mystery lawn music Archive

Hundred-word Reviews for October 2017: New Music

Here’s ten more hundred-word reviews. All new releases. All worth a spin, and in most cases, several spins. The Fresh & Onlys – Wolf Lie Down (Sinderlyn) I’m not sure what wave of psychedelia revival we’re on these days: fourth? Fifth? No matter. And anyway, the Fresh & Onlys have long since moved beyond the

Hundred-word Reviews: September 2017

Time for some more hundred-word reviews; new music from many different genres. Linsey Alexander – Two Cats (Delmark) A lot of modern-day blues has a sterility that makes it the sonic equivalent of a museum display: too perfect, too slick, soulless. Linsey Alexander is having none of that on Two Cats. The 75-year old blues

Album Mini-review: Various Artists — Friends and Frenemies

File next to: Sloan, Matthew Sweet Based in the redwoods of Northern California, Allen Clapp‘s Mystery Lawn Music has in recent years become a trademark of pop music quality. Originally formed as a vehicle to self-release 20/20 – perhaps the best album by his group the Orange Peels – Clapp’s label has become a collective

Anton Barbeau’s Traveling Magic Act, Part 3

Continued from Part Two… Anton Barbeau feels similarly about progressive rock. “At one point, I decided, ‘Oh, I don’t like that stuff at all.’ But not long ago on one of the XTC [online] forums, people were debating how much of a prog band XTC was.” He continued, “And I see it now, even though

Anton Barbeau’s Traveling Magic Act, Part 2

Continued from Part One… Once Anton Barbeau realized that the new album wouldn’t be a Three Minute Tease project, he “started looking around for other ways of doing it. I was back in Sacramento, and I had always had musician friends there. So I called some of them up. And,” he added, “that’s normal for

Anton Barbeau’s Traveling Magic Act, Part 1

From my point of view, it’s a strange world in which a recording artist can craft highly melodic, accessible tunes, release a long string of consistently well-regarded albums, and still go largely unnoticed in the commercial marketplace. But of course, such circumstances happen all the time. Even if one allows for the lack of commercial

Hundred-word Reviews for September (sic), Part 1 of 8

Time to clear the backlog of discs – worthy ones all – cluttering my office. Beginning today, and occasionally interrupted by other content, here’s a solid two weeks of hundred-word reviews. Terell Stafford – BrotherLee Love Lee Morgan was a hard bop trumpeter who recorded between the mid 1950s and 1971, mostly for the Blue

Album Review: The Orange Peels — Begin the Begone

On Begin the Begone, the sixth album from northern California pop group The Orange Peels, the group continues to redefine its stylistic parameters while still crafting that winning ear-candy pop with which it has built a solid reputation. Begin the Begone rocks a bit harder than earlier albums like the near-perfect 2020, and while part

The Corner Laughers Let the Music Do the Selling

It’s a source of some mild amusement that when I Google “corner laughers,” the right-hand side of the resulting screen lists a number of the Bay Area group’s songs as dating from 1971. I’m pretty certain that at least two of the group’s number – bassist Khoi Huynh and his spouse, vocalist/ukulele player Karla Kane

Everything Comes Together: The Paul & John Interview, Part Three

Continued from Part Two… The album that would become Inner Sunset was announced in 2013, but the project’s gestation was a lengthy process, especially when compared to the quick, DIY measure employed by most other artists on the Mystery Lawn label. “Several factors contributed to the album taking so long to come out,” John Moremen