Album Review: Estrangers — Season of 1000 Colors

If there was a common musical thread connecting most of the several dozen acts at Hopscotch 2013, it was edginess: an approach to songwriting and performance that leaned in an outsider direction. From Pere Ubu (sort of the grand-old-men of the genre) to The Breeders (90s sensations reunited) to John Cale (avant garde giant goes

Busy, Busy, Busy.

I’ve been very busy of late, what with attending the Hopscotch Festival, doing lots of interviews, and listening to a ton of new and reissued music. That’s the excuse I’m going with to explain my otherwise lack of new content today. So instead I’ll take just a moment to let you know what’s coming very

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 Acoustic Syndicate

Album Review: Man or Astro-Man? – Defcon 5…4…3…2…1

I often enjoy what one might call “high concept bands.” Our friends at open-source Wikipedia define the term this way: “…a term used to refer to an artistic work that can be easily pitched with a succinctly stated premise.” Examples might include a band that plays twangy instrumental surf-rock while wearing Mexican wrestling masks, doing

Album Review: Vermouth — RetroFuture Pop Exotica

Being of a certain age, I remember the short-lived exotica revival of the nineties. If you blinked, you might’ve missed it: for a brief few moments in 1994, the pre-Beatles hi-fi-centric craze was all the rage. The fleeting revival had as its exemplar a band named after a cocktail, Combustible Edison. Fronted by a female

Album Review: Various Artists – Surf Age Nuggets

Across many traditions, December is the height of the gift-giving season. I’m here to tell you that for the music lover in your life – at least one who appreciates off-the-beaten-path music of days gone by – the perfect gift is now available. It’s called Surf Age Nuggets: Trash & Twang Instrumentals 1959-1966, and title

Concert Review: Yep Roc 15, Night #1

Note: many more photos from this night are in my previous post. The first night of Yep Roc 15 was superby stage-managed: with the program slated to start at 8pm, master of ceremonies John Wesley Harding strolled onto the stage right on time. And within four minutes the music began. Harding’s witty banter (much of

Fantasy Festival: Yep Roc 15

I’m not a fan of professional team spectator sports; that kind of thing has never held any fascination for me. But I sort of understand why others like it, I guess. I also (thank goodness) don’t work in a cube-farm office – got that out of my system back in the mid 90s – so

Album Review: Thee Complete Midniters – Songs of Love, Rhythm & Psychedelia!

Let’s face it. Lots and lots (…and lots) of bands in the 60s covered the standards on record. So why would you be interested in plunking down good money for a box set that includes yet another band covering “Johnny B. Goode”, “Slow Down”, “It’s Not Unusual” and “Land of 1000 Dances”? And, a pretty