Even having shifted my focus these last few years toward interviews and feature writing, I still manage to listen to and review quite a few albums. In one form or another, I covered some 170 albums of new music in 2018. It’s no surprise that a few have risen to the top, deemed worthy of
So much good music has found its way into my ears in 2018. As the year winds toward its close, I’d like to share words on a few of these with you. All titles noted below are on vinyl (LP or 7′ 45 RPM single). Wes Hollywood – Dynamite It was more than six and
Certain music becomes an exemplar of the time in which it was made and released. If the artist involved is lucky, that music not only evokes memories of that period, but also withstands the test of time. To qualify for the latter, the music must somehow avoid at least some of the trappings of its
The opening solo piano strains of “Last Waltz,” the opening track on Dave Brubeck’s 1966 LP Time In are lovely enough. But they suggest that the album is going to be a somewhat staid, fussy and classically-leaning collection of songs. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with that; Brubeck has always been a master of many styles.
These quick reviews cover an assorted lot: two compilations, a reissue and a 45rpm single all in needle-hits-groove physical format. Warren Zevon – My Ride’s Here If you only know a few things about Zevon, it’s that he did “Werewolves of London,” that he had a celebrated sardonic sense of humor (imagine a rock-oriented Randy
Today’s three are all new, indie releases. David Duchovny – Every Third Thought A confession, right up front: when this album landed on my desk, my first thought was, “Uh-oh. Another vanity project from an actor who maybe played some guitar back in college.” A bit of belated investigation demonstrated that my attitude was wholly
These three are reissues. Hank Jones – Arigato Jones’ recording career as a jazz pianist began in 1947 and continued until age 91 with the aptly-named Last Recording in 2010. Recipient of numerous accolades (NEA Jazz Masters, ASCAP Jazz Living Legend Award, etc.), Jones was a prolific musician; he released some five dozen albums under
There was a time – a pretty long time, actually – during which R.E.M. was among the most popular groups on the planet. Without being pretentious or self-important (I’m lookin’ at you, U2), the foursome from Athens, Georgia did things its own way, uncompromisingly. Over the course of the band’s history – 1983 to 2011
Though exploitation knows no era, the 1960s was truly the decade of the cash-in. Americans of a certain age recall that in the wake of the Beatles’ initial stateside success (beginning with a filmed show in Washington D.C. and a series of broadcasts on The Ed Sullivan Show), countless ripoff albums seemed magically to appear.
The Fall were never most people’s idea of a commercial group. They didn’t have the jangling melodicism of the Smiths, nor the sophisticated funk groove of Gang of Four. But the British postpunk band did have Brix Smith. She was Mark E. Smith’s wife and lead guitarist, and her influence moved the band in its