rawk Archive

Sadler Vaden is Getting ‘Out There’ (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Both Kevn and Jason make pretty plain their perspective on “big issues,” things beyond music. And those perspectives really do inform the music that they make. Some of those kinds of concerns find their way into your lyrics as well. In that regard, what do you see as your responsibility

Sadler Vaden is Getting ‘Out There’ (Part One)

Guitarist Sadler Vaden has been a member of Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit since 2013. He’s part of the Grammy-winning team that made 2015’s Something More Than Free and the band’s 2017 album The Nashville Sound, both of which earned Album of the Year awards at the Grammys. Each of those albums spawned a single that

Album Review: The Grip Weeds — Giant on the Beach (Deluxe Anniversary Edition)

Without delving too deeply into the semantics of the phrase, defining power pop can be a daunting proposition. There are some fine if a tad lightweight acts whose music gets the power pop tag. But if one goes back to some of its earliest uses – namely when Pete Townshend may or may not have

Album Reviews: Various Artists — The Big Stir Singles Series

Back in the days when it still actually played music videos, MTV put together a promo clip featuring David Bowie. The Thin White Duke smiled rakishly at the camera and intoned, “Too much is never enough.” And to make sure viewers got the point, Billy Idol, Cyndi Lauper and The Police told them the same.

Album Review: Peter Laughner

Chances are good that you’ve never heard of Peter Laughner. And if you’re immediately replying, “Oh, yes I have!” then chances are good that you know of him via his time with Rocket from the Tombs. RFTT was one of those seminal acts whose influence far outstripped beyond their popularity, sort of like a less-well-known

Album Review: The Black Watch — Brilliant Failures

John Andrew Fredrick is one prolific artist. It seems that every few months a new album from his group, The Black Watch, appears on my desk. And he stands apart from other super-prolific musicians in a very important aspect: though much of their work is superb, R. Stevie Moore and Robert Pollard (to name two)

Album Review: Dave Kerzner — Breakdown

I’ve come across Kerzner’s music before; he made a quite-good Yes tribute with frequent collaborator Fernando Perdomo, and I reviewed his concept album Static just over two years ago. This new 2CD set, however, will be the best entry point for those new to the man’s work. A survey of his work to date, Breakdown

30 Days Out, April 2020 #2: Taylor Martin, Three Cool Cats, Kathryn O’Shea, Posey Royale

As we all begin to settle into what one might call the new normal, performing musicians are increasingly turning to livestreaming. I suspect their reasons are twofold: (1) to stay in touch with fans (and potential fans) and (2) to stave off boredom and exercise their creativity. I’m here to do my small bit toward

Prepare Yourself: Porcupine Tree’s ‘The Sky Moves Sideways’ at 25 (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … The nature of the music on The Sky Moves Sideways gives bassist Colin Edwin comparatively little to do as well: while he’s an instrumentalist of the first order, there’s often not a great deal in Wilson’s compositions here that lends itself to low-end fireworks. While that would change significantly on

Prepare Yourself: Porcupine Tree’s ‘The Sky Moves Sideways’ at 25 (Part 1)

Today, Steven Wilson is widely known –and acclaimed – as one of the busiest and most creative figures in music. Though he came to wider notice as a kind of progressive rock hero, helming remix/remaster projects for some of prog’s most beloved albums, he has always been about much more than art rock. His muse