Recent Activity
posted a review of Nirvana - From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah. 5 days ago
It's like Krist Novoselic had a crystal ball and could see all the coming greatest-hits compilations that would center "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Heart Shaped Box" and a bunch of the bland radio hits from Nevermind, so to save some people the hassle ... See full review
posted a comment that has since been deleted. 14 days ago
posted a review of The Walkabouts - Setting The Woods On Fire. 16 days ago
For some reason I really disliked this CD when I first listened to it. I think the production, which has much greater clarity and bottom, undermines the gauzy Northwest-gothic (not my term) fantasies that I found more acceptable in their cloudily mixed ... See full review
posted a review of The Walkabouts - See Beautiful Rattlesnake Gardens. 16 days ago
There are many good songs on this first Walkabouts record: the two openers reiterate the themes of escape and new beginnings that made their Sub Pop 200 track, "Got No Chains," so good. My ex-girlfriend said that "This Rotten Tree" sounds ... See full review
posted a review of Dennis Fitzpatrick - Demonstration English Mass. 24 days ago
The English chant of the monks at Mount Angel Monastery in Oregon sounds just like this, very sweet and patient and spiritual... you wonder what could've been, if Vatican II's "vernacular Mass" allowances had been carried out in the proper spirit. ... See full review
posted a comment on New Life (12) - New Life. 30 days ago
Is it track A3, “Where Is Jesus?” I think that one’s got an interesting Locrian hook
posted a review of Lone Justice - Lone Justice. about 1 month ago
Side one’s highlight is “After the Flood,” with its winsome roots-rock feel, and “East of Eden” and “Ways to Be Wicked” are almost as lethally catchy. But side two is the real heart of the first “Lone Justice” record, beginning with one of those great ... See full review
posted a review of Lead Belly* Accompanied By Sonny Terry - Songs By Lead Belly. about 1 month ago
A great set of recordings. My favorites are his grim, resigned “Good Morning Blues” and “Ain’t You Glad,” the only song where Sonny Terry sounds properly integrated into the arrangement. They’re so catchy that I’ve learned five of them for guitar just ... See full review
posted a review of King Crimson - The Compact King Crimson. about 1 month ago
I’m glad to find that Robert Fripp, though he made the worst of them, has such good taste in his own band’s recordings. The Belew period is my favorite so I mostly stick to the first disc, which has retained exactly the right Discipline songs and added a ... See full review
submitted Barre Phillips - Journal Violone II. about 1 month ago
posted a review of Neil Young & Crazy Horse - Sleeps With Angels. about 1 month ago
A shambling achievement, a document of the end of suburbs, prosperity, prom night, riding with the boys, and “the dream” — Lou Reed’s snotty prophecy that “Jenny’s life [would be] saved by rock and roll,” cruelly voided. Hear how crusty Neil’s beloved ... See full review
posted a comment on Norma Tanega - Walkin' My Cat Named Dog. about 1 month ago
Plus it’s a really good record... it looks like throwaway children’s music at first, but once you put it on it becomes clear that Norma Tanega knew a bit about music theory and had a real ear for melody. (The fact that it was mostly bought for children ... See full review
posted a review of Soundgarden - Echo Of Miles The Originals. 2 months ago
The edges seem to have been sanded off these masterings, they're more antiseptic than some of the originals -- the "Birth Ritual" of the Singles soundtrack, for example, sounds much more raucous (though more tinny, with less body) than the version on ... See full review
posted a comment on Pylon (4) - Hits. 2 months ago
The mastering on this version seems really quiet and a little grainy, I have to turn my car stereo up to half of its potential volume before I hear much detail. On the other hand, I haven’t listened enough to determine whether this is only the case for ... See full review
posted a comment on Various - God Don't Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson. 2 months ago
Great takedown of Waits (his voice and artistic persona irritate me for the same reason, "trying to impress the naive"), but I hope you knew there are other performers on the compilation.
posted a review of Susie Suh - Susie Suh. 2 months ago
Joan Didion wrote a great essay about how post-WWII California is decaying into a desert full of suburbs and mallplexes, haunted by tribes of feral youth. The gangs are certainly present here in central Cal, but the prophecy hasn't come to pass — most of ... See full review
posted a comment on The Sea Urchins - Stardust. 2 months ago
Seven of the eleven tracks can be bought on Bandcamp for a few pounds:
posted a review of John Michael Talbot & Terry Talbot - No Longer Strangers. 2 months ago
If you’re not a Christian and you like this record, that’s fine. Personally I think that it has its moments and the arrangements can get pretty cheesy, though harping on that misses the point. But the full significance of its lyrics is really only ... See full review
posted a review of Soundgarden - Down On The Upside. 2 months ago
Arguably the White Album to Superunknown’s Revolver: it pastiches and salutes various rock subgenres, sounds less bleak and technological, and scatters alternative-rock gems among the experiments. These gems are Chris Cornell’s sad-Beatles singles, ... See full review
posted a review of Ann Reed - Timing Is Everything. 3 months ago
On this CD there are no despondent Randy Newman vignettes, no John Prine wordplay, no riot grrl dada — just sweet stories and arguments which Ann Reed sings over shockingly simple chords. The arrangements are attractive and uncluttered, and the swing is ... See full review
submitted Pylon (4) - Hits. 3 months ago
submitted The Police - Synchronicity. 3 months ago
posted a review of Ornette Coleman And Prime Time (5) - Virgin Beauty. 3 months ago
My personal favorite Ornette album. It seems at first listen like one of those "sellout records" that washed-up Anglophone rock stars made in the eighties, but it's tougher and more lovingly crafted than that. Evidence is the dozens of little arrangement ... See full review
posted a review of Cain Marko - Show Me The Way To Go Home. 3 months ago
Recently I found this at the bottom of my Bandcamp wishlist, I must’ve put it there in 2014 or ‘15. I was blown away when I played it back: the songwriters stuff stanzas full of the usual heart-wrenching, painfully literate Midwest-emo bildungsromanen, ... See full review
posted a comment on John Fahey & His Orchestra - Old Fashioned Love. 3 months ago
“Jaya Shiva Shankarah” is based not on a Hindu chant, but on the 1967 song “Been Here and Gone So Soon” by the Insect Trust. Their guitar player Bill Barth was good friends with John Fahey.
posted a review of Catie Curtis - A Crash Course In Roses. 4 months ago
There are two hidden bonus tracks within "Start Again": a short and fetching four-chord tune, titled "Fusco's Song" according to Amazon MP3, and a Lydian banjo squib. The first half strings several great songs together, especially "Gave Me Love," "Fall ... See full review
posted a comment on Swans - To Be Kind. 4 months ago
I agree, after listening for four years I've come to a similar conclusion (though auditioning their earlier CD "The Burning World" helped this along). The Swans just don't know how to jam responsively, or to build excitement except by playing louder.
posted a review of Bad Brains - I Against I. 4 months ago
“I Against I” is a great manifesto-record — the politics here are localist, religiously derived, sustainable and righteously angry. I’d love to see crowds singing “He that oppress reproach his Maker/He that honor him have mercy on the poor.” The music is ... See full review
posted a review of Bad Brains - Banned In D.C.: Bad Brains Greatest Riffs. 4 months ago
I was scared of this CD when I first bought it in middle school. Now it makes me want to skate and mosh. The compilers have astoundingly good taste and have selected the best versions of all of these songs, at least to my ear. I could live without the ... See full review
posted a review of The B-52's - The B-52's. 4 months ago
Not much bass on either the CD or vinyl issues, though each has its usual sonic merits and demerits. As for the songs I prefer “52 Girls,” “Dance This Mess Around,” and the first four tracks of side 2 to the famous singles.
posted a review of Beki Hemingway - Too Much Plenty. 4 months ago
I like how Beki tries to address working-class problems in songs like “Grip” or “Mary Alice,” where most alt-rock gurls would be writing about undergraduate theory stuff. She does treat their other main topic, boyfriends, with an anti-psychological verve ... See full review
submitted ویگن - خزان / باباکر م. 5 months ago
submitted Various - Untitled. 5 months ago
submitted Dvořák*, Smetana* – Alban Berg Quartett - String Quartets: Opp. 96 "American", 51 & 105 / String Quartet No. 1 "From My Life". 5 months ago
submitted The Third Angle Percussion Quartet - The Junkyard Concert. 5 months ago
posted a review of Dock Boggs - The Legendary Dock Boggs. 5 months ago
There are minor songs on this record, like “New Prisoner’s Song” and “Mistreated Mama Blues,” but even those have winning old melodies. The major songs form the greater part of “The Legendary Dock Boggs,” and boy do they earn it — listen to his chilling ... See full review
posted a review of Jennifer Knapp - Lay It Down. 6 months ago
Very good pop-praise music from before it got sentimental and sludgy and atmospheric, and an argument from practice that culture is religiously derived and serves its proper end only when it drinks from the spring of God. "Lay It Down" synthesizes many ... See full review
posted a review of Maximillian Colby - Maximillian Colby. 6 months ago
I think I get the concept now... this music is entirely formal, entirely geared towards dynamics. Tonal music, lyrics, all of that can take a flying leap: Maximilian Colby was all about building tension by repeating passages, a little louder each time, ... See full review
submitted Junichi Inagaki - Super Best: Single Hits Collection. 6 months ago
posted a review of Cory Case - Waiting On A Remedy. 6 months ago
Side 1 is mostly Cory Case's attempts at Beatlesy pop and harmonies -- decent but not great. Instead he showed his real hand on the second side, which features a lot of quality roots-rock. If you like the first side, check out Zack Freitas. I wish he ... See full review
posted a comment on Mastodon - Blood Mountain. 7 months ago
With their tetralogy of early records Mastodon reminds us that four classical elements make up the universe: fire, water, campfire stories and air
posted a review of Alice In Chains - Facelift. 7 months ago
I don't mind that in some cases (especially on side 2) the verses are just set-ups for the chorus, because every song has a demented and catchy hook sung in eerie fourth harmonies and because "Facelift" is peak Layne Staley, from before he began to pity ... See full review
posted a review of Beloved (US)* - Failure On. 7 months ago
I was too hard on "Failure On" in my previous opinion. This is a *decent* Christian post-hardcore record, with only a few dead spots in songs like "Rise and Fall" and "Inner Pattern." Otherwise they have at least one good riff apiece, and several like ... See full review
posted a review of Bedlam Rovers - Roll Over. 7 months ago
I cherish "Roll Over" because it sets up the successful handshake between two bitterly desired utopias: the pride of communitarian country folk and the localist, sometimes working-class defiance of the Anglosphere rock underground. It updates Bob Dylan's ... See full review
submitted Kimber Clayton - Good Girls Love Bad Boys - Club Mixes. 7 months ago
submitted Phi Nhung - Đôi Ngã Chia Ly. 7 months ago
posted a review of Lodestar (4) - Lodestar. 7 months ago
Hard to believe a release this good has flown so far under the radar! The songs are light on their feet, high and clear, not at all mopey or plodding or predictable. (Some minor-label country rock from the period -- thinking of Santa Fe's first album, ... See full review
submitted Patrick Sky - Patrick Sky. 7 months ago
submitted Paul Bley / Steve Swallow / Jimmy Giuffre - The Life Of A Trio: Saturday. 8 months ago
posted a review of Anton Bruckner, Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra*, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski - Symphony In F Minor. 8 months ago
I think this is the version that Amazon sells, and thus the one that predominates in the U.S. market. Amazing version of the double zero symphony, by the way