Don’t you hate it when the band you leave the house to see isn’t the headliner?
You pay for the bigger act just to catch a shorter set with second rate set design and a crowd with only half its heart into it. But despite all those inherent drawbacks, Knoxville quintet Whitechapel played a tight and versatile supporting set at Mr. Smalls Theatre on Monday that was as formidable as it was sincere, featuring a good portion of the band’s career-best seventh album The Valley. Continue reading Concert Review: Whitechapel at Mr. Smalls Theatre, Millvale, PA (Oct. 28)
Photo courtesy of Caldo Verde Records
Joey Always Smiled, Mark Kozelek’s spiritual follow-up to his compellingly mellow self-titled release last year, finds the singer-songwriter reminiscing about formative adolescent memories and contrasting them with his more recent activities. Like listening to a folk rock radio station, the narratives Kozelek includes on this album, announced way back in February, span the 70s, 80s, 90s and today during the collab’s hour-plus runtime, as he deciphers which people and events most shaped the journey to his present self. Continue reading Mark Kozelek teams up with Petra Haden and wistfully drifts through decades of memories and deep-rooted friendships on Joey Always Smiled
Photo from morrisseyofficial.com
In music and film, there’s a certain sweet spot of nostalgia for the middle of the latter half of the 20th century, probably because so many people alive today have lived through it. Hollywood often loads its period pieces of that time, like Boogie Nights, Inherent Vice or Starsky and Hutch, with classic songs like “Afternoon Delight,” “Close to You” or “Stayin’ Alive.” But on California Son, Morrissey’s new cover album of 60s and 70s songs, he digs deeper than radio hits to repurpose for his own narrative use, choosing songs that have ties to our own historical moment. Continue reading Morrissey breathes new life into 12 songs from the 60s and 70s to craft a very 2019 album
Photo from Matador Records
Stephen Malkmus’ signature brand of abstract and non sequitur lyrics can most often be found floating over the instrumentals of Pavement and his own band, The Jicks. Raucous guitars and bombastic drums match his frenetic singing and shrieking crescendos, shirking any notions of predictability.
But on Groove Denied, his long awaited stab at electronic music, Malkmus allows synthesizers, drum machines and loops to bubble to the surface. Over a well-paced 33 minute runtime, Malkmus explores the different eras of electronic music and plugs his own charisma into the digital landscape. Continue reading On his latest offering, Groove Denied, Stephen Malkmus dives into electronic rock of yesteryear while never entirely shaking his indie rock roots
Photo from Caldo Verde Records
For the better half of the past decade, singer Mark Kozelek has refined a style of songwriting that marries folksy guitar-swirled instrumentation with poetic, often painful lyricism.
After releasing two sharply personal records last year, a self-titled under his own name and This Is My Dinner with his band Sun Kil Moon, Kozelek emerges for the first time in 2019 to meditate on his blessings and concerns throughout Sun Kil Moon’s tenth and most politically-charged album I Also Want to Die in New Orleans. Continue reading Mark Kozelek’s societal frustrations boil over on Sun Kil Moon’s ‘I Also Want to Die in New Orleans,’ his latest musical journal entry