review Archive

Review: Music Video Asheville 206

As organizer Kelly Denson explained near the end of the evening’s program, Music Video Asheville began nine years ago and has grown steadily every year. This year’s award ceremony (held Wednesday, April 14) once again made clear the bounty of local talent that exists in and around Asheville. 25 videos competed in several categories, and

Rehabilitating Herbie, Part 2

Continued from Part One… “In the ‘60s, Herbie Mann wanted to appeal to younger audiences,” observes Cary Ginell, author of several books including The Evolution of Mann: Herbie Mann and the Flute in Jazz. “And the way to do that was through rock ’n’ roll. He always enjoyed challenging his audiences and thumbing his nose

Five Quick Ones

About once a month I like to visit my “in for review” shelf and pull out some titles that I’ve been meaning to get to for some time. For whatever reason, other projects or reviews have taken precedence, causing these worthy releases to gather the odd bit of dust on my shelf. I will have

Album Mini-review: Information Society — Orders of Magnitude

File next to ABC, Human League, Simple Minds Listeners can be forgiven for thinking that Information Society are an early 1980s synth outfit from the UK; there’s an unmistakable air of early MTV-era electronic dance pop to all of their tunes. So it might come as some surprise to learn that the group (essentially a

Album Mini-review: Quilt — Plaza

File next to: Woods, Fresh & Onlys, Mikal Cronin With Plaza, Boston-based Quilt dials back the more overt psychedelic/garage textures of their first two full-lengths. Keyboardist Anna Fox Rochinski remains the primary vocal focus, but guitarist Shane Butler takes the lead on the Monkees-flavored “Searching For,” and other tunes feature a dual make-female lead vocal

Album Review: Eric Ambel — Lakeside

Indie cred: it’s an elusive quality, one that most artists would be pleased to possess. Indie cred connotes a level of achievement that suggests one’s work is more than ephemeral, more than disposable, worth further investigation. Once you’ve got it, if you’re the real deal, you’ll hold onto it. One fine Exhibit A for this

Single Review: Dirty Sidewalks — “It’s Getting Better” b/w “Hey Girl”

Seattle-based Dirty Sidewalks recently released a 7” single worthy of a listen. The a-side, “It’s Getting Better,” has already gotten some commercial traction in one of the few forms that actually generates income for the artist: TV and/or film placement. Twenty-odd seconds of “Getting Better” played during Episode 11 of Season 6 on Showtime’s Shameless.

Album Review: Bobby Long — Ode

At only 30, Bobby Long has a deep catalog of work. After three self-released albums beginning with 2009’s Dirty Pond Songs, he signed with ATO Records and began a string of releases for that label: two EPs to date, and two full-lengths. The latest of his albums is Ode to Thinking, released in 2015 on

Album Review: The Deadly Ones — It’s Monster Surfing Time

Two of pop culture’s kitschiest phenomenons collide on this new reissue of an ultra-rare LP from 1964. Not counting revivals and renewed interest, surf rock was popular from about 1962 to ’64 (a year that – not at all coincidentally – The Beatles took off in America). Originally centered around southern California, the style quickly

Album Review: Sammy Walker — Brown Eyed Georgia Darlin’

The pop music world has long been on a quest for the Next Fill-in-the-blank. After The Beatles stormed American shores, the rush was on to sign every band with a British accent. When The Knack hit it big with “My Sharona,” record company execs appeared – contract in hand – to sign any group with