Not only the best LP to come out of the massive Flying Nun / Kiwi stable (which had much good to great talent, but few who delivered complete albums as consistent and captivating as this one), but amongst the best indie albums anywhere by any group in the second half of the 80’s.
. . . → Read More: The Bats – Daddy’s Highway, by Pat Thomas
Joe Cocker was one of those guys that my pals liked to mock and was fun for John Belushi to parody. But at his peak, Joe was “thee song interpreter” of his generation. Most famously, he was one of the first and best to really rework a Beatles song into something new, different and . . . → Read More: Joe Cocker – Darling Be Home Soon, by Pat Thomas
A 13th century toy mounted knight – Walters Art Museum via Wikimedia Commons, used under the terms of under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
When we shop for toys for the loved ones on our list, we like to think the kids are learning something. Books help children associate those squiggles . . . → Read More: The Dark Ages Warrior’s Version of Play with a Purpose, By Kim Rendfeld
Friday night in Seattle, less than a week before Christmas, and all through the house (called El Corazon )it is packed to the gills where X and the Blasters played a double bill. Seattle’s own Girl Trouble opened.
All three bands are perfectly blended. The Blasters are traditional roots rock while X have . . . → Read More: X, The Blasters & Girl Trouble Fill Seattle’s El Corazon for a Holiday Rock and Roll Show, by Holly Homan
Los Angeles jazz organist Brian Charette has released his new single, “Time of the Season,” a cover of The Zombies’ 1968 hit. This supercoolish vamp is the latest from Charette’s full-length album, Good Tipper, which was released November 2014. When not recording or performing, Charette teaches master classes all over the world and is . . . → Read More: Brian Charette – Time Of The Season
The Joseph of the Nativity story is a cipher: one of those New Testament characters whose very blankness seems to invite us to step into their sandals and ask what we would do if we were witness to such strange events. It wasn’t until I became an adoptive father that I suddenly (if narcissistically) . . . → Read More: The New Pornographers – Joseph, Who Understood, by Tom Fredrickson
Friday night December 12, I once again made the long drive south to Tacoma, Washington to see yet another great show at Jazzbones. This time it was Nekromantix with Angie & the Car Wrecks opening.
I’ve lost count how many times I’ve seen Nekromantix, but this was the most fun show I’ve seen them . . . → Read More: Nekromantix & Angie & the Car Wrecks Raise the Dead At Tacoma’s Jazzbones, by Holly Homan
For me, this 1970 LP is the best “holiday” album. Why? Laura Nyro wrote all the songs, except one, which Carole King did. Felix Cavaliere and Arif Mardin produced it. The backing band are the Swampers from Muscle Shoals – plus Duane Allman AND Alice Coltrane play on it. What more could you want?
. . . → Read More: Laura Nyro – Christmas and the Beads of Sweat, by Pat Thomas
Friendly Canadian indie-rock trio Zerbin is spreading holiday cheer with a free download of its latest EP. Premiering on Pancakes & Whiskey, the new release features Christmas classics with a modern pop twist and two never before heard remixes of the band’s hit song, “New Earth.” The free download is available via NoiseTrade.
. . . → Read More: Free Christmas! EP From Awesome Canadians, Zerbin
After spending the last few months working on new music, Australian songwriter Anna O is excited by the release of her latest single, ‘Symphony.’ The track is brought to life by the artist’s warm, soulful vocals, which glide over a landscape of dreamy synths, strings and an overall sense of intrigue. It’s this unique . . . → Read More: Anna O – Symphony
For me, the soundtrack of the late 80’s and early 90’s, the definitive ‘indie rock’ artist, was Barbara Manning. Her ethereal vocals over the top of a 1960s English folk / 70’s Krautrock / 80’s Kiwi Flying Nun blend was not only unique, it was transcendent. Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo and Robyn Hitchcock . . . → Read More: Barbara Manning – Scissors, by Pat Thomas
As a Christmas gift for you, Red Sleeping Beauty is releasing “Merry Christmas, Marie,” their first new song in 17 years.
Red Sleeping Beauty is a semi-legendary Swedish bedroom pop band. They released two albums and numerous singles on classic pop labels around the world between 1992 and 1997. Highly rated by pop connoisseurs, . . . → Read More: Red Sleeping Beauty – Merry Christmas, Marie
Unless someone comes out with an excellent Christmas album in the next couple weeks, here’s my top ten of 2014:
St. Paul and the Broken Bones Half the City
The Budos Band Burnt Offering
Lee Fields and the Expressions Emma Jean
Benjamin Booker Violent Shiver
Prince Art Official Age
. . . → Read More: Top Ten Albums of 2014, by Graig Markel, Celebrity Guest Blogger
Recently signed to Cherrytree Records/Interscope, seven-piece sibling band The Hunts, have been playing music together almost their entire lives. Ranging from ages 16 to 24, twin sisters Jenni and Jessi and their five brothers Josh, Jonathan, Jordan, Justin, and Jamison all learned to sing and play violin as young kids and spent much . . . → Read More: The Hunts – O Holy Night
You need to see this: Frida! Bjorn’s Ovation Breadwinner! Frida’s satin hot pants and charmingly awkward dancing and blithe overconfidence!
That video was discovered in an Internet breadcrumb trail—there needs to be a word for that experience (start with site A, which takes you to video B, which leads to chatroom C, etc.); . . . → Read More: ABBA – Why Did It Have To Be Me, by Tom Fredrickson
Portland jazz artist Barbara Lusch is no novice to the heart and grit that fueled the 80s and brought about rock powerhouse numbers from Springsteen, Bowie, Bon Jovi and many other culture icons. In a creative attempt to underline the passion and emotive fervor contained in the lyrics of these rock ballads, Lusch . . . → Read More: Barbara Lusch – Where the Streets Have No Name
I’m having fun with videos again. How old were you when man first set foot on the moon? I think we have little idea how deep an impact this monumental event had and continues to have on our species……..
– Betsy Youngquist
Lorsch Gospel, produced during the Carolingian era
Religion plays a central role in the lives of my early medieval characters, but portraying Christianity in the days of Charlemagne takes more than having prayers in Latin. Here are a five aspects of Christianity in this period that might surprise you.
Midwives could baptize newborns . . . → Read More: Five Surprising Facts about Christianity in the Dark Ages, by Kim Rendfeld
She’s come a long way from Rock ‘n Roll N-word. She hasn’t lost the punk rock emotion in her voice though. Beautiful.
– Mike Swanson