The Dave Davies Interview, Part 2

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: Did you ever feel held back or boxed in by of people’s expectations of “Oh, The Kinks should sound like this” or “they should sound like that”? Dave Davies: I think we were lucky because nobody could pigeonhole The Kinks, especially in the ’80s when there were a

Quick Takes, Part Two

More quick-take reviews … Pop Co-op – Four State Solution Making an album via file sharing – instead of the old-fashioned method of gathering in a studio – is now a well-established practice. The title of this set refers to the approach used to make it. Steve Stoeckel’s name will be familiar to pop connoisseurs;

Nada Surf Still Believes in the Rock Album

Brooklyn-based Nada Surf has been called an indie rock band and a power pop group. Drummer Ira Elliot is less concerned with how the group is labeled than he is getting in front of new audiences. And in an era when streaming playlists and downloads dominate, he and his band mates still put value in

Album Mini-review: Velvet Crush — Pre-teen Symphonies

File next to: The Smithereens, Matthew Sweet, Teenage Fanclub If they didn’t scale the heights of commercial success that some of their contemporaries reached, it was no fault of Velvet Crush. All of the ingredients for success were there: muscular playing and arrangements, razor-sharp hooks, great lead and harmony vocals, and solid songwriting. They persevered

Hundred-word Reviews for July 2016, Part 2

More quick reviews. Some good’uns in this batch, including titles from the always-reliable Omnivore Recordings. Brian Cullman – The Opposite of Time Moody and atmospheric are the first two adjectives that come to mind when spinning The Opposite of Time, the second solo album from Cullman. His day job is as music journalist; that explains

Hundred-word Reviews for June 2016, Part 3

Still more of these quickie reviews. Today’s theme is melodic rock (some call it powerpop; you decide). Michael Carpenter – The Big Radio The liner notes for this set will disappoint: it may well be Carpenter’s last album; to paraphrase, he seems to feel that his head will feel better when he stops banging it

Album Review: Eric Ambel — Lakeside

Indie cred: it’s an elusive quality, one that most artists would be pleased to possess. Indie cred connotes a level of achievement that suggests one’s work is more than ephemeral, more than disposable, worth further investigation. Once you’ve got it, if you’re the real deal, you’ll hold onto it. One fine Exhibit A for this

DVD Review: Frank Sinatra — All or Nothing at All

When I was growing up, Frank Sinatra made what was considered music for adults. I distinctly remember when his duet with daughter Nancy Sinatra, “Somethin’ Stupid,” was all over the pop airwaves back in 1967, during the Summer of Love. As I recall, it was right alongside AM radio Top 40 hits by The Mamas

Album Mini-review: Tommy Keene — Laugh in the Dark

File Next to: Marshall Crenshaw, Smithereens, Matthew Sweet A dedicated soldier in power pop’s ongoing struggle for critical and commercial success, Keene is at the top of the genre in terms of both quality and consistency. His preternatural abilities – crafting a sharp hook; wrapping it in a memorable, powerful melody; and applying heartfelt, often

Six Years of Musoscribe: Power Pop

One of my abiding musical loves – and not a guilty pleasure, not at all – is the style known as power pop. At present I even play in a band that covers the classics of the genre. Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing a number of artists associated with the genre