Nada Surf Still Believes in the Rock Album

Brooklyn-based Nada Surf has been called an indie rock band and a power pop group. Drummer Ira Elliot is less concerned with how the group is labeled than he is getting in front of new audiences. And in an era when streaming playlists and downloads dominate, he and his band mates still put value in

Album Mini-review: The B-52’s — Live 8.24.1979

File next to: DEVO, the Go-Go’s Though they were unashamedly gimmicky, the B-52’s were also among the most refreshing of the so-called new wave groups. With a proudly tacky aesthetic that emphasized fun above all else, the Athens group turned out a short series of classic albums. Their first two – 1979’s self-titled debut and

Album Mini-review: KT Tunstall — KIN

File next to: Regina Spektor, Fiona Apple Scottish-born Tunstall is that rarest of artists: she enjoys critical praise while scoring on the commercial side of the equation. Her songs are licensed for use in TV ads, but her cred remains unvarnished. Even a hiatus form the pop music scene – taking time to study film

Album Mini-review: Todd Rundgren — An Evening with Todd Rundgren

File next to: Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, Joe Jackson Rundgren has always been the most restless, resourceful and unpredictable of artists. It was two decades ago that he warned his days of releasing albums were over. That didn’t turn out to be the case. And he’s never made a secret of his general disdain of

Album Mini-review: Cool Ghouls — Animal Races

File next to: Moby Grape, The Byrds, Mystery Lights The name should be your first clue: San Francisco’s Cool Ghouls are unabashed acolytes for rock’s bygone garage-psychedelia era. What sets them apart from similarly retro acts is their well-honed ability to craft earworms: those tunes that stick in the listener’s head like bubblegum on a

John Mayall: “Live in 1967” and Live in 2016

Though he doesn’t actively encourage the label, John Mayall has for many years now been known as “the godfather of the British blues boom.” He’s revered in blues and rock circles both for his impressive body of work and for his prescient ability to hire some of the best musicians for his various bands. Now

Warren Haynes’ North Carolina Roots, Part 2

Continued from Part One… The Christmas Jam The annual event billed as “Warren Haynes Presents: The Christmas Jam” supports the work of the nonprofit Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity; funds are used to purchase land for Habitat neighborhoods and to build safe, affordable homes for families. Even prior to the 2015 Jam, the cumulative total

Warren Haynes’ North Carolina Roots, Part 1

Note: A shorter, edited version of this feature appeared as the cover story in the July 2016 issue of WNC Magazine.  It’s minutes before 1 a.m. on Sunday, December 12, 2015. Guitarist, producer and songwriter Warren Haynes is onstage at Asheville’s U.S. Cellular Center, jamming with The Doobie Brothers. The 27th annual Warren Haynes Christmas

Into the Wayback Machine with the Allah-Las

The Allah-Las‘ sound has clear antecedents in the garage and psychedelic rock scenes of the mid 1960s. But the band is careful not to make too much of that connection. “I think there’s a certain shared musical consciousness,” says bassist Spencer Dunham. “But the 60s were a very different time period. I wouldn’t say that

KT Tunstall Knows the Score

Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall burst onto the international scene in 2004 when she scored a last-minute performance slot on the influential UK television program Later … with Jools Holland. Her solo turn – voice, guitar and looping pedal – earned her recognition and spurred sales of her debut album, Eye to the Telescope. Four more