Rock Music

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.

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Rock and Pop): Steven Wilson, CTA, Steve Lukather, Stick Men

Nick DeRiso’s Mid-Year Best Of 2013 (Rock and Pop): Steven Wilson, CTA, Steve Lukather, Stick Men

Occasionally, an album comes bursting out of your speakers, and you know — just know — that it’s going to end up here, on your half-way best of list. And on the year-ending compendium, too. Steven Wilson put out that album.

Forgotten series: Journey – Next (1977)

Before Steve Perry joined Journey as lead singer and turned them into a pop metal sensation, the San Francisco band issued a trilogy of albums. Such discs bear slight resemblance to the sound that brought them mega-success.

One Track Mind: The Babys, “Not Ready to Say Goodbye” (2013)

One Track Mind: The Babys, “Not Ready to Say Goodbye” (2013)

In as much as they don’t have people like John Waite, Jonathan Cain and Ricky Phillips in the band anymore, the Babys sound almost exactly like they once did on an aptly named new single “Not Ready to Say Goodbye.”

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Tears of Rage” from Music from Big Pink (1968)

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Tears of Rage” from Music from Big Pink (1968)

With its watery guitar intro and decaying drum pattern, “Tears of Rage” quickly established the Band as something entirely different — even before Richard Manuel’s devastating vocal began.

Steve Hackett, John Wetton, Ian McDonald, others – Tokyo Tapes (1998; 2013 reissue)

Steve Hackett, John Wetton, Ian McDonald, others – Tokyo Tapes (1998; 2013 reissue)

A remastered reissue of the 2DVD/CD Tokyo Tapes — bolstered now with a new studio recording of Steve Hackett and John Wetton doing “All Along the Watchtower” — seeks to provide insights into both Genesis and King Crimson.

Deep Cuts: Emerson Lake and Palmer’s “Affairs of the Heart,” “Endless Enigma,” “Take a Pebble,”others

Deep Cuts: Emerson Lake and Palmer’s “Affairs of the Heart,” “Endless Enigma,” “Take a Pebble,”others

For a trio whose biggest single (1972’s “From the Beginning”) barely scratched the Top 40, Emerson Lake and Palmer has still come to be associated with several key moments: “Lucky Man,” “Fanfare for the Common Man” and “Tarkus” among them.