vinyl Archive

Album Review: Ellen Starski — Sara’s Half Finished Love Affair

Tuneful, heartfelt and impeccably arranged singer-songwriter fare is the stock in trade of Ellen Starski. On the Nashville artist’s latest release, Sara’s Half-Finished Love Affair, she presents a varied set of songs. Rising above the singer-with-an-acoustic milieu, Starski draws deftly from glitchy 90s’ alt rock (Suzanne Vega’s 99.9F° seems a useful reference point), Americana (the

Randall Bramblett: Lucky That Way

The music business has a built-in tendency to categorize artists: they’re a rocker, a country act, a jazz cat, a rapper or something else. And in those relatively rare instances when an artist ventures even slightly outside of his or her appointed lane, they earn the crossover-artist tag. Yet there do exist a few extra-special

Album Review: Dopapod – s/t

Interactivity is what you make it. And for their latest album, Dopapod has devised a way for listeners to immerse themselves even more deeply into the band’s unique world. The vinyl pressing of the Boston group’s self-titled (and seventh) studio album features a board game. “Building a Time Machine” uses the gatefold’s inner sleeve as

Album Review: Bill Evans – You Must Believe in Spring

Bill Evans was a prolific as he was gifted. In the course of his short life, Evans released more than 50 albums, and contributed his piano talents to at least as many releases by other artists. He died in September 1980, and shortly after his passing, a new album appeared. Recorded in 1977, You Must

Album Review: Teeth of England — Serrated Cuts

Dave Sinclair is a North Carolina musician, but he’s teamed up with Memphis players as Teeth of England. With a band that includes Bluff City mainstay Jack Oblivian on drums, Serrated Cuts is ten tracks of rough-and-ready rock’n’roll. If your tastes run toward early r’n’r crossed with an aesthetic familiar to fans of Like Flies

Album Review: Louis Armstrong — The Nightclubs

A new compilation from Dot Time Records brings together an assortment of live performances by Luis Armstrong. Dating from the first half of the 1950s, these nine tracks (seven more on the CD version not reviewed here) document Satchmo playing with small ensembles in New York City and San Francisco clubs. The playing is spirited,

Album Review: Times Beach — Step in Time

The creatively fertile arts community in the Bay Area – centered for a time around the San Francisco Arts Institute – informed the music scene. As I wrote about in my latest book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, many of the region’s punk and new wave bands came out

Album Review: Tamar Berk – Start at the End

Until very recently, Tamar Berk was one of those artists with whom I was only vaguely familiar. Her name has been bandied about by those whose tastes I admire and respect, but beyond seeing her image in onscreen previews of those Facebook “reels,” I had somehow never managed to hear any of her music. I

Album Review: Dave Brubeck Trio – Live from Vienna 1967

The latest in posthumous recordings courtesy of the Brubeck Editions series, Live from Vienna 1967 is a thrilling, you-are-there live recording featuring the pianist and superb sidemen Joe Morello on drums and upright bassist Eugene Wright. It’s worth noting that the November 12, 1967 performance at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Austria wasn’t supposed to feature

Album Review: Jeannie C. Riley — Harper Valley P.T.A.

I’ve gone on about this idea before, but it never ceases to fascinate me, so I’ll mention it again. Those of us of a certain age — boomers, I guess you’d say – came of age in an era that was characterized in part at least by shared experience. Where popular culture was concerned, pretty