Albums of the Month: November 2016


I started working on this post a few weeks ago, set it aside, and in the intervening time one of the artists review straight-up DIED.  I feel terrible guilt that I didn’t get my thoughts on Leonard Cohen’s now-final album up in a timely manner.  Before anything bad happens to any of the other artists,…

Book Review: How Music Works by John Powell


Author: John Powell Title: How music works : the science and psychology of beautiful sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and beyond Publication Info: New York, NY : Little, Brown, 2010. Summary/Review: With a lot of humor and avoidance of technical detail, Powell breaks down everything about music including physics, acoustics, decibels, rhythm and melody, and musical…

Song of the Week: “Life on Mars?” by Sophia Anne Caruso


Just when you thought there was already enough David Bowie content on this blog, today’s Song of the Week comes from the recently released cast recording of the David Bowie musical, Lazarus.  Sophia Anne Caruso’s interpretation of “Life on Mars?” is the perfect Bowie and the musical theater.  I can’t stop listening to it. Take…

Music Discoveries: David Bowie, 1988-2016


The 1980s saw a low point in David Bowie’s creative output. He was not alone, as many of the great artists of the sixties and seventies released a lot of dreck in the 1980s. Many of them never recovered, while others regained relevancy only as nostalgia acts, touring on their old hits and/or recording new…

Music Discoveries: David Bowie, 1975-1987


This second post in the Music Discovery series covers a dozen years and nine David Bowie albums.  It follows Bowie as he says goodbye to Glam Rock and Ziggy Stardust and takes on American soul, German electronic music, atmospheric art music, and finally pop superstardom.  The first six albums come out with regularity about a year…

Music Discoveries: David Bowie, 1967-1974


Although I only began posting “Music Discoveries” a few months ago, I came up with the idea a few years back inspired by the fact that I needed to listen to more David Bowie. True confession: I have not always appreciated David Bowie’s music. I first became aware of Bowie as a child perhaps during…

Albums of the Month: October 2016


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) ARTIST: Warpaint ALBUM: Heads Up RELEASE DATE: 1 August 2016 RATING: ** FAVORITE TRACKS: “New…

Song of the Week: “Tired By Kids” by Poitín


Today, we are halfway to St. Patrick’s Day as celebrated on the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast.  Thus this week’s song is an Irish folk tune from halfway around the world in the Czech Republic, where the band Poitín is one of the most prominent members of the Irish pub music scene. I can related to…

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: “Ya” by Factory Floor


“Ya” by Factory Floor is reminiscent of “Oh Yeah” by Yello, perhaps even less lyrically challenging, but I can still envision it played over an action montage in an 80s comedy.  It’s Labor Day Weekend after all, and the workers of the world don’t want to think too hard, but they do want to dance.

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…