// Category Archive for: Retrovirus

Best Of 2016: Ronnie Barnett of The Muffs

Published on December 28th, 2016 in: Best Of Lists, Music, Reissues, Retrovirus |

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Top Ten Reissues of 2016

1. Milk ‘N’ Cookies, Milk ‘N’ Cookies (Captured Tracks): They shoulda been contenders but their initial good luck turned bad quickly. This long-in-the-works compilation of their lone album, singles, demos, and rehearsal tapes finally does this overlooked band’s legacy right. The two-CD set is accompanied by an exhaustive booklet jammed with photos, ads, flyers, and liner notes. Sigh!!

2. Ramones, Ramones: 40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Rhino): Obviously no introduction necessary for this band/album but the most special thing about this edition is the earthshaking news that the groundbreaking masterwork has finally been given an additional mono mix. The only thing wrong is that none of the boys are around anymore to hear it…

3. Crowded House, Deluxe Editions (Universal): Digitally remastered & expanded two-disc versions of all seven releases with tons of b-sides, outtakes & demos. Any morsel of Neil Finn is a true godsend.

4. Big Star, Complete Third (Omnivore): As the world borders on “Big Star overload,” Omnivore has he final word with this lavish three-disc set devoted to the tortured, beautiful Big Star’s Third. Exhilarating.

5. Scientists, A Place Called Bad (Numero Group): Wouldn’t be a year-end release without a Numero Group title, this time a four-disc set compiling the complete works of Australia’s hugely influential Scientists. Essential!

6. The Shaggs, Philosophy Of The World (Light In The Attic): No introduction necessary, Pat Thomas and LITA finally get this classic back in print & done right. I can’t believe I missed the in-store at Newberry Comics!

7. Game Theory, The Big Shot Chronicles and Lolita Nation (Omnivore): The GT reissue campaign continued this year with arguably their two most important works. I always thought the genius of Scott Miller would be appreciated by future generations, thanks to Omnivore my dream has come true.

8. Jack Lee, Bigger Than Life (Alive!): I hate to complain at all when discussing the long overdue reissue of both Jack Lee albums on one disc but… come on Alive! at an expensive list price should at least include some much needed liner notes about one of the most under-appreciated power pop icons of all time!

9. Public Image Limited, Metal Box: Super Deluxe Edition (Universal UK): If the newish trend of four-disc box sets devoted to one album made sense for one title only, this would be it.

10. Long Ryders, Final Wild Songs (Cherry Red): Compiling their complete works, B-sides, live tracks & demos… though I should say “complete minus one” as there is one key track mysteriously missing. Note to record companies: in this situation go ahead and put the song on and deal with the fallout and hurt feelings afterwards; they will get soon get over it and thank you later.

Another Ten:

Lush, Chorus (4AD)
MnMs, Melts In Your Ears (Burger)
King Crimson, On (And Off) The Road 1981-1984 (Panagyric)
David Bowie, Who Can I Be Now? (Parlophone)
Redd Kross, Teen Babes From Monsanto (Redd Kross Fashion)
Nymphs, S/T (Rock Candy)
Cluster, 1971-1981 (bureau b)
Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker (Pax-Am)
Plasticland, Wonder Wonderful Wonderland and Salon (Wounded Bird)

We reviewed the reissue of The Muffs’ Blonder and Blonder on July 22.

Music Review: Don Rich and the Buckaroos, Guitar Pickin’ Man

Published on December 16th, 2016 in: Americana, Country Music, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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In the pantheon of great guitarists, there are ones that come easily to mind: Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, Jeff Beck, B.B. King. I’d add the Buckaroos’ Don Rich to that list. His style is immediately recognizable, and without his sonic experimentation, Buck Owens’s catalog would lack a certain verve. While Owens was always happy to dip a toe in the rock side, Don Rich’s playing upped the ante. His fuzzed-out guitar work on “Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass?” is as fresh and timely as anything recorded in 1969, and viscerally satisfying. This is pretty remarkable for someone who was hired to play fiddle.
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Music Review: The Ventures, The Ventures’ Christmas Album

Published on December 9th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Holidays, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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Do you lament the lack of surf/Christmas music on your playlist? Are your instrumental Christmas albums just a little too staid? Did you know the Ventures put out a Christmas album in 1965? Did you know that it was called The Ventures’ Christmas Album and that Real Gone Records is reissuing it on CD? Did you also know that it is enormously, utterly fun?
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Music Review: Ray Conniff And The Ray Conniff Singers, The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings

Published on December 9th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Holidays, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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Real Gone Music is here to save Christmas from oversinging, too-shiny production, and weird warbles with their reissues of classic Christmas albums. One of these? Ray Conniff and the Ray Conniff Singers’ The Complete Columbia Christmas Recordings. Collecting best-selling choral albums We Wish You A Merry Christmas (1962) and Here We Come A-Caroling (1965), The Complete Columbia Recordings has all of the classic Christmas songs you could possibly need, done with inspired choral arrangements and a tremendous amount of charm. It’s a retro trip back to the days of silver Christmas trees and really big record player cabinets, and it’s utterly enjoyable.
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Music Review: John Cale, Fragments Of A Rainy Season

Published on December 9th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Emily Carney

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The biography supplied with this reissue of John Cale’s 1992 stripped-down live album, recorded at various venues, states: “Fragments gives us Cale at his most melodic and moving, a mellowed and certainly a soberer man in a Yamamoto jacket and a lopsided haircut running through a selection of his prettiest songs.” While there’s no doubt that Cale was soberer at that time (having cleaned up his act following the birth of his daughter in 1985), this reviewer will disagree slightly with the bio, only in that not all of the songs on this offering are prettier. It’s also possible that Cale has never truly sonically mellowed out.
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Music Review: Buck Owens And The Buckaroos, The Complete Capitol Singles: 1957-1966

Published on December 9th, 2016 in: Country Music, Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus |

By Melissa Bratcher

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Once again, Omnivore Recordings gives us the Christmas gift we need: a new Buck Owens and the Buckaroos compilation. The Complete Capitol Singles 1957-1966 covers a particularly creatively fecund phase in Buck Owens’s career: the early days at Capitol, his partnership with the brilliant Don Rich, and a string of hits that defined the influential Bakersfield Sound. The Complete Capitol Singles 1957-1966 is gorgeously remastered and sounds stunningly good. Crisp, even, with that trebly production that Buck favored (so it would sound good on AM radio) sounding better than ever.
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Blu-Ray Review: Tenebre

Published on October 28th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Horror, Movie Reviews, Movies, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Tim Murr

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Tenebre is Italian horror master Dario Argento’s return to the genre he helped create with a style and vicious edge rarely equaled even by himself. In it, American thriller author Peter Neal (Anthony Franciosa) steps off the plane in Italy and into a mystery straight out of one of his own books, literally. A killer is using passages from his newest book, Tenebre, to commit vicious murders and apparently attempting to impress Neal by sending him clues after each murder. In classic Giallo style Neal becomes an amateur detective trying to solve the murders himself.
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Retro Review: Night Of The Demons

Published on October 21st, 2016 in: Horror, Movie Reviews, Movies, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Tim Murr

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As we’re still unpacking in our new house, I’m already brainstorming a little Halloween party, writing a treatment for a short film, and getting the itch to watch as many seasonally themed horror flicks as possible. I already started with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, a favorite since middle school, and last night settled in with Night Of The Demons. Starring Cathy Podewell, Linnea Quigley, and Mimi Kinkade, NOTD is the perfect Halloween rollercoaster flick.
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Music Review: Tim Buckley, Lady, Give Me Your Key

Published on October 21st, 2016 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reissues, Retrovirus, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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We live in wondrous times. Tim Buckley has been gone since 1975, and yet, here we are in 2016, with never before released Tim Buckley material coming from Light In The Attic Records on October 21. How is it possible?
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Tyler Talks Horror: Night of the Living Dead

Published on September 23rd, 2016 in: Horror, Movie Reviews, Movies, Retrovirus, Reviews, Tyler Talks Horror |

By Tyler Hodg

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Hi, I’m Tyler Hodg and I’m a horror n00b.

My status is not an exaggeration. If I was to chronicle my experience with the genre, it would exclusively include the climax of Saw, and about 40 minutes of Amityville Horror II: The Possession. Impressive, huh?
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