Jesse Malin

Stayin’ Alive For Jesse Malin, It’s All for the Love of Rock ‘n’ Roll Acclaimed singer-songwriter Jesse Malin stands in the back room at Niagara, the bar in New York City’s East Village neighborhood that he has co-owned since 1997 – but he first started coming here in the 1980s, when it was named the… Continue reading Jesse Malin

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

Richard Hell Repaves His Destiny Street

Richard Hell & the Voidoids’ second and final album, Destiny Street, had a troubled story from the start. After the band’s original lineup disintegrated, for a few interim years Hell occupied his time with acting and smack, while different players shifted in and out of the Voidoids. When Destiny Street finally came out in 1982,… Continue reading Richard Hell Repaves His Destiny Street

The Budos Band

Brotherhood of Men: The Budos Band Keeps Pushing On “I think there’s a sense of optimism and triumph because we made a record together despite the fact that we’re split between the coasts and it’s hard for us to get together,” says The Budos Band saxophone player Jared Tankel. “When we do get together and… Continue reading The Budos Band

Bad Books’ Debut Enjoys Expanded Repress

An expanded 10th anniversary edition of the self-titled debut album from Bad Books – the collaboration between singer-songwriter Kevin Devine and Andy Hull of Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra – will be coming out this Friday, Oct. 23 digitally and in a 2-LP colored vinyl edition. (Does anyone release albums on plain ol’ black vinyl anymore? Funny how… Continue reading Bad Books’ Debut Enjoys Expanded Repress

Warhol

Warhol By Blake Gopnik [Ecco Press] Get this: I am a survivor of WAPS: That’s Warhol Obsession Phase Syndrome. My infection developed in my freshman year of college, sometime after I’d beaten back a strain of PPS (that’s People’s Poet Syndrome) and before the subsequent onset of BCBCW (that’s Black-Clad Burroughs/Camus Windbag Syndrome). WAPS was… Continue reading Warhol

Remain In Love

Remain In Love: Talking Heads • Tom Tom Club • Tina By Chris Frantz [St. Martin’s Press] “Now I get it. You guys are so uncool, you’re cool.” This pronouncement, from famed rock music critic Lester Bangs, came in the mid 1970s when Talking Heads were getting their first notices around the Bowery area of… Continue reading Remain In Love

The Woggles Enlist Little Steven for Single

The Woggles played selected dates last year alternating Graham Day and Atlanta’s Shane Pringle (Tiger! Tiger!) on guitar, following the heartbreaking loss of Jeff Walls to pancreatic cancer in May 2019. But when they went into the studio this past February to track a couple of songs for a new single, they enlisted the services… Continue reading The Woggles Enlist Little Steven for Single

The Mendoza Line’s Third Album Gets Expanded Reissue

Are you as sick of hearing that phony cuddly catchphrase “we’re all in this together” as we are? Especially since it becomes more and more clear every day that we are not, in any conceivable manner, in any of this bullshit together, in fact we are more fractured and divided than ever. Then my cynical/realistic… Continue reading The Mendoza Line’s Third Album Gets Expanded Reissue

The Strokes – The New Abnormal

SHA-11

The Strokes don’t wanna be your hero. They’re too nice to tell you this, but your poster on the wall doesn’t get them off. Maybe it used to, somewhere towards the beginning. The voice of someone’s generation, be it maybe just a blip in time, The Strokes seized that day nonetheless. They had the Big… Continue reading The Strokes – The New Abnormal

Have You Heard The Dream Syndicate? Not Like This

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The Dream Syndicate announced their newest album The Universe Inside in a similar fashion as many acts do: by releasing an advance single and accompanying video. Most advance singles are not, however, 20-minute excursions into hypnotic, panoramic, psychedelic jazz/funk electric euphoria punctuated with evocative, beaten generation lyrics transmitted from what sounds like the unlit bottom… Continue reading Have You Heard The Dream Syndicate? Not Like This

The Bongos

They Got the Beat! The Bongos Take Their Phantom Train Back Down South “Our first [U.S.] show out of the New York area was in Atlanta at the 688 [club],” reveals Richard Barone, vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter for Hoboken, New Jersey power pop-rockers The Bongos. “[We] first toured Europe before we left NYC [to… Continue reading The Bongos

Face It

Face It By Debbie Harry [Dey Street/Harper Collins] Blondie’s Debbie Harry has always been something of a consciously postmodern shape-shifter, even when said shape-shifting was a prefiguration of the postmodern condition that would be defined by frou-frou critical theorists in the late 1970s. Playfully manipulating her persona for the entirety of her career, Deborah Harry… Continue reading Face It

A Girl Called Eddy

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Not a Kid Anymore: A Girl Called Eddy is a Woman Called Erin. And She’s Finally Back. For the mastering process for the songs on Been Around, her second album as A Girl Called Eddy, Erin Moran took the recordings to London for Frank Arkwright to hone to perfection at Abbey Road Studios, the facility… Continue reading A Girl Called Eddy

Torres Gets the Urge to Merge

Torres – still better known to family and friends in her Macon hometown as Mackenzie Scott – has found a new home on Merge Records. Following her stunning and organic-sounding eponymous 2013 debut, Torres connected with longtime PJ Harvey collaborator Rob Ellis to create a pair of stylized albums that occasionally veered into bloodless terrain.… Continue reading Torres Gets the Urge to Merge

DIIV – Deceiver

Deceiver, the third album from Brooklyn-born/now LA-based post-punk/shoegaze quartet DIIV (pronounced “dive”) is apparently meant to be a cathartic affair. Vocalist/guitarist Zachary Cole Smith has a gentle, almost boyish voice, which makes for an interesting combination with his somber and introspective lyrics. Many of these songs apparently address his recovery from drug addiction, which caused… Continue reading DIIV – Deceiver

Kim Gordon – No Home Record

As was the case with her work in seminal alternative act Sonic Youth, so might vocalist/bassist Kim Gordon’s first solo effort confound casual listeners, though diehard fans will likely find it interesting to sift through the esoterica to try to find clues to her enigmatic personality. This album has been a long time coming: after… Continue reading Kim Gordon – No Home Record

Girl, Where You Been?

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For a long time, many fans had resigned themselves to the thought that – after a flurry of EPs and a lovely, critically-lauded, self-titled debut album produced by Richard Hawley that has gone on to be regarded as a great lost classic of sophisticated pop music (think Bacharach, Carole King, Carpenters, etc.) – we might… Continue reading Girl, Where You Been?

The Bright Smoke – Gross National Happiness

For their third album, Brooklyn-based The Bright Smoke are unabashedly anxious. Everything about this release seems geared toward displaying a sense of deep unease, right down to the literal deer-in-headlights album art. Though the band plays as a trio for live shows, the focus here is firmly on frontwoman and songwriter Mia Wilson, who sounds… Continue reading The Bright Smoke – Gross National Happiness

B Boys – Dudu

In the simplest terms, New York band B Boys construct songs with angular guitar work and vocal chants, held together by mid-tempo drumming. If such a vague description sounds familiar, it might be because similar things get written about local band Omni. Not to mention the required comparisons to Gang of Four, Wire and other… Continue reading B Boys – Dudu

If Memory Serves…Vivian Girls are Back

Ten years ago, seemingly everyone interested or involved in the overlapping worlds of punk and indie rock held strong opinions about Vivian Girls. Many of us enjoyed the dreamy, lo-fi ride, from the 2008 arrival of the band’s classic debut album to its final shows in 2014. Others seemed terrified of what’d taken root on… Continue reading If Memory Serves…Vivian Girls are Back

Muffs, Pandoras, Friggs Members Form The Coolies

Kim Shattuck already relaunched The Pandoras with Melanie Vammen a few years ago, resulting in the absolutely wonderful Hey! It’s the Pandoras mini-LP in 2018. Now Shattuck and Vammen have teamed up with Palmyra Delran of The Friggs to form the hottest new all-girl supergroup in the known universe: The Coolies! Not to be confused… Continue reading Muffs, Pandoras, Friggs Members Form The Coolies

Halston

378283 03: 5/2/77 New York, NY. Fashion designer Halston (l) with Bianca & Mick Jagger at Studio 54 for Bianca's birthday party. (Photo by Robin Platzer/Twin Images & Online USA)

Roy Halston, arguably the most successful single name in fashion, started out as a milliner, creating customized hats including Jackie Kennedy’s pill box. Director Federic Tcheng spends little time on his Iowa background, choosing to begin with the new morality movement in the mid 1960s when Halston met such friends as director Joel Schumacher on… Continue reading Halston

Bad Books: Lame Poetry and Bumper Sticker Wisdom

Bad Books, an indie-folk ensemble featuring Manchester Orchestra’s Andy Hull and Robert McDowell alongside singer-songwriter Kevin Devine, recently teased the band’s first album in seven years with bad music, plus a fun palette cleanser that hopefully represents future releases. I try not to knock music harshly if I’m clearly not in its target audience, but… Continue reading Bad Books: Lame Poetry and Bumper Sticker Wisdom

Sara Rachele – Scorpio Moon

Part-time New Yorker, occasional Atlantan, and full-time creative force Sara Rachele’s multi-city connections helped achieve her ambitious live-to-tape vision for new album Scorpio Moon. The title track, recorded with members of the Dap-Kings, rolls the clock back to the blue-eyed soul heights of Dusty Springfield’s career. It features not only Binky Griptite and other members… Continue reading Sara Rachele – Scorpio Moon

The Southern Soul Singles of Lee Moses Compiled

Few details are known about Atlanta native Lee Moses’s life. He fronted the Royal Peacock’s house band The Showstoppers in the late 1950s and early ‘60s. He worked as a session musician in New York City in the latter half of the ‘60s, and recorded a handful of obscure soul/R&B sides of his own. He… Continue reading The Southern Soul Singles of Lee Moses Compiled