Song of the Week: “Transition” by DIRTYGIRL


The lo-fi punk band from London DIRTYGIRL offers “Transition,” a track with a tight power pop sound and vocals reminiscent of early Liz Phair.  It’s off their Junk Food EP released in October, and made known to my by The Sounds in My Head podcast.

Music Discoveries P-Funk, part 2 (1975-1978)


This second post in the series covers a period where Parliament-Funkadelic is exploding, releasing some of the bands’ most popular albums and singles, touring with an increasingly elaborate stage show, and branching off to form new bands and solo projects (although those bands and artists were frequently backed up by the same stable of P-Funk…

Albums of the Month: July 2016


I’m adding to my stable of music criticism posts by introducing a new Albums of the Month feature.  The basic gist is that on the second Wednesday of the month (or, as is the case when I procrastinate, on Friday), I will write reviews of 3-5 albums released within the past three months (in this…

Music Discoveries: P-Funk, part 1 (1970-1975)


This series of posts where I write about music I never listened to before is basically a public confession of ignorance.  After all, I’m making music “discoveries” in much the same way Columbus “discovered” the Americas.  Millions people have heard and enjoyed this music before.  So far I’ve enjoyed most of my “discoveries” but with…

Song of the Week: “Comicon” by SassyBlack


“Comicon” is a funky celebration of going to a science fiction/fantasy convention dressed as your favorite characters.  It comes from “space aged singer, songwriter & producer” SassyBlack, aka Cat Harris-White.

Favorite Songs of 2016 … so far


Wednesdays are now my music blogging day.  While I’ve enjoyed writing my Music Discoveries series, I’ve found it hard to find the time to give a fair listen to all of a bands album in just one week.  So, starting in July, I’m going to post music discoveries on the first and third Wednesdays (and…

Song of the Week: “Stadium Pow Wow” by A Tribe Called Red


I believe A Tribe Called Red becomes my first third time Song of the Week honoree with this post.  But I can’t resist the Ottawa, Ontario groups mix of electronic dance music with traditional First Nations chanting and drumming.  And on “Stadium Pow Wow” they’ve somehow turned this unique blend into a jock jam!  The…

Music Discoveries: Sigur Rós


Icelandic band Sigur Rós is known for their soundscapes, mimimalists arrangements, overlay of instruments, reverb, and ethereal vocals of band leaderJón Þór Birgisson, known as Jonsi.  I became aware of the band about a decade ago and Ágætis byrjun is one of my all-time favorite albums, but I was less familiar with their other work.  So now I’ve listened…

Music Discoveries: The New Pornographers


The New Pornographers are described as a Canadian superband because all the members were assembled by A.C. Newman from various other bands and solo projects.  To be honest, I know nothing of the works of Newman and the other band members outside of The New Pornographers, with the exception of Neko Case who I’ve been…

Song of the Week: “1973” by Beth Orton


“1973” is a song by Beth Orton off her new album Kidsticks.  Orton is an English singer-songwriter who blends folk music with electronica to create “folkltronica.”  1973 is a significant year since that was the year I was born, but I expect Orton isn’t aware of that.  

Worst Songs of the 1990s


I failed to post anything yesterday ending my six month plus streak of posting everyday.  Today I have absolutely nothing prepared for Music Discoveries.  So I’m in a cranky mood and I will channel this into saying mean things about songs that other people probably like. For my list of the worst songs of the…

Song of the Week: “Kinsumba” by Konono N°1


Konono N°1 is a band from Congo that makes instruments out of used car parts.  On their new album they’re working with Angolan-born, Portugal-based producer Batida.  “Kinsumba” is a great way to kick off your weekend.

Music Discoveries: Stereolab


I had two chances to become a Stereolab superfan.  The first was 20-something years ago when my college radio station hosted a concert with two bands.  I didn’t usually like the bands the radio station got to play but I think it was close to mandatory for DJs to attend this concert.  I ended up…

Song of the Week: “The Werewolf” by Paul Simon


Paul Simon certainly does not need a small-time blogger to get publicity, but I’m going to share his wildly inventive and unique new song “The Werewolf” anyway. Even better, check out the All Songs Considered podcast where Paul Simon breaks down the song’s creation with Bob Boilen.  And don’t these lyrics speak to our time!…

Music Discoveries: Kate Bush


Kate Bush is an artist I’ve always thought was really talented and important, but never got around to listening to anything beyond a select few popular songs.  So this week’s Music Discoveries addresses that. I first heard of Kate Bush 30 years ago through her duet with Peter Gabriel on “Don’t Give Up,” a song that…

Song of the Week: YOU the Audience Decide!


Okay, so here are four new (to me) songs that I like, but none of them jump out as THE Song of the Week.  So I’m going to let my readers write this post with an unprecedented Song of the Week poll. Here are the contenders: Courtney Barnett – “Three Packs a Day” Jack Klatt…