Here is a bunch of crazy rock ’n’ roll records that have been delighting me in recent weeks.
In recent months, Omnivore Recordings has released several worthy records by venerated bluesmen of yore. Here are some of them — and another one not from Omnivore but worth mentioning.
Let me riff on the old Wolf Brand Chili ad from decades ago: Neighbor, how long has it been since you read a big, steaming Terrell’s Tune-Up column entirely devoted to country music?
Unlike The Yawpers' previous album, Human Question is no concept album with a storyline to stick to, though at least a couple of cuts seem to be dealing with singer and chief songwriter Nate Cook’s divorce. It’s just good, raw, blues-infused music.
I almost feel bad for fans of Michael Jackson following the revelations of Leaving Neverland, the recent HBO documentary detailing the agonizing allegations of sexual abuse, by Jackson, of two of his former kiddie pals, now grown men.
I’m not sure how religious you gentle readers are, but I’m going to spotlight the latest albums by three righteous rock ’n’ roll reverends — the Reverend Horton Heat, Reverend Peyton, and Reverend Beat-Man.
Nothing like some loud and local apocalyptic garage-punk space-pop to get your blood circulating on such a winter’s day. Who’s serving that purpose for me lately? It’s The Golden Age of Climate Change by an Albuquerque band called Alien Space Kitchen.
I’m a longtime fan of Barret Hansen, aka Dr. Demento. So it’s probably not a huge surprise to learn that I’m also a fan of Dr. Demento Covered in Punk, a new tribute album featuring many of the oddball ditties as well as many of the artists who graced — or disgraced — his wacky weekly radio show.
With the help of her devastating band, especially guitarist Lenny Kaye, Patti brought me new faith in rock ’n’ roll — which, by 1975, when her first album, Horses, was released, had for the most part gotten soft and tired.
Albums by Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, Hamell on Trial, and Archie and the Bunkers top the list of Steve Terrell's list of standouts for 2018.
Here are three new albums that on the surface don’t really sound much like one another. But you can classify all as “uneasy listening” — music with something to bother or perhaps even frighten everyone.
Recently, a music critic and Facebook friend of mine posted something stupid. No, he wasn’t agreeing with President Trump that the solution to forest fires was better raking. “Rock is dead. Who killed it?” he asked, then listed a few suspects, mainly bands he doesn’t care for.
The chance to see Peter Case play in an intimate performing space like Gig is an opportunity not to be missed. Case plays 7:30 p.m. Gig Performance Space (1808 Second St.), Sunday, Nov. 11.
Harlan T. Bobo isn’t exactly a household name — unless you’re a dedicated devotee of the underground rock scene in Memphis. And he seems to consciously choose to cling to his anonymity. Though the singer says he’s legally changed his name to the one you see on his records, like Leon Redbone, he keeps his birth name secret. He’s been known to wear masks at his performances and in general doesn’t seem to have a naked thirst for big-time success and stardom.
Blaze stars Ben Dickey, an actor who, at least up to now, probably is even less famous than singer Blaze Foley — though hopefully his future is brighter. The film opens in Santa Fe on Friday, Sept. 28.
“My name is Roger Miller, probably one of the greatest songwriters to ever live … I have written a few songs, probably eight or 900 in my professional career, and we’d like to do about 700 or 750 here tonight.” That’s a little Miller stage banter that kicks off the new various artists tribute album, King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller. It’s
It’s no secret that I’m a major fan of The Fleshtones, that dandy, beyond bitchen little band from New York that’s been grinding out no-frills, back-to-basics rock ’n’…
Here’s a true treat for all the Frank-o-philes out there: A new box set called The Roxy Performances features seven action-packed compact discs that include six full c…
Last year an album called Sidelong by an artist I’d never heard of named Sarah Shook (with her band The Disarmers) instantly became one of my favorite country albums i…
The Swiss singer/songwriter/trash rocker/record-company owner/philosopher/holy man known as Reverend Beat-Man was speaking for himself in an interview more than a decade ago. But he could have been talking for untold numbers of unsung, underpaid heroes of modern music when he said, “I have to get up in the morning out of the bed, and I have to play guitar. I have to go to the office and put out records that nobody buys. I just have to do it. I don’t know why.”
The author, filmmaker, journalist, and Memphis native first discovered the blues as a geeky-looking teenager at a July 4, 1975, Rolling Stones outdoor concert. Mick Jagger wanted to delay the Stones’ set until after sundown, thinking, mistakenly, that the evening air would be cooler — “and his makeup wouldn’t run,” according to Gordon’s account of the show.
I just got back from the South by Southwest music festival in Austin. People are correct when they say that the festival has grown way too big, the traffic is impossible, and the parking is even worse. But despite all this, I managed to see a lot of good music. Here are some of my favorites.
Once again, Barrence Whitfield and his savage band, The Savages, have hit another one out of the park. His new album, Soul Flowers of Titan, hits — seemingly effortlessly — that sweet spot between garage rock, R&B, soul, blues, and who-cares-what-you-call-it.
I’m a few days late in celebrating Presidents’ Day, but that inconvenient fact shouldn’t detract from this important American holiday. Actually, the holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February is still officially called “Washington’s Birthday,” though George’s actual birthday is Feb. 22. So I’m only a day late.
Wilkes’ love for this music and his ability to make it sound fresh, fun, and vital, is obvious in his new solo album Fire Dream, which will be officially released next week. This comes just a scant few months after the Shack Shakers’ most recent album, After You’ve Gone, which I’ll get to later.
I love great old American folk songs and other hoary tunes from past centuries. And I love radical reinterpretations of great American folk songs. Neil Young’s Americana, with its fearsome take on “She’ll Be Comin’ ’Round the Mountain” (retitled “Jesus’ Chariot” and recast as an appeal to our space-alien forefathers), is a prime example of this.
Through the years, I’ve done more than my share of raging against the evil corporate overlords of country music and their evil corporate award shows that seem to honor lamer and lamer music every year. But in 2017 there was a surprise.
One of ten picks: Sidelong by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers. On my very first listen, I was a fan by the end of the first two tracks: “Keep the Home Fires Burnin’ “ (with its beyond catchy melody, similar to the bluegrass classic “Rocky Top”) and “The Nail” (a love-gone-wrong honky-tonker with some fine guitar and lap steel in which Shook sings, “Well, I ain’t your last, you ain’t my first/You can’t decide which fact is worse”).
Christmas is coming, and America’s annual explosion of holiday blitz of glitz and other stuff is in full gear. And music, from the sublime to the syrupy, plays no small part in it. There is no escaping all the seasonal songs about Baby Jesus, Santa Claus, snow, and sleigh bells. From sappy sentimentality to cringe-worthy novelty tunes to songs professing hardcore religious zealotry — hark the herald hucksters sing!
Let’s get to the point: Purgatory by Tyler Childers is the year’s best album by a young country singer. Hands down. It’s also the best Sturgill Simpson album of the year, as Simpson co-produced the record for his fellow Kentuckian Childers.
Monkeys and clowns. They’ll bounce around. At least that’s what Pere Ubu’s David Thomas tells us on the first track of Ubu’s new album 20 Years in a Montana Missile Si…
When people think of Halloween rock ’n’ roll songs, they normally think of whimsical novelty tunes dealing with the supernatural — ghosts, vampires, zombies, werewolves, witches, and Satan. But there are plenty of songs out there that are appropriate for Halloween because they are in themselves frightening and or at least deal with frightening topics like murder, insanity, blood, and gore.
The arrival of a new album by Hubbard is more than just getting the latest from one of your favorite songwriters. It’s like getting a message in a bottle from some shipwrecked sea dog from centuries ago, who somehow beat Poseidon in a poker game to gain immortality.
This California kid has released more than a dozen new-material studio albums over the past decade, plus a couple of singles compilations, a handful of live albums, a nine-song EP of T. Rex covers, and various side projects. That’s downright brain-boggling, considering the boy just turned thirty a few months ago.
It took a few weeks for Boy in a Well, the new album by The Yawpers, to grow on me. I’m not exactly sure why my appreciation was delayed. Perhaps I was trying to follow the weird storyline running through the song lyrics. (No, it’s not a rock opera, so relax, skeptics.)
The Rooster crows once again! The pride of Española, that ragtag band of rounders, rowdies, and reprobates known as The Imperial Rooster is back with Volume 4. The group has gone through a few personnel shuffles, but this record shows they’ve still got their basic chaotic, hillbilly-nuts, jug-band-riot sound full of banjos, kazoos, honking harmonicas, wild rhythms, drunken harmonies, and devilishly irreverent lyrics. In other words, it’s my kind of party.
When The Mekons first emerged as a young, brash, ragtag, loose-knit art-school punk-rock band in Leeds, U.K. in those golden late ’70s, I bet nobody who heard or saw them ever envisioned that in 2017, hundreds of people from many nations would answer the band’s call to “destroy your safe and happy lives before it is too late,” and gather in rural England to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary at a three-day music festival.
Young, dumb, and snotty is nothing to be ashamed of in the punk rock racket. There’s a lot you can do with it. And The Black Lips play that card better than most — though they’ve been around long enough that the “young” part of that equation doesn’t quite fit as it used to.
The singer-songwriter is one of the original members of the local legion of superheroes who make up the Frogville Records stable. He was born in Massachusetts, but he’s lasted many winters in Northern New Mexico. In fact, he’s the only musician I know who’s ever been a mayordomo of an acequia.
Back during the height of Watergate, Paul Simon sang, “We come in the age’s most uncertain hour to sing an American tune.” We’ve had lots of uncertain hours since then, and I still find strength in those American tunes, the old creaky blues, gospel, hillbilly, jug-band records, those crazy songs of joy, wry humor, and simple wisdom sung by people living in severe poverty in isolated regions, in an era of harsh injustice and racial apartheid.
This week I’m looking at a recently released album by one of my favorite new artists of the past few years as well as one by a guy whose music I’ve enjoyed for nearly 60 years. I’m talking about Benjamin Booker — age twenty-seven, for those keeping score at home — and the mighty Dion DiMucci, who will turn seventy-eight next month.
“Anger is an energy,” John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, informed us a few decades ago. Considering that wisdom, Texa$ Platinum, the new album by The Ghost Wolves, is one of the most energetic I’ve heard lately. The Austin couple of singer/guitarist Carley Wolf and her husband, drummer Jonathan Wolf, rock hard and wild with lyrics and song titles (“Attitude Problem,” “Whettin’ My Knife,” “Strychnine in My Lemonade”) that seem to seethe with vexation. And yet somehow listening to them only makes me grin.
You can’t really talk about the counterculture without talking about the music. It’s one-third of the mystic voodoo trinity of sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. Below are some of my favorite counterculture songs in human history. I’ve purposely avoided overused, overplayed selections — “White Rabbit,” “Born to Be Wild” — that you always hear on era soundtracks, oldies radio, and cheesy ’60s compilations. Behind the usual choices are some overlooked diamonds.
With all the recent news of right-wing nationalism coming out of Europe, it’s refreshing to know that good old-fashioned garage-punk and other subversive stuff is still going strong on the old continent. In fact, my two favorite European music labels — Voodoo Rhythm from Switzerland and Off Label Records from Germany — have been flooding the market with wild, rocking trashy sounds.
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