post-rock Archive

Russian Circles: Making Music in a Post-rock World

In a valiant attempt to provide helpful points of reference for music listeners, journalists have concocted all manner of genre labels. Some – folk-rock, for example – are useful in describing a style of music. Others are virtually meaningless. So it is with post-rock, a term first used in the mid 1990s to describe music

Sigur Rós Proves That Music Really is the Universal Language

A brief written description of the music of Sigur Rós rarely does it justice. Variously described as post-rock, impressionistic, glacial and abstract, the music on the trio’s seven studio albums often features falsetto vocals in either the group’s native Icelandic or an invented, wordless “language” called Hopelandic or vonlenska. But while that summary might suggest

Five Quick Ones

About once a month I like to visit my “in for review” shelf and pull out some titles that I’ve been meaning to get to for some time. For whatever reason, other projects or reviews have taken precedence, causing these worthy releases to gather the odd bit of dust on my shelf. I will have

Album Mini-review: Public Image Ltd — What the World Needs Now…

File Next to: The Fall, Killing Joke, Gang of Four It’s been nearly forty years since Never Mind the Bollocks was released; try wrapping your mind around that fact. Back then, the idea that vocalist Johnny Rotten (neé John Lydon) would somehow carve out a career niche for himself would have been laughable. But in

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2015, Part 3

Blues, r&b, post-jazz and country-flavored singer/songwriter music: never let it be said that I only write about rock. Here are five fine releases in a wide array of musical styles. Rusty Wright Band – Wonder Man Take the attitude of big-band swing and electric guitar blues, and apply it to uptempo rock’n’roll, and you might

Festival Review: Big Ears Festival 2015, Part 2

Continued from Part One… Next, it was drone time. The minimalist work of the duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen (joined by three additional musicians) was delivered in the bright, daylit room at the Knoxville Museum of Art. The hypnotic vibe of the group’s work lent itself to simply sitting back and closing one’s

Album Review: Son of Kraut: The Next Generation of Krautrock

Though it might seem otherwise to the casual observer, the term krautrock is neither pejorative nor disparaging. In its classic sense, the label refers to improvisationally-based rock with spare musical foundation. As the word suggests (in an undeniably gauche manner), the form originated in Germany. When one thinks of krautrock, the first bands that often

Honeymoon Hundred-word Reviews, Part 4

I’m on my honeymoon this week, so I thought it would be a good time to offer up some backlog-clearing entries in my occasional series of Hundred Word Reviews. And though the musical styles are all over the map, there’s a theme of sorts this time: each of the acts reviewed has been covered previously,

Album Review: Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band — Live From Harpo’s 1980

The late Captain Beefheart is one of those rare creatures. The casual music fan is unfamiliar with his name; a subset of those who know of him have actually heard him; fewer still can make a reasonable claim to actually enjoying his music. Appreciate it, yes: I know of quite a few of my friends

Festival Review: Big Ears 2014, Day 2 (Part 2)

After getting (respectively) a headache and a power nap, my sweetheart and I headed back to the Tennessee Theatre, remarking all the while how well-thought-out Big Ears 2014 is as a whole. The four primary venues all lay in a straight line in downtown, the farthest apart being no more than about six blocks. And