The B-52’s, “Rock Lobster” from The B-52’s (1979): One Track Mind

The B-52’s, “Rock Lobster” from The B-52’s (1979): One Track Mind

July 6, 2015

“Rock Lobster,” released on July 6, 1979 on the B-52’s eponymous debut, was zany enough to soften the defenses of even the most stubborn music snob.

Prefab Sprout’s lost Steve McQueen was a perfect slice of synth-pop heaven

Prefab Sprout’s lost Steve McQueen was a perfect slice of synth-pop heaven

June 29, 2015

‘Steve McQueen,’ released this month in 1985, should’ve hurtled Prefab Sprout to fame in MTV-era America. Instead, they remained curiously anonymous.

Rock Candy Funk Party, “Don’t Be Stingy with the SMPTE” (2015): Something Else! sneak peak

Rock Candy Funk Party, “Don’t Be Stingy with the SMPTE” (2015): Something Else! sneak peak

July 4, 2015

Tal Bergman, Joe Bonamassa and the rest of the Rock Candy Funk Party gang are back with a new, hard-groovin’ song “Don’t Be Stingy With the SMPTE.”

Harvie S and Sheryl Bailey – Plucky Strum (2015)

Harvie S and Sheryl Bailey – Plucky Strum (2015)

July 5, 2015

Bassist Harvie S and guitarist Sheryl Bailey’s ‘Plucky Strum’ shows how chops can be played unselfishly to make the other musician — and the music itself — sound at its best.

Rock Candy Funk Party, “Don’t Be Stingy with the SMPTE” (2015): Something Else! sneak peak

Rock Candy Funk Party, “Don’t Be Stingy with the SMPTE” (2015): Something Else! sneak peak

July 4, 2015

Tal Bergman, Joe Bonamassa and the rest of the Rock Candy Funk Party gang are back with a new, hard-groovin’ song “Don’t Be Stingy With the SMPTE.”

The Spanish Donkey [Joe Morris, Jamie Saft, Mike Pride] – Raoul (2015)

The Spanish Donkey [Joe Morris, Jamie Saft, Mike Pride] – Raoul (2015)

July 2, 2015

Here is a review of the freaky fun psychedelic improv free jazz/rock jam ‘Raoul’ by the Spanish Donkey, featuring Joe Morris, Jamie Saft and Mike Pride.

Tommy Tutone – Tommy Tutone 2 (1981): On Second Thought

Tommy Tutone – Tommy Tutone 2 (1981): On Second Thought

July 6, 2015

There’s no denying that Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny” is the strongest track here, but ‘Tommy Tutone 2′ had more than that that going for it.

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

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

June 30, 2015

‘Hydra,’ Toto’s second album, confounded critics and fans alike upon its release in October 1979, but it has aged well.

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.

Tommy Tutone – Tommy Tutone 2 (1981): On Second Thought

Tommy Tutone – Tommy Tutone 2 (1981): On Second Thought

July 6, 2015

There’s no denying that Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny” is the strongest track here, but ‘Tommy Tutone 2′ had more than that that going for it.

The B-52’s, “Rock Lobster” from The B-52’s (1979): One Track Mind

The B-52’s, “Rock Lobster” from The B-52’s (1979): One Track Mind

July 6, 2015

“Rock Lobster,” released on July 6, 1979 on the B-52’s eponymous debut, was zany enough to soften the defenses of even the most stubborn music snob.

The Rugbys – Hot Cargo (1969): Forgotten Series

The Rugbys – Hot Cargo (1969): Forgotten Series

July 1, 2015

The hard-rocking, unjustly overlooked Rugbys certainly had good ideas and a rich imagination, so there’s a lot of neat stuff going on here.

Exploring deep cuts from the Band’s Music from Big Pink: Gimme Five

Exploring deep cuts from the Band’s Music from Big Pink: Gimme Five

July 1, 2015

Released on July 1, 1968, ‘Music from Big Pink’ included several famous cuts that defined the Band’s legacy forever. We discuss some lesser-known favorites.

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, “I Call Your Name” from Past Masters (1964): Deep Beatles

The Beatles, “I Call Your Name” from Past Masters (1964): Deep Beatles

June 26, 2015

Through it failed to make the ‘Hard Day’s Night’ soundtrack, “I Call Your Name” nevertheless illustrates the Beatles’ rapid artistic development.

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

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

June 23, 2015

An inventive and frenzied drum part from Bill Bruford helps propel Jon Anderson’s “Then” into the upper echelon of early Yes songs.

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

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

June 30, 2015

‘Hydra,’ Toto’s second album, confounded critics and fans alike upon its release in October 1979, but it has aged well.

(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.”

Exploring deep cuts from the Band’s Music from Big Pink: Gimme Five

Exploring deep cuts from the Band’s Music from Big Pink: Gimme Five

July 1, 2015

Released on July 1, 1968, ‘Music from Big Pink’ included several famous cuts that defined the Band’s legacy forever. We discuss some lesser-known favorites.

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best of 2015 (Jazz, Blues + R&B): Gavin Harrison, Dave Douglas + others

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best of 2015 (Jazz, Blues + R&B): Gavin Harrison, Dave Douglas + others

July 2, 2015

This Mid-Year Best of 2015 list also includes Boz Scaggs, Pops Staples, Papa Mali, Wes Montgomery, Robben Ford, the Word, Steve Earle and Beth Hart.

Songs about Boats, Sailing and the High Seas by Crosby Stills and Nash + others: Gimme Five

Songs about Boats, Sailing and the High Seas by Crosby Stills and Nash + others: Gimme Five

May 29, 2015

Crosby Stills and Nash, Los Lobos and Richard Thompson, and Lyle Lovett are a few of the artists who can help get you ready for summer.

Tommy Tutone – Tommy Tutone 2 (1981): On Second Thought

Tommy Tutone – Tommy Tutone 2 (1981): On Second Thought

July 6, 2015

There’s no denying that Tommy Tutone’s “867-5309/Jenny” is the strongest track here, but ‘Tommy Tutone 2′ had more than that that going for it.

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.

Psychedelic Bubble Gum: Boyce & Hart, The Monkees, and Turning Mayhem into Miracles (2015): Books

Psychedelic Bubble Gum: Boyce & Hart, The Monkees, and Turning Mayhem into Miracles (2015): Books

June 16, 2015

Bobby Hart rose to fame with Tommy Boyce as part of the songwriting team behind the Monkees. But there was more to the story.

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.

Psychedelic Bubble Gum: Boyce & Hart, The Monkees, and Turning Mayhem into Miracles (2015): Books

Psychedelic Bubble Gum: Boyce & Hart, The Monkees, and Turning Mayhem into Miracles (2015): Books

June 16, 2015

Bobby Hart rose to fame with Tommy Boyce as part of the songwriting team behind the Monkees. But there was more to the story.

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.

Late Yes legend Chris Squire left me with a lasting concert memory

Late Yes legend Chris Squire left me with a lasting concert memory

June 30, 2015

It had been 35 years since I’d seen the quintessential prog-rockers Yes, led by the recently departed Chris Squire. They didn’t disappoint.