Author Archive

Album Review: WRD — The Hit

Far more often than not, the term supergroup is hype. Even when it isn’t use of the word can create unfairly high expectations. The members of Blind Faith understood that, and named their (short lived) group thusly. But in the world of jazz, a different sensibility took hold long ago. Artists receive co-billing, and get

Album Review: Trees Speak — PostHuman

Krautrock and its variants are not for all tastes. To some listeners, the idea of minimalism combined with an insistent beat is a recipe for migraine. But for those who appreciate the droning yet oddly exploratory vibe of the style, riches await beyond those well-worn Neu! LPs. PostHuman is the newest release from Trees Speak,

Album Review: The Eyebrows – Fight/Flight

Listeners wandering into Fight/Flight expecting some sort of slavishly imitative power pop outing a la [any of hundreds of current artists; pick one] will find themselves in for a shock. The Eyebrows’ latest album starts out with a blast, the yelpy “Have Mercy, Lose Control.” And things never let go. The opening tune plays with

Album Review: Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal – Natural Born Hustler

The Color Red label has quickly and effectively established itself as the home of current-day retro-soul/boogaloo, issued on good ol’ vinyl. Some of the artists – Color Red’s founder Eddie Roberts, for example – are well-known. Others, like Josh Hoyer, less so. The thing is, Color Red’s track record is such that I’m more than

Album Review: Sleepersound – Idle Voices

After a lengthy hiatus, once again it’s Vinyl Week on Musoscribe. For the next several days, I’ll feature reviews of new albums released on my favorite format. When I reviewed this Milwaukee band’s previous album, 2018’s In Medias Res, I noted “a bit of a shoegazy vibe.” The group has since doubled down on that

Progress Report #5: Disturbing the Peace in Fall ’21

The book is complete and off to the publisher! In the end, my research for Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave encompassed 96 interviews (plus untold email exchanges), and the final manuscript clocks in at 55 chapters, plus a foreword (more news on the latter soon). Not counting the six

Screen Classic ‘The Goddess’ Gets a Min Xiao-Fen Score

In 1934, writer-director Wu Yonggang’s silent film Shénnǚ (The Goddess) was released in China. Critically praised and popular among audiences, it was and remains an exemplar of China’s cinematic golden age. Exploring and building upon the beauty of the film, Asheville-based musician-composer Min Xiao-Fen has released White Lotus, an original score for The Goddess. Years

Album Review: The Forty Nineteens – New Roaring Twenties

If you’re in the mood for unassuming, rocking, silly and un-self-conscious rock ‘n’ roll, The Forty Nineteens might have just the thing for you. This California quintet swims in the Smithereens end of the pool, with hard-charging songs that keep the melodic quotient high. The band’s rockabilly character is kept hidden on the winning opener

Steve Cropper: The Go-Getter Gets Going (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … With Cropper’s buy-in to the idea, Tiven enlisted the skills of drummers, including ace session man Anton Fig. Cropper has long been friends with the South African-born precussionist. “You’d know him from Saturday Night Live and David Letterman’s show,” he says. But Fig also played drums in a later version

Steve Cropper: The Go-Getter Gets Going (Part One)

Ask serious music fans to name a tasteful guitarist, and inevitably Steve Cropper’s name is going to come up. As a studio musician, Cropper’s work is part of the center of gravity of innumerable recordings that came out of Memphis’ Stax Records in the 1960s. With Booker T & the M.G.’s, Cropper was responsible for