Stephen Malkmus: Traditional Techniques [Album Review]
Mar06

Stephen Malkmus: Traditional Techniques [Album Review]

Stephen Malkmus Traditional TechniquesMatador Records [2020] Stephen Malkmus has been on a creative tear of late, releasing a band record with The Jicks in 2018 after four years away, Sparkle Hard, and an experimental solo record dabbling in electronica last year, Groove Denied. On his third release in as many years, Malkmus continues to experiment, this time delving into folk music as the title Traditional Techniques suggests, but...

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Sonny Landreth: Blacktop Run [Album Review]
Mar05

Sonny Landreth: Blacktop Run [Album Review]

Sonny Landreth Blacktop RunMascot Label Group [2020] Sonny Landreth is a guitar player’s guitarist, much the way John Hiatt and John Prine are songwriter’s songwriters. Bob Dylan is one of the most beloved and respected songwriters of the modern era, yet back in ’87 he covered John Hiatt’s song, “The Usual.” Bonnie Raitt has written dozens of hits, but one of her best known songs is Prine’s “Angel of Montgomery.” Similarly, Landreth...

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The Proper Ornaments: Mission Bells [Album Review]
Feb28

The Proper Ornaments: Mission Bells [Album Review]

The Proper Ornaments Mission BellsTapete Records [2020] After a few enjoyable listens to this fifth album from London’s The Proper Ornaments, I was surprised to pull up their bio on the label website and read that “this is not a retro band.” Now “retro” wasn’t a word that had come to mind while listening exactly, but the direct, sometimes minimalist approach and the common vocal harmonies of the quartet did have me drawing comparisons...

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Greg Dulli: Random Desire [Album Review]
Feb21

Greg Dulli: Random Desire [Album Review]

Greg Dulli Random DesireRoyal Cream/BMG [2020] Greg Dulli may just now be getting around to making a solo studio album, but both as the lead singer for alt/rock heroes Afghan Whigs, and as the creative center of The Twilight Singers he’s cut a wide musical swath across a variety of music genres in his 30-plus year career. Consistently a hard rocking unit, Whigs’ classic albums like Gentlemen (’93), Black Love (’96), and 1965 (’98)...

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Phil Madeira: Open Heart [Album Review]
Feb19

Phil Madeira: Open Heart [Album Review]

Phil Madeira Open HeartMercyland [2020] At this late date, Phil Madeira must still feel that he has something to prove. Besides his “day job” as part of Emmylou Harris’ backing band, The Red Dirt Boys,” he’s recorded three solo albums in the last two years, after producing an all-star tribute to the songs of the late Mark Heard in 2017, Treasure of the Broken Land, which featured performances by Over the Rhine, Birds of Chicago, Buddy...

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