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.

AWOLNATION – My Echo, My Shadow, My Covers & Me

Cover records are a tricky business at best and yet I find myself drawn to them. I’m never sure if it is for the train wreck or the diamond in the rough. In this case, it was mostly just nondescript rehashings. For the most part, what is good on this record is what was good in the original recordings. Where… Read more »

Missed Hits 2021

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Missed Hits 2021

For many of the last 17 years, I have created an end of year comp that I call Missed Hits. The idea was to share music that hit me and that I expected many people had missed. Despite spending a lot of time discovering and writing about music in early 2021, I kind of expected this task to be more… Read more »

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

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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

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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”

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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 »