pop Archive

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

Album Review: Johnathan Pushkar – Compositions

File Under: Too twee for me, but perhaps not for thee. This by-the-numbers powerpop album would seem to have all the requisite elements: catchy choruses, creamy vocal harmonies, and a sunny, upbeat disposition. But there’s something just too saccharine about the whole thing. When The SpongeTones made Beatle-y music, it was inspired. When the That

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

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

Album Review: The Milk and Honey Band – Songs From Truleigh Hill

The Milk & Honey Band first came to my attention well more than a decade ago when Andy Partridge (formerly of XTC) released their album Dog Eared Moonlight on his Ape label. I was immediately won over by the group’s sound, which as I mentioned at the time – Partridge described as “a bit like

Album Reviews: Two featuring Fernando Perdomo

In this post-major-label era when many of the so-called barriers to entry have been swept away, the fact that a recording artist is prolific doesn’t provide a reliable indicator as to the quality of that output. When you get right down to it, anybody can “release” anything they want, whenever they like. So it’s important

Concert Review: Peter Noone, Hendersonville NC, May 9 2021

Not counting Todd Rundgren’s “virtual concert” in Pittsburgh, the last time I wrote a review of a live performance was in December 2019, when I saw Rodrigo y Gabriela tear things up (semi-acoustically) in Asheville, North Carolina. The last time I witnessed a live music performance was a festival my wife and I happened upon

Album Review: The Boys With the Perpetual Nervousness — Songs From Another Life

Something about this outfits name immediately brings to mind the gentle approach of bands like Belle and Sebastian. And as it turns out, that snap judgment isn’t too wide of the mark. Imagine if Teenage Fanclub dialed back the shaggy roar of their guitars, opting instead for Rickenbacker jangle. A tasty proposition, that, and one