Category Influential Albums

BROTHERS IN AMPS: The Clean’s Kilgours of Kiwi (In Memory of Hamish Kilgour, 1957-2022)

Apologies if the original post of this piece contained text and/or formatting glitches that made it difficult/impossible to read, er, cleanly. Here is the (hopefully) corrected version. Aside from a title tweak, I’ve decided to forego replacing or replicating the video bells and whistles of the original post and present the text straight-up as a companion to the faulty original. I invite you to give it another go with my thanks. Again, sorry the HAL 3000 has decided to get drunk and insubordinate. Now, where the hell is the plug and outlet to that bleary red eye of his?

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BROTHERS IN AMPS: The Clean’s Hamish & David Kilgour

The Clean (L-R): Drummer-singer Hamish Kilgour, guitarist-singer David Kilgour, bassist Robert Scott. Sad news reached us last week when we learned that Hamish Kilgour, co-founding member (along with his brother David) of the seminal New Zealand band The Clean, was discovered dead at age 65 at Christchurch, after going missing for more than a week, […]

HEART OF THE STONES: In Praise of Charlie Watts, June 2, 1941-August 24, 2021

“Charlie’s good tonight in’nit he?” — Mick Jagger, Madison Square Garden, 1969. Charlie Watts’s drum kit was a pitch-perfect reflection of the man who sat behind it for The Rolling Stones for nearly 60 years: modest yet essential. Charlie famously eschewed rock drum solos as frivolous, show-offy expressions of ego. A lifelong jazz devotee and […]

PHAIR WEATHER FRIEND: Hanging Out In Guyville 25+ Years Later

It’s been a life-altering twenty five-plus years since we were all twenty five (or thereabouts), an age when most of us don’t have much of a clue about how life-altering the next twenty five years are going to be.

Welcome To The Breakfast Show: 50 Years of Living With Let It Bleed

Talk about setting a high bar. How do you match an album (1968’s “Beggars Banquet”) that has “Sympathy For The Devil” as its opener? Simple. Make “Gimme Shelter” the opening salvo on your follow-up record. Some of us didn’t need a big box set (out now) marking the golden anniversary of “Let It Bleed” to […]

Leaving Traces and Circles Around The Sun: Farewell Neal Casal (1968-2019)

Neal Casal was a multi-tasking, multi-genre musical threat: a fine singer, composer, and detail-oriented storyteller; a fluid and lyrical lead player as well as bedrock-solid rhythm guitarist; and an unassuming personality who proved a versatile sideman and good-natured complement to the legends and stars in the spotlight.

OLD GODS HIDING IN LONG GRASS: The Clientele’s Music for the Age of Miracles

Oh, hi there! Don’t mind the bobbing balloons and confetti streaming about, kids. We’re just having a little party. You see, here in the comfy, wood-paneled confines of RPM HQ, we’ve been celebrating the fact that one of our most beloved bands of the past fifteen-plus years, the Clientele, are back — at least for […]

WALTER BECKER (1950-2017), STEELY DAN’S CO-ARCHITECT OF IMPOSSIBLE COOL

What sometimes seemed like so much shiny “Pop” on the outside  — and yes, much of it certainly was intelligent, immaculately crafted pop music (“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”; “Hey Nineteen,” “FM” etc.) — Steely Dan’s music held a far more slippery substance, both instrumentally and lyrically, that simmered and squirmed inside that lacquered shell of crisp studio perfection.

ONE WAY OUT: Gregg Allman, 1947-2017

Along with his brothers (biological, spiritual, musical or otherwise) , Allman certainly left his mark on the vast and variegated landscape of American rock & roll and the deep reservoirs of blues, soul, gospel, and country from which his group’s music drew.

CHRIS BELL’S PURE POP COSMOS: Big Star’s Other Bright Light

News that a biography and at least three vinyl compilations of the work of Big Star co-founder Chris Bell are coming out this year — including “The Complete Chris Bell,” a massive six-LP (!) retrospective due July 7 by Omnivore Recordings (the same folks who’ve issued some tasty Big Star releases in recent years, including […]

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