Category: Charlie Olvera

Nina Hagen Band ‘Nina Hagen Band’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#913 in the Series) is the self-titled debut from Nina Hagen Band. There’s a great scene in Paul Rachman’s terrific documentary “American Hardcore” that discusses the differences between early punk and early hardcore.  While I don’t remember the specific verbiage, the gist of the thing is that early punks came up playing glam rock and turned to punk later in life, whereas early hardcore kids heard punk rock and picked up instruments; while they couldn’t play worth a damn, the primal energy of punk rock was a universal.  This attitude seems to be widely held, and time hasn’t been kind to “punks that could play”: the classic image of punk rock is fast,...

Roxy Music “Manifesto”

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#729 in the Series) is Roxy Music, Manifesto The conventional wisdom surrounding Roxy Music seems to suggest that there are two distinct “periods” of the band’s initial existence.  The first phase, from the band’s inception through 1976’s Siren, was characterized by dual predilections for high-brow artiness and otherworldly glamour; and the second phase, from 1979’s Manifesto through 1982’s Avalon, signaled the band’s transition into a brooding, stylish, and literate pop hit machine, helmed by Bryan Ferry’s inimitable voice and buoyed up by a small army of studio technicians. However, while there are undeniably two sonic phases to Roxy’s chronology, Manifesto, often hailed as the first album of Roxy’s later period, really finds...

A Review of R.E.M. “Collapse Into Now”

By Charlie Olvera, March 15, 2011 I came of age listening to rock and roll right around the same time that R.E.M. came of age in the eyes of progressive rock radio and the critical press.  R.E.M. had been a “buzz” band since the early/mid 80s, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s that Out Of Time and Automatic For The People came crashing through the gate along with a host of other “college rock” bands: The Pixies, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, etc.  Back then, it was hard for R.E.M. to do any wrong.  Their collaborations with producer Scott Litt, which started on 1987’s aptly titled Document and continued through 1996’s New Adventures in Hi-Fi, consistently set the bar...

The Walker Brothers “Night Flights”

Today’s Cool Album Of the Day (#314 in the Series) is The Walker Brothers, Night Flights What do David Bowie, Brian Eno, Midge Ure of Ultravox, and Iggy Pop all have in common?  One unlikely musical hero: Scott Walker. Okay, let’s dispense with the shameless yellow journalism right out of the gate: no, it’s not THAT Scott Walker.  In fact, none of the Walker Brothers, the subject of today’s Cool Album, are actually Walkers by birth, but, rather, took the Ramones approach to pop stardom, way back in the early 60s. A little history: The Walker Brothers started as a pop group in pre-British Invasion Los Angeles, and found themselves positioned as a unique (and somewhat feeble) American “counter-strike”....