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.’

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.

On Jazz: Long Live Live Music

On Jazz: Long Live Live Music

September 13, 2017

Recorded jazz music has its place. At live performances, however, you will never repeat the exact moment again. They can alter your perceptions, too.

Vector Families – For Those About to Jazz/Rock, We Salute You (2017)

Vector Families – For Those About to Jazz/Rock, We Salute You (2017)

September 8, 2017

While ‘For Those About to Jazz/Rock, We Salute You’ really has nothing to do with AC/DC, Vector Families has that kind of intensity level and spunk. Only with way more improvised gumption.

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

Ali Handal – That’s What She Said (2017)

Ali Handal – That’s What She Said (2017)

September 14, 2017

‘That’s What She Said’ is a great way to get to know the multi-talented Ali Handel. And once you get to know her, you’re bound to like her.

Dylan Howe, jazz bandleader and Yes drummer: Something Else! Interview

Dylan Howe, jazz bandleader and Yes drummer: Something Else! Interview

August 21, 2017

Dylan Howe had already made a name for himself as a jazz bandleader and a sideman before he joined his father’s group.

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.

Walter Becker of Steely Dan (1950-2017): An Appreciation

Walter Becker of Steely Dan (1950-2017): An Appreciation

September 4, 2017

Walter Becker’s death invites a renewed appreciation of the unique contributions to music by Steely Dan.

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.

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.

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, “Hearts” from 90125 (1983): YESterdays

Yes, “Hearts” from 90125 (1983): YESterdays

September 19, 2017

What a way to end Yes’ ‘90125,’ the biggest album from the world’s greatest progressive rock band.

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, “You Know My Name” from Past Masters (1970): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “You Know My Name” from Past Masters (1970): Deep Beatles

August 31, 2017

It may not rank as an all-time fan favorite, but “You Know My Name” reveals the various sources the Beatles drew from in their music.

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, “These Chains” from The Seventh One (1988): Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “These Chains” from The Seventh One (1988): Toto Tuesdays

August 29, 2017

Sometimes, favorites jump out and grab you – and other times, as with Toto’s “These Chains,” they sneak up and catch you unaware.

(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, “Wishing You Were Here” from Chicago VII (1974): Saturdays in the Park

Chicago, “Wishing You Were Here” from Chicago VII (1974): Saturdays in the Park

September 16, 2017

Is this Peter Cetera-composed, Terry Kath-sung track the best ballad in Chicago’s canon, or just one of many highs?

The Rainy Daze, “That Acapulco Gold” (1967): One Track Mind

The Rainy Daze, “That Acapulco Gold” (1967): One Track Mind

September 18, 2017

Remembering the Rainy Daze, an unjustly forgotten group featuring the writers of the Strawberry Alarm Clock’s chart-topping hit “Incense and Peppermints.”

Goldfinger, Sept. 9, 2017: Shows I’ll Never Forget

Goldfinger, Sept. 9, 2017: Shows I’ll Never Forget

September 12, 2017

Two things are clear from note one: Goldfinger is John Feldmann’s band – and he has come to incite a party.

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.

Walter Becker of Steely Dan (1950-2017): An Appreciation

Walter Becker of Steely Dan (1950-2017): An Appreciation

September 4, 2017

Walter Becker’s death invites a renewed appreciation of the unique contributions to music by Steely Dan.

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.