Of Note

A little yes, a little no

Without ever claiming to do so, he has updated American blues music

Joachim Cooder released Fuchsia Machu Picchu earlier this year. It’s an EP he says was inspired by his daughter, who is now three years old. The songs layer instrumental sounds, some recognizable and some not. ...

Darkness as always

Listening to those early songs feels more like eavesdropping

“I don’t want to try to explain my songs,” Lemuria’s Sheena Ozzella sings. Dark, but not hardcore – that’s Lemuria. “Omitting you, I get to brood in Diogenes’ tub,” Diogenes being the ancient Greek cynic ...

Alien and familiar

Modesto even took band naming rights from a Wu Tang Clan song

Buyepongo is about as multi- everything as you can get: multi-lingual, multi-instrumental, multi-cultural, multi-genre. It boils down to the music and rhythms of Central America, but by way of Long Beach. Cool jazz meets merengue, ...

"A complete other zone from the rest of music"

Neil Young wrote these words

“It sounded like they were in a complete other zone from the rest of music.” Neil Young wrote these words in his autobiography Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippie Dream. He wrote them about Givers, a ...

Warm, dark saxophone sounds

Buss has a big tone, as if his tenor sax is powered by something other than breath.

“There are more people playing jazz music at a higher level than ever before in the history of jazz.” That’s Ian Buss’s answer when I ask him about choosing a career playing straight-ahead jazz music ...

Huge, gritty garage rock

In The Whale also sounds like so much more than just one guitar and one drummer

Lilyhammer was a Netflix series about an American mobster who chose Norway when he entered the witness protection program. There, the mobster (played by Steven Van Zandt of The Sopranos and E Street Band fame) ...

Cheech and Chong doing Big Hair-era covers

Anything that goofs metal’s inherent lies is funny

Heavy metal hasn’t been this much fun since Van Halen made it music that a person could sing along to. In general, the genre takes itself far too seriously. Metal music comes couched in grand ...

Friends said she sounded like a dude

The Last Gang: Three-chord punk kids who grew up listening to the hardcore

“Good music for bad people,” is how Brenna Red once described her band’s oeuvre. The Last Gang is an Orange County punk trio born almost an entire generation after the West Coast’s punk scene faded. ...

Electric folk, the kind that gave Seeger the shakes

These are noble days for Willie Nile

“Me? I’m in a rock and roll band.” Willie Nile sings that line from “Sweet Jane” almost as good as did the song’s creator, Lou Reed. Now 69, Nile, looks like he could be Reed’s ...

Part of the grand inventory

Vincent Herring plays it like the music never died

Vincent Herring is a part of the grand inventory of straight-ahead jazz alto saxophone players. His is not a name that leaps out, perhaps, which reduces Herring’s significance not one bit. The trouble with the ...

JD McPherson, keeping the rebellion alive

He perfected that three-chord frenzy that stems from hormonal urgency

What came to mind the first time I heard JD McPherson’s band? My childhood. He reminded me of being four years old and leaving out of Texas in ‘57 with my mom and the music ...

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