Category LP

BEANO’S BLUESBREAKING BEST: When Clapton Really WAS God (And Who Created Him? Why, John Mayall, Of Course!)

To me, this is Clapton at his rawest and fiercest; his bluesiest, purest, and most exciting, channeling his hero Freddie King (and even covering a tune or two) with a bottomless bag of stinging riffs, ferocious solo outbursts, and inventive accents of color and melody.

TIME CAPSULE: On Matthew Sweet (But Not His ‘Girlfriend’) Hitting The Half-Century Mark

Cueing up Matthew Sweet on the ole turntable in honor of his birthday this week got me thinking about time (but then, doesn’t everything?). The notion of time speeding up and (thankfully) slowing down, and how it defines and marks us, after all, is precisely the effect certain music and albums have on our lives. In the case […]

RETURN OF THE REAL KIDS PART II: John Felice On Rock & Roll Resurrections (Don’t Call It Punk!), Shaking Outta Control, And Living Past Thirty

Real Kids frontman John Felice didn’t think he’d live to see thirty. Now professing astonishment at having nearly doubled his predicted life expectancy, Felice and the latest, formidable incarnation of his equally improbably long-running outfit have just released a new album, “Shake … Outta Control.” It’s a snarling, strutting, soulful little record that for all […]

WHEN RECORDS ARE PEOPLE: Markers Of A Life Amid A Museum of Wax

Chances are, the illness I describe below only afflicts those such as myself, for whom prolonged, protracted exposure to dusty bins, racks, or rows of vinyl can cause a psychologically discombobulating, mildly hallucinatory condition — a disorder where occasional bouts of grandiose euphoria are mistaken for finely honed revelations of clarity. This is known as […]

KING SIZE TALENT: Charlie Chesterman, Scruffy Sweetheart of The Rodeo

Besides his exuberant rock & roll music — and he made a lot of it, thankfully for us, over the years — his easy laugh is what I most identified with Charlie Chesterman.  The Iowa transplant who moved to Boston and made his mark as one of the city’s most beloved singer-songwriters, first with the essential local ’80s outfit Scruffy […]

GUIDED BY BOB: A Salty Salute to GBV’s Robert Pollard Who Turns 56 (which is less birthday candles than he’s made records)

A very Happy 56th Birthday to Robert Pollard of the long-running Dayton, Ohio rock band, Guided By Voices. Pollard is, at this point, one of the few indie-rock artists who’s always made me feel young. Not because he’s even that old, or his music or sensibility is old, mind you. Naw, it’s just that, when you’re […]

MAYBE IN A BETTER WORLD: Alex Chilton Comes Clean

Alex Chilton still doesn’t get what all the fuss is about. Well, most of the fuss, anyway. Chilton concedes that his celebrated band, Big Star, had “a *few* good songs”, but he also makes a  distinction between what he calls “good music and good songs.” The pair of albums the band recorded during its lifetime, […]

His Band Opened For Badfinger: A Q&A with Big Star’s Jody Stephens

A Q&A with Jody Stephens/Rolling Stone.com Even if Jody Stephens had never picked up a pair of drumsticks after 1974, he’d still have secured an immortal place in pop history as the drummer for Big Star — one of the most talked about and belatedly beloved American rock & roll bands ever. And although they […]

A BIG STAR SHINES THROUGH THE GOLDEN SMOG: Jody Stephens On Belonging Again

We all know how dreamily handsome Jody Stephens, the once and future drummer for Big Star, has always been (damn, check out Jody in his to-die-for patchwork leather jacket on the back cover of “Radio City”;  with that feathered hair and jawline, the dude made Keith Partridge look like Ernest Borgnine).  But he also stands as […]

THE SOLO SOUL OF A BIG STAR: Alex Chilton On No. 1 Records, Radio City Rebounds, And A Third Album That Really Wasn’t

I could barely believe it when he said yes. Well actually, to be more precise, I couldn’t believe it when, after asking whether the evasive, elusive, and reclusive Alex Chilton might possibly consent to an interview with me for my music column in the Boston Phoenix’s Stuff@Night magazine, his publicist checked with the man, called me back, […]

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