Album Review: Dolcetti — Arriver

File next to: Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Jimmy Herring Arriver is instrumental progressive/art rock of the most accessible variety. Dizzyingly fast guitar runs, turn-on-a-dime drums lines and thunderous yet agile bass guitar all come together to create music that is surprisingly hook-filled. And humor – a quality that’s all too often lacking in prog –

Album Review: Mushroom — Psychedelic Soul on Wax

File next to: Brian Auger’s Trinity, Can, David Byrne The four cuts on Psychedelic Soul on Wax are as different from another as can be, but then Mushroom has always confounded easy classification. “Flesh Failures (Let the Sun Shine In)” is a cover of the hit tune from the Hair soundtrack, served up here in

Album Review: Sxip Shirey — A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees

File next to: Amanda Palmer, Yoko Ono, Bad Things A quick written description of the music made by Brooklyn-based Sxip Shirey might leave the reader with the wrong impression: he often makes music using found objects right alongside what one thinks of as traditional instruments. Moreover, the latter category is populated by a lot of

Album Review: The Rolling Stones — Blue & Lonesome

File next to: Eric Clapton, Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon Few people expected the Rolling Stones to make a very good (and quite possibly great) album in 2016. The year of rock star and celebrity death spared Keith Richards; that itself was remarkable enough. But for Blue & Lonesome, their 23rd studio album – and their

Album Review: Field Trip — Horror Vacui

File next to: Flaming Lips, Beach House, Roxy Music Lush aural textures and inviting melodies are the hallmarks of the digital-only debut album from this NYC five-piece band. Gauzy production that occasionally recalls Psycho Candy-era Jesus and Mary Chain is applied to songs that have more than their fair share of hooks. The seven songs

Floating Festivals

Rock ‘n’ Roll-themed Cruises While retirees and young professionals might not always share the same taste in music, one leisure activity with appeal that spans generations is the music festival experience. And in recent years, many ocean cruises have come up with a successful way to capture that excitement. Rock ‘n’ roll-themed cruises are among

Album Review: Sun Ra and His Arkestra — At Inter-Media Arts 1991

Sonic explorer Sun Ra was quite prolific during his lifetime; in fact archivists – those you’d expect to know – can’t accurately tally just how many albums the man released. And long after his death, reissues and newly-discovered recordings come out with surprising regularity. Sadly, some of the latter tend toward poor fidelity; their importance

Album Review: Attilio Mineo — Man in Space with Sounds

A breathlessly earnest announcer welcomes the listener to the record as a wonderfully evocative orchestra creates an instrumental backdrop meant to evoke outer space. With the help of some gee-whiz electronic studio effects – heaps of reverb, percussion that suggests a much more accessible Edgard Varese – the listener is transported to a sonic world

Album Review: Tom Glazer & Dottie Evans — Space Songs

This curio from 1961 was originally created to serve as an instructional record for children. The word that immediately comes to mind when hearing the vocals and instrumentation is “ginchy.” And while I’ll readily concede that “ginchy” is not a real word, it somehow seems to encapsulate the vibe of Space Songs. It’s easy enough

Coffey Talk: A Chat with Guitar Legend Dennis Coffey (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … Dennis Coffey was part of a new venture, the Producer’s Workshop, led by legendary Motown bassist James Jamerson. As he recalls in Guitars, Bars and Motown Superstars, “Motown had already got rid of its staff producers who were hitless, so the remaining producers continued to develop their ideas during the