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CD Review Kevin Morby - City Music

Kevin Morby

City Music
Record Label: Dead Oceans
Review by John Noyd
July 2017

An immigrant’s parable dressed in home-grown poems depicting nocturnal journeys drizzled with hobo hindsight and punk busking, “City,” is one jumpin’ joint whose rootless characters are often running in place; rambling companions wrestling with loss, redemption, hope and reclamation. A lo-fi wayfarer, Morby’s heart-sleeve philosophy form folksy pearls perfectly suited for groovy soft-shoe troubadours and laconic road-house refugees. The casually savvy guitarist harvests beleaguered genius through world-weary lyrics detailing gentle half-dreamt memories dancing around stammering jams and bouncing counsel. Spotlit in after-hours solitude, the stories Morby tell are the calm eye in a dizzying storm, a temporary friendship and thankful anchor that nonetheless takes you on a ride you’ll treasure forever. A vibrant and intriguing performer, Kevin plays Spring Green’s The Shitty Barn August 31st.


CD Review Greta Van Fleet - Greta Van Fleet’s  Black Smoke Rising

Greta Van Fleet

Greta Van Fleet’s Black Smoke Rising
Record Label: Lava Music/Republic Records
Review by Tommy Rage
June 2017

The Hammer Gods have parted the sky to reveal the second coming.  Dramatic? Perhaps. Yet, one listen to Greta Van Fleet will, in every way possible, remind you that classic rock is alive and well.


(7170) ViewsPermalinkGreta Van Fleet Website

CD Review Rahul Mukerji - Ma De Re Sha

Rahul Mukerji

Ma De Re Sha
Record Label: Rahul Mukerji
Review by Sal Serio
June 2017

Rahul Mukerji is an Indian-born guitarist, composer, and visual artist living in Maryland, and ‘Ma De Re Sha’ is his debut recording. Mukerji plays all guitars, synth guitar, E-bow, tabla, sampling, and drum programming. Bruce Ng provides additional drum and percussion sampling, and Ruben Rubio plays bass. This album is a collection of 12 instrumental songs, with a widely eclectic and multi-cultural musical approach. The title track ‘Ma De Re Sha’ got it’s title from a word, or phrase, that a 2-year old daughter of one of Mukerji’s friends would robustly exclaim for a variety of occasions. The origin of this exclamation is unknown, but the spirit and conviction of it provided inspiration to the recording of the album.


(1385) ViewsPermalinkMukerji, Rahul Website

DVD Review Plasmatics - Live! Rod Swenson’s Lost Tapes 1978-81


Live! Rod Swenson’s Lost Tapes 1978-81
Record Label: MVD Entertainment Group
Review by Sal Serio
June 2017

What if you took the cartoonish rock spectacle of KISS, and mixed it with carnival sideshow freak show visuals, a juggernaut of pulsating bar chords, and the primal pornographic sex appeal of Marilyn Chambers? You’d have the Plasmatics, of course. Rod Swenson, singer Wendy O. Williams’ longtime domestic partner and manager, dug deep in to his archives to reveal about 64 minutes of rare, raw, and early Plasmatics concert footage (16 songs total).


CD Review The Smells - Manure Spreader


Manure Spreader
Record Label: Rare Plant
Review by Sal Serio
June 2017

The Smells are a new-ish four-piece band from Madison, and they call their music “grain belt rock n’ roll”. They have two singers who also play guitar. Their names are Leith and James. Leslie plays bass guitar and sings. Josh provides the drumbeats. The Smells released an 8-song cassette tape called ‘Manure Spreader’. This is what I have to say about that.


(1225) ViewsPermalinkSmells Website

CD Review Big Thief - Capacity

Big Thief

Record Label: Saddle Creek
Review by John Noyd
May 2017

Big Thief steals your heart in small ways; tossing soft, modest waltzes in traveling vagabond ballads while defenseless confessions trickled with ticklish licks, windmill trills and ghostly solos smolder in glowing emotions. Penning beautiful second-thoughts and half-caught eavesdrops into bittersweet indie-rock subplots, song-writer Adrianne Lenker brings tender strength and subtle wonder to the band’s sophomore release deploying discerning ear-worms slipped in whispers uncoiling coy joys from stair-climbing rhymes. The charming, demure, “Capacity,” packages timid sympathies with earthy verses besides purring purges blessed in acceptance for driving folk woven from corrosive commotion and smooth blues tipsy with sing-song tonics rich in wise kindness. Returning to Madison for the first time as a headliner, Big Thief plays the High Noon Saloon July 3rd with Virginia folk-singer Twain.


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