Hokey Smokes! June Foray Turns 99

Hokey Smokes! June Foray Turns 99

September 24, 2016

Mike Tiano explores the legacy of June Foray, the heralded voice actor best known as the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel.

Armando Perez, of Esso Afrojam Funkbeat: Something Else! Interview

Armando Perez, of Esso Afrojam Funkbeat: Something Else! Interview

September 1, 2016

Armando Perez discusses the new project by the Chicago-based funk band Esso Afrojam Funkbeat, and how the issues facing immigrants shape their work.

Huntertones, “Circles” from Live (2016): Something Else! sneak peek

Huntertones, “Circles” from Live (2016): Something Else! sneak peek

September 12, 2016

It’s hard to imagine Ohio’s funky jazz-rock sextet Huntertones sounding any better than this. And that’s saying something.

Bobby Kapp + Matthew Shipp – Cactus (2016)

Bobby Kapp + Matthew Shipp – Cactus (2016)

September 4, 2016

Finding simpatico between improvising piano and drums probably isn’t so easy to pull off convincingly, but Bobby Kapp and Matthew Shipp make it seem that way.

Carl Weingarten – An Endless Premonition (2016)

Carl Weingarten – An Endless Premonition (2016)

September 25, 2016

When Carl Weingarten decides to create his soundscapes with little or no augmentation from others, it’s a flair that can be appreciated and enjoyed at its maximum potential.

Merzbow / Haino / Pandi – An Untroublesome Defencelessness (2016)

Merzbow / Haino / Pandi – An Untroublesome Defencelessness (2016)

July 19, 2016

‘An Untroublesome Defencelessness’ features the collective wisdom of Merzbow, Keiji Haino and Balazs Pandi – three visionary musicians who have made careers out of embracing uncharted territory.

Danny Says: A Documentary on the Life and Times of Danny Fields (2016): Movies

Danny Says: A Documentary on the Life and Times of Danny Fields (2016): Movies

September 25, 2016

The aptly titled ‘Danny Says’ finds the always-quotable Danny Fields discussing his life among the late-20th century’s musical greats and near-greats.

Gong – Rejoice! I’m Dead! (2016)

Gong – Rejoice! I’m Dead! (2016)

September 24, 2016

With the first post-Daevid Allen Gong album, the torchbearers of serious rock who don’t take themselves *too* seriously carries on confidently.

Living Colour – Mixtape (2016)

Living Colour – Mixtape (2016)

September 14, 2016

The biggest letdown with ‘Mixtape’ is that it’s an EP, rather than a long-anticipated album. Still, any new music by Living Colour is cause for celebration.

Toto, “How Does It Feel” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “How Does It Feel” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

September 13, 2016

I can almost picture one of Toto’s label execs saying, “The album is a bit too fast; we need a ballad in the middle.”

Lizzy Rose, “Walk the Walk” from Crocodile Tears (2016): One Track Mind

Lizzy Rose, “Walk the Walk” from Crocodile Tears (2016): One Track Mind

September 4, 2016

The haunting “Walk the Walk” is heartfelt, bold tale of broken promises in a relationship. There’s real fire and fury in what Lizzy Rose says here.

David Wiffen – Coast to Coast Fever (1973): Forgotten Series

David Wiffen – Coast to Coast Fever (1973): Forgotten Series

January 13, 2016

When the world around us grows quiet, there is no better company than an album like the deeply underrated David Wiffen’s ‘Coast to Coast Fever.’

Yes, “Turn of the Century” from Going For the One (1977): YESterdays

Yes, “Turn of the Century” from Going For the One (1977): YESterdays

September 20, 2016

Despite some pre-session turmoil, “Turn of the Century” finds Yes focused, inspired and acting as one cohesive unit.

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.

Marquis Hill – The Way We Play (2016)

Marquis Hill – The Way We Play (2016)

June 22, 2016

Marquis Hill is the textbook definition of a master and ‘The Way The Play’ relentlessly demonstrates that craft.

The Beatles, “Revolution 1” from the White Album (1968): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Revolution 1” from the White Album (1968): Deep Beatles

September 23, 2016

The Beatles’ “Revolution 1” provides no definitive answers, reflecting the turbulent time period from which it emerged.

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, “How Does It Feel” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “How Does It Feel” from Isolation (1984): Toto Tuesdays

September 13, 2016

I can almost picture one of Toto’s label execs saying, “The album is a bit too fast; we need a ballad in the middle.”

(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, “I Don’t Want Your Money” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “I Don’t Want Your Money” from Chicago III (1971): Saturdays in the Park

September 24, 2016

Think Chicago is incapable of rocking? Too tightly arranged, not grungy enough? “I Don’t Want Your Money” proved detractors wrong on all of counts.

Seth Walker – Gotta Get Back (2016)

Seth Walker – Gotta Get Back (2016)

August 21, 2016

Think of ‘Gotta Get Back’ more as Walker’s renewal of his vows to the family and sweet, soulful roots music that made him who he is.

Blackberry Smoke, “Waiting on the Thunder” from Like an Arrow (2016): One Track Mind

Blackberry Smoke, “Waiting on the Thunder” from Like an Arrow (2016): One Track Mind

August 1, 2016

Blackberry Smoke’s last album needed a little more grit. If “Waiting for the Thunder” is any indication, maybe we’ll get some of that back.

John ‘Papa’ Gros – River’s On Fire (2016)

John ‘Papa’ Gros – River’s On Fire (2016)

July 24, 2016

John “Papa” Gros’ ‘River’s On Fire’ is one of those albums you “see,” because the stories are so well told. Mentor Allen Toussaint would be proud.

David Philips, “Washes Over Me” (2016): Something Else! sneak peek

David Philips, “Washes Over Me” (2016): Something Else! sneak peek

September 5, 2016

A precursor of what’s next in store from UK-born/Spanish-residing David Phillips, “Washes Over Me” is a back-to-basics excursion from a guy who isn’t prone to stray far from the basics to start with.

Olympics Tribute with Velvet Underground, Eric Clapton, Harry Nilsson + others: Odd Couples

Olympics Tribute with Velvet Underground, Eric Clapton, Harry Nilsson + others: Odd Couples

August 11, 2016

Performance enhancers became an early story line in the 2016 Rio Olympics. But which drug-related rock song provides the best soundtrack?

The Main Ingredient – Greatest Hits: The Encore Collection (2000): On Second Thought

The Main Ingredient – Greatest Hits: The Encore Collection (2000): On Second Thought

February 25, 2016

If you’re looking to have your spine tingled and heart jingled, the Main Ingredient certainly fits the bill.

Alice Cooper – The Eyes of Alice Cooper (2003): Shadows in Stereo

Alice Cooper – The Eyes of Alice Cooper (2003): Shadows in Stereo

August 7, 2016

By accident or design, ‘The Eyes of Alice Cooper’ is as close as it comes to the classics from Alice Cooper’s glory days.

The Fab One Hundred and Four, by David Bedford (2016): Books

The Fab One Hundred and Four, by David Bedford (2016): Books

March 12, 2016

The lesser-known friends, family and musicians who influenced the Beatles finally receive their due in David Bedford’s ‘Fab One Hundred and Four.’

Danny Says: A Documentary on the Life and Times of Danny Fields (2016): Movies

Danny Says: A Documentary on the Life and Times of Danny Fields (2016): Movies

September 25, 2016

The aptly titled ‘Danny Says’ finds the always-quotable Danny Fields discussing his life among the late-20th century’s musical greats and near-greats.

Henry McCullough dies; played guitar with Paul McCartney and Wings, Joe Cocker, Spooky Tooth

Henry McCullough dies; played guitar with Paul McCartney and Wings, Joe Cocker, Spooky Tooth

June 14, 2016

Ex-Wings guitarist Henry McCullough suffered a devastating heart attack in 2012 and then endured a lengthy period of partial recovery.

Unreleased Songs by Bob Dylan: Gimme Five

Unreleased Songs by Bob Dylan: Gimme Five

May 24, 2016

Let’s start a conversation about how the addition of just one more song might have changed the fate of several Bob Dylan albums.