Danzig – blackacidevil (1996): Metal Meltdowns

Danzig – blackacidevil (1996): Metal Meltdowns

May 2, 2016

Metal Meltdowns will explore those moments when my favorite metal and hard rock bands went off the rails. Let’s start with Danzig’s ‘blackacidevil.’

Marco Marconi, jazz pianist: Something Else! Interview

Marco Marconi, jazz pianist: Something Else! Interview

May 1, 2016

The busy, affable Marco Marconi, fresh off the release of his terrific trio recording ‘Nordik,’ paused briefly for a Something Else! Sitdown with Sammy Stein.

The Rides, “Virtual World” from Pierced Arrow (2016): Something Else! sneak peek

The Rides, “Virtual World” from Pierced Arrow (2016): Something Else! sneak peek

March 6, 2016

The ‘Pierced Arrow’ advance track “Virtual World” exemplifies everything that’s right about the Rides: a comfortable confidence that can only come from stellar musicians with nothing left to prove.

Marco Marconi, jazz pianist: Something Else! Interview

Marco Marconi, jazz pianist: Something Else! Interview

May 1, 2016

The busy, affable Marco Marconi, fresh off the release of his terrific trio recording ‘Nordik,’ paused briefly for a Something Else! Sitdown with Sammy Stein.

The Yellowjackets – Cohearence (2016)

The Yellowjackets – Cohearence (2016)

April 25, 2016

The Yellowjackets’ superb musicianship along with insightful composing and arrangements make ‘Cohearence’ maintain this group’s reputation as one of the foremost fusion groups operating. Since 1981.

Jungle: Mat Walerian, Matthew Shipp, Hamid Drake – Live at Okuden (2016)

Jungle: Mat Walerian, Matthew Shipp, Hamid Drake – Live at Okuden (2016)

April 28, 2016

Mat Walerian places much trust in his good instincts on ‘Jungle,’ even as he does show he knows much about the tenants music and even in the presence of more established masters.

Danzig – blackacidevil (1996): Metal Meltdowns

Danzig – blackacidevil (1996): Metal Meltdowns

May 2, 2016

Metal Meltdowns will explore those moments when my favorite metal and hard rock bands went off the rails. Let’s start with Danzig’s ‘blackacidevil.’

Yes, “And You and I” from Close to the Edge (1972): YESterdays

Yes, “And You and I” from Close to the Edge (1972): YESterdays

April 19, 2016

The opening title track on ‘Close to the Edge’ is longer, but “And You and I” may truly be Yes at the peak of its powers.

Danzig – blackacidevil (1996): Metal Meltdowns

Danzig – blackacidevil (1996): Metal Meltdowns

May 2, 2016

Metal Meltdowns will explore those moments when my favorite metal and hard rock bands went off the rails. Let’s start with Danzig’s ‘blackacidevil.’

George Martin’s Death Apparently Wasn’t All That Interesting to Entertainment Weekly

George Martin’s Death Apparently Wasn’t All That Interesting to Entertainment Weekly

May 1, 2016

The stunning decision by ‘Entertainment Weekly’ to essentially ignore George Martin’s passing – and with it, his legacy – is insulting to Martin, the Beatles, and anyone interested in major music news.

Flotsam and Jetsam, “Iron Maiden” from Flotsam and Jetsam (2016): One Track Mind

Flotsam and Jetsam, “Iron Maiden” from Flotsam and Jetsam (2016): One Track Mind

April 9, 2016

As with the last two albums, Flotsam and Jetsam gives us something a little different here – providing a tasty tribute to metal legends Iron Maiden.

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, “And You and I” from Close to the Edge (1972): YESterdays

Yes, “And You and I” from Close to the Edge (1972): YESterdays

April 19, 2016

The opening title track on ‘Close to the Edge’ is longer, but “And You and I” may truly be Yes at the peak of its powers.

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, “Piggies” from The White Album (1968): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Piggies” from The White Album (1968): Deep Beatles

March 27, 2016

As politics continues to dominate the news in this U.S. election season, the Beatles’ “Piggies” resonates stronger than ever.

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, “It’s a Feeling” from Toto IV (1982): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “It’s a Feeling” from Toto IV (1982): Toto Tuesdays

April 26, 2016

Toto’s “It’s a Feeling” could just as easily be talking about a changing relationship or Steve Porcaro’s place in the band he cofounded.

(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, “Poem 58” from Chicago Transit Authority (1969): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Poem 58” from Chicago Transit Authority (1969): Saturdays in the Park

April 30, 2016

When people scoff in disbelief that Chicago used to open for the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, I pull out “Poem 58.”

Tomas Doncker – The Mess We Made (2016)

Tomas Doncker – The Mess We Made (2016)

April 12, 2016

Tomas Doncker’s genre-bending sound has always been impossible to define, and the bluesy, politically charged ‘Mess We Made’ is no different.

The Beatles, “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” from Beatles for Sale (1964): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” from Beatles for Sale (1964): Deep Beatles

February 14, 2016

“I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party” reveals the Beatles’ country and rockabilly roots, even as it foreshadows – like much of ‘Beatles for Sale’ – the musical changes to come.

Prince (1958-2016): An Appreciation

Prince (1958-2016): An Appreciation

April 21, 2016

Prince always found a way to transcend his own legendary eccentricities. And this music, more than all of that, is what will remain.

Lucinda Williams – The Ghosts of Highway 20 (2016)

Lucinda Williams – The Ghosts of Highway 20 (2016)

February 4, 2016

Once again Lucinda Williams excels at making her pain, perseverance and hope relatable to ours, like few others can.

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.

Night Songs by Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, others: Odd Couples

Night Songs by Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, others: Odd Couples

April 14, 2016

Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Elvis Costello + others have tackled the great existential empty void over the years. But who did it best?

Mott the Hoople – The Hoople (1974): Shadows in Stereo

Mott the Hoople – The Hoople (1974): Shadows in Stereo

April 10, 2016

The hard-to-accept fact is simply that although Mott the Hoople had a number of good albums, they never really had any great ones.

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.’

George Martin built his legend with the Beatles, then branched out

George Martin built his legend with the Beatles, then branched out

March 9, 2016

The records, those sounds – even in George Martin’s awful absence – will remain, forever.

Essentials by the Eagles’ Glenn Frey: Gimme Five

Essentials by the Eagles’ Glenn Frey: Gimme Five

February 21, 2016

Most people associate Glenn Frey with the peaceful, easy country-rock songs with the Eagles. But he also had a gift for R&B and vocal arranging.

Prince (1958-2016): An Appreciation

Prince (1958-2016): An Appreciation

April 21, 2016

Prince always found a way to transcend his own legendary eccentricities. And this music, more than all of that, is what will remain.