rawk Archive

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

Book Review: Rock and Roll Explorer Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Area

San Francisco has a rich and varied cultural history. The city by the Bay has been home to a long succession of cultural scenes, from the Beat poets to the psychedelic explosion to the punk and new wave phenomenon of the late ‘70s and early 1980s. Relevant to my own interests, I’m writing a book

30 Days Out, May 2021 #1: Mayday AVL, the Wooks, DeeOhGee, Doom Flamingo

The time last year the term social distancing was just starting to creep into wide usage. And use of the term pods to describe clusters of seating at concerts was a thoroughly alien concept. But here we are heading toward the middle of 2021, and while live shows are indeed returning, the ground rules are

Album Review: Badfinger — No Matter What: Revisiting the Hits

The appearance of this CD in my mailbox elicited a cringe: would it be terrible? A crass attempt to capitalize on the reputation of a band that made some of the best music of its era? An undistinguished, middling effort? Something else? The cover art and packaging did not allay my fears. A Union Jack?

Album Review: The Mommyheads — Coming Into Beauty

If you’re not familiar with the Mommyheads, try this: imagine a cross between the quirky intelligence of They Might Be Giants, the sophisticated use of studio-as-instrument of Talking Heads, and the enduring pop sensibility of Todd Rundgren (more on that last bit presently). The Brooklyn band was active from the tail-end of the 1980s through

Album Review – Gerald Gradwohl Group — Episode 6

What might it sound like if Metallica was influenced by Allan Holdsworth? The answer might just be Episode 6, the new album by the Gerald Grawhol Group. But then Metallica have not (to my knowledge) worked saxophone into their sound. This Austrian four-piece led by guitarist Gradwohl does feature tenor sax right alongside bass and

Album Review: Too Much Joy — Mistakes Were Made

I’m long past the point of being surprised when I discover a new (now to me, that is) group that’s been making great music for years. But I’m certainly still pleased when it happens. I had somehow never heard of Too Much Joy until this CD arrived in my mailbox. As I soon came to

30 Days Out, April 2021 #2: Ashley Heath, Day & Dream, Hustle Souls, Travers Brothership

Well, it looks as if live music has now truly returned, after a fashion. Social distancing remains in effect, but the warmer weather opens up opportunities to enjoy live music in (relative) safety. For this welcome-back edition of 30 Days Out, I’m focusing on all local acts. Artist: Ashley Heath and Her Heathens Venue: The

With Live Concerts on Hold, Todd Rundgren Employs Technology as Something to Fall Back On

This concert review appeared previously in PROG Magazine. Sidelined by the pandemic, multigenre hero Todd Rundgren did what he often does: he looked to technology to provide human connection. And in 2021 that means mounting a live stream concert. But not a pajamas-at-home acoustic affair; no, for Rundgren the “Clearly Human” tour would deliver all

Todd Rundgren’s 1989 album ‘Nearly Human’ gets a Covid-era 2nd Wind

Even in the face of widespread venue closures, Todd Rundgren has found a way to bring live music to his fans. His run of shows had one of its final dates when he played for a Bay Area audience on March 19. But he and his band didn’t come to San Francisco; they were in