Author Archives: bobvinyl

About bobvinyl

bobvinyl, writer and co-editor of No Song is an Island, founded its predecessor, Rock and Roll and Meandering Nonsense (whose archives are found here), in 2005 and served as editor and principal contributor until it went on hiatus in 2010. He has also been published in AMP and Loud Fast Rules! (in print) as well as Glide and FensePost on the web. He has been an avid record collector since he was seven years old and enjoys sharing his love of music from the common to the esoteric.

Townes Van Zandt – Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas

One of the worst things that can happen at a show is for the songs on the stage to reproduce the songs from the studio, yet live records fall into this trap more often than not. Crowd noise is cleaned up and artificially returned between songs. Rather than reproducing the best show, tracks are culled from multiple shows. Part of… Read more »

Natalie Bergman – Mercy

      No Comments on Natalie Bergman – Mercy

Someone once told me, “If you’re not troubled by anything in the Bible, you’re not paying attention.” There’s a lot of truth to that and I think that is something that a lot of overtly religious music misses. The sugary sweetness of “praise” music leads to what I see as the very odd, but convenient conclusion that a faith-based life… Read more »

Iron Maiden – “The Writing on the Wall”

What? Were they listening to a lot of Bon Jovi during quarantine?  Before the vocals cut in, I was expecting, “I’m a cowboy/On a steel horse I ride/I’m wanted dead or alive …”  I know that’s unfair, because it does have some weird gypsy/folky stuff going on, but my first reaction was “Wanted Dead or Alive,” only a little heavier… Read more »

Nils Lofgren – Night After Night

      3 Comments on Nils Lofgren – Night After Night

Nils Lofgren’s earlier band Grin had some teeth, but for the most part, I find his solo records to be lacking any of that. They’re not bad so much as they are just lacking in anything ecstatic. That makes Night After Night a bit of a surprise. Steven Kurutz at allmusic.com calls the record “not an inspired effort,” but to… Read more »

Low – “Days Like These”

      1 Comment on Low – “Days Like These”

Low’s first release from their upcoming Hey What, due out in September, is simple and sparse, relying mostly on subtlety to convey its voice. The a capella opening descends at the end of each line with chorus effect that sounds as much like organ as a human voice, yet remains very organic. Around the minute mark, the chorus of voice… Read more »

Johnny Kidd and the Pirates – Shakin’ All Over

We’ve all heard the term “going down a rabbit hole,” usually applied to a Google or Wikipedia search that goes off the rails and turns into hours of reading following an improbable path.  As a music lover, I like to think of this as more akin to stepping into a river that is the rich history of musical expression.  The… Read more »

Dorothea Paas – Anything Can’t Happen

I used to work with a guy who thought Joni Mitchell was a genius. He wasn’t one of those hyper-focused fans who have one or two favorites that could do no wrong. This guy really loved music. He just thought Joni Mitchell had produced probably a dozen or so records he would call “masterpieces.” In his eyes, the Beatles only… Read more »

Illuminati Hotties – “Mmmoooaaaaaayaya”

There is nothing wrong with lo-fi cacophony, but a messy recording today is not quite the same as a messy recording 30 or 40 years ago. Much like a pair of jeans that are bought with holes in them are not the same as ones whose holes were worn into them. “Mmmoooaaaaaayaya” has a catchy hook juxtaposed with a lot… Read more »