omnivore recordings Archive

Hundred(plus)-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Four

Here’s a quick look at five new releases. Four are reissues; the other is a compilation of previously-unreleased material. All are simply superb; essential, even. For the first time in a decade-plus, I’ve allowed myself to exceed my 100-word limit. Flamin’ Groovies – Now Originally released in 1978, this album was – intentionally or not

Album Reviews: Five from the Coed Record Label

Doo-wop – or r&b vocal, if you prefer – is an important part of the rock and roll story. The style began just after World War II, and doo-wop enjoyed its heyday in the early (read: pre-Beatles) 1960s. Doo-wop was primarily an African-American phenomenon, but many white groups got into it as well (and there

Album Review: Holsapple & Stamey — Our Back Pages

As wonderful as the dBs were during their original run (featuring Peter Holsapple with and then without Chris Stamey), the more acoustic-flavored efforts by Holsapple and Stamey – 1991’s Mavericks and 2009’s hERE aND nOW – were truly special as well. Decidedly different in tone and energy, but simply superb they were, even for a

Album Review: Game Theory — Across the Barrier of Sound

One of the larger projects that Omnivore Recordings has undertaken in recent years is the Game Theory catalog. The alternative rock band (there are other labels that might apply, but the group’s work is eclectic enough that none fits perfectly) led by Scott Miller released five albums and a pair of EPs during its time

Album Review: Andrew Gold — Something New: Unreleased Gold

Andrew Gold’s name has been circulating quite a bit of late, at least in music nerd circles. And that’s pretty remarkable considering that he passed away just about nine years ago. The first instance of his name popping up on my radar screen was around the time that Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice

Album Review: Bobby Hatfield — Stay With Me

The history of popular music is scattered with tales of aborted projects, albums that for one reason or another never saw the light of day. Though it finally saw a kind of official release in the 21st century, the Beach Boys’ SMiLE is perhaps the most famous white whale of them all. And in that

Album Review: America — Heritage II

Back when I was growing up, liking the music of the band America was something one pretty much kept to himself. They didn’t exactly rock, and though their vocals sometimes sounded a lot like Neil Young, they never had anywhere near his hip quotient. But there was no denying the appeal of their breezy, well-crafted

Album Review: Big Star — In Space

To those who followed Alex Chilton’s musical activities in the 1980s and beyond, the thought that he would ever revisit his Big Star-era music – much less put the band back together – seemed extraordinarily unlikely. So when it finally happened, with original drummer Jody Stephens plus the Posies (Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow), it

Album Review: International Pop Overthrow Volume 22

Now comes the 22nd volume in a long-running series of compilations chronicling the current state of powerpop. If this set is Exhibit A, the evidence is strong that it’s in fine shape. Right out of the gate, this new collection fires on all cylinders: the first seven tracks are all powerpop gems of the highest

Televisionary: Josh Mills discusses TV Comedy Pioneer Ernie Kovacs (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … My first exposure to Kovacs was the PBS retrospective series, which I guess was in the late ’70s. Yeah. This record came out in ’76. It was nominated for a Grammy in ‘77 for Comedy Album of the Year. And then, the same year, ‘77, PBS showed The Best of