Even among musicians, Paul H.R. Hudson is certainly interesting guy. As leader of the seminal D.C. punk band Bad Brains, his primitive vocal style has influenced hundreds and just as it seemed the band was finally taking off, he left the group. He flirted with religion and switched his focus to Reggae when the world was finally coming around to his take on hardcore. Continue reading “Finding Joseph I (DVD)”
Atomic Blonde is the latest in a series of fantastically imaginative action movies, alongside John Wick and the Mad Max reboot, that are helping to revive the once-stagnant genre, injecting it with stunning fight scenes, smart plot lines and A list actors. Continue reading “Atomic Blonde (Blu-Ray + DVD)”
Amazing story telling is being able to take a movie where the lead character is almost entirely computer generated and make it a compelling drama. Continue reading “War for the Planet of the Apes (Blu-Ray / DVD)”
You know you’ve got a drug problem when Courtney Love – circa the late ‘90s – is taking part in your intervention. Continue reading “Hit So Hard – A Memoir By Patty Schemel”
Over the decades, Sting has evolved from being at the forefront of the punk/New Wave movement as front man for The Police, to being a go-to for adult contemporary radio programmers thanks to his mid-career slide to much softer fare. And yes, the jokes at his pretentiousness and self-indulgence are certainly easy to make, thanks in part to his fondness for the lute. All that aside, it’s hard to argue that Sting can’t still retire the badass rocker persona after watching Sting: Live At The Olympia Paris.
Filmed in 2007, the 20-plus song set finds an energized Sting going back to classics like “Synchronicity II,” “Message In A Bottle” and “Spirits In A Material World” and melding them with his early solo work, and some of his later material. You can see a steady evolution from Police-era “Every Breath You Take” to some of his first solo songs like “Englishman in New York” and even the more complicated and oft polarizing “Dessert Rose.” Continue reading “Sting: Live At The Olympia Paris (DVD)”
Guided By Voices are nothing, if not prolific. Despite breaking up a few times between the late ‘80s and now, they’ve already turned in 25 albums, ranging from great to, well, so-so. With a spotty track record, it’s nice knowing you can easily dip into their catalogue thanks to this fantastic live collection from 2004. Recorded on the set of Austin City Limits as part of the band’s first farewell tour, this 30-song show is a virtual best of for fans of the band. Continue reading “Guided By Voices – Live From Austin, TX (2 CD/DVD combo and Vinyl)”
On the surface, this appears to be just another standard music legend/world class orchestra collaboration; A gift to fans, but a collective shoulder shrug from everyone else. “A Love So Beautiful,” however, is so much more. Continue reading “Roy Orbison With the Royal Philharmonic – A Love So Beautiful”
Since leaving the V-Boys in the late ‘90s, Scott Miller has forged a career as a solo artist, making waves in the alt country scene, but managing to fly under the radar of most outside the genre. It’s a shame though, as his 10th effort, “Ladies Auxiliary” shows, Miller is a fantastic songwriter. Continue reading “Scott Miller – Ladies Auxiliary”
Boasting probably the best album title since someone decided to name Paul Westerberg’s best of album Besterberg, Carmaig de Forest’s I Shall Be Released (christened I Shall Be Re-Released for this collection) gets the full re-release treatment from Omnivore for its 30th anniversary.
While de Forest may never have been as popular as the acts he was always grouped with (Violent Femmes, They Might Be Giants), he was one of the smartest, wryest folk rockers to every pick up a ukulele.
The original album, produced by Alex Chilton, sounds just as jaw-droppingly original in 2017 as it did in 1987. Across the 15 original tracks, de Forest, with a voice somewhere between Jonathan Richman and Gordan Gano, tackles everything from fascism (“Crack’s No Worse Than the Fascist Threat”) to hell (“Hey Judas”) and tosses in a fantastic of-kilter cover of “Secret Agent Man” while he’s at it.
This re-release includes 11 additional tracks, a mix of four unreleased songs and a slew of live takes. Although most of the extras here are upper tier songs like his cover of the traditional murder ballad “Banks of the Ohio” and “I Don’t Want to Go to Your Hometown” are flat out brilliant. While his live take of the show closer medley of Frank Sinatra’s “One More for My Baby” and the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” underscores perfectly everything that’s so amazing about Carmaig de Forest.
While technically not a new album from the storied Athens dance post-punk band Pylon, “Part Time Punk Sessions EP” is probably the next best thing. Pylon Reenactment Society started three years ago and is comprised of Pylon’s Vanessa Briscoe Hay and a supergroup of other Athens Indie bands, including members of Big Atomic, Casper & The Cookies, and The Glands. Continue reading “Pylon Reenactment Society – Part Time Punk Sessions EP”