rawk Archive

Notable Vinyl Releases, Part Two

Today’s three are all new, indie releases. David Duchovny – Every Third Thought A confession, right up front: when this album landed on my desk, my first thought was, “Uh-oh. Another vanity project from an actor who maybe played some guitar back in college.” A bit of belated investigation demonstrated that my attitude was wholly

Notable Vinyl Releases, Part One

These three are reissues. Hank Jones – Arigato Jones’ recording career as a jazz pianist began in 1947 and continued until age 91 with the aptly-named Last Recording in 2010. Recipient of numerous accolades (NEA Jazz Masters, ASCAP Jazz Living Legend Award, etc.), Jones was a prolific musician; he released some five dozen albums under

Album Review: R.E.M. — The Best of R.E.M. at the BBC

There was a time – a pretty long time, actually – during which R.E.M. was among the most popular groups on the planet. Without being pretentious or self-important (I’m lookin’ at you, U2), the foursome from Athens, Georgia did things its own way, uncompromisingly. Over the course of the band’s history – 1983 to 2011

Todd Rundgren’s ‘No World Order” at 25

Todd Rundgren has long made a career out of alternatively (and sometimes simultaneously) confounding and delighting his most ardent fans. Resolutely following his muse wherever it takes him, Rundgren is remarkably unbound from commercial considerations; he makes the music he wants to make, how and when he chooses. The result is a body of work

They Created a Monster: The Story of The Munsters’ 1964 LP

Though exploitation knows no era, the 1960s was truly the decade of the cash-in. Americans of a certain age recall that in the wake of the Beatles’ initial stateside success (beginning with a filmed show in Washington D.C. and a series of broadcasts on The Ed Sullivan Show), countless ripoff albums seemed magically to appear.

Album Review: Lord Sonny the Unifier — Final Notice!

With a title like “The Starman,” one might expect a song that bears a passing similarity to the music of the original Starman, David Bowie. And in fact that’s not too wide of the mark; the opening track on Final Notice!, the new album from Lord Sonny the Unifier. Lead singer and guitarist Greg Jiritano’s

Sloan: Past, Present and Future

Indie rockers Sloan have built an impressive body of work since forming in Halifax, Nova Scotia back in 1991. Whether the foursome should be classified as indie rock or power pop is open for debate; what’s certain is that the group makes memorable, hooky rock in a style that recalls both the Beatles and Fountains

A Look Back at Crowded House’s ‘Temple of Low Men’

In April 1977, Neil Finn joined Split Enz, a New Zealand/Australian band co-founded nearly five years earlier by older brother Tim. Though he hadn’t yet reached his 18th birthday, Neil Finn quickly set about developing his skills as a guitarist, vocalist and songwriter. He wouldn’t write any of the music on 1977’s Dizrhythmia, by the

Album Review: The Goldwyn Experiment – Avenue B

An elegiac piano melody, “Prologue,” kicks off the album, with a feel not totally removed from Jim Steinman’s Meat Loaf-era work. It’s subtle assured and inviting. Toward the end of a track, a yawning cello takes over, establishing a more unsettled vibe. All of that leads the listener unprepared for “Vodka Tea,” which seems to

The Byrds’ Sweetheart of an Album, 50 Years Later

In the 1960s, the Byrds pioneered folk rock. The chiming electric 12-string guitars on the 1965 singles “Turn! Turn! Turn” and “Mr. Tambourine Man” influenced a generation of musicians. Soon thereafter, the group moved in a more psychedelic and even jazz-influenced direction, exemplified by 1966’s “Eight Miles High.” But thanks to personnel changes and creative