Daniel Romano’s new album, If I’ve Only One Time Askin’, is the best kind of time machine. It shares both DNA and feeling with country classics (Romano covers George Jones’s “Learning To Do Without Me” and does it with an panache that’s admirable) but there’s a modern edge to it as well. The songs bleed into each other, sometimes using a plucked bass line, a hum of neon. a chorus quietly fading, or a lo-fi version of the track that just played. This adds a rich dimension to the album, making it cohesive and fascinating, and keeping If I’ve Only One Time Askin’ from feeling like a self-consciously retro pastiche.
July 28, 2015
Imagine, if you will, the early 1990s. Back when alternative music was all the rage, indie wasn’t a sonic genre, and bidding wars were still a thing, a time before blogs grabbed the reins of underground music writing away from printed fanzines and Facebook was just a gleam in Mark Zuckerberg’s eye.
When I was nostalgic for the 1980s in the ’90s, I never thought I’d be nostalgic for the last decade of the old millennium. Yet, here we are in 2015 and Veruca Salt has reformed with the original members, released a new album called Ghost Notes, and is currently wrapping up a North American tour.
By Brendan Ross
July 20, 2015
You know how sometimes you go see a show with a specific set of songs in mind that you really really want to hear live? You know when you go to that show and none of the songs you “really really want to hear live” get played? You know when that couldn’t possibly matter less and it still ends up being one of the best shows you’ve ever seen?
Hey guys. This was that show.
By John Lane
Kyle Field, a.k.a. Little Wings, is an enigmatic, charismatic cat, and a little difficult to pin down in a world that demands we identify, tag, and shelve everything and every individual who comes down the pike. Since 2000, Field has released 11 albums marked with near-baritone, ropey vocals, lo-fi acoustic guitars, and sometimes makeshift percussion. His songs have been one continuous quasi-folky, poetic thread. He’s a modern-day Walt Whitman with less self-consciousness.
By Tyler Hodg
Seattle has been home to a number of incredible bands—Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Band of Horses, to name a few—and one up-and-coming group plans to prove they are worthy of being added to that list. With their latest EP Own Your Ocean, Direct Divide showcases their unique style of music through five songs of unapologetic symphonic-rock. While the EP isn’t absolutely perfect, it’s an ideal indication of what is to come from the clearly focused band.
The Dustbowl Revival is the kind of band that isn’t easily classified. Are they bluegrass? Are they a brass band that uses mandolins? Are they a cabaret act? Whatever they are, it is easily brilliant.
If you didn’t know who the Continental Drifters were, and happened upon Drifted: In The Beginning & Beyond, you might be struck by the indelible, vivid lyrics of their songs, or perhaps the band’s excellent playing. Maybe their fine harmonies might get you. Or it could be the various singers in the band, each with their own honed, matchless style. Perhaps you would be drawn to the hooky Americana or the eclectic, delightful cover songs on disc two of this collection.
When Roger Corman approached Jack Hill to make a film about stock car racing, Hill was hesitant; he hated both stock car racing and movies about stock car racing. The fact that Pit Stop is such a marvelous example of 1960s independent art cinema is a huge testament to Jack Hill’s tenacity and talent.
Tell me who’s got a conscience that’s more pure / A servant of God or a girl they call a whore?
—Institute, “Christian Right”
If you didn’t know they were from Austin, Texas, you might assume that Institute was from the UK. On Catharsis, they’ve got a laconic, sardonic edge that sometimes comes across like the post-punk of bands like Joy Division or Magazine, but at other times recalls The Minutemen. Regardless, don’t let Moses Brown’s disaffected, distorted vocals fool you into thinking these are dumb punks. Unlike a lot of other bands that trudge through the same fertile ground, Institute are sharp, smart, and firmly committed to not only their sound but their specific aesthetic.
By Tim Murr
TwoMorrows Publishing is awesome. These dedicated fans began publishing magazines about comics in the mid-’90s, such as the authoritative series Jack Kirby Collector as well as Comic Book Artist and Alter Ego. They have also published books and DVDs, further preserving the far reaches of comics’ history.