Music Discoveries: Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings


I’m a fan of soul, funk, and R&B of the 1960s and 1970s, so naturally I’m drawn to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. The band keeps alive the sounds of an earlier music with new songs that sometimes sound eerily as if they’ve been hidden in a vault for decades. Nevertheless, there’s a strong musical…

Bands I Broke Up With


Recently, the All Songs Considered podcast rebroadcast an episode called Breaking Up With Your Favorite Bands.  It’s all about the moment when your realize that the band or artist you loved so much, you just don’t love anymore.  It could be them, it could be you.  You might still love the old stuff, or you…

Albums of the Months: August/September 2016


I never got up my AOTM post for August, so here’s a two for one. Ratings scale: ***** – An all-time classic album (highly recommended) **** – Great album (recommended) *** – Solid album (consider buying or streaming/downloading top tracks) ** – Weak album (only consider streaming/downloading top tracks) * – Poor album (not recommended)…

Song of the Week: “O B 1” by Jagwar Ma


“O B 1” by Jagwar Ma is reminiscent of the industrial dance music inflected alternative rock of the early 1990s, a style of music that seems to be overlooked in 90s music retrospectives, but one I dug.  The Australian band will release their full album Every Now & Then in October. More at KEXP Song…

Musical Guilty Pleasures


Last Wednesday I was due to post my Album of the Month reviews for August, and this Wednesday is supposed to be a Musical Discoveries post, but I have listened to nothing so I have nothing ready to post.  So, I’m moving Album of the Month to next Wednesday, August 24th and a Music Discovery…

Music Discoveries P-Funk, part 3 (1978-1982)


Here is my third and final post for my “discovery” series on the P-Funk collective of musicians in the 1970s and early 1980s.  In the first post I found myself impressed by the freshness and innovation of the music even though it was more than 40 years old.  The second post featured the familiar hit…

Song of the Week: “Frankie Sinatra” by The Avalanches


A long time ago I found a random album at the library by a band called The Avalanches and was blown away by the sound collage of samples, sound bites, and dance music, especially the track “Frontier Psychiatrist.”   16 years later, The Avalanches finally got around to releasing their second album Wildflower featuring the delightfully…

Bands Better Live Than Studio


I used to go to a lot more concerts and shows than I do now, and when I did I discovered a lot of artists and bands who won me over with their live performances. In some cases their studio recordings didn’t live up to the concerts, or it took me seeing them live to…

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…