ fledgling record label in 1968. That experience wasn’t her first as a recording artist; she had previously cut an EP of songs in the native language of her home country, Wales. When scenester/model Twiggy saw Hopkin performing on the TV

Manhattan Transfer: The Boy(s and Girls) from New York City

Popular musical styles come and go. But for nearly a half century, the Manhattan Transfer has been dazzling audiences with its unique brand of music, a style that incorporates jazz, pop, standards and modern sounds. The quartet is renowned for its skill at vocalese, the technique of applying vocals and lyrics to tunes originally created