review Archive

Album Review: thenewno2 – You Are Here

Have you ever found yourself listening to Electric Arguments, the 2009 album by The Fireman (also known as Paul McCartney and Youth), and said to yourself, “I wonder what it would have sounded like if George Harrison had gone a similar route”? Yeah, me neither. But if you were to ask such a question, the

Album Review: Dennis Diken with Bell Sound – Late Music

Good music is always more than the sum of its parts. Let’s say you’re interested in making a pop record. And by pop, here I mean pop in its classic sixties sense (hell, I mean most things in their classic sixties sense, but stay with me here). Let’s say, too, that you have enough cred

Seven New Album Reviews

Doing my level best to erase the backlog of albums slated for review, I’m pleased to offer up some thoughts on no less than seven recent releases. They include: Phil Manzanera’s 801 – 801 Live Collectors Edition Creedence Clearwater Revival – The Concert (reissue) Creedence Clearwater Revival – Covers the Classics (compilation) Matthew Sweet &

Progressive Nation Act III: Zappa Plays Zappa

As mentioned previously, I’m something of a Zappa fanatic. I was lucky enough to see the man onstage twice in the 80s; his peculiar hybrid of obscenely-complicated art/jazz/rock/whatever crossed with a withering sense of irony and a jaundiced eye toward poseurs of all stripes rendered his music tailor-made for a proto-postmodern twentysomething mulleted me. Or

Progressive Nation Act II: Bigelf

Second to take the stage was Bigelf. Like Scale the Summit, these guys were unknown to me. I was totally unfamiliar with their music, so I did a quick bit of reading about them ahead of time. I learned that one of their trademarks is use of vintage instruments. So with that, I was delighted

Progressive Nation Act I: Scale the Summit

First up was Scale the Summit. This four-piece (two guitars trading leads, plus bass and drums) trades in the modern instro-metal-prog genre. A really young lot (not Hanson “Mm-bop” young, not “Michael Jackson when he was human” young, but young nonetheless) turned out a bruising set. For me, the songs ran together and didn’t offer

Progressive Nation 2009

So awhile back I bought a ticket to the local date of the Progressive Nation tour. My buddy and band mate Jeff talked me into it. On one level, I didn’t need much convincing: near the top of the bill was Zappa Plays Zappa; I’d seen ZPZ a couple years earlier and was wowed by

Preview Review: Moby Grape – The Place and The Time

I’ve written extensively about the travails of Moby Grape, the best 60s group most people have never heard. Some of my words on the subject are yet to be published, and when they are, it will be without byline. But if you don’t know their music, it’s worth getting to know. And then, if you

Review: V/A – 2131 S. Michigan Avenue

The whole Nuggets thing has finally become something of a cottage industry. The Lenny Kaye-curated 2LP Nuggets set was unleashed on an unsuspecting (and largely disinterested) world in 1972. I bought mine when it was reissued on Sire in the later 70s. Of this album, I posit something that was said of the first Velvet

Album Review: Ray Charles — Genius: The Ultimate Ray Charles Collection

The word Genius is thrown around far too cavalierly. At this writing, Michael Jackson (the self-proclaimed King of Pop) has been dead only a few days, and tributes everywhere call the onetime child star a genius. Oh yeah? I recently sat through Martin Bashir’s 2003 documentary Living With Michael Jackson (an icky title in light