Rock Music

One Track Mind: George Baker Selection, “Little Green Bag” (1970)

Peaking at No. 21 on the national charts in the spring of 1970, “Little Green Bag” (Colassus Records) scores a bounty of brownie points for being one of the most enigmatic songs ever placed on plastic.

On Second Thought: Bob Dylan – Oh Mercy (1989)

On Second Thought: Bob Dylan – Oh Mercy (1989)

This was album in which Bob Dylan gave in to everything that had happened to his voice, when he finally started sounding old. He also gave in to the atmospheric process that producer Daniel Lanois established, creating a late-period classic.

Fred Phillips’ Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Country and Southern Rock): Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson

Fred Phillips’ Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Country and Southern Rock): Shooter Jennings, Sturgill Simpson

I’m pretty picky about my country and Southern rock listening, and to be honest, I don’t explore it as thoroughly as hard rock and metal.

Almost Hits: Chicago, “Questions 67 and 68″ (1969)

Almost Hits: Chicago, “Questions 67 and 68″ (1969)

Back when the famous, classic, horn-rock band was known as Chicago Transit Authority, they released a top-notch single called “Questions 67 and 68,” off of a 1969 eponymously titled debut album. It didn’t do much on the charts

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Live and Reissues): Ringo Starr, Otis Redding, ELO, Greg Lake

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Live and Reissues): Ringo Starr, Otis Redding, ELO, Greg Lake

The standard for making this list is that these projects — some lavish remastering jobs, others new live interpretations — illuminate corners of an artist’s work that we’d never noticed before.

Forgotten series: Hardin and York – The World’s Smallest Big Band (1970)

This two-man band’s second album from 1970, featuring ex-Spencer Davis Group members Eddie Hardin (vocal/organ) and Pete York (drums/percussion), somehow managed to fill out the sound together.

S. Victor Aaron’s Mid-Year Best of 2013  (Non-Jazz): Harper/ Musselwhite, Robben Ford, Tommy Malone

S. Victor Aaron’s Mid-Year Best of 2013 (Non-Jazz): Harper/ Musselwhite, Robben Ford, Tommy Malone

If you were to go back and check the choices I made at the middle of 2012 for non-jazz albums released the first six months of that year, you’d find the artists being awarded were among the biggest hitmakers

On Second Thought: Wye Oak – Civilian (2011)

Baltimore-based Wye Oak took their name from a majestic 460-year-old tree that was finally felled by a lightning in 2002. Playing off their namesake, drummer Andy Stack and guitarist/vocalist Jenn Wasner make music that is sturdy and resilient

Fred Phillips’ Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Hard Rock and Metal): Tom Keifer, Black Sabbath, Skid Row

Fred Phillips’ Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Hard Rock and Metal): Tom Keifer, Black Sabbath, Skid Row

It’s been a really solid year for hard rock and metal so far. At six months, I’m often adding mediocre albums that I know won’t make the final list to get to 10. This year, I actually had to make a tough call or two.

‘We like a big sound': Decades later, Neil Young and Crazy Horse still play ear-melting shows

‘We like a big sound': Decades later, Neil Young and Crazy Horse still play ear-melting shows

You might think, considering the scorching volume of their shows and the way they huddle together so closely in the middle of the stage, that Neil Young and Crazy Horse are all but deaf. Bassist Billy Talbot clarifies things.