Levon Helm, seen in this 1970 file photo, a singer and drummer for the rock group the Band, has died, April 19, 2012 at age 71. (Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Levon Helm’s essential Band songs: Gimme Five

May 26, 2015

Born on May 26, 1940, Levon Helm is known today as a country proselytizer, an inventive interpreter and a one-of-a-kind drummer. It all started right here.

Ben Craven, progressive rocker: Something Else! Interview

Ben Craven, progressive rocker: Something Else! Interview

May 14, 2015

Preston Frazier talks to Australian progger Ben Craven about his well-regarded career, his next album and his intriguing new music delivery system.

Rob Mazurek / Exploding Star Orchestra, “The Arc of Slavery #72″ (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

Rob Mazurek / Exploding Star Orchestra, “The Arc of Slavery #72″ (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

May 14, 2015

Here is an advance stream from Rob Mazurek / Exploding Star Orchestra’s upcoming ‘Galactic Parables: Volume 1,’ an early ’70s-styled rock/jazz orgy.

Tom Tallitsch – All Together Now (2015)

Tom Tallitsch – All Together Now (2015)

May 26, 2015

The tenor ace Tallitsch delivers another mainstream jazz outing with a stellar supporting cast that’s dynamic, majestic and yes, a boatload of fun.

Incognito, “Send Your Love” (2015): One Track Mind

Incognito, “Send Your Love” (2015): One Track Mind

May 22, 2015

UK acid-jazz masters Incognito have quickly issued a soulful groover to help UNICEF provide aid for the children of earthquake-stricken Nepal.

Henry Threadgill Zooid – In For a Penny, In For a Pound (2015)

Henry Threadgill Zooid – In For a Penny, In For a Pound (2015)

May 23, 2015

Working in mysterious ways with his Zooid quintet, Henry Threadgill offers another installment of ingenuity on ‘In For a Penny, In For a Pound.’

Levon Helm, seen in this 1970 file photo, a singer and drummer for the rock group the Band, has died, April 19, 2012 at age 71. (Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Levon Helm’s essential Band songs: Gimme Five

May 26, 2015

Born on May 26, 1940, Levon Helm is known today as a country proselytizer, an inventive interpreter and a one-of-a-kind drummer. It all started right here.

Yes, “Survival” from Yes (1969): YESterdays

Yes, “Survival” from Yes (1969): YESterdays

May 26, 2015

Yes knows a thing of two about survival. As such, it seems only fitting that the last song on their debut is so titled.

With the dark, uplifting Holy Diver, Ronnie James Dio made a bold move into the spotlight

With the dark, uplifting Holy Diver, Ronnie James Dio made a bold move into the spotlight

May 25, 2015

‘Holy Diver, released on May 25, 1983, found Ronnie James Dio setting a new course after work with Rainbow and Black Sabbath.

Free-form Monkees humor once drove Hollywood legend to curse: ‘I hate these f–ing kids’

Free-form Monkees humor once drove Hollywood legend to curse: ‘I hate these f–ing kids’

May 24, 2015

The Monkees TV show was designed toward improvisation. But not every guest star meshed with the Monkees’ gonzo approach.

John Manning – White Bear (1971): Forgotten Series

John Manning – White Bear (1971): Forgotten Series

April 24, 2015

We’re on the trail of the seemingly untraceable John Manning, a talented singer-songwriter who released a lone album, then disappeared.

Rick Danko, “Tired of Waiting” from Rick Danko (1977): Across the Great Divide

Rick Danko, “Tired of Waiting” from Rick Danko (1977): Across the Great Divide

May 21, 2015

As with much of 1977’s ‘Rick Danko,’ “Tired of Waiting” feels loose and personable, but an added bit of funk gives it no small amount of grit.

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, “Three Cool Cats” (Decca Audition, 1962): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Three Cool Cats” (Decca Audition, 1962): Deep Beatles

May 15, 2015

While the Beatles would eventually drop this early cover song from their setlists, “Three Cool Cats” holds a special place in the band’s history.

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, “Survival” from Yes (1969): YESterdays

Yes, “Survival” from Yes (1969): YESterdays

May 26, 2015

Yes knows a thing of two about survival. As such, it seems only fitting that the last song on their debut is so titled.

Toto, “Rockmaker” from Toto (1978): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “Rockmaker” from Toto (1978): Toto Tuesdays

May 19, 2015

Nestled between “Takin’ It Back” and the smash hit “Hold the Line” on Toto’s 1978 debut, the steady and fun “Rockmaker” is too often overlooked.

(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.”

Close as You Get found Gary Moore at the top of his blues game

Close as You Get found Gary Moore at the top of his blues game

May 23, 2015

‘Close as You Get,’ released this week in May 2007, was your standard-issue Gary Moore blues record. Meaning, it was very, very good.

Levon Helm, seen in this 1970 file photo, a singer and drummer for the rock group the Band, has died, April 19, 2012 at age 71. (Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Levon Helm’s essential Band songs: Gimme Five

May 26, 2015

Born on May 26, 1940, Levon Helm is known today as a country proselytizer, an inventive interpreter and a one-of-a-kind drummer. It all started right here.

Bruce Springsteen – Devils and Dust (2005): Gimme Five

Bruce Springsteen – Devils and Dust (2005): Gimme Five

April 25, 2015

Mark Saleski returns to a handful of resonant moments from Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Devils and Dust,’ released on April 26, 2005.

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Los Lobos’ Kiko was a mysterious, completely transfixing triumph

May 26, 2015

Released on May 26, 1992, ‘Kiko’ is still, by any measure, Los Lobos’ most unusual album. That’s what lures me back, again and again.

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.

The History of Canadian Rock ‘n’ Roll, by Bob Mersereau (2015): Books

The History of Canadian Rock ‘n’ Roll, by Bob Mersereau (2015): Books

May 10, 2015

Touching base on everything and anything, Bob Mersereau’s ‘The History of Canadian Rock ‘n’ Roll’ affirms how multi-faceted the country is.

All or Nothing at All showcases Frank Sinatra’s life through his music

All or Nothing at All showcases Frank Sinatra’s life through his music

May 16, 2015

The previously unheard 11-song set list from Frank Sinatra’s 1971 retirement party provides the perfect foundation for HBO’s exhaustive new biopic.

Free-form Monkees humor once drove Hollywood legend to curse: ‘I hate these f–ing kids’

Free-form Monkees humor once drove Hollywood legend to curse: ‘I hate these f–ing kids’

May 24, 2015

The Monkees TV show was designed toward improvisation. But not every guest star meshed with the Monkees’ gonzo approach.

Levon Helm, seen in this 1970 file photo, a singer and drummer for the rock group the Band, has died, April 19, 2012 at age 71. (Los Angeles Times/MCT)

Levon Helm’s essential Band songs: Gimme Five

May 26, 2015

Born on May 26, 1940, Levon Helm is known today as a country proselytizer, an inventive interpreter and a one-of-a-kind drummer. It all started right here.

B.B. King left us with one last reminder of his greatness in 2008’s One Kind Favor

B.B. King left us with one last reminder of his greatness in 2008’s One Kind Favor

May 15, 2015

B.B. King opened 2008’s ‘One Kind Favor’ with a welp: “I’m not going anytime soon, but when the day comes, don’t forget me.” No chance of that.