CD Reviews

BIG DIPPER Almost Ready Records Crashes on the Platinum Planet 12 tracks Big Dipper was one of the A-list bands of the ’80s and early ’90s because of, not in spite of, their seeming frivolity. Admittedly, the band had some heavy competitors, such as the Volcano Suns (from whence they emerged), as well as Dinosaur Jr. (intense; not funny) and the Pixies (intense; funny; not altogether wholesome). But Big Dipper was and is a pure product of  America, and, specifically, of … Read More >>

CD Reviews

THE CHANDLER TRAVIS THREE-O This Is What Bears Look Like Underwater  14 tracks On opening track “Little Things,” which sets the tone for much of what is to follow, it seems like Fred Boak, John Clark, Berke McKelvey, and Chandler Travis don’t so much rock out as commit acts of vaguely rock-like instrumental pop which are not quite like anything you’ve ever heard before, unless you happen to be inordinately fond of spacy ’70s jazz pianists, obscure late ’60s prog-rock, … Read More >>

CD Reviews

MICHAEL CHORNEY & DOLLAR GENERAL        Hall of Records Dispensation of the Ordinary 9 tracks In this current era of compressed, incessant pulse, it is a genuine pleasure to hear a music so gentle and gracious that it feels like a quiet stream flowing through your body. It takes real talent to craft this style and Michael Chorney & Dollar General have a full till to offer. Last spring I reviewed their CD release show at Club Passim, … Read More >>

CD Reviews

THE MICHAEL J. EPSTEIN MEMORIAL LIBRARY Faith In Free 3 tracks It’s fitting that this EP is one song broken into three movements because its wide breadth and artistic imagery evoke classical music as much as pop.  In less capable or more austere hands, this could be a disaster, but Epstein and crew pull it off without a hitch.  The first movement, featuring an array of instruments and voices, has a spooky, haunting vibe, and its use of repetition puts … Read More >>

CD Reviews

TWO VIEW REVIEW ROY SLUDGE Deeveeus Records Too Drunk To Truck  16 tracks I don’t drink like I used to, but if T Max keeps sending me this type of band to review I’ll be at the Betty Ford center next year.  With a stellar lineup band and a honky-tonk, country style western trucker swing, this album has that certain something. Roy Sludge has those Johnny Cash vocals down, a storytelling timbre that you have to give in to.  The … Read More >>

CD REVIEWS

27 Noise Appeal Records Re-Wired 6 tracks This collection of three re-workings of originals and three covers is one of the most interesting local releases I’ve heard so far this year.  27 is one of the more chameleon-like bands around, showcasing a broad palette without ever spreading itself too thin.  It’s mostly a relaxed vibe on this EP, but not without a dark current underneath.  Maria Christopher sounds wonderful throughout, her voice able to simultaneously relax you and raise the … Read More >>

CD Reviews

ANAIS MITCHELL  Wilderland Young Man in America   11 tracks Lightning strikes again! Following the success of her phenomenal 2010 folk-opera, Hadestown, Anais Mitchell has captured more magic in a bottle [err, rather CD] with a new collection of masterful thematic songs that shadows our country’s current predicaments.  Young Man in America is her continuing search for the center of home, goals, vocation, pleasure, love, loss, and spiritual faith in family and community. When I heard these tunes debuted a few … Read More >>

Silver Circle Reviews

TIM MUNGENAST & HIS PREEXISTING CONDITIONS (aka TIMWORLD) Goat River Productions Dhoom 12 tracks This is the fifth CD of off-kilter rock-jazz-psychedelia-what-have-you from Mungenast and his talented sidemen, Michael Bloom (bass) and Jon Proudman (drums). The album consist, not of endlessly rehearsed, conventionally constructed songs; instead, the trio’s methodology mostly seems to consist in selecting a motif, then seeing how far they can carry it forward. It’s a series of live performances, warts and all, some of which are astonishing. … Read More >>