Category Archives: 9

Review: Paul McCartney – Good Evening New York City

Label: Hear Music Released: November 17, 2009 In this decade, Paul McCartney has released as many live albums as he has studio albums. Even packaged with a DVD, Good Evening New York City, his third live release since 2002’s Back in the US, begs the question, “Why another live album?” It doesn’t take the album long to answer though. Despite… Read more »

Review: Grant Hart – Hot Wax

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Label: Released: October 6, 2009 The progression of an artist from a seminal band to a solo career usually tells us more about the artist now that they’re freed from the shackles of band unity (in whatever form it existed). What’s interesting about Grant Hart’s Hot Wax is that it tells us some things about him, but more of where… Read more »

Review: The Slits – Trapped Animal

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Label: Narnack Records Released: October 20, 2009 Trapped Animal is the first studio album from the Slits since 1981 and comes 30 years after the seminal punk/reggae fusion of their debut, 1979’s Cut. The passage of time and only returning with two-thirds of the band’s core (Ari Up and Tessa Pollitt) certainly give reason to be skeptical of a new… Read more »

Review: Rachel Taylor Brown – Susan Storm’s Ugly Sister and Other Saints and Superheroes

Label: Cutthroat Pop Records Released: April 29, 2009 On the surface, Susan Storm’s Ugly Sister and Other Saints and Superheroes is an album of bold piano pop that at times dabbles in showtune pomp, proggy complexity and Beatlesque near perfection. The songs have the nature of a musical soliloquy as they meander between upbeat and melancholy, never being fully one… Read more »

Review: Jazz Re-issues from Sonny Rollins, Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Red Garland, Art Tatum and Ben Webster

Label: Essential Jazz Classics Released: June 2, 2009 The mid to late 50s was a near perfect time for jazz. As post-bop and cool jazz emerged from Charlie Parker’s bebop shake-up, the genre’s top artists were refining the sound. In a few short years, jazz would be set on its ear again by Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Charles Mingus… Read more »

Review: Pomegranates – Everybody, Come Outside!

Label: Lujo Records Released: April 14, 2009 It’s not unusual to hear a new record and think, “Here’s a band to keep an eye on. This is really good, but the next one could be amazing.” What is unusual is for that potential to actually pan out. Considering the frequency of this scenario, there is surely a lot of ground… Read more »

Review: Shirock – Everything Burns

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Label: self-released Released: February 3, 2009 Everything Burns kicks off as a fairly typical post-emo mainstream rock album. There are bits of alt rock and emo tidied up in a nice, easily digestible package and yet…there’s something else, something deeper going on with this record. Underneath what seems at first to be a solid, but uneventful set of songs, there’s… Read more »

Review: Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Sunday at Devil Dirt

Label: Fontana International Released: November 11, 2008 There aren’t many albums as low-key as Sunday at Devil Dirt. Every movement of the album is so subtle that it’s difficult to discern. The first two tracks, “Seafaring Song and “The Raven,” seem more like movie soundtrack material than the road into a dynamic album, but they set the sparse scene for… Read more »

Review: Brandi Carlile – Live From Boston (aka iTunes EP – Boston)

Label: Columbia Released: 9/16/2008 A cover of Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” is on Live From Boston, so I figured I’d skip right to that track and see whether Carlile and her band managed to do right by Johnny’s spirit. They did. What more do you want me to write? If that doesn’t make you go listen, nothing will. RatingsSatriani:… Read more »

Review: Cheap Trick – Budokan 30th Anniversary Edition

Label: Epic/Legacy Released: November 11, 2008 I always had a tough time understanding why Cheap Trick was so popular. Sure, “Surrender” is among rock’s greatest songs and they had their share of other decent tunes, but why would they stand out like they did? The answer I was told is contained in their live show and this 30th Anniversary Edition… Read more »