no-cover

After so many years working in the record industry – watching and commenting on trends, watching the rise and fall of stars and their meteoric egos – it has become very easy to forget that, while the music business is a business, everyone got started in it because it was fun. For the performers, making music was fun; it was fun for everyone else too but, eventually, people started watching the bottom line  and everything started getting serious. Looked at...

Like
196
0
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
no-cover

The nature of a collaborative music effort – be it an album, concert or even something as simple as a duet – can be a dicey proposition which renders all bets off if just one variable doesn't line up. Certainly the hearts of contributors are always in the right place in the beginning; the artists likely believe in the reasoning that initially spurred the collaboration but, in some instances, their desire to turn in a performance that stands out from...

Like
180
0
Wednesday, 14 July 2010
no-cover

Since first smashing into the mainstream consciousness in 2003 with their sophomore album, Make Up The Breakdown, Hot Hot Heat has charted a surprising and unlikely course to rock stardom. Songs like “Bandages” and “No, Not Now” tread a complicated line that successfully feminized post-punk thanks to the band's ability to cross tight and succinct New Wave-y compositional themes (synths, robotic rhythms, fried lyrical repetition and singer Steve Bays' higher pitched and melodic vocals) and sublime pop savvy....

Like
150
0
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
no-cover

Those familiar with Johnny Cash's story know that, if one were to collect all of the material the singer released in just one year at the height of his career and released it, the results would be a staggering, multi-disc tome. Particularly in the '60s and '70s, Cash's schedule of appearances was enormous and the records which came from that period (Live In San Quentin and Live At Folsom Prison among them) went on to become not just cornerstone releases,...

Like
153
0
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
no-cover

Outside of Kiss and maybe The Who, no band in rock history was so perfectly able to sum up and speak to the teenaged experience as Cheap Trick was at the height of its' game. The band was able to encapsulate the sound (Kiss may always have the image locked), subject and cartoonish libido of that magic time in life when the hope of getting laid was representative of the ultimate in the human experience and the greatest sight in...

Like
142
0
Tuesday, 13 July 2010
no-cover

In case of music history, some terms are just synonymous. If someone were to say “punk,” and people instantly think of The Ramones or Sex Pistols first. If someone were to say “pop,” one of the first names that will come up is Michael Jackson – after all, he was the king of it. That same set of word association happens with the phrases “Jefferon Airplane” and “Fillmore.” In the Sixties, as hippies began to congregate in San Francisco, Jefferson...

Like
200
0
Monday, 12 July 2010
no-cover

As one of the few artists included in the Setlist series still writing and recording material in the present day, Willie Nelson's entry into the collection creates a very different impression from the rest. Now clean-shaven and occasionally photographed wearing tuxedos (check out the cover of American Classic), this Setlist album represents an excellent stitch in time; back to that period when Nelson's backing band was small, the songs were just North of vintage hill country (Nelson had drums –...

Like
172
0
Monday, 12 July 2010
no-cover

The terrifying thing about working in music journalism lies in those moments when sounds and styles of music you hated before you signed on start appearing again. When that happens, it suddenly seems possible that, soon, both radio and television airwaves may become inundated by those sounds again in the name of fashion. That possibility is bad, but even worse is that now, so many years later,  you may have to work with them on a daily basis. Such was...

Like
172
0
Monday, 12 July 2010
no-cover

What quality is it that might make a covers album good? They do exist (in fact, 99 Songs Of Revolution: Volume 1 is one of them), but what is it that qualifies one covers record as good and makes another bad? Is it song selection? Is it performance? Is it a combination of those things, in addition to very good timing on the band's part? A covers album is probably good because at least a little of each of those...

Like
150
0
Saturday, 10 July 2010
no-cover

You have to respect a musician who, even with a potentially lucrative “hired gun” job on the go in a world-class band, still feels like he needs to express his own muse, without asking any of the all-star assistance he has access to or otherwise standing on the shoulders of his “other job” to do it; that's exactly what Chris Shiflett is doing now with his Dead Peasants and listening to the band's debut is a fantastic exercise. For those...

Like
147
0
Saturday, 10 July 2010