Author Archive

Troubadour Rory Jagdeo: Hanging On, Coming Home

Rory Jagdeo’s musical journey has taken him from his native Guyana to Canada and Belize, from New York City to Houston and finally to Western North Carolina. Though he had always been immersed in music, work occupied much of his time; it wasn’t until landing in Texas that he began to pursue his musical muse

The Jenny Thing: Still Indie After All These Years

The Jenny Thing returns, and things are different Thanks in no small part to upstart record labels like San Francisco’s own 415 Records — home to The Red Rockers, Romeo Void, Translator and Wire Train — the alternative or “college rock” sound was an important part of the musical landscape of the late 1980s. And

Album Review: Richard X Heyman — Copious Notes

Richard X Heyman started making great solo records right out of the gate. Anyone who enjoys highly melodic rock with sterling pop values, hooks galore and just the right amount of oomph simply must own his first several albums. And they’d do well to purchase everything else he’s done, as the man displays impressive quality

Remembering Roky Erickson, Part Three

Continued from Part Two… But Luckin “couldn’t find any commercial American label that wanted to put this guy out,” says Chris Knab, co-founder of San Francisco-based independent label 415 Records. Selecting songs from the UK release and adding five other tracks from the sessions, 415 released the music as The Evil One in 1980. Taken

Remembering Roky Erickson, Part Two

Continued from Part One… Bill Miller would play amplified autoharp in Roky’s late ‘70s band, The Aliens, but by that time he had been a fan for years. He says that Roky was always unpredictable. “One thing about working with Roky: any day might be the last day,” he says. “Back in the days of

Remembering Roky Erickson, Part One

The Bay Area’s rich psychedelic music tradition has its roots in familiar places: Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Company and The Grateful Dead laid the groundwork and built upon that foundation. More than a half century later, artists like The Fresh and Onlys, Thee Oh Sees and Ty Segall carry on that tradition.

Album Review: Circus Mind — Joy Machine

An excursion into the funk-rock universe, Circus Mind’s Joy Machine feels like a party. Signature licks – lengthy ones, sometimes – -form the basis of this inviting and energetic release. In the pandemic era, recording individual components in isolation is a given, and people were dong it that way even before COVID. The problem come

Album Review: Various Artists — Big Stir Singles: The Tenth Wave

And the hits just keep comin’, as they say. It’s too easy to label Big Stir as a power pop label. And in fact doing so is (a) too limiting and (b) unfair to the range and eclecticism that characterizes the label’s music. This ongoing (never-ending?) series of releases showcases an impressive stylistic variety. This

Album Review: Various Artists — Still Wish You Were Here

My standard disclaimer where tribute albums are concerned is that the concept if dodgy on its face, and that it rarely succeeds. But for every rule here is an exception, and I’m holding in my hands the most recent example thereof. Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here is a monumental album, one best not messed

Album Review: The Bablers — Psychadilly Circus

My copies of Imagine and Mind Games are on vinyl, so I knew I hadn’t mistakenly loaded one of them into my CD player. But the cognitive dissonance remained as I absorbed “Love is Everything,” the opening track on The Bablers’ Psychadilly Circus. Imagine a non-satirical rethink of National Lampoon’s “Magical Misery Tour” and you’ll