REVIEW: The Turbosonics – Tres Gatos Suave

Inconsistencies, dagnammit! I want to really, really like, to love, to adore The Turbosonics‘ new CD, Tres Gatos Suave, a meaty slab of surf from one of Pittsburgh’s mightiest purveyors of the form. But, for every track like opener “Ricochet,” a real classic 60s rocker, there’s a dud like the trying-too-hard-to-be-Floydian “Meat Slicer From Outer Space.” For every surprise…

REVIEW: Rolo Tomassi – “Grievances”

My hard drive, in its dying breaths, killed my last review of Rolo Tomassi’s new record, Grievances. Good thing for them. It wasn’t very nice. The U.S. debut by a U.K. band sporting a trope from an American film, Grievances is certainly all right. (The beginning of “The Embers” is crunchy, yeah, yeah.) But that’s about…

REVIEW: Mylets – “Arizona”

Now, that is what the fuck I’m talking about. From the first grungy, then vaguely pixelated, guitar chords of album-opener “Trembling Hands,”Arizona, the second record proper by loop-rock “band” Mylets, just grabs you by the ears and controls you. It will not let go. Unlike last year’s predecessor, Retcon, a hit-and-miss affair that showed some great…

REVIEW: Bonnie “Prince” Billy – Singer’s Grave A Sea of Tongues

Singer-songwriter Will Oldham, that old Palace ring-leader turned “Prince,” just has released a new collection of emotive acoustics titled Singer’s Grave A Sea of Tongues – and, hands down, it is easily the best record he’s done since Lie Down In The Light. The backbone of the record is reminiscent of 2001’s Ease Down The…

BOOK REVIEW: Jesse Frohman – “Kurt Cobain: The Last Session”

Twenty years after Kurt Cobain’s tragic suicide, he’s still, it seems, as popular as ever. Sure, Cobain and company have sold some 25 million records in the U.S. since 1991 alone, if Bloomberg Businessweek is to be believed. But, since Cobain’s death, Nirvana has released two LPs that rocketed right to the top of the…

Profile: Dw. Dunphy

Beating The Dead Horse With Dw. Dunphy: A Profile by Justin Vellucci Dw. Dunphy’s face, a somber palette, is an exercise in disguise, spectacles covering hazel eyes that appear chiseled into their sockets, brown Van Dyke masking the angular chin beneath. His music, however, an expansive catalog on which he has built for 15 years…

Profile: PARTCH – Corporeally Yours

Originally published in San Diego CityBeat Feb. 29, 2012 Imagine musicians in street clothes flowing rhythmically as they hammer split ends of bamboo or pluck de-tuned strings. Picture dancers slinking across the stage, fluttering out impressions of Buddhist poetry or Greek tragedy. Picture an invention resembling a mutated organ, its customized tuning system boasting more…

Robin Aigner – Bandito

Originally published in American Songwriter Jan. 19, 2010 Robin Aigner’s got you hooked from the first verse. The acoustic guitar, jazzy and hushed, slowly shuffles, the violin weeps and fingers run over the keys of a piano before a single word is spoken. And, then, it comes. “I’ve been to the Campbell Apartment/ at the…

Profile: Robin Aigner (2010)

Originally published in PopMatters May 14, 2010 Freddy’s Bar, a neighbourhood fixture at the corner of 6th and Dean in Prospect Parks, Brooklyn, a bar with mismatched pictures and collectibles on the walls, has been serving up drinks and entertainment for the better part of a century. A speak-easy during Prohibition, it grew into a…

Review: Kill Henry Sugar – Hot Messiah

Kill Henry Sugar has never been fond of genres. The New York City duo just isn’t easily classified. To call Erik Della Penna and Dean Sharenow a folk act is reductive and off-the-mark, as their songs do not worship at the altar of early Bob Dylan or, even moreso, at those of Woody Guthrie or…