Notable Vinyl Releases, Part Two

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

Notable Vinyl Releases, Part One

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

Album Review: R.E.M. — The Best of R.E.M. at the BBC

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

Carol Rifkin: What is Mountain Music?

Carol Rifkin is an expert on mountain music. She sings and plays it, she writes about it, and she’s the host of the popular This Old Porch radio program. But when asked to define mountain music, she’s uncharacteristically caught off guard. “There really isn’t a real straight answer,” she says with a good-natured laugh. “I

Uncle Kurtis and Their “Killer” Album

It’s not at all unusual for four 14-year-old boys to start a rock group. It is, however, remarkable when that band gets high-profile gigs in local bars, and cuts an album of songs, all within a year of forming. But thanks in part to parents drawing on their contacts, that’s what has happened for Uncle

Todd Rundgren’s ‘No World Order” at 25

Todd Rundgren has long made a career out of alternatively (and sometimes simultaneously) confounding and delighting his most ardent fans. Resolutely following his muse wherever it takes him, Rundgren is remarkably unbound from commercial considerations; he makes the music he wants to make, how and when he chooses. The result is a body of work

Five Questions (and Answers) with Amanda Anne Platt

Led by singer/songwriter Amanda Anne Platt, WNC-based Americana/country band the Honeycutters are a popular draw on the concert and festival circuit. Last year upon returned from a string of live dates in England, the band released its fifth album, Amanda Anne Platt & the Honeycutters. That release marked the first time Platt’s name was featured

They Created a Monster: The Story of The Munsters’ 1964 LP

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.

Simple Minds’ Jim Kerr: Still Alive and Kicking (Part 2)

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: The band has enjoyed rather consistent commercial success in the UK and a number of European countries. Simple Minds’ commercial peak in the U.S. lasted more than a decade, which in and of itself is impressive, but of course, that’s just a slice of the group’s overall history. Despite

Simple Minds’ Jim Kerr: Still Alive and Kicking (Part 1)

Casual American fans may be unfamiliar with Simple Minds beyond “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” and the handful of other stateside hits by the Scottish group. But the band led by singer-songwriter Jim Kerr has enjoyed consistent international success from the early ‘80s to present day. In support of the band’s latest album Walk Between