pop Archive

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

The Rubinoos’ Pop-punk Nugget is Unearthed

It wasn’t just punk that arose as an alternative to what many viewed as the overblown, corporate-flavored excess of 1970s rock. Along with punk, a kind of proto-indie pop was bubbling under. And a notable laboratory for those endeavors was Beserkley Records. Founded in 1973 by Matthew King Kaufman, Beserkley introduced the likes of Earth

EP Review: The Checkered Hearts — Joystick

The two musicians involved in this modest project were clearly having a good time. Singers and multi-instrumentalists Hillary Burton and Lisa Mychols are, I think we can assume, persons of a certain age, and this EP is a cheery look back at some of the music than informed tier own sensibilities. “The Cars’ “My Best

From One Stage to Another: Izzi Hughes

Though she’s barely into her 20s and still in school, Hendersonville native Izzi Hughes is a seasoned performer. Gaining experience in musical theatre and acting as a youngster, she first appeared onstage fronting a rock band, Calculated Error, when she was just 10 years old. Izzi doesn’t come from a musical family; needless to say,

30 Days Out, July 2021 #1: Black Joe Lewis, Women of Synthpop, Japanese Breakfast, Songwriters in the Round

Touring artists are getting back into the swing of things. That means that this roundup of live music in Asheville features two national acts. The other two spotlighted shows each present three local artists. A nice mix here of singer-songwriter, electronica, blues and modern pop. And though Ididn’t plain it this way, of the eight

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: The Legal Matters – Chapter Three

This record is the third release from the Michigan trio. And this my third time writing a review of their material. Guess why? Because Andy Reed, Chris Richards and Keith Klingensmith have a demonstrated ability to write, play and sing highly melodic rockin’ tunes. The cheery “Light Up the Sky” hints that Chapter Three is

Home is Where the Synths Are: Sunset Lines Reinvents, Again

From arena-hopping festival headliners to the local garage band, COVID-19 forced musicians of all stripes to rethink, reorganize, and regroup. Fortunately for Liz Brooks and Paul McCorkle, the core duo behind Bay Area synth-pop project Sunset Lines, by the time the pandemic shuttered venues across the country they were already accustomed to starting over. The

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

30 Days Out, June 2021 #2: Supatight, Min Xiao-Fen, Love Bubble, Dots

Welcome back to the world, friends. I have some exciting musical news to share. I’m happy to say that the four shows spotlighted below are merely a slice of your live music options in Asheville, N.C. over the next thirty days. And while there are plenty of options, these four come with the Musoscribe seal