Michael Dease – Decisions (2015)

Michael Dease – Decisions (2015)

August 29, 2015

A model of consistency, style and grace, Michael Dease stays at the head of the class among jazz trombonists with his seventh album, ‘Decisions.’

Craig Scott’s Lobotomy – War Is A Racket (2015)

Craig Scott’s Lobotomy – War Is A Racket (2015)

August 12, 2015

What do you get when you cross Captain Beefheart with Sun Ra, Negativland and the Residents? Hang on to your hats, the Craig Scott Lobotomy has arrived.

Mike Pride – Listening Party (2015)

Mike Pride – Listening Party (2015)

August 29, 2015

Mike Pride states, “making this solo record has been a total mind-bender.” Listening to ‘Listening Party’ is a mind-bender as well.

The Louisianna Superdome is surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005 in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)

Dr. John, Preservation Hall + others: Music framed initial journey past Hurricane Katrina

August 29, 2015

In the period immediately after New Orleans’ levees failed under Hurricane Katrina’s onslaught beginning on Aug. 29, 2005, musicians began trying to make sense of things.

Alan Parsons Project, “Lucifer” from Eve (1979): One Track Mind

Alan Parsons Project, “Lucifer” from Eve (1979): One Track Mind

August 27, 2015

The Alan Parsons Project’s ‘Eve’ arrived on August 27, 1979 with a life-changing – or, at the very least, an ear drum-rearranging – instrumental.

Motley Crue – Theatre of Pain (1985): On Second Thought

Motley Crue – Theatre of Pain (1985): On Second Thought

August 28, 2015

Motley Crue’s ‘Theatre of Pain’ doesn’t equal the power of ‘Shout at the Devil’ or the sleazy fun of ‘Dr. Feelgood,’ but it’s worth another listen.

The Beatles, “Thank You Girl” (1963): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Thank You Girl” (1963): Deep Beatles

August 28, 2015

Passed over as an A-side, “Thank You Girl” illustrated the foundational role the blues, R&B, and early rock ‘n’ roll played in the Beatles’ early sound.

Journey, “Faith in the Heartland” from Generations (2005): One Track Mind

Journey, “Faith in the Heartland” from Generations (2005): One Track Mind

August 29, 2015

On this standout cut from ‘Generations,’ released on August 29, 2005, Journey returned to a familiar theme – and, in turn, recalled past glories.

The Apples in Stereo – The Discovery of a World Inside the Moone (2000): Forgotten Series

The Apples in Stereo – The Discovery of a World Inside the Moone (2000): Forgotten Series

August 24, 2015

Sweet and sparkly vocals, supported by swarms of sunny harmonies, make Apples in Stereo songs easy to love.

Robbie Robertson + Rick Danko, “Hold Back the Dawn” (1991): Across the Great Divide

Robbie Robertson + Rick Danko, “Hold Back the Dawn” (1991): Across the Great Divide

August 6, 2015

A moving turn by former Band mate Rick Danko gives shape to a yearning at the center of Robbie Robertson’s darkly mysterious “Hold Back the Dawn.”

Steely Dan Sunday: Katy Lied turns 40 this month

Steely Dan Sunday: Katy Lied turns 40 this month

March 8, 2015

This month, Steely Dan’s ‘Katy Lied’ turned 40 years old. Here are some reasons why it’s good enough to overcome an infamous mixing fiasco.

The Beatles, “Thank You Girl” (1963): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Thank You Girl” (1963): Deep Beatles

August 28, 2015

Passed over as an A-side, “Thank You Girl” illustrated the foundational role the blues, R&B, and early rock ‘n’ roll played in the Beatles’ early sound.

Bruce Springsteen’s Working On A Dream remains deeply misunderstood

Bruce Springsteen’s Working On A Dream remains deeply misunderstood

January 27, 2015

With ‘Working On A Dream,’ released six years ago today, Bruce Springsteen continued an intriguing journey back to the music of his formative years.

Yes, “Clear Days” from Time and a Word (1970): YESterdays

Yes, “Clear Days” from Time and a Word (1970): YESterdays

August 18, 2015

Jon Anderson has written a few classic Yes songs by himself. Sadly, “Clear Days” from the 1970 release ‘Time and a Word’ is not one of them.

Toto, “Lorraine” from Hydra (1979): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Lorraine” from Hydra (1979): Toto Tuesdays

August 11, 2015

I’d argue ‘Hydra’ did more to establish Toto’s style and sound than their debut. The complex and entertaining “Lorraine” is exemplary of that.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Offramp” (1981)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Offramp” (1981)

June 7, 2014

Some think Metheny is joking around, that he couldn’t possibly like “all of this noise.”

The Louisianna Superdome is surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005 in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)

Dr. John, Preservation Hall + others: Music framed initial journey past Hurricane Katrina

August 29, 2015

In the period immediately after New Orleans’ levees failed under Hurricane Katrina’s onslaught beginning on Aug. 29, 2005, musicians began trying to make sense of things.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s complex, hypnotic Greendale revived the concept album

Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s complex, hypnotic Greendale revived the concept album

August 19, 2015

Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s ‘Greendale,’ released on August 19, 2003, explored murder, art and intrigue in a mythical coastal California town.

Everything came together for JJ Grey and Mofro on the swampy, soulful Georgia Warhorse

Everything came together for JJ Grey and Mofro on the swampy, soulful Georgia Warhorse

August 24, 2015

JJ Grey and Mofro started out as a very good band. ‘Georgia Warhorse,’ released on August 24, 2010, catapulted them to greatness.

Joan Baez – Gracias a la Vida (1974): Forgotten Series

Joan Baez – Gracias a la Vida (1974): Forgotten Series

July 24, 2015

In September 1973, Chilean folk singer Victor Jara was brutally murdered, moving Joan Baez to produce a final homage and farewell.

The Louisianna Superdome is surrounded by floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina Thursday, Sept. 1, 2005 in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, Pool)

Dr. John, Preservation Hall + others: Music framed initial journey past Hurricane Katrina

August 29, 2015

In the period immediately after New Orleans’ levees failed under Hurricane Katrina’s onslaught beginning on Aug. 29, 2005, musicians began trying to make sense of things.

Rain Songs by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Blind Lemon, Led Zeppelin + others: Odd Couples

Rain Songs by the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Blind Lemon, Led Zeppelin + others: Odd Couples

May 9, 2015

Selecting the best-ever rock ‘n’ roll rain song is no easy task. So, we put them all in one heavyweight tournament to see which was best.

Images of America: Southern California Surf Music 1960-1966, by John Blair (2015)

Images of America: Southern California Surf Music 1960-1966, by John Blair (2015)

August 1, 2015

Packed with cool pictures of musicians, vinyl, guitars and gig posters, John Blair’s ‘Southern California Surf Music 1960-1966’ is a surf rock bible.

Act unnaturally: The Beatles’ Ringo Starr in the movies

Act unnaturally: The Beatles’ Ringo Starr in the movies

June 20, 2015

When you ask Ringo Starr about his movie career, he’s happy to talk about ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and ‘Help!’ Bill DeYoung’s look back shows that’s probably for the best.

John Belushi originally thought Steve Cropper was a roadie: ‘The guy with the long hair?’

John Belushi originally thought Steve Cropper was a roadie: ‘The guy with the long hair?’

July 19, 2015

John Belushi actually met Stax legend Steve Cropper early into putting together the Blues Brothers band. But he assumed Cropper was someone else.

Exploring Deep Cuts from the Band’s Underrated Stage Fright: Gimme Five

Exploring Deep Cuts from the Band’s Underrated Stage Fright: Gimme Five

August 17, 2015

‘Stage Fright,’ issued on August 17, 1970, was the Band’s highest-charting LP. But there’s still much to discover inside these overlooked moments.

Yes’ Chris Squire was the quintessential rock star and consummate musician

Yes’ Chris Squire was the quintessential rock star and consummate musician

July 27, 2015

Mike Tiano shares personal memories of the late Chris Squire, as well as a classic interview that sheds new light on the Yes stalwart’s towering legacy.