Written by | August 20, 2015 8:54 | one response

One is a serious man disguised as a Frat Boy and the other is a serious man disguised as a workingclass hero. Isbell is great but not great enough, Luke just moved 390,000 Album Equivalent Units, as if he had learnt something from Jason Aldean failed to about where pop meets hip hop meets country

Read More

Written by | July 13, 2015 13:14 | No Comments

You can’t do the same thing twice and expect people to be surprised the second time: you can’t produce an album filled to the brim with slow paced, thoughtful, literate and tasteful Southern soul and expect people not to expect it and worse, not to compare it to your earlier material, not to compare it to Southeastern

Read More

Written by | June 17, 2015 6:24 | No Comments

Something More Free – Jason Isbell – Here is where Isbell begins to wear thin, this is exactly the sort of polemic he has been known to bypass and the sort of tropes you expect from Springsteen. The most average thing he has put his name to in three years feels like second guessing to these ears and for once he earns his Americana moniker by being steadfastly disinteresting and stodgy in his mainstream countryisms. Let’s hope there is better further in, though there is a saving grace: Amanda’s lovely violin playing, all underlying emphasis – B

Read More

Written by | May 8, 2015 14:37 | No Comments

Some nice songs, some may even last longer than the week, but they are all no match for Jason Isbell’s masterful “24 Frames” , terrific and strange song, about: memory? the speed at which disasters occur? life as a camera in your mind:? Michael Stipes? Losing your religion? Who knows?

Read More

Written by | May 2, 2015 19:45 | 4 responses

“24 Frames” is a think of extreme beauty, it is a gorgeous clicked in jigsaw puzzle about how one relationship is mirrored in a later one, both major, both central for the man Jason is singing to, watching the girl is like watching his father in a movie: they are doing the same destructive things.Isbell (last writer, mostly because the story has ended) is William Faulkner as a pop star

Read More

Written by | August 1, 2014 0:01 | No Comments

Shimmy Shimmy Ya – Ol’ Dirty Bastard – this has the addictive kick of the Sugarhill Gang, and which nobody would claim ODB was Wu Tang’s greatest rapper, nobody came close to his mix of aggression and self-deprecation, and let this be exhibit A – Grade: A

Read More

Written by | June 8, 2014 0:01 | No Comments

Tightrope – Janelle Monae – Maybe the highlight of Friday’s entire day at Governor Ball on Friday, this is a pure rhythm dance track, ridiculously modern disco blaster. Big Boi’s rap only makes it that much better. Janelle was a star after this – Aroc

Read More

Written by | May 14, 2014 0:04 | No Comments

What is Americana? Glad you asked. Americana is the Kwanzaa of pop music.; a wholly made up sun division of country. You could define it as country rock except Luke Bryan could be defined as country rock and Americana sets itself up as the opposite of bro country.

Read More

Written by | April 2, 2014 0:02 | No Comments

The True Groove Allstars – The Cutting Room – March 11th, 2014 – Lead by Tomas Doncker and featuring astounding turns by Charlie Funk and James Chance, it put the band and label right at the center of the map.

Read More

Written by | February 4, 2014 0:04 | No Comments

With my friend Jahn Xavier, I went to the Allen Room at Lincoln Center and was floored by Jason Isbel’s “American Songbook” set. You can see it for yourself as part of the PBS “Live From Lincoln Center” program when it airs later this year, till then take my word, it was a career defining masterpiece.

Read More

Written by | February 4, 2014 0:01 | No Comments

12:51 – The Strokes – “Talk to me I’m older” Casablancas requests and it opens the door on what would have their eagerly awaited sophomore album which unlike this textured guitar fuzzy tuneful masterstroke, didn’t live up to exceptions – A

Read More

Written by | February 3, 2014 0:06 | No Comments

What Donna instinctively knew and what Isbell couldn’t even guess is that you die for other people, you die well to give them hope when there is no hope and the hope you give them is that in the leaving of life you can be as decent and brave, even braver, than in the living of it. Isbell is wrong, you can die with dignity.

Read More

Written by | February 2, 2014 0:01 | No Comments

Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly) – Burl Ives – Not only was Ives an exquisite singer but this English folk song, dating from the 1700s, is completely timeless; it shoots through over 300 years of nursery rhymes and travelling minstrels completely in tact. Perfection – A+

Read More

Written by | February 1, 2014 0:01 | No Comments

How Deep Is Your Love – Bee Gees – Exquisitely perfect disco ballad that changed the Gibbs brothers once and for all and the best line? “And you may not think I care for you when you know down inside that I really do” – A+

Read More

Written by | January 31, 2014 9:04 | No Comments

The set is one of the most perfect things you will ever see. It starts strong and ends stronger. The word is sublime. All the playing, the entire band, is money. But Chad Gamble is remarkable; the tempo is always a touch slow, it always seems to be dragging itself but he holds it down but with power and not with speed, it is like he is playing martial beats on country songs but he isn’t doing that at all.

Read More

Written by | January 26, 2014 0:03 | No Comments

With January’s best album under his belt, the Phil Gammage Trio are playing a record release part on Wednesday January 29th at No Malice Palace on 197 East 3rd Street in the village on Wednesday, January 29. Expect harp, bass and blues and Phil’s beautiful baritone.

Read More

Written by | December 21, 2013 0:01 | No Comments

Anything Could Happen – Ellie Goulding – This is a big song for Ellie, completely addictive with those “wee wee wees” playing in the back of your head long after its over and a chorus of Ellie’s bringing it back home. Huge in the UK – A

Read More

Written by | December 20, 2013 0:10 | No Comments

On Thursday afternoons, rock nyc has its“Good Cry” meeting, where we discuss our lost loves, crushed dreams, and any terminal illnesses we might have. I once excitedly started the meeting by stating that my son had aced his college final in International Relations and Helen Bach backhanded me from Manhattan to Brooklyn. My jaw hurt, but the pizza was still good

Read More

Written by | December 19, 2013 0:09 | No Comments

The band are a touch generic though it sure doesn’t hurt the knockabout “Super 8” ( and the accumulation of stories work themselves into a worldview and while it isn’t a happy one, it is true one, and while it is mostly a bunch of stories and they don’t always end well, they always show people at their most humane.

Read More

Written by | December 18, 2013 0:01 | No Comments

Kiss Me Last – We The Kings – A “Save The Last Dance For Me” for the 21st century and as sweet an idea as pop music can throw up, in a world of black panties, it is so innocent and emo in name, in nature it is pure pop for now teens – A-

Read More

Written by | October 2, 2013 0:02 | No Comments

This is the sort of meeting of a subculture defined by so many failed attempts to reunite in a moment and also extened the moment into the present. The moment was the Lower east Side in the late 1970s, and the extension was musical and triumphant.

Read More