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  • Article

    Peel It Up - Memoir of a radio hero

    Were you one of the thousands of hopefuls who submitted demo tapes to BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel? Perhaps he didn't play it, let alone include it on his annual Festive 50 list. But consider this: Did you describe your music as "jazz"? Boast about your ...

    by Mike Appelstein on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Witchcraft - The Alchemist (Rise Above)

    This CD sounds like sitting in the back of a 1976 Dodge van, surrounded by blacklight posters, clouds of incense smoke, and stacks of 8-tracks. Musically, it's like some time-warped orgy of Cream, Black Sabbath, and Electric Light Orchestra; lyricall...

    by Niki D'Andrea on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Shelby James and the Crying Shames - Cadillac Valentine (self-released)

    Shelby James and the Crying Shames' Cadillac Valentine is an often sprightly blend of '90s rock, country, blues, driving bass and drums, and '60s-esque guitar and vocal riffs. Drawing on influences far and wide, the lyrics quote songs by everyone fro...

    by Sarah Ventre on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Bruce Springsteen - Magic (Sony)

    Magic is being hyped as Springsteen's rocking return to his classic period, and that's understandable: The album contains lotsa familiar musical totems, not to mention lyrics about driving a highway until the road turns black, and a diner on the edge...

    by Michael Roberts on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Konono No. 1 - Live at Couleur Caf (Crammed Disc)

    Konono No. 1 is from the Congo, and they make music unlike anything you've ever heard. Their music is based on the sound of the mingiedi, the Congolese thumb piano, also known as the kalimba and sanza. Band leader Mawangu Mingiedi moved to Kinshasa (...

    by j. poet on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Eddie Daniels - Homecoming: Eddie Daniels Live at the Iridium (IPO Recordings)

    In his first appearance as a bandleader in New York in more than a decade, Santa Fe-based saxophonist and clarinetist Daniels played a four-day residence at The Iridium Jazz club, a well-known jazz spot best recognized for its regular Monday-night se...

    by Ernest Barteldes on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Matt Pond PA

    Frontman Matt Pond doesn't care for the term "chamber pop," and it's a loose fit. His band's sound is more Delgados than Belle & Sebastian, which is to say that though the quintet frequently uses strings for texture and its melancholy tone, there's a...

    by Chris Parker on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Keali'i Reichel

    As one of the most prominent promoters of Hawaiian culture today, Keali'i Reichel (pronounced Key-ah-li-ee Ray-shell) takes an educational approach during his live concerts. "It's a good mixture of hula, storytelling and music," he says during a phon...

    by Ernest Barteldes on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    The Cave Singers, and Black Mountain

    Cave Singers frontman/guitarist Pete Quirk doesn't need a band, really. He's got a vocal delivery so weathered and lived-in thin as a middle-aged woman's croak, almost, or a limited Perry Farrell that it'd even be a devastating weapon sans instru...

    by Ray Cummings on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Bobby Bare Jr.

    It's almost impossible to believe Bobby Bare Jr. is the son of legendary countrypolitan crooner Bobby Bare. Bare Jr.'s tongue-in-cheek lyrics, dry vocals, and '60s pop-infused melodies are in direct opposition to his father's schmaltzy country fare. ...

    by Tracy M. Rogers on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Tis Brillig

    Beware the Jabberwock, my son, not to mention the Jubjub bird, the sneaky Snark, or any of the other boojumed bizarrities that will surely journey Through the Looking Glass for Tis Brillig, on Saturday, October 20, at the Starlight Room, 16737 East P...

    by Benjamin Leatherman on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Seven Nights of DJs and Dancing - Who's spinning what, where and when

    Thursday 18 Andersons Fifth Estate: MODE Thursdays with Sonique des Fleurs, Sol Martinez, & guests (deep house) Big Fish Pub: Chronik Frequency Thursdays with DJ Ladykilla, DJ Papi Cholo, DJ Spawn, Kyle Wise, AWOL, & Dmok (breaks, electro, hip-...

    on October 18, 2007
  • Article

    Still the Circle K of record stores

    Sadly, things haven't changed much. Except for the fact that indie bastions Eastside Records and Stinkweeds have had to downsize -- Eastside cutting its store size in half, and Stinkweeds closing up its Tempe location. And Zia, it appears, has stayed...

    @ Up on the Sun on March 1, 2007 @ 10:17 am
  • Article

    Apparently, Not Quite Dead, But...

    Sometimes some really weird shit comes across my desk, like this album, Remnants Resolved, by Skerlak Dead with four songs this Phoenix-based guy M. Skerlak recorded back in 1984, and two that he recorded in 1961. According to his myspace page, dude ...

    @ Up on the Sun on February 28, 2007 @ 12:20 pm
  • Article

    Anti-Authoritarian

    I happily admitted in a previous column that I was a fan of Authority Zero frontman Jason Devore's solo album, Conviction. But I also made it clear that I don't appreciate or understand AZ's music; I find it generic, formulaic, and oftentimes a bad b...

    @ Up on the Sun on February 27, 2007 @ 2:23 pm
  • Article

    Solo Survivor - One man, no van

    Shane Ocell has the biggest, hardest . . . callus I've ever seen. It's the size of a small marble, sitting on the knuckle of his right middle finger. He cultivated the knot through his unconventional drumming style holding the stick between h...

    by Niki D'Andrea on October 11, 2007
  • Article

    Via Vengeance - Dieography (www.myspace.com/shadesofbloood)

    Via Vengeance's songs sound gritty, dense, and calculated. The rhythms are snappy and solid, with seamless, simple timing changes that often lead into even simpler guitar interludes, but show attention to composition nonetheless. Not that Via Vengean...

    by Niki D'Andrea on October 11, 2007
  • Article

    Remembering Joe Zawinul - Down them stairs, lose them cares

    It was the eve of the new millennium at Joe and Maxine Zawinul's beautiful place in lower Manhattan. The music of Marvin Gaye filled the home "What's Going On," as I recall. Zawinul had invited me to a small family celebration, and all my other ...

    by Paul Rubin on October 11, 2007
  • Article

    On Your Markers - Glossy format

    So witty, so inquisitive, so downright loquacious is Elisa Ambrogio that a telephone interview with her threatens to unravel at any given moment, to turn obliviously tangential not unlike the music she's made, until recently. A question about autho...

    by Ray Cummings on October 11, 2007
  • Article

    Drastic Elastic - Devendra Banhart's latest bends and stretches, but doesn't break his spell

    The best descriptors for Devendra Banhart's latest album, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, come in pairs; one at a time doesn't do justice to its heady tensions or its creator's labyrinthine mystique. The record is kinetic yet placid, pensive yet dr...

    by Jewly Hight on October 11, 2007
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