John Wetton’s complex relationship with a signature Asia tune: ‘American guys went: Yes!’

John Wetton’s complex relationship with a signature Asia tune: ‘American guys went: Yes!’

July 26, 2015

John Wetton admits that ‘Alpha,’ released on July 26, 1983, contained “one of the most identifiable Asia songs.” But he struggles with its message today.

The Jigsaw Seen, “Have A Wonderful Day” (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

The Jigsaw Seen, “Have A Wonderful Day” (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

July 26, 2015

The complex upcoming single ‘Have a Wonderful Day” shows that the Jigsaw Seen, founded in 1988, just get better and better with age.

Kait Dunton – trioKAIT (2015)

Kait Dunton – trioKAIT (2015)

July 27, 2015

Kait Dunton’s creative, embraceable, contemporary take on the ol’ acoustic jazz trio makes the jazz idiom fresh and exciting again.

Merzbow/Pandi/Gustafsson with Thurston Moore – Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper (2015)

Merzbow/Pandi/Gustafsson with Thurston Moore – Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper (2015)

July 28, 2015

This ain’t pop music, ladies and gentleman. It’s a party of noise.

Yes’ Chris Squire was the quintessential rock star and consummate musician

Yes’ Chris Squire was the quintessential rock star and consummate musician

July 27, 2015

Mike Tiano shares personal memories of the late Chris Squire, as well as a classic interview that sheds new light on the Yes stalwart’s towering legacy.

Yes’ Chris Squire was the quintessential rock star and consummate musician

Yes’ Chris Squire was the quintessential rock star and consummate musician

July 27, 2015

Mike Tiano shares personal memories of the late Chris Squire, as well as a classic interview that sheds new light on the Yes stalwart’s towering legacy.

The Decline of Western Civilization Collection (2015): Movies

The Decline of Western Civilization Collection (2015): Movies

June 18, 2015

Turns out, the third ‘Decline of Western Civilization’ film – the only one I’d never seen before – was the most enlightening of them all.

Toto, “99” from Hydra (1979) Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “99” from Hydra (1979) Toto Tuesdays

July 28, 2015

A Steve Lukather-sung ballad, “99” did respectively enough, reaching the Top 40. But why wasn’t it Toto’s biggest hit to that point?

Joan Baez – Gracias a la Vida (1974): Forgotten Series

Joan Baez – Gracias a la Vida (1974): Forgotten Series

July 24, 2015

In September 1973, Chilean folk singer Victor Jara was brutally murdered, moving Joan Baez to produce a final homage and farewell.

Levon Helm, “A Mood I Was In” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “A Mood I Was In” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

July 23, 2015

Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars seemed to come together through happenstance. Unfortunately, they went their separate ways in a similarly random way.

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, “Blue Jay Way” from Magical Mystery Tour (1967): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “Blue Jay Way” from Magical Mystery Tour (1967): Deep Beatles

July 24, 2015

A kind of sibling to “I Am the Walrus,” George Harrison’s “Blue Jay Way” is a perfect snapshot of the Beatles’ most unusually creative artistic phase.

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, “Sweet Dreams” from Time and a Word (1970): YESterdays

Yes, “Sweet Dreams” from Time and a Word (1970): YESterdays

July 21, 2015

Yes’ “Sweet Dreams” may have a decidedly non-progressive rock feel, but it is one of the stronger compositions on 1970’s ‘Time and a Word.’

Toto, “99” from Hydra (1979) Toto Tuesdays

Toto, “99” from Hydra (1979) Toto Tuesdays

July 28, 2015

A Steve Lukather-sung ballad, “99” did respectively enough, reaching the Top 40. But why wasn’t it Toto’s biggest hit to that point?

(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.”

John Belushi originally thought Steve Cropper was a roadie: ‘The guy with the long hair?’

John Belushi originally thought Steve Cropper was a roadie: ‘The guy with the long hair?’

July 19, 2015

John Belushi actually met Stax legend Steve Cropper early into putting together the Blues Brothers band. But he assumed Cropper was someone else.

Levon Helm, “A Mood I Was In” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “A Mood I Was In” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

July 23, 2015

Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars seemed to come together through happenstance. Unfortunately, they went their separate ways in a similarly random way.

Levon Helm, “A Mood I Was In” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

Levon Helm, “A Mood I Was In” from Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars (1977): Across the Great Divide

July 23, 2015

Levon Helm and the RCO All-Stars seemed to come together through happenstance. Unfortunately, they went their separate ways in a similarly random way.

Joan Baez – Gracias a la Vida (1974): Forgotten Series

Joan Baez – Gracias a la Vida (1974): Forgotten Series

July 24, 2015

In September 1973, Chilean folk singer Victor Jara was brutally murdered, moving Joan Baez to produce a final homage and farewell.

Joe Walsh and the James Gang’s Rides Again was both tough and tender

Joe Walsh and the James Gang’s Rides Again was both tough and tender

July 25, 2015

‘Rides Again,’ released in July 1970, found Joe Walsh and the James Gang gorging on chunky chords but also visiting other musical dimensions.

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.

A to Zion: The Definitive Israeli Lexicon, by Gilad Atzmon and Enzo Apicella: Books

A to Zion: The Definitive Israeli Lexicon, by Gilad Atzmon and Enzo Apicella: Books

July 21, 2015

Entertaining and clever in places, Gilad Atzmon and Enzo Apicella’s ‘A to Zion: The Definitive Israeli Lexicon’ makes for an interesting read.

Act unnaturally: The Beatles’ Ringo Starr in the movies

Act unnaturally: The Beatles’ Ringo Starr in the movies

June 20, 2015

When you ask Ringo Starr about his movie career, he’s happy to talk about ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ and ‘Help!’ Bill DeYoung’s look back shows that’s probably for the best.

John Belushi originally thought Steve Cropper was a roadie: ‘The guy with the long hair?’

John Belushi originally thought Steve Cropper was a roadie: ‘The guy with the long hair?’

July 19, 2015

John Belushi actually met Stax legend Steve Cropper early into putting together the Blues Brothers band. But he assumed Cropper was someone else.

When the National Anthem, well, sucked: Gimme Five

When the National Anthem, well, sucked: Gimme Five

July 4, 2015

In its best moments, the National Anthem is a heady combination of patriotism and emotional resonance. Then, there are the other times.

Yes’ Chris Squire was the quintessential rock star and consummate musician

Yes’ Chris Squire was the quintessential rock star and consummate musician

July 27, 2015

Mike Tiano shares personal memories of the late Chris Squire, as well as a classic interview that sheds new light on the Yes stalwart’s towering legacy.