Author Archive

Album Review: Isaac Hayes — Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak)

It’s with some trepidation that this reviewer plays an album called Juicy Fruit (Disco Freak). Had said album been credited to anyone other than the estimable Isaac Hayes, the disc likely wouldn’t have gotten a spin. And in fact the leadoff title track would seem to confirm the worst fears one might conjure. A too-long

Album Review: The Grip Weeds — House of Vibes Revisited

The 1980s and 90s saw the rise of a rock subgenre/movement dubbed the “paisley underground.” Populated by groups who bowed at the altar of mid-period Beatles and the other finer psych-rock of that era, many of these groups were called to task by critics for their (some said) too-slavish devotion to the sounds of old.

DVD Review: Emerson, Lake & Palmer — Live at the Royal Albert Hall

Released (or more accurately, repackaged and re-released) in 2009, this is actually a live performance of Emerson, Lake and Palmer dating from 1992. As such, it’s dated in a number of ways. The opening makes use of late 80s/early 90s visual effects familiar to anyone who watched MTV during that era. And both Greg Lake

Album Review: Chris Darrow — Chris Darrow / Under My Own Disguise

In 1967 a west coast based group calling itself Kaleidoscope (no relation to the UK psych group of the same era) released their first album, Side Trips. That album is now thought of as something of an overlooked gem from the psychedelic era. But in retrospect it’s clear that the group’s music was proto-world music,

Album Review: Rodney Dangerfield – Greatest Bits

Rodney Dangerfield is a cultural icon. Even those not overly familiar with his standup comedy work on television and in film would recognize his face. And his distinctive voice is quite memorable, as is his most famous quip (“I don’t get no respect!” or some variant of that phrase). Yet Dangerfield released only about a

Album Review: Creedence Clearwater Revival — Covers the Classics

There’s something to be said for conceptual/thematic repackaging of selections from a music artist’s catalog. Hell, even 1970s cash-in packages like The Beatles’ Love Songs and Rock and Roll made some sense, even though they removed the songs therein from their intended contexts. Creedence Clearwater Revival is often referred to as the Great American Singles

Album Review: Brian Jonestown Massacre – Their Satanic Majesties’ Second Request

Perhaps most people know of Anton Newcombe from Ondi Timoner’s 2003 questionable documentary Dig! than through his career itself; as leader of the neo-psychedelic Brian Jonestown Massacre, Newcombe and his cohorts have turned out a dozen discs showcasing his unique musical vision. In any event, there’s growing evidence that Newcombe’s got his act more together

Album Reviews: Marc Bonilla — EE Ticket and American Matador

Guitar “shredding” is one of those things that as a listener one either gets or doesn’t get. For those in the latter category, the style is a showoff-y example of technique over content, the sort of thing that brings people to cluck, “I bet he gets paid by the note.” For those who appreciate that

Album Review: Arthur Alexander — Lonely Just Like Me: The Final Chapter

I first heard the name Arthur Alexander many years ago when listening to an interview with John Lennon; the then-former Beatles was talking about his major influences, especially some of the lesser-known ones. The Beatles covered “Anna (Go to Him)” early in their career, and performed his hit “Soldier of Love” on their BBC radio

Album Reviews: Toy Matinee — s/t and 3rd Matinee — Meanwhile

Toy Matinee was a short-lived pop-prog/art-pop group that released a single eponymous album in 1990. With a sound halfway between Mr. Mister and Jellyfish, Toy Matinee balanced the former’s chart-oriented arrangements with the ambitious approach of the latter. The album kicks off with “Last Plane Out,” a topical (Gulf War I) tune featuring busy instrumentation