vinyl Archive

Album Review: Louis Armstrong – Live in France

One of the most important and influential figures in the music of the 20th century, Louis Armstrong had a recording career that spanned from the early 1920s through 1970, the year prior to his passing. His winning and distinctive personality was a major component of his appeal, but his music remains at the center of

Album Review: The Brothers Steve – #1

Following a proud rock ‘n’ roll tradition of misleading band names, The Brothers Steve aren’t brothers, and none is named Steve. The L.A.-based band plays its own brand of powerpop, with a healthy dose of bubblegum added into the mix. The band has previous released three singles (including a Christmas-themed one) but their debut album

Album Review: Wipers – Is This Real?

Often held up as the first punk band of consequence from the Pacific Northwest, Wipers (no article; just Wipers) played against type and – unlike so many others of the genre – held together (more or less) for more than two decades. And even more atypically for punk, Wipers maintained a high level of quality

Album Review: Tyler Keith – The Last Drag

Do you like rock ‘n’ roll? I mean the sweaty, greasy, sloppy, noisy stuff, the kind of music that gets your heart pumping and makes you want to get involved somehow – air guitar, head-nodding, first pumping – to more fully experience it? Then I’d very much like to direct your attention to The Last

Album Review: Wolfgang Lackerschmid and Chet Baker – Ballads for Two

In an odd way, it’s entirely fitting that nowhere on the sleeve or label does Ballads for Two indicate when the album was recorded or originally released. It’s fitting because there’s nothing about this album that ties it to a particular place or time. The record is comprised of eight cuts featuring nothing more than

Album Review: Martin Denny — Exotic Moog

Introduced in the middle 1960s, Dr. Robert A. Moog’s invention – the Moog Modular synthesizer – changed the musical landscape. Groundbreaking releases like Switched on Bach made it plain that the formidable instrument was more than a cold mass of technology, more than a gimmick. But that didn’t stop a rush of artists charging into

Album Review: Big Bill Broonzy — The Midnight Special

Big Bill Broonzy’s musical influence is incalculable. And even though he recorded prolifically, a new archival release is an important addition to his body of work. A solo acoustic performance, Midnight Special: Live in Nottingham 1957 showcases Broonzy’s myriad assets. Foremost among those are his fine and expressive voice, his peerless selection of material, his

Album Review: ‘Rolling Stone: Life and Death of Brian Jones’ Soundtrack

There are at least three categories of film soundtrack albums. One is a collection of songs, scores, cues and the like, often by a single composer/artist, music created expressly for a film or television show. Another is what my esteemed colleague Derrick Bang (author of the new two-volume book series on Crime and Spy Jazz)

Album Review: Turnstyles – Cut You Off

Members of Jack Oblivian’s band, Seth Moody (guitar) and Graham Winchester (drums) are Turnstyles. From Memphis, this group/duo deals in the rocking yet cheerfully loose vibe that characterizes many of the Bluff City’s rock legends. Listeners will hear echoes of Tav Falco, post-Big star Alex Chilton and the like, but Turnstyles are a shade or

Album Review: Spygenius – Man on the Sea

One observation made about The Beatles when they hit America is that they sang without thick Liverpudlian (Scouse) accents; they keys to their success were clearly myriad, but that may have been one of them. It was only when groups like The Kinks (to name one) began to achieve some success that the deep Britishness