Peter Green has died. He was 73. The creator of Fleetwood Mac. One of the fathers of the British blues boom – and sound – a tormented soul, a talented player, by default a brilliant bandleader, it wasn’t an easy road at all for Green and he was one of the first prominent “casualties” of music and the music business. Alcoholism and drug use combined with depression to trigger schizophrenia. In 1970 he left his own band. A band that was up there with all of the big names of the day and was one of the only true (pure) examples of a distinctly English blues; drawing from the American sources (he had some of B.B. King to his sound, better than many that tried to evoke that feel) but offering it with the pastoral shades of glum and weary England. Read More
The Drums Between The Bells
The name Brian Eno hovers large above any form of pop or dance music that attempts to think outside the square. There is the mainstream Brian Eno (producer for U2 and now Coldplay) and there is the artist Brian Eno, as busy creating installations and exhibiting photos as he is making albums. Read More »
Colour of the Trap
Miles Kane is best known as one half of The Last Shadow Puppets, who in turn are best known for being the side-project of Alex Turner (The Arctic Monkeys). Kane has walked away from his band, The Rascals, to launch a solo career. Read More »
Live! At Pips
There’s been some interest in Billy T. James again with a TV dramatisation and a movie-length documentary. The old shows are being repeated and the general reason for the reminders is the 20th anniversary of this classic Kiwi comic’s death. Read More »
O Brother Where Art Thou? – Deluxe Edition
Hard to believe it’s been a decade since the O Brother Where Art Thou? movie and accompanying soundtrack. The music was arguably more important than the film – it certainly went off to create its own life; a powerful introduction to country music and mountain soul music for so many people. Read More »
You Are All I See
Pat Grossi records as Active Child and where I have found Kanye West and Bon Iver’s versions of confessional songwriting to be overhyped and underwhelming I love the hypnotic spell cast by Grossi as both singer and songwriter. Beguiling song constructions – think Sigur Ros and The Album Leaf – and a tremulous tenor that will polarise audiences has me absolutely hooked. Read More »
I’m A Man: The Singles As & Bs (1955-1959)
This budget-price compilation is all the Bo Diddley you’ll ever need; 26 tracks of rhythm’n’blues magic.
Considering he created one of the most important and influential sounds, The Bo Diddley Beat, it feels like the man born Ellas McDaniel hasn’t quite got his dues – he created a sound and so many great songs that still have grit and soul oozing from them. Read More »
Annie Clark records and tours under the name St. Vincent and Strange Mercy is the American singer/guitarist’s third album of original compositions.
Clark has previously worked as part of Sufjan Stevens’ live band and as a member of The Polyphonic Spree. Her breathy voice caresses dark pop songs and she strangles notes from the neck of her guitar, whipping solos in to place to provide punctuation for her quirky short-story songs. Read More »
A few bottles of wine and into the studio to have some fun; Neil fancied himself a bash on the drums for a change. The result – fleshed out with the help of Sean Donnelly (SJD) – is the best album Finn has produced in at least a decade. Read More »
If Not Now, When?
I like to believe that Incubus has named its new album after the Tracy Chapman song. It’s so very unlikely but it would almost excuse the contents. Now, I’m not picking a fight with Chapman or her fans – I was a card-carrying, paid up member of her crowd for the first four albums but a rock band, or whatever Incubus is, shouldn’t be trying to trace around a political folkie-pop singer from two decades earlier, right? Read More »
Grant Olsen was making music as one half of Seattle folk-pop duo, Arthur & Yu. With that project on hiatus he’s created Gold Leaves – it’s a sound that fans of Fleet Foxes should lap up; comfy and relaxed, not quite country, not quite folk but with enough yearning and great vocal harmonies to create a nostalgia for a sound that never actually quite existed before this but seems like it should have. Read More »
Tyler, The Creator is now 20, he was 19 when he made this, his second full-lengther.
It includes contributions from Left Brain, also a member of Odd Future; a sort of Wu-Tang Clan-lite that rides entirely on shock value. Recent headlines have it that the group’s invitation to the Auckland leg of the Big Day Out has been revoked due to homophobic and misogynistic lyrical content. Some people have cried out that this is a Freedom of Speech issue. But the lyrical tone and indeed the actual sound of Tyler’s Goblin album makes you wonder why the Insane Clown Posse has not yet won a Pulitzer. Read More »