rawk Archive

Capsule Reviews: January 2013, Part One

Here’s another installment in my occasional series of capsule reviews, this time covering new reissues and compilations. My self-imposed limit for this particular exercise is 150 words on each album. Nektar – Man in the Moon / Evolution Nektar is one of those mildly progressive yet accessible 70s bands that never broke through big time

Adventures with Mr Yeats: The Waterboys’ Mike Scott

The Waterboys are that curious band about which the critics and cognoscenti fall all over themselves raving (and for good reason), but that doesn’t make large ripples in the commercial music pond/marketplace. For decades now, The Waterboys – singer/songwriter Mike Scott and assorted auxiliary musicians – have made winning albums that do more than merely

The 2012 Marshall Crenshaw Interview, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: I interviewed John Murphy of Shoes recently about their new Ignition album. When we got to talking about the band’s future plans, he suggested they might go a route similar to what you’re doing. Rather than making fans wait two years or something for a new collection of songs,

The 2012 Marshall Crenshaw Interview, Part One

Marshall Crenshaw has enjoyed – sometimes endured – a long and varied career. And while said career has been consistently lauded by critics, commercial success has sometimes proven more elusive. Add to the mix that Crenshaw isn’t the most cravenly commercially-oriented of artists (thank goodness!). But temper that with the fact that he consistently writes

Album Review: Honky – 421

If you will, imagine for a moment an unholy cross of Metallica and ZZ Top. If you can’t wrap your mind around how exactly that might sound, a spin of 421 by Honky would provide you with a fairly good approximation. Taking the aggressive, precise, turn-on-a-dime dynamics of the former and welding them onto the

Reviews: 7″ Records from The Fire Tapes and Concrete Blonde

Concrete Blonde – “Rosalee” b/w “I Know the Ghost” There are countless bands whose most well-known songs end up creating an identity for the act that is (at best) an inaccurate portrait of them or (at worst) wholly at odds with what they’re really about. Somewhere netween those two poles is the commercially-successful but often

Album Review: Various Artists – Surf Age Nuggets

Across many traditions, December is the height of the gift-giving season. I’m here to tell you that for the music lover in your life – at least one who appreciates off-the-beaten-path music of days gone by – the perfect gift is now available. It’s called Surf Age Nuggets: Trash & Twang Instrumentals 1959-1966, and title

Album Review: Phil Manzanera and Anna Le – Nth Entities

I’m the first to admit it: I generally don’t “get” poetry. I appreciate good lyrics, but as often as not my attention is drawn more to the sound and texture of vocals in music than to what’s being sung about. So it was with some trepidation that I received an advance of Nth Entities. True,

Album Review: Mitch Ryder – Live at Rockpalast 1979 + 2004

Mitch Ryder is a tricky figure to pin down. Though he enjoyed a brief string of hits in the mid 60s (first with the Detroit Wheels and then as an ostensible solo artist), by the end of the 60s, the commercial marketplace had pretty much made its decision: his career was over and done. But

Album Review: The Moving Sidewalks – The Complete Collection

When The Moving Sidewalks are mentioned at all, it’s general in the context of them being a forerunner of ZZ Top (guitarist Billy Gibbons fronted The Moving Sidewalks). But the Texas quartet deserves more than a footnote in some ZZ Top essay; the group’s music is of a piece with other sixties Texas bands of