review Archive

Concert Review: Charlotte Pop Fest (part 1)

The Charlotte Pop Fest (September 24-26 2009) was both thrilling and disappointing, sometimes all at once. It’s important to make clear right up front that attendees easily got value for their investment, the lineup was impressive, and the organizers are a dedicated team. But, but. The three-day event organized by Charlotte musician James Deem, sought

Album Review: Jim Duffy – Mood Lit

Pop-jazz. Jazz-pop. The labels are mere shorthand for a sort of music that’s tough to describe. The terms can often be applied in a pejorative sense, used to describe (and dismiss) disposable music. But that’s not at all what we have here. Mood Lit, the second album from Brooklyn pianist Jim Duffy, is a delight

Album Review: The Smithereens Play Tommy

The Smithereens are well-known rock fans. Their unique, canny take on rock music is informed by everyone from the Four Freshmen (drummer Dennis Diken cites them as a large-looming influence) to Black Sabbath (guitarist Pat DiNizio wrote a tribute of sort to Iommi and Co. on the first ‘Reens LP). And their affection for rock

Album Review: The D.I.’s – Rare Cuts!

Note: the album is included as a bonus CD in the deluxe package of The Gears‘ Rockin’ at Ground Zero (reviewed below), but it deserves its own review. The 2009 Hep Cat release of Rockin’ at Ground Zero includes a bonus CD of cuts entitled, appropriately enough, Rare Cuts! After the demise of The Gears,

Album Review: The Gears – Rockin’ at Ground Zero

Initially I had reservations about even spinning my review copy of Rockin’ at Ground Zero. While I wasn’t familiar with The Gears, I do know enough about the L.A. punk scene of the late 70s and early 80s. And that era of punk doesn’t really do much for me. The L.A. variant seemed musically angrier

DVD Review: Muddy Waters Live at ChicagoFest

Muddy Waters Live at ChicagoFest is a 1981 performance of the master bluesman onstage. The concert — filmed at Chicago’s famous Navy Pier — features Muddy with his band and some Very Special Guests. Chicago takes its blues very seriously, and the packed crowd at Navy Pier is no exception; Muddy enjoys an enthusiastic and

In the Warm Embrace of Ozric Tentacles

One of the most memorable lines in John Landis‘ film The Blues Brothers takes place when the band arrives at a roadhouse. Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd) asks the proprietress, “What kind of music do you usually have here?” She comes right back with her reply: “Oh, we got both kinds. We got country and western.”

DVD Review: BB King Live in Africa ‘74

Presumably made up from outtakes from the filming of Leon Gast‘s When We Were Kings, B.B. King Live in Africa ’74 is a high-quality document of the master still near the peak of his powers. Filmed in concert in Kinshasa Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo), this beautifully-filmed concert movie features

Turn Me On, Dead Man.

In honor of 09.09.09, the unofficial reboot of The Greatest Band The World Has Ever Known, here are NINE (of course) links to some Beatles-related features on this blog and its sister site  A 2007 interview with Marshall Crenshaw in which MC reminisces about his days as a cast member of the Beatlemania show.

DVD Review: Let Freedom Sing – How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement

Let Freedom Sing is a 2009 DVD documentary that surveys the American civil rights struggle. That’s been done before, certainly. But this film puts a unique, refreshing and fascinating spin on the story by setting it against the backdrop of music. The film’s subtitle (How Music Inspired the Civil Rights Movement) says it all. From