Category: Albums of the 10s

Kurt Vile “Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze”

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Never Run Away” by Kurt Vile (Matador Records) Kurt Vile’s lo-fi bedroom records from the past have given way to a more produced sound on his latest record called Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze.  While some of the edges have been smoothed out production-wise, the songwriting is as sharp as ever on his most assured collection yet, as he comes to terms with balancing life on the road and raising a family at home. Vile is married and has two young children and more than on any of his previous albums, the overriding theme of homesickness pops up time and time again. Both “Pure Pain” – “well I want to be...

Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses) ‘The Low Highway’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Pocket Full Of Rain” by Steve Earle & The Dukes (& Duchesses)  Steve Earle is an American Storyteller, poet and novelist, and his brand new album is certainly his best and most varied since Transcendental Blues, which came out almost 20 years ago. Recording with his crack live band, The Dukes (& The Duchesses) consisting of Chris Masterson on guitar, Eleanor Whitmore on violin, Kelley Looney on bass, Will Rigby on drums, singer Allison Moorer on piano and Siobhan Kennedy on vocals, makes all the difference in the world here. There’s an electricity that crackles through the grooves on The Low Highway that could only come from a group of musicians...

Todd Rundgren ‘State’

  I love Todd Rundgren. I’ve been a fan since the early 1970s, and at this point I don’t see that ever changing. Like Neil Young, Todd is one of the most mercurial artists who still makes interesting records in all sorts of genres mainly to please himself. That’s made for lots of experimentation along the way resulting in all different types of records like Beatles sound-alikes, samba reworking of older material, a record of Robert Johnson covers (called Todd Rundgren’ s Johnson, no less), rap and disco. So even when Rundgren doesn’t hit the ball out of the park, say on records like (re)Production and One Long Year, you can always count on at least taking an interesting...

Foxygen ‘We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Oh Yeah” by Foxygen When I recently went to see Unknown Mortal Orchestra play in Chicago, the opening act was their Jagjaguwar label mates Foxygen. I had never heard of them before, however I must say that not only was I duly impressed enough to delve further into their oeuvre, but there were probably more people there to see them than UMO who were the headliners. Foxygen is a California duo consisting of Jonathan Rado and Sam France who formed in 2005. Although they are a duo, the band adds several members including vocalist Elizabeth Fey when touring. Their sound is a thoroughly modern take on ‘60s psychedelia, infusing Kinks...

Dawes ‘Stories Don’t End’ – NEW MUSIC REVIEW

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Most People” by Dawes Dawes make musical catnip circa 1976 for Mumford-loving, aging boomers who are desperately trying to stay musically relevant, while never ever leaving their musical comfort zone. And along with Fleet Foxes, Dawes have created a sound that is grounded in well-written songs, hummable melodies, plush harmonies and poetic lyrics that are chock full of credibility, offering a welcome relief from the jingoistic sing-a-long fare provided by musical peers like Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers who dominate the charts these days with their brand of feel-good pep rally music. Too bad it isn’t 1976, for if it was, Dawes’ latest album Stories Don’t End would be...

Jake Bugg ‘Jake Bugg’

                    ——————————————————————————————————————————————- Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Lightning Bolt” by Jake Bugg Things you need to know about Jake Bugg… He’s not a young Dylan. There was only one young Dylan and he’s not young anymore. He’s not a New Dylan. You can choose everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Elvis Costello to Beck to fill in the blank, none of them were new Dylans, and neither is Jake Bugg. Jake Bugg is, well, Jake Bugg. Although he was dubbed the “East Midlands Bob Dylan” early on, he’s not that guy either. Dylan was barely an influence – “Bob Dylan’s cool, you know, he’s great, but he’s not...

Parquet Courts ‘Light Up Gold’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Careers In Combat” by Parquet Courts I love the Pitchfork Music Festival. It’s my one opportunity per year to feel a little ahead of the curve when it comes to discovering new music. Attending the festival gives me bragging rights about getting the chance to see bands before they make it big. Pitchfork is also the most user friendly of all the music festivals. Its 30,000 capacity per day is much smaller than Lollapalooza, which maxes out at 100,000 each day. There are only two stages with music going at any given time, and since you don’t have to walk miles to get between them, you can easily sample six to...

Walker Lukens ‘Devoted’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#856 in the Series) is Walker Lukens, Devoted.  If Harry Nilsson, Paul Simon, and Warren Zevon had a love child, his name would be Walker Lukens. This Austin settled, by way of Houston and New York City musician is that good, and with his new album Devoted he has managed to combine the raw, vulnerable musings of Nilsson, the pop sensibility of Simon, and the “on the edge” coolest guy in the room vibe of Warren at his Excitable Boy peak. With the current Mumford-ization trend that is so popular in today’s musical landscape, it is somewhat of a refreshing change to find a record that is equally, if not more enjoyable than...

The Phantom Six ‘Plastic Rain’

Posted 10 Apr 2013 in Albums of 2011, Albums of the 10s, Bubby Lewis

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#855 in the Series) is The Phantom Six, Plastic Rain  Sitting on the outskirts of Morgantown, WV near the lunacy that is West Virginia University ( voted the “Number One” party school in the nation on and off for years by many different publications ) comes one of the best, well hidden garage bands out there today; The Phantom Six and their phenomenal debut, Plastic Rain. Under the direction of lead vocalist/guitarist/songwriter/producer, Mark Poole (at his own Zone 8 Recording Studio, an often swelteringly hot, two room laboratory where Poole is both Jekyll and Hyde), this album is full of cool, crisp leads and rich, enigmatic lyrics. Add to it the floating harmonies...

Old Man Markley ‘Down Side Up’

  Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#854 in the Series) is Old Man Markley, Down Side Up (Fat Wreck Chords) There is an interesting thing happening in the pop music world these days. The more things change, the more they stay the same….and yet they still keep changing. Not entirely sure what that means, but this much is true: traditionally defined genres are blending, sometimes being deconstructed altogether, and new fusions are emerging. Especially in the Nashville/ACM scene, groups like Gloriana and Lady Antebellum have managed to get mass market crossover appeal while still winning several critical accolades with a not-exactly-country, not-exactly-pop, just pretty-darn-good sound. Enter Old Man Markley, with a style dubbed “newgrass.”.Energetic without being overly gritty...

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