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Jeffrey Lee Pierce: somewhere between heroin and Nashville

Jeffrey Lee Pierce: somewhere between heroin and Nashville

Various Artists We Are Only Riders: The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project (thru Shock Records) This tribute album is getting a pretty mixed reception amongst the cool kids and the people with authoritative voices, but don’t let that put you off. If your thing is dark, murder-tinged alty sort of country inflected folky-rock type stuff, […]

Black Cab Sessions

Black Cab Sessions

Been meaning to mention this site for a while. It mightn’t be immediately apparent why a musician playing in the back of a London cab is a good idea, but the evidence from the Black Cab Sessions’ site is that the performances tend to be strangely compelling. The site describes itself this way: THE SESSIONS […]

Rhodes most travelled

CD Review Lou Rhodes One Good Thing (thru Inertia Music) Dear Ms Rhodes, Thank you for your application to join the contemporary folk hall of fame. Unfortunately, your application has been rejected. We already have a Joni Mitchell. That was how I felt when I first had a listen to this new album by English […]

Micah P. Hinson: smelling of something

Micah P. Hinson: smelling of something

CD Review Micah P. Hinson All Dressed Up and Smelling Of Strangers (thru Inertia) This is a double album of covers by Texan Micah P. Hinson. He’s an alt.country indie artist and is blessed with the sorts of disadvantages that can give indie stars credibility.  I mean, what marginal country artist wouldn’t give their cowboy boots for […]

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Music for grown-ups who remember when they weren't

Great song: that is all

This track is ten parts of awesome.  I’ll review the album it comes from later, but for now, just wanted to share.

Magnetic Fields: baroque and roll

CD Review The Magnetic Fields Realism (thru Warner Music) The band Magnetic Fields is basically musician and singer Stephen Merritt and a moving cast of contributors, and if you don’t know his work, then think of him as something like a New Yorkier, independentier version of Benny Anderson from Abba. He writes catchy, singable pop […]

Sparkly, sparkly Marina and the Diamonds

Sparkly, sparkly Marina and the Diamonds

CD Review Marina and the Diamonds The Family Jewels (thru Warner Music) I thought it might be interesting to get my son — a big Marina fan — to review this album now that it is out.  What follows are his thoughts on the new album. Judging by the name “Marina and the Diamonds” you […]

Brilliant Decemberists’ gig

For those of you who missed the recent Australian concerts by The Decemberists (a category that includes me, unfortunately), they have just posted their gig from the Metro in Sydney on the wonderful Moshcam site. Ninety minutes of music and chatter, it’s a must-see for fans. If you don’t know the band, it’s a pretty […]

Name that band

There’s a kind of interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal about the difficutly of coming up with a name for a band these days.  Not the most pressing problem in a world of problems, I agree, but one that is no doubt real for a lot of people: When former Led Zeppelin bassist John […]

Gil Scott-Heron

This is not a review of the new album by Gil Scott-Heron, but I wanted to mention that I was listening to it and enjoying it.  If you don’t know his work, or the name only rings a bell faintly, let me quote from his website: Gil Scott-Heron (born April 1, 1949) is an American […]