Music articles

The Pernice Brothers-Live a Little

Ashmont Praising a new record from The Pernice Brothers is a bit like marveling at a sunrise: It’s a wonder, but easy to take for granted. Anyone familiar with the preternaturally melodic sensibilities of band front man Joe Pernice knows that he’s incapable of producing anything other than irresistible ear candy. The group’s latest offering,

Solomon Burke-Nashville

Shout Factory Solomon Burke was country when country wasn’t cool, recording some R&B hits in the Sixties with one foot in Nashville, Tenn. Now he’s gone whole hog, recording an entire album at guitarist Buddy Miller’s home in Music City. Predictably, there are a lot of unnecessary duets on the disc, but none are obnoxious,

Nellie McKay-Pretty Little Head

Hungry Mouse Nellie McKay has protest on her mind, but don’t expect an earnest folkie on guitar. In “Pretty Little Head,” this brilliant wordsmith adorns her social activism’ from gay marriage to animal rights’ in ribbons of cabaret, show tunes, cocktail-lounge jazz and even the occasional bow of hip-hop.   More akin to early Randy

The Downers-Shake the Dead and Let the Downers Die

Sickboy Records Utah’s five-man The Downers play the psychedelic pop of Big Star and do it very well. This five-song sampler will trance you out like a Quaalude from 1974. It’s good’ Paul Burke’s vocals are mesmerizing.   The Downers are not a throwback, but rather the group transports its genre into the future. “Shake

Imitation Electric Piano-Blow It Up, Burn It Down, Kick It ‘Til It Bleeds

Drag City  To borrow one of its own song titles, Imitation Electric Piano’s second album makes for “Relatively Good Times.” That it’s not better lies in the band’s decision to make a marked departure in its signature sound: adding full-time vocals.   One of many offshoots of post-rock giant Stereolab, the band debuted in 2001

Paul \”Wine\” Jones-Stop Arguing Over Me

Fat Possum Records This, the final album from the late Paul “Wine” Jones (1946-2005)’ an original member of the Fat Possum Records family and a specialist in the raw, quirky, electric blues that put the label on the map’ begins unexpectedly: with a hard-driving, hip-struttin’ dance number. It’s basically Jones’ version of disco, and it’s

Gwen Stefani-The Sweet Escape

Interscope Surely no one could’ve predicted the force with which ska-pop sprite Gwen Stefani’s 2004’s solo debut, “Love.Angel.Music.Baby.” would hit, loaded as it was with Eighties-shaded tunes, a devastating sense of style and a chart-smashing monster known as “Hollaback Girl.” Two years later, Stefani is already dropping “The Sweet Escape,” her erratic sophomore effort. Whereas

Stanton Moore-III

Telarc International I can’t say New Orleans drummer Stanton Moore’s music makes me want to jump and scream for joy, but the man certainly lays down some solid grooves. Whether it’s with his other bands ““ Galactic or Garage a Trois ““ or on a solo effort, Moore is one of a few musicians on

Frank Sinatra-Vegas

Rhino/Reprise Some things just go well together: peanut butter and jelly, spring and baseball, Frank Sinatra and Las Vegas. The Chairman of the Board arguably was never more at home than prowling the stages of Sin City nightclubs, dishing out snappy patter and electric readings of signature tunes like “Fly Me to the Moon” and

Mickey Avalon-Self Titled

MySpace Records Nothing good can come of this MySpace Records, I’m convinced. Although the social Web site has been a boon to several indie bands, the idea of pulling unsigned talent from its cesspool and giving them a major-record deal is a dangerous one, judging solely from the no-talent behind its first single-artist release: Mickey

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