compilation Archive

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

Maybe it’s because I’m a writer, but when I encounter an album that includes liner notes, I tend to read before I listen. Or, at least I’ll start to read as I pop the disc into the player (or if I’m lucky, I’ll drop the needle into the groove.) And that’s the approach I took

Album Review: Jem Records Celebrates Brian Wilson

Here we go again. I’ve long held that various-artists tribute albums are by definition uneven. Some acts try to take the songs too far from their essence, stripping the songs of whatever made them special and noteworthy to begin with. Others are too slavish by half, effectively adding nothing to the discussion, making what amounts

Album Review: Peggy Lee — Something Wonderful

A casual listener might only be able to name “Fever” – and possibly “Is That All There Is” – but Peggy Lee scored a lengthy run of hit singles. The primary arc of her career ran from the early ‘40s (when she was the singer in Benny Goodman’s big band) through 1974, when she hit

Album Review: Jimmie Vaughan – The Pleasure’s All Mine

Among the wider population, Jimmie Vaughan is known as the older brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, as the founding guitarist in the Fabulous Thunderbirds and for his work with that group during its most high-profile period. But blues aficionados have long appreciated the Texas-born musician for the music he has made under his own name

Album Review: Pylon — Pylon Box

With great and due respect to R.E.M. – and, to a lesser extent, the B-52’s – there was a lot more significant musical activity going on in and around Athens, Georgia in the 1980s. For those who weren’t there, a 1987 documentary film, Athens, GA: Inside/Out offered a glimpse into the college town’s musical riches.

Boxed Set Review: Iggy and the Stooges – From KO to Chaos

In music fan and critical circles, the concept of “blues police” comes up in conversation from time to time. Simply put, blues police is a pejorative term applied to self-anointed arbiters of What Is And Is Not Blues™. These auto-deputized lawgivers would have us believe that, say, Ana Popovic isn’t blues because she didn’t grow

Album Reviews: Big Stir Singles — The Seventh and Eighth Waves

Time was, Jordan Oakes reigned as the tastemaker supreme in the powerpop world. His Yellow Pills compilation series shone a light on the very best that the genre had to offer. And the four volumes in the series – all quite expensive today if you can even find them (you can’t have mine) – hammered

Album Review: Phil “Fang” Volk — Rocker

Phil “Fang” Volk is best known as bassist for Paul Revere and the Raiders during their most high-profile era, roughly 1965-67. That’s him – the long-running group’s fourth in succession of bassists – you hear playing bass on essential cuts like “Steppin’ Out,” “Kicks,” the original version of “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone,” “Good Thing,”

Album Review: The Krayolas – Savage Young Krayolas

In the shady corners of rock’s history, there have been more than a few retro purveyors who managed to breathe new life into well-trodden styles. Occasionally, they’ve done more than bubbled under commercially: Sha Na Na and the Stray Cats are among the comparatively few who broke out in a big way. More common –

Hundred(plus)-word Reviews for November 2020, Part Four

Here’s a quick look at five new releases. Four are reissues; the other is a compilation of previously-unreleased material. All are simply superb; essential, even. For the first time in a decade-plus, I’ve allowed myself to exceed my 100-word limit. Flamin’ Groovies – Now Originally released in 1978, this album was – intentionally or not