Asheville, North Carolina’s The Honeycutters have followed up 2015’s sublime Me Oh My with the completely wonderful On The Ropes. It’s good to have them back with such strong, satisfying material. Vocalist and songwriter Amanda Anne Platt’s voice is a treat: maybe older and wiser (by a year), but still hopeful. Hearts have been broken and mistakes have been made, but she’s not giving up. Ever.
By Eric Weber
The time was 1991; the place was Wax n Facts in Atlanta, Georgia.
Flipping through the packed cardboard box, my jaw dropped when I saw the huge white letters emblazoned across the top of the record sleeve: DIVINE.
I quickly snatched it up, examining every inch of the album. I couldn’t believe it. Divine: Greatest Hits. He had hits?
Louisiana Swamp Pop king Gregg Martinez has the kind of powerhouse voice that seems to grow slow and deep, like the roots of an ancient tree, straight up from the earth. It’s an incredible voice, and Martinez has a gift for adding an extra lagniappe of soul to everything he sings.
By Tyler Hodg
Debut albums are meant to hook to a listener, and make a fan out of them. Royal Tusk, a Canadian rock’n’roll band, is sure to accomplish such a feat with their graceful premiere effort titled DealBreaker.
It’s difficult to listen to The Blind Boys Of Alabama’s Higher Ground (2002) and not compare it to its predecessor, Spirit Of The Century (2001). Both are Grammy-winning collaborations with producers John Chelew and Chris Goldsmith and both feature bold, spiritual covers of songs by contemporary artists, with the Blind Boys Of Alabama being backed by a band in “musical conversation.”
The Blind Boys of Alabama have performed together for nearly seven decades and have recorded over 60 albums. Joining together as glee club singers at the Alabama Institute For the Negro Blind in 1939, founding members Jimmy Carter, George Scott, and Clarence Fountain (with newest member Joey Williams joining in 2001), The Blind Boys of Alabama make honest, American music, rooted deeply in gospel, focusing on the truly glorious way that their voices blend.
By Tim Murr
Toronto, Ontario’s Black Absinthe demand your attention and they have the songs to keep it! Blending classic and modern metal, Black Absinthe hasn’t just done their homework, they’ve innovated the game. Yes, you can hear Maiden, early Metallica, and Motorhead in their sound, but these influences blend into the band’s own flavor, rather than sounding like the source of its parts. As metal albums go, Early Signs Of Denial prove that new life can still be breathed into old monsters.
By Tyler Hodg
Legendary Canadian group Sloan are currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of their landmark album One Chord to Another with a deluxe edition rerelease on vinyl and 30-plus date tour. The vinyl also includes Recorded Live at a Sloan Party, meaning it’s the first time fellow Canucks can pick up that album without importing it.
Yes, it’s a pretty sweet time to be a fan of the band.
The music that Those Pretty Wrongs makes is familiar in the best of ways. It’s sun-dappled melancholy, 1970s AM radio-friendly songs that soar with warm harmony and delicate guitar. It’s quiet power pop with heart, which makes sense if one looks at their pedigree.
Happy Mother’s Day! Wondering how to pay homage to your mother, pop culturally speaking? Why not enjoy one of these films or TV shows featuring the Top Ten Best Moms in Pop Culture! If you want to feel better about your problematic family dynamic, you could always try the alternative: Here’s a list of the Top Ten Worst Moms in Pop Culture. (Thank Laury Scarbro for the lists, while you’re at it!)
Is Alicia Florrick a good mom in addition to being The Good Wife? The Hairpin pays tribute to this soon-to-be-over TV show with a series of fantastic and funny articles.
One thing a good mother shouldn’t do is leave her kids with a babysitter like Emelie. Tim Murr takes a look at the perils of childcare in the film of the same name, out now on home video.
For another kind of mother, you might be interested in this list of The Best Witch Cinema You Haven’t Seen from Alison Nastasi on Flavorwire. I haven’t seen or even heard of any of these films, so naturally I’m totally excited to watch all of them.
I might not be a part of the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, but I can assure you that film journalism is definitely, as Women and Hollywood puts it, a “dudeocracy.” What can be done about it? Read the article for some ideas on how we can smash the patriarchy of film criticism.
Although critics complain that the roles of women in horror movies are often meaningless or exploitive, I take a different approach in my review of the 1976 flick The Premonition over at Everything Is Scary, called “Mother Of Fears.” Diabolique Magazine has an excellent, feminist analysis of Andrzej Żuławski’s Possession in which the filmmaker seems to ask “Do you liberate in order to destroy?”
What if you had a bong that allowed you to travel through time? Sort of like an updated Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure but with more incisive sociopolitical commentary (sort of), three-part miniseries Time Traveling Bong is worth watching, according to Sachin Hingoo. For something that poses less of a problem to quantum physics, but is perhaps even more bizarre, you could check out the newest episode of the TV OR GTFO Podcast that tackles Stephen Bochco’s infamous Cop Rock. The latest episode of Outsiders, the approrpriately titled “All Hell,” is a short but fitting first season finale, says Laury.
Is the sequel to The Texas Chain Saw Massacre truly superior to the original? That’s the compelling argument made by Justin LaLiberty at Paracinema. And how do you feel about Jared Leto as Lestat in the proposed remake of Interview with the Vampire or a sequel to The Craft?
Saturday was Free Comic Book Day! Frankenstein fans should check out ExMortis, while those who were disappointed by Hawkeye’s secret life reveal in Age Of Ultron, will enjoy this article from the newest addition to the Popshifter staff, Christine Makepeace, called “The Trouble With Hawkeye.”
Musicially speaking, Melissa Bratcher asks if there’s anything Jimbo Mathus can’t do and then decides there isn’t, in her review of his latest EP, Band Of Storms.
But seriously: let’s talk about the difference between dependence and addiction and what they have to do with chronic pain.