Peter Stampfel

Goodbye 20th Century: Peter Stampfel Bids It a Fond Farewell, but Leaves the Light On “Good ol’ Ricola.” Peter Stampfel paused to unwrap a lozenge nearly an hour into a lively conversation. This was no product plug, but rather a coping mechanism. Stampfel suffers from dysphonia, and has completely lost his voice for extended periods… Continue reading Peter Stampfel

Game Theory – Across the Barrier of Sound

Game Theory’s run of hooky, heady and slightly off-kilter power pop extended from 1982-90, drawing the curtain with something that qualified as neither a bang nor a whimper. The quartet, which honed its attack using guitars and keyboards in equal measure, had always been a revolving cast of players centered on curly-haired savant Scott Miller.… Continue reading Game Theory – Across the Barrier of Sound

Salt – The Loneliness of Clouds

Salt’s origin story is a fascinating one, even if it’ll likely resonate with only a select demographic. The Paris-centric band’s formation is a thin silver lining to emerge from the 2013 suicide of Game Theory/Loud Family mastermind Scott Miller. Miller’s widow enlisted Ken Stringfellow for an unusually heavy lift as producer – interrogating hundreds of… Continue reading Salt – The Loneliness of Clouds

Van Duren Gets Another Chance to be a Big Star

Remember Van Duren? Eighty percent of you who answered yes are lying. The dude knocked around the same 1970s Memphis pop scene as Alex Chilton, and played with Big Star alums Chris Bell and Jody Stephens after their own star-crossed band dissolved. Duren managed to release a cult classic album in 1977, recording a second… Continue reading Van Duren Gets Another Chance to be a Big Star

Game Theory – Supercalifragile

The term “bittersweet” crosses my mind repeatedly when listening to this posthumous collection from Scott Miller. Miller, whose unusually heady brand of power pop was a reliable presence through the ’80s and ’90s as the mastermind behind Game Theory and later Loud Family, had become less prolific in his later years – his last release,… Continue reading Game Theory – Supercalifragile

Alex Chilton’s Man Called Destruction, Redux

With all the ongoing powerpop geek hyperventilation over Big Star, Alex Chilton’s solo albums are too often overlooked. Granted, they’re cut from a different cloth, but their shambolic charms and stubborn resistance to current trends made them stand out every bit as much as #1 Record or Third/Sister Lovers stood out against the prevailing winds of… Continue reading Alex Chilton’s Man Called Destruction, Redux

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

Not long ago on Twitter, which is pretty much the world’s best place to scope out NSFW porn starlet selfies and jump into silly boy slap parties with undersexed nerds about topics of face-numbing meaninglessness, a friend shared a thought. “Is that shitty Replacements documentary the non-fiction film equivalent of a summer superhero movie?” I… Continue reading Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

The Posies – Blood/Candy

The Posies Blood/Candy [Rykodisc] The last time I interviewed Ken Stringfellow – he being half of The Posies – he was about to tour behind a solo album while leaving his newborn child with a nanny on an island off the coast of France. Coincidentally, my unattended one-year-old had rolled off the bed that same… Continue reading The Posies – Blood/Candy

Teenage Fanclub

Sweet Days Believe It: Teenage Fanclub Are Better Than Ever Hadn’t given much thought to Teenage Fanclub in, oh, a dozen years or so? Didn’t even know if they were still around? Never heard of ’em in the first place? Then, pal, you are missing out. Truth be told, for all the hoopla the Glasgow… Continue reading Teenage Fanclub