vinyl Archive

Album Review: Redd Kross — Third Eye

Redd Kross’ Third Eye was released mid-September 1990. Notwithstanding the pop singles charts (then topped by a Latin dance pop ditty called “If Wishes Came True”), the rock scene was dominated then by acts like Jane’s Addiction, Gene Loves Jezebel and the ubiquitous and gruesome “Joey” from Concrete Blonde. Into that relatively dour and joyless

Album Review: The Eyebrows — Volume

Here’s the thing about powerpop: it’s either very good or hopelessly bland. There’s seemingly no middle ground; artists working in the idiom either knock it out of the park – see Badfinger, Gladhands, Greenberry Woods – or the results are faceless and shamelessly imitative. Happily, Charlotte N.C.-based trio the Eyebrows succeed on Volume, their debut

Album Review: Craig Smith — Love is Our Existence

This is a fascinating release. Singer-songwriter Craig Smith got his early professional start as a member of the Good Time Singers, a folk ensemble in the mold of the New Christy Minstrels. He later formed a folk-rock due with band mate Lee Montgomery. Meanwhile he had an acting career; liner notes author (and album curator)

Album Review: Klaus Schulze — La Vie Electronique Vols 1.0, 1.1 and 1.2

Over the years, there have been a number of massive archival releases that all but define the phrase “for the completist.” In 2011, the Grateful Dead went back to the source tapes for one of the band’s best (or least-tedious, depending on one’s perspective) live albums, the 3LP Europe ‘72, and released a 73-disc set

Album Review: The Last Poets – Understand What Black Is

One lens through which one can view hip-hop/rap is as spoken word with musical accompaniment. Though there are myriad exceptions to the rule-as-such, lyrics are often the primary focus of hip-hop, while the beats and melodies (if any) are secondary. Of course that’s not to say that plenty of care and effort don’t go into

Paul Williams: “Someday” and Today (Part 4)

Continued from Part Three… Another characteristic of Paul Williams’ lyrics is their universal quality. Listening to or reading his words, the thoughts and emotions expressed could as easily be coming from a female as from a male. Williams doesn’t dispute that characterization, saying that his lyrics often display “an androgynous, one-size-fits-all heartache. I will always

Paul Williams: “Someday” and Today (Part 3)

Continued from Part Two… Once Williams had moved on to A&M, he and Nichols began work on a proper solo album, this time featuring only songs by Nichols (music) and Williams (lyrics). The process of writing songs had already been established through the pair’s earlier collaborative efforts. “We’d write from ten o’clock in the morning

Paul Williams: “Someday” and Today (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… He quotes some of his best-known lyrical phrases to illustrate his point (seemingly, Paul Williams has a preternatural ability to remember the words to the countless tunes he’s penned). “For a guy to be singing about ‘That’s enough for me,’ or, ‘Pleasure makes me cry,’ or, ‘I won’t last a day

Paul Williams: “Someday” and Today (Part 1)

Boutique record label Ship to Shore is releasing a vinyl reissue of Someday Man, the 1970 album by Paul Williams. A singer, songwriter, actor and all-around celebrity, Paul Williams was an ubiquitous fixture of pop culture – especially in the United States – throughout the 1970s. The blond, bespectacled Williams had a hand in the

Liner Notes News

I’ve been extraordinarily busy lately. After devoting a large chunk of 2017 to the writing of my first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, in 2018 I’ve been focusing on writing liner note essays for albums. Here’s a summary of recent and upcoming releases with which I’ve