Happy Independence Day, and More

Since today is (a) an American holiday and (b) a mere few days after the halfway point of 2013, I thought that instead of a review, essay or feature, I’d instead run a brief look back at some of the highlights of the year so far. To that end, I’d like to recommend a few

All the Interviews (A-Z)

If, like some of my readers, you’re primarily interested in reading my interviews, features and conversations, then you may find the list below useful. It’s a complete (updated when I remember) index of all my published interviews. 1964 The Tribute / Mark Benson 50 Shades! The Musical Parody (producer/director/writer Emily Dorezas) Aberdeen City Act of

Album Review: The Brotherhood of Lizards – Lizardland

Martin Newell is one of the British Isles’ legendary unheralded treasures. Yes, those in the know understand and appreciate Newell’s particular brand of genius: working with a nonexistent budget and the most modest of equipment, he has for many years turned out some of the winningest pop music since, well, just since. Anyone who values

Album Review: Three Minute Tease

Rock fans who count themselves among the in-the-know crowd recognize the names Morris Windsor and Andy Metcalfe. The pair (on drums and bass respectively) first gained notice as members of The Soft Boys, that underrated, under-appreciated psych-revival band from Cambridge. Led by Robyn Hitchcock and rounded out by the great guitar work of Kimberley Rew

Best of 2011: Interviews

Jack Casady – It’s funny how this one came about: in summer 2011 I saw that Jorma Kaukonen would be playing a November show at Asheville’s Grey Eagle, so I reached out to his publicist about an interview. “Great! Let’s set it up when the date gets closer,” she said. But in the meantime, did

Album Review: Kool Kat Does Jellyfish

I’ve made my thoughts on the subject clear many times before: I look askance at tribute albums. There are simply too many opportunities to go wrong with such projects. And so most of them are pretty weak stuff. Occasionally, one comes along that offers something worthwhile. The Kool Kat label is one of powerpop’s most

Martin Newell interview, part 3

Continued from part two… Bill Kopp: The Cleaners From Venus enjoyed – or endured — a brush with the big time in the UK around the release of ‘Ilya Kuryakin Looked at Me,’ didn’t they? Martin Newell: Yes. But I didn’t always like the show biz stuff. And I didn’t like some of the people

Martin Newell Interview, part 2

Continued from Part One… Bill Kopp: Are there any real drums on English Electric? Martin Newell: Bits and pieces, yes. You know, I never spilled the beans about what happened on The Greatest Living Englishman. I’ve never told anybody: there were some real drums on it, but mostly there weren’t. Andy Partridge produced it, and

Finally, a Reliable English Electric: A Conversation with Martin Newell (part one)

I recently enjoyed the rare treat of a lively and wide-ranging conversation with Martin Newell. He’s largely unknown to American pop audiences, and that’s quite a shame. His music is pop in the best sense of the word: infectious melodies, straightforward instrumentation, witty (but never precious, arty or overly self-conscious) lyrics with clever turns of

Coming Attractions: February

There are quite a few things in the proverbial hopper here at Musoscribe World HQ. Here’s just a sampling of what’s to come. New music from Robin Trower, Jakko M. Jakszyk, North Atlantic Oscillation, The Agony Aunts, Corinne Bailey Rae, Ivan Julian, The High Llamas, Cake, Blackfield, Mars Hollow, and The Sterling Loons. And others.