omnivore recordings Archive

Album Reviews: Four from Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers (Part 2 of 2)

Picking up where I left off in my discussion of four Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers reissues from Omnivore Recordings… Rock ‘n’ Roll with the Modern Lovers (1977) Bizarre in the extreme, the record opens with a traditional Japanese folk instrumental. The album cover looks like a children’s record, and the song selection (“Wheels

Album Reviews: Four from Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers (Part 1 of 2)

Certain artists seem to get a kind of free pass from critics. In the cases that come to mind, these artists created something really, really, really special and important, and then arguably never again came close to creating works that even approached the significance of their breakthrough. I’m as guilty as anyone of falling into

Album Review: Linda Hoover — I Mean to Shine

Remember inner sleeves? The 12×12 paper sleeves that held records and went inside of the album jackets? For a time they served an additional purpose, working as advertising media. The jackets listed in words (and sometimes images) other titles available from the label, presumably ones that might interest the purchaser of the fine title held

Hundred-word Reviews for May 2022, Part 2

I present five more reviews, in capsule form. Three of these are new releases; two are archival titles. All are deserving of deeper investigation. Alice Austin – Goodnight Euphoria Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Austin has crafted a supremely satisfying slab of rock with Goodnight Euphoria. Her innate sense of pop songwriting is combined with expertly textured

Album Review: The Loud Family and Anton Barbeau – What if it Works?

When two formidable talents get together, one doesn’t know quite what to expect. Auteurs who are accustomed to having things their own way — and who have long since earned the right to do so – can’t automatically be expected to play well with others in a collaborative venture. The product of that creative alliance

Album Review: The Left Banke – Strangers on a Train

When the terms “baroque pop” or “baroque rock” come up in conversation, discussion of The Left Banke is assuredly to follow. While the group scored only a few hits – “Walk Away Reneé,” “Pretty Ballerina” and the lesser-known but equally wonderful “She May Call You Up Tonight” – they established a stylistic template that other

Reviving the Old Guard: The Palace Guard, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Far better was the A-side of The Palace Guard’s second single, the moody, minor-key “A Girl You Can Depend On.” The flip side of that single – released as a promo disc only – was a credibly soulful cover of Wilson Pickett’s “If You Need Me.” Moser says that recording sessions

Reviving the Old Guard: The Palace Guard, Part One

Emitt Rhodes’ pre-pre-fame band The Palace Guard gets a career-spanning compilation Emitt Rhodes was something of a cult figure in music. The singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer never achieved widespread commercial success or fame, but his music inspired and influenced many who would follow him. Hailed in his early solo artist years as a “one-man

Album Review: Explorer Tapes

As someone who follows such things – and as such ought to know better – I nevertheless continue to be amazed whenever I learn about a promising act that recorded an album only to find it shelved. It’s the musical version of that iconic final scene at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark,

Album Review: Alex Chilton — Boogie Shoes

If there’s such a thing as an obscure legend, Alex Chilton is one. While he was in fact the lead singer in a popular ‘60s pop group (Box Tops) and part of supremely influential Memphis band Big Star, his name isn’t one that’s familiar to the casual music listener. And even among those who appreciate