FROM SCUD MOUNTAINS TO CHAPPAQUIDICK SKYLINES: The Geography Of Joe Pernice + Hick Rock With The Lonesome Bros
“I hate my life,” Joe Pernice confides with a strange, almost carnal tenderness. “Don’t be alarmed if someday soon you hear I’ve gone away.” Before the song’s over, he’ll change the “if” to “when”, and as the tune dissolves into the distance, Pernice sounds more certain than ever.
STONED BRUSSELS ON THE BISCUIT: Revisiting The Legendary ’73 Radio Broadcast
As a small tribute to today’s birthday boy, guitarist extraordinaire Mick Taylor, (who turns an improbable Seven-O), here’s my take on one of the most famously obsessed-over, and mythologized slabs of live rock & roll of the past 50 years that Mr. Taylor was intrinsic to bringing to life — and which, until fairly recently, wasn’t even officially released (and even then, as a mostly digital-only treat). Hence this review, written by my alter-ego “Leedslungs71,” of another enterprising foray into the nether realm of unofficial, fan recordings that have kept this blistering concert and indelible moment alive and humming across generations of listeners for more than forty years. (This piece first appeared at the terrific Collectors Music Reviews blog and website, which is populated by those of us who care about such things).
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.
MANNISH BOYS AT THE MOCAMBO: What, No April Wine?
The 300 lucky radio station contest winners who crowded into a dozen buses bound for Toronto’s El Mocambo Tavern one early March evening in 1977 began booing when they thought they wouldn’t be seeing the club’s headliners, April Wine, after all. Also on the bill that night was some opening act called The Cockroaches. They […]
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.
TRUE BLUES: The Stones Get Back To The Bedrock
Ultimately, despite (or perhaps because of) being bashed-about and knocked-out off-the-cuff, “Blue & Lonesome” firmly and expansively situates itself in time and place. Like most good albums, it captures and distills a mood and a feeling, a frame of mind, a state of being, and it’s a welcome, if relatively brief (at 42 minutes), escape.
A HIT OF SYMPHONIC BLOTTER ACID: Forever Changes But Love’s Masterpiece Endures
The “Summer of Love” it may have been, but much of the music on those iconic records of 1967 contained a far more complicated series of emotions and refracted a darker reality shot through with chaos and doubt, turmoil and altered perceptions. Unlike some of its contemporaries, the music on Love’s ‘Forever Changes’ – not to mention the mystique that continues to surround the work — seems only to have deepened with time.
IT WAS 40 YEARS AGO TODAY: The Stones and the Spirit of ’76
It’s now almost farcical to consider that for a spell during the mid-1970s, the Rolling Stones were not only grappling with questions of relevance as a creative and cultural force, but struggling to just stay afloat (even with that inflatable phallus – or perhaps in spite of it) as a working unit.
DOUBLE THRILLER ON THE RHYME: The Glands’ Ross Shapiro, 1963-2016
The Glands were the perfect, enigmatic epitome of ‘indie-rock’ (whatever and however you conjure the term), and a woolly little ball of fuzzy contradictions. They were over-achieving, under-heard slackers from the coolly independent musical hotbed of Athens, Georgia, yet somehow, always seemed to stand apart from it. They were beloved and aloof. They made and released a […]
SINGING SONGS ABOUT THE SOUTHLAND: The Drive-By Truckers Raise A Ruckus
“All these years and lineup changes later, the song of DBT’s improbable start remains the same. But like all good yarns, it’s a story that bears retelling, because it’s about fate and fortune and famine, and a terrific rock & roll band whose defining moment almost didn’t happen.”