The Beatles, “Only a Northern Song” from Yellow Submarine (1967): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Only a Northern Song” from Yellow Submarine (1967): Deep Beatles

October 16, 2017

The Beatles’ “Only a Northern Song” may be “a little dark and out of key,” as George Harrison proclaims, but only in the most intriguing sense.

Adam Larson, saxophonist and band leader: Something Else! Interview

Adam Larson, saxophonist and band leader: Something Else! Interview

September 10, 2017

Adam Larson discusses his 2017 album ‘Second City,’ its creation – including the decision to cover a song by Nirvana – and his future plans.

Here’s Chippy – Things We Left Behind (2018): Something Else! Sneak Peek

Here’s Chippy – Things We Left Behind (2018): Something Else! Sneak Peek

September 28, 2017

Hooky hard-rocking tunes, loaded with nifty noodlings, humming with momentum and good timing is where Chip Muellemann’s heart and soul resides.

Mostly Other People Do The Killing – Paint (2017)

Mostly Other People Do The Killing – Paint (2017)

October 14, 2017

After the septet outing ‘Loafer’s Hollow’, Moppa Elliot makes “less is more” the mantra for the trio feature ‘Paint’. Which only goes to show that size really doesn’t matter with Mostly Other People Do The Killing; only gumption does.

Ross Hammond and Jon Bafus – Masonic Lawn (2017)

Ross Hammond and Jon Bafus – Masonic Lawn (2017)

October 16, 2017

For ‘Masonic Lawn,’ Hammond uses Resonator guitars to hold an extemporaneous musical dialogue with Bafus.

Crown Larks – Population (2017)

Crown Larks – Population (2017)

August 5, 2017

Often compared to psychedelic post-rock outfits like Broadcast and Oneida, Chicago’s own Crown Larks can be thought of as jazz’s answer to Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger, or indie rock’s answer to Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time, depending on

Dream Syndicate – How Did I Find Myself Here? (2017)

Dream Syndicate – How Did I Find Myself Here? (2017)

October 20, 2017

In some ways, the new Dream Syndicate album is understood less as a singular release and better in the context of Steve Wynn’s overall career.

Pink Floyd – The Wall, February 7, 1980: Shows I’ll Never Forget

Pink Floyd – The Wall, February 7, 1980: Shows I’ll Never Forget

October 8, 2017

Pink Floyd created a signature concert experience during their first performances of ‘The Wall,’ but I was lucky to have been there at all.

Living Colour – Shade (2017)

Living Colour – Shade (2017)

September 11, 2017

Is ‘Shade’ the best ever Living Colour album? Maybe, but that’s such a tall order.

Noah Jack, “Neighborhood” (2017): One Track Mind

Noah Jack, “Neighborhood” (2017): One Track Mind

October 8, 2017

The things that an autistic person like Noah Jack can achieve can astound you. Listening to “Neighborhood” is all the proof you need of that.

Jonny Lang – Signs (2017)

Jonny Lang – Signs (2017)

September 1, 2017

Older, wiser and brimming with confidence, Jonny Lang makes his strongest case yet for his early fans who fell in love with that high school phenom to come running back to him. In 2017, ‘Signs’ fulfills the promise of 1997.

Bob Dylan’s Trouble No More: I Haven’t Heard It, But I Already Have Issues

Bob Dylan’s Trouble No More: I Haven’t Heard It, But I Already Have Issues

September 27, 2017

Columbia Records touts the gospel-focused ‘Trouble No More’ as the “definitive retrospective of a pivotal period” in Bob Dylan’s canon. It’s not.

Chicago + Al Green, “Tired of Being Alone” (1973): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago + Al Green, “Tired of Being Alone” (1973): Saturdays in the Park

July 1, 2017

“Tired of Being Alone” has the greatest lead vocal on any officially released Chicago song – and that’s an insult to no one.

Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ – Tajmo (2017)

Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ – Tajmo (2017)

May 5, 2017

With Taj Mahal and Keb Mo’s ‘Tajmo,’ you have two folk/blues legends, two generations – and one marvelous meeting.

Yes, “Big Generator” from Big Generator (1987): YESterdays

Yes, “Big Generator” from Big Generator (1987): YESterdays

October 17, 2017

“Big Generator,” the title track from Yes’ 12th studio album, seems desperate in its need to sound modern.

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, “Only a Northern Song” from Yellow Submarine (1967): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Only a Northern Song” from Yellow Submarine (1967): Deep Beatles

October 16, 2017

The Beatles’ “Only a Northern Song” may be “a little dark and out of key,” as George Harrison proclaims, but only in the most intriguing sense.

Bruce Springsteen – The River (1980): Gimme Five

Bruce Springsteen – The River (1980): Gimme Five

October 18, 2015

When Bruce Springsteen issued ‘The River’ in October of 1980, I didn’t like it very much. Time has changed that – and here’s why.

Levon and the Hawks, “He Don’t Love You” (1965): Across the Great Divide

Levon and the Hawks, “He Don’t Love You” (1965): Across the Great Divide

October 22, 2015

The Band, then known as Levon and the Hawks, released a few forgotten songs before heading to that basement with Bob Dylan. Here’s one of the best.

Toto, “Love Has the Power” from Past to Present (1990): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Love Has the Power” from Past to Present (1990): Toto Tuesdays

October 10, 2017

Toto’s greatest-hits album included bonus tracks with yet another new singer. Jean-Michel Byron wasn’t around long, but he left a lasting impression.

(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.”

Chicago, “Brand New Love Affair, Parts I and II” from Chicago VIII (1975): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Brand New Love Affair, Parts I and II” from Chicago VIII (1975): Saturdays in the Park

October 21, 2017

Road weary and dying for a day off, Chicago still manages to address both their jazz roots and rock and roll side in a single composition.

China Crisis, “Tragedy & Mystery” from Working With Fire and Steel (2017 reissue): One Track Mind

China Crisis, “Tragedy & Mystery” from Working With Fire and Steel (2017 reissue): One Track Mind

October 11, 2017

China Crisis’ ‘Working with Fire and Steel’ has been expanded with two bonus discs that are equally as enchanting as the original release.

Pink Floyd – The Wall, February 7, 1980: Shows I’ll Never Forget

Pink Floyd – The Wall, February 7, 1980: Shows I’ll Never Forget

October 8, 2017

Pink Floyd created a signature concert experience during their first performances of ‘The Wall,’ but I was lucky to have been there at all.

Rock and Roll Music, by the Beatles, Stones, Oasis, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Odd Couples

Rock and Roll Music, by the Beatles, Stones, Oasis, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Odd Couples

June 25, 2017

For us, rock and roll was a term applied to music of the 1950s such as Elvis Presley or Chuck Berry – and was strictly to be avoided.

Savatage – Fight for the Rock (1986): Metal Meltdowns

Savatage – Fight for the Rock (1986): Metal Meltdowns

April 19, 2017

‘Fight for the Rock’ almost put Savatage’s career in a coffin before we got their best work.

Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick (1977); We’re All Alright! (2017): Shadows in Stereo

Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick (1977); We’re All Alright! (2017): Shadows in Stereo

July 21, 2017

Cheap Trick’s ‘We’re All Alright!’ does what so few late-career albums are able to do: tap into what made a band great in the first place.

I Thought I Knew Something About the Beatles

I Thought I Knew Something About the Beatles

September 15, 2017

Tom Wilmeth takes a deep dive into the expanded edition of Mark Lewisohn’s ‘The Beatles – All These Years, Vol. 1: Tune In.’

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Moby, Eddie Vedder + others – Change Begins Within (2017)

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Moby, Eddie Vedder + others – Change Begins Within (2017)

September 8, 2017

‘Change Begins Within’ shines when these artists appear onstage together, clearly reveling in their collegiality.

The Wild One, Forever: In Appreciation of Tom Petty

The Wild One, Forever: In Appreciation of Tom Petty

October 5, 2017

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers represented what we strive for across so many aspects of our lives: consistency, dependability, and longevity.

Halloween Howlers from Guadalcanal Diary, Joy Division, Jim Stafford + others: Gimme Five

Halloween Howlers from Guadalcanal Diary, Joy Division, Jim Stafford + others: Gimme Five

October 29, 2016

Let’s stalk through the rock ‘n’ roll graveyard and dig up some of the scariest music on this side of the mortal curtain from Joy Division and others.