real gone music Archive

Fall Capsule Reviews, Part One

As regular readers know, periodically I engage in a desk-tidying activity whereby I cover a pile of albums – discs deserving of coverage, but ones I haven’t gotten to as quickly as I’d like – in the form of capsule reviews. My arbitrarily self-imposed limit for these is 150 words per album. This week (along

Album Review: Jefferson Starship — Live in Central Park NYC May 12,1975

In the annals of rock history, Jefferson Starship are often dismissed. And truth be told, there’s an argument to be made there: the band (or one of its myriad lineups) is indeed responsible for the recording and release of what has come to be known as one of the worst songs ever: 1985’s “We Built

Book Review: Boys Don’t Lie: A History of Shoes

Sidestepping tired allusions to Boston‘s Tom Scholz, Guns’n’Roses and Chinese democracy, Boys Don’t Lie: A History of Shoes was a long time coming. Author Mary Donnelly began work on the book several years ago. Lots and lots (and lots) of interviews would form the basis of this exhaustive and supremely well-researched tome, and then various

Album Review: The Hello People – Fusion

Consider this: a band with a truly left-field visual aesthetic, one that barely managed to chart, got to cut and release about a half dozen albums in the period 1968-1975. None among their members was a household name, and the band itself never became widely known, though for a time in their later years they

Album Review: Hackamore Brick – One Kiss Leads to Another

I don’t deliberately set out to be a contrarian, but it often works out that way. One good example: like most rock critics, I count myself among the fans of The Velvet Underground. But here’s where I go all oppositional: I think their finest work is Loaded. Though I value and enjoy John Cale‘s contributions

August Jazz Roundup #1

In my occasional series of capsule reviews, I arbitrarily limit myself to a specific word-count; as much as anything else, it’s to keep the editor in me amused. Anyway, today I take a look at four jazz reissues and one archival jazz release, each in the space of 150 words. Chet Baker – Plays the

Album Review: Don Nix – Living By the Days

Don Nix is one of those names known mostly to inveterate liner note readers. His excellent 1973 LP Hobos, Heroes and Street Corner Clowns (on Enterpise, a Stax associated label) included two of his three best-known compositions, “Sweet, Sweet Surrender” and “Black Cat Moan.” But those tunes are known to most as cuts on the

July Capsule Reviews, #3 of 3

Today I present yet four more capsule reviews. Today’s crop includes reissues on the Real Gone Music label. RGM is committed to unearthing long- (and unjustly-) forgotten music, and these four titles — all from the too-often-maligned decade of the 1970s – certainly meet that standard. My self-imposed limit for this particular exercise is 150

Album Review: Mason Williams – The Mason Williams Phonograph Record

For a number of reasons, instrumental tunes rarely crack – let alone top – the pop music charts. And it has long been so. Though there have been exceptions both excellent (Edgar Winter‘s “Frankenstein,” Focus‘ “Hocus Pocus,” Marvin Hamlisch‘s “The Entertainer”), soporific (Vangelis‘ “Chariots of Fire”) and downright execrable (Frank Mills‘ “Music Box Dancer,” which

Album Review: Johnny Lytle — The Soulful Rebel / People & Love

Growing up, I heard a lot of music in my home. My parents were in those days big music fans, even though neither could carry a tune. They knew what they liked: show tunes, light classics, a bit of Sinatra. But they knew what they didn’t like, too: British accents (that copy of Meet the