Sunday, June 4, 2023

Review: Tears for Fears' 'The Hurting' Half-Speed Mastered Vinyl

A lot has been made of the fact that the teachings of primal scream therapy guru Arthur Janov inspired Tears for Fears' debut, The Hurting. However, while that more famous Janovian rock record, John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band, draws a very direct line to Janov's teachings-- what with the LP's raw sound, blood-freezing shrieks, and extremely personal references--the influence on The Hurting is much mistier. Roland Orzabal's lyrics generally refer to childhood pain and working through trauma, but he never gets very specific, and none of my cursory Internet research turned up any specific details on what exactly he and partner Curt Smith suffered as kids, aside from absentee dads and broken homes.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Review: Eddie Piller's 'Clean Living Under Difficult Circumstances: A Life in Mod'

Eddie Piller is a big name in certain nattily attired, musically minded circles. He is the founder of Acid Jazz Records, a musical tastemaker who lends his name to mod and power pop compilations, and a renowned second-generation mod. So when I saw that he had a book coming along that cribbed its title from Mod-founder Pete Meaden's most famous description of his cult--clean living under difficult circumstances--I assumed it would be a general history of modernism. 

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Review: 'Strange House' by The Attack

London's The Attack had gone through quite a few personel changes by the time they started work on what was to be their first album, the subtly titled Roman God of War. By this point they'd lost Davy O'List to The Nice and the insufferable camp of "Created by Clive" and buckled down to power out psychedelic heavy rock in the vein of The Yardbirds and Pretty Things. 

Monday, May 29, 2023

Review: Bronco Bullfrog's 'The Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker' Vinyl Reissue

By the time they made their third album in 2002, Leicester's freakbeaters Bronco Bullfrog had relocated to London where they had access to a number of pro-studios, but they were a little light on material. So Andy Morten broke his monopoly a bit to allow bandmates Louis Wiggett and Mike Poulson to get more involved in the songwriting. The results were somewhat mixed. Although the album was very consistent with the group's deliberately retro vibe, that retro-ness was wearing thin for the band's leader, who felt that too many of the songs were derivative. When you hear how the Beatlesque "Barnaby Slade" and "I'm Not Getting Through" both recycled offbeat "Taxman" guitar accents and "Last Chance to Smile" begins with a "Pictures of Lily" descending chord figure before finishing with a substitute "Substitute" lick, you'll agree he has a point. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Review: 'Illustrated History of Rock'

You know rock and roll has lost its bite when it becomes the subject of a big picture book for tiny little tots. What hand-wringing dads and moms once considered hymns of Satan is now fit for toddlers in Luis Demano and Susana Monteagudo's Illustrated History of Rock

Monday, May 8, 2023

Review: 'Warner Bros.: 100 Years of Storytelling'

This year the studio behind such watershed pictures as The Jazz Singer, Gold Diggers of 1933, Casablanca, White Heat, Bonnie and ClydeA Clockwork Orange, Superman, and Malcolm X turns 100. Mark A. Vieira marks the event with an illustrated history of the studio called Warner Bros.: 100 Years of Storytelling

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Review: ''Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane ' Vinyl Reissue

Yesterday, we took a look at one of the historic collaborations between Miles Davis and John Coltrane as re-issued on vinyl by Craft Recordings. Today we'll focus on a different yet no less memorable collaboration. In 1957, just prior to breaking out, Coltrane worked and studied with Thelonious Monk, a team-up that culminated in a six-month stint at NY's Five Spot with Wilbur Ware on bass and Shadow Wilson on drums. 

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