Category Archives: -> genre

Nirvana – Nevermind: Is It a Great Album?

Album cover for Nirvana "Nevermind"

We were restless. We were young and passionate and starving for great music, music with an edge, music that expressed the turmoil of how we felt. It was 1991 and it was a difficult time to love rock. Hard rock was dominated by bands like Warrant and Extreme and Tesla, bands who could sell out arenas but were devoid of… Read more »

Loney Dear – Loney Dear

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Album cover for "Loney Dear"

I am rooted in songs filled with drive and urgency and yearning. I stray into other worlds—worlds filled with opera singers and dub basslines and experimental noises—but inevitably I hear an album filled with driving rhythms and urgent melodies and yearning lyrics, and I am drawn in and taken back to my roots. Loney Dear’s songs have drawn me in… 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 »

Pan American (self-titled) and Pole 1

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Album covers for Pan American (Self-Titled) and Pole 1

It’s a beautiful spring afternoon and I’m in the drive-thru at Taco Bell in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ. It’s 1998 and I’m thrilled to finally have a Taco Bell in my neighborhood. I’m bored with the stash of CDs in my pickup so I’m flipping through radio stations when a sound I’ve never heard floats into my ears. A lazy beat… Read more »

Actress – Karma & Desire

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Album cover for Actress "Karma & Desire"

Bob once said that the Rolling Stones can’t write a song, they only write riffs. The same could be said about Actress. On Karma & Desire, however, Darren Cunningham pushes his riffs and challenges himself and his collaborators. Karma & Desire doesn’t rely on the factory drones that open 2014’s Ghettoville, but it builds the same grey mood. Cunningham and… Read more »

Amanaz – Africa

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Zambian rock music of the 1970’s, or Zamrock, has generated some interest among music nerds of the West in recent years. Re-issues of Amanaz, WITCH and Chrissy “Zebby” Tembo among others along with two excellent Welcome to Zamrock! compilations makes it pretty easy to hear what we missed over four decades ago. During Zambia’s post-independence copper boom, the rock scene… Read more »

Brijean – Feelings

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Released: February 26, 2021 One thing that is exciting about good dance music is its ability to manage energy, whether it is a DJ set or an individual artist’s record. “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is a great example. Whether you’re listening to Harold Melvin, Thelma Houston or the Communards, the song kind of simmers and then just soars at… Read more »

Brian Eno – Thursday Afternoon

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Album cover for Thursday Afternoon by Brian Eno

Released: 1985 The Paul Stolper Gallery is showing the video for Thursday Afternoon in their front window and on their website (with a helpful write-up) from February 24 through March 15, 2021. Reverb Machine has an interesting analysis of the music. Thursday Afternoon is a single piece of music (60 minutes on album or 82 minutes in the video) that… Read more »

Discharge – Grave New World

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Released: July 1, 1986 The list of records that I love that a lot of people hate is probably not all that short, but the one that always comes to mind first is Discharge’s 1986 LP, Grave New World. Some treat it as a departure or even a sellout (the worst of all punk rock sins) by the godfathers of… Read more »

Actress – Ghettoville

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Released January 27, 2014 The opening track, “Forgiven,” creates a grey mood from its first notes. Its factory-like drone stretches for over seven minutes, the two chords changing in small and interesting ways yet staying the same. It’s the kind of song that could be annoying but makes me excited to hear more. Unfortunately, Ghettoville doesn’t deliver on the promise… Read more »