new release Archive

The Reds, Pinks and Purples’ Listener-friendly Depresso Pop

Glenn Donaldson is prolific. Maybe not quite Robert Pollard or R. Stevie Moore prolific, but the man records and releases a lot of music. The Skygreen Leopards, his psych-folk collaboration with fellow multi-instrumentalist Donovan Quinn, put out seven albums in eight years, plus another in 2014. Another duo, The Art Museums, featured Donaldson working with

Echodrone: All About Texture and Density

While Echodrone’s music fits into the mold commonly called shoegaze, there’s more going on in the arrangements. There’s a sense of the dramatic amid the shimmering, reverb-soaked guitars and icy yet expressive vocals. There’s a soaring, majestic, wide-screen feel to the eight songs on Resurgence, the group’s eighth full-length release. “Eugene [Suh, guitar] and I

Steep Canyon Rangers: Arm in Arm with Their Fans

This feature appeared previously in Bold Life Magazine. Steep Canyon Rangers have been on a roll of late. Over the last decade, the North Carolina group has released an album of new music on a nearly annual basis. March 2020 saw the release of Be Still Moses, which is – depending on how one counts

Album Review: Last Days of April – Even the Good Days Are Bad

If one were to combine hooky songwriting, a lush pop landscape and a bit of shoegaze, the result might approach Last Days of April’s Even the Good Days Are Bad. The downbeat message of its title notwithstanding, this is a lovely collection of emotion-laden tunes that feature indelible melodic lines. There’s a pleasing variety to

Album Review: The Armoires — Incognito

There’s a proud and creatively fertile tradition in rock’n’roll: playing dress-up, assuming an alter ego. The Beatles may have done it first with Sgt. Pepper, and six months later The Who’s The Who Sell Out found them (sort of) taking on the identity of a pirate radio station. Unmasked by no less a figure than

Retired Fire Eater Seeks Doom/stoner Metal Band: Slow Machine, the Craigslist Quintet

An edited version of this feature appeared previously in SF Weekly. How does a new band – combining a Portuguese-speaking former fire eater and an instrumental quartet that plays stoner metal – get started during a pandemic? Through Craigslist, of course. Oakland-based band Slow Machine has just released its debut EP, Black Tide, and the

Album Review: District 97 — Screenplay

Like, I suspect, more than a few potential listeners, I looked askance at District 97 when I first heard of them more than a decade ago. What possible skill could a former American Idol finalist display in the progressive rock idiom? Well, I and others like me were quickly set right: Leslie Hunt has an

Album Review: Chris Church – Game Dirt

Chris Church is that rare musical auteur who succeeds at most everything to which he applies his talents. And his body of work resolutely resists pigeonholing; he’s done everything from metal to prog to powerpop to .. well, you get the idea. And carrying forth the proud tradition forged by Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Emitt

Album Review: Your Academy

At the risk of over-indulging in generalities and attempting to make things neater than they really are, when one thinks of American powerpop, the style can – to some extent – be further divided into regional styles. There’s the L.A. skinny-tie new wave variety, exemplified by The (Paul Collins) Beat. There’s the Midwestern style, including

Album Review: Scott Helland — Guitarmy of One

I’m very much a fan of spy/detective/crime/noir-style music. I was over the moon when I discovered someone – Derrick Bang – had written a book about it. I was every bit as pleased when nearly as pleased when Jean-Michel Bernard crated an album-length tribute to one of its chief practitioners, Lalo Schifrin. And I was