rawk Archive

Album Review: SVT — Always Comes Back

As I’ve mentioned before, SVT is the band most often named among those interviewed for my latest book as the Bay Area band most deserving of greater success than they found. With a sound that touched on new wave, punk and power pop and featured the extraordinarily talented Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna) on

Hundred-word Reviews for May 2022, Part 2

I present five more reviews, in capsule form. Three of these are new releases; two are archival titles. All are deserving of deeper investigation. Alice Austin – Goodnight Euphoria Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Austin has crafted a supremely satisfying slab of rock with Goodnight Euphoria. Her innate sense of pop songwriting is combined with expertly textured

Hundred-word Reviews for May 2022, Part 1

It’s time for some more hundred-word reviews. These quick capsule reviews get to the point quickly, and readers should note that all come recommended. Don’t be misled by the lack of a longer treatment of these releases; all are worth your time. Amoeba Teen – Amoeba Teen This band’s 2018 compilation Selection Box Vol. 1

Album Review: Brian Jonestown Massacre — Fire Doesn’t Grow on Trees

One might say that there are two very different sides to the Brian Jonestown Massacre. In person, live and onstage, the band defines erratic. At its best, a BJM concert is transcendent, life affirming and deeply engaging. At its worst, it’s a mess, with concertgoers witness to onstage arguments, endless technical problems, interminable guitar tuning

Album Review: Times Beach — Step in Time

The creatively fertile arts community in the Bay Area – centered for a time around the San Francisco Arts Institute – informed the music scene. As I wrote about in my latest book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, many of the region’s punk and new wave bands came out

Album Review: Tamar Berk – Start at the End

Until very recently, Tamar Berk was one of those artists with whom I was only vaguely familiar. Her name has been bandied about by those whose tastes I admire and respect, but beyond seeing her image in onscreen previews of those Facebook “reels,” I had somehow never managed to hear any of her music. I

Album Review: Detective — s/t

By the mid 1970s, having one’s own boutique record label was a symbol of Having Arrived. The Beatles started it all with Apple, and within a few years, The Moody Blues had Threshold, Deep Purple had (naturally) Purple Records, and The Rolling Stones had their own eponymous label. So it came as little surprise when

30 Days Out, May 2022 #2: Albert Cummings, Jason Isbell, Gov’t Mule, Destroy Boys

In the next 30 days, there’s all manner of live music to be experienced in Asheville. This roundup focuses a bit more on c&w, but there’s something for every taste on the stages of Western N.C. Artist: Albert Cummings Venue: Isis Music Hall Date: Wednesday, June 1, 7:30 p.m. Door: $23 advance, $28 day of

Concert Preview: Beabadoobee

Canadian rapper Powfu’s 2020 single “death bed (coffee for your head)” is an irresistible slice of pop wonderfulness, combining kittenish folk-bedroom pop with hip-hop in a way that works splendidly. And I’m not the only one who thinks so: the tune has received 1.2 billion plays on Spotify, and that’s merely one streaming service. But

DVD Review: SVT – The Price of Sex

SVT is one of the coolest bands you’ve likely never heard of. Led by singer, songwriter and guitarist Brian Marnell, this San Francisco-based band had talent to burn, combining musical muscle with sharp songwriting. But the group didn’t last long, and their recorded output was limited to a couple of singles, and EP and one