reissue Archive

Televisionary: Josh Mills discusses TV Comedy Pioneer Ernie Kovacs (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … My first exposure to Kovacs was the PBS retrospective series, which I guess was in the late ’70s. Yeah. This record came out in ’76. It was nominated for a Grammy in ‘77 for Comedy Album of the Year. And then, the same year, ‘77, PBS showed The Best of

Televisionary: Josh Mills discusses TV Comedy Pioneer Ernie Kovacs (Part One)

There was no precedent for the comedy of Ernie Kovacs. A pioneering figure in the early days of television, Kovacs brought a bizarre kind of comedy – mostly verbal, but with a visual component as well – to the black-and-white screens of the 1950s. A half century-plus later, his material is still bizarre. Recently, Omnivore

Album Review: Phil Alvin – Un “Sung Stories”

With the departure of Dave Alvin in 1986, it looked the Blasters were finished. So it was no surprise that guitarist Phil Alvin took the opportunity to record and release his first solo album, Un “Sung Stories”. But Alvin’s solo debut found him traveling far from the straight-ahead rockabilly sounds of the Blasters. On three

Album Review: Eddie Senay — Step by Step

Clarence Avant was a Detroit entrepreneur, a figure who wanted to bring to the world Detroit music beyond that which Berry Gordy was doing. In the early ’70s his Sussex label did just that, releasing some astoundingly good albums by the likes of Dennis Coffey and Bill Withers. Instrumental funk was more or less Sussex’s

Album Review: Miles Davis — Complete Birth of the Cool

I’m not afraid to say it: I know my rock. Especially if it’s prog, psych or powerpop, I feel quite confident sharing my informed opinions on the music. To a lesser extent, that’s true when it comes to soul and blues; my knowledge of the forms doesn’t approach scholarship, but I’ve heard a lot and

Confusion: A Look Back at ‘Identity’ by Zee (Richard Wright and Dave Harris)

Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright was not what one would call a prolific artist. While he composed some superb songs for the Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon‘s “The Great Gig in the Sky” most notable among those – he didn’t churn out a great deal of music. During a period of minimal

You Are Cordially Invited: John and Yoko’s ‘Wedding Album’ at 40

As the Beatles launched their punningly-named Apple Corps in 1967, the group also started a number of offshoot/subsidiary business lines. Apple Records would be the most well-known (and truly the only successful) of those, but there was, for a time, Apple Films (Magical Mystery Tour, Let it Be), Apple Publishing and an experimental record label,

Album Review: Howlin’ Wolf — Moanin’ in the Moonlight

Though he had already been a performing musician for some two decades, Chester “Howlin’ Wolf” Burnett began his recording career in 1951, cutting sides for Sam Phillips in Memphis. By the next year he was under contract to Chess Records. As 1959 began, he had released no less than 22 singles. With the album era

Humble Pie’s Mid ‘70s ‘Joint Effort’

A new release of little-heard Humble Pie music, Joint Effort documents a strange period in the lifespan of the British hard rock group. Made not long after its lead singer briefly quit and returned, the collection of songs found the four band members contributing to various degrees. Falling somewhere between a proper album and a

Album Review: The Gun — Gun

Brothers Adrian and Paul Gurvitz launched The Gun in 1967 a a re-branded and slimmed-down version of their previous band the Knack (no relation to the American power pop quartet). Then using the surname Curtis, guitarist Adrian and bassist Paul led a power trio with Louie Farrell on drums. Taking an aggressive and decidedly psychedelic