CD Reviews


Shamir – Northtown

They say that everybody is born with a gift, and while I’m still trying to figure out exactly what mine is (pls help D:), I can tell you that Shamir Bailey’s is most certainly his out-of-this world voice. Possessing the rare tonal quality that blurs all lines between femininity and masculinity (think Sam Smith), Shamir describes himself as being...

Mick Kolassa - Michissippi Mick

“I get up in the morning/I can’t bend down to tie my shoes/My mind says let’s boogie/My body just flat out refuse,” sings veteran blues artist Mick Kolassa on “Time Ain’t On My Side,” one of 12 tracks on his latest album “Michissippi Mick.” Recorded in Memphis, this Swing Suit Records label release features seven self-penned songs...
Robert Kinsler & TJR

Music Worth Buying - Ace Frehley and Eric Clapton

Orange County Register (CA) music critic Robert Kinsler and his co-host, TJR review new CDs. This week the pair look at Space Invader by Ace Frehley and The Breeze an appreciation of JJ Cale by Eric Clapton and Friends.

Lowell – We Loved Her Dearly

We love Lowell dearly. No, seriously. With her quirky-cute, sunshine pop and light as a feather vocals, Elizabeth Lowell Boland, who performs under the moniker Lowell, is our fave new pop princess. The rising Canadian singer-songwriter creates contagiously catchy, synth-pop melodies that address rape, women’s rights, and empowerment. You go girl.

Seekae – The Worry

My method of preparation for this review was listening to Seekae’s first two albums, The Sound of Trees Falling on People and +DOME, and those hours were, in a word, blissful. For those of you not familiar with the Sydney act, they’ve been making forward-thinking instrumental electronica for a number of years now, incorporating...

Wise Girl - You'll Just Have To Wait

“…something so heart wrenching turned into something positive. All of the pain that I went through was worth it because of the outcome,” says Wise Girl frontwoman Abby Weitz, referring to the memoir-esque songs she wrote for the trio’s current CD, “You’ll Just Have To Wait.” This is the New York City-based band’s debut full-length ...

Rock Royalty Extol Greatness on New Titles 

Devotees of Neil Young, Deep Purple, Gary Moore and Sister Hazel have plenty to celebrate thanks to stunning new collections. Artist: Neil Young. Title: Storytone (Reprise). You might like if you enjoy: Neil Young's "Harvest," John Denver, Dan Fogelberg. Tell me more: Neil Young continues to astound. Widely hailed...

Slow Magic - How To Run Away

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, this week I have the pleasure of presenting you with Slow Magic’s highly anticipated album How To Run Away. Freshly released on September 9th, things are certainly heating up for this one-man-show with an elaborate tour of the States and Canada under way to celebrate the long awaited release.

Step Panther - Nowhere

Your coolest and most dangerous relative is back in town. Step-Panther. With skills and claws sharpened for sophomore album Strange But Nice, and with Big Scary’s Tom Iansek straddled atop as producer, they’re poised to playfully paw at you once more with their fun, riffing garage rock.

Main Beach – Hypo Lazy

Writing about local music can sometimes feel like a race – a completely fabricated and non-competitive race, but a race nonetheless. But it’s not just a race to find the next up and coming artist as you might expect, but a race to create meaning out of not just a collection of sounds, but also a collection of albums and on a broader scale, a whole ...

Pipe Dream - The Oak

From the opening title track on Pipe Dream’s new EP, “The Oak,” it is clear that this Cleveland based quartet does not like to keep its feet on the ground. Whether perched atop a tree canopy or having it serve as a metaphoric haven for your thoughts, (“Carry Me Back Home”), the heavy handed lyrics belie the young ages of its members. The tight ...

These New South Whales – Live in Sydney

If Weird Al Yankovic decided to create a garage punk band, These New South Whales are exactly what I would imagine that band would be. Self-described as four cocky underdogs from Newcastle, These New South Whales’ digital album Live in Sydneyhas quite unusual lyrics throughout each of the songs featured.

Bill Emerson and Sweet Dixie - Dancin' Annie

Inspired by a Bill Monroe recording, Bill Emerson first learned “a simple roll and a few chords” on a Belltone banjo in 1953 when he was 15-years-old, according to a 2010 DC Bluegrass Union interview with the bluegrass legend. He went on to become a founding member of Country Gentlemen and a premier contemporary 5-string banjoist. A few years back...

Ghost Cub – Depths EP

People are quick to dismiss guitars an electroacoustic relic of the past – take a listen to the conversations between people loitering outside a gig for a poppy guitar band. “Guitar music has totally been pushed into the underground” they’ll say despondently. “Festival lineups are just laptop artists now – it’s so boring to watch unless you’re fucked up” they’ll remark. “Fuck Ableton” they’ll...

The Honey Trees – Bright Fire

The Honey Trees are Jacob Wick and Becky Filip – a brilliant boyfriend + girlfriend Dream-Pop duo who at first glance, look like Taylor Lautner with better hair, and Florence Welch‘s prim younger sister. Like they are seriously beautiful… What? You aren’t going to just listen to them because they look like models and I should actually write a proper album review which discusses the quality of their music? Fine.
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