Curios

The Jim & Buddy Show

Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale
Thursday, February 21, 2013
The Bowery Ballroom, NYC

Some music needs to be heard in concert to be fully appreciated. No amount of spin doctoring by journalists or peer pressure from fanatical fans can justify an act unless one catches said act live. Best to let the music do the talking in a live music venue and judge said act accordingly. And so it was, again, last night at Bowery Ballroom where Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller performed a well-crafted, expertly executed set of Americana music that was exhilarating, entertaining, and well, just plan fun.

Best of January Music - Concerts, Leftovers, Prince

"Ode to the Summer" Syd Arthur On and On (Harvest)

Prog is back! This young U.K.-based quartet -- guitar, violin, bass, drums -- borrows more from Gentle Giant than from the sound of its hometown of Canterbury, i.e., bands such as Caravan, Soft Machine, Egg, or Gong. I've not enjoyed a progressive rock record this much since I first fell in love with the art-prog of Hatfield & the North -- thanks, Harvey! -- back in the '70s and more recently the psych-prog of Porcupine Tree and the metal-prog of Mars Volta. Well played, lads.

Best 12 Albums for 2012

Wasn't easy to whittle this list down to 10, let alone 11, so I picked 12 for 12-12-12. A few of these selections were last minute additions that knocked two other picks out of top spots. Moreover, I decided to include twelve more picks at the end of my selections to show what else was being considered.

Nada Surf The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy (Barsuk)

I've not seen this album on any critics' year-end lists (aside from my managing editor Steve's list, obviously). Not sure why, because Nada Surf released a timeless collection of alt pop-rock songs. This is songwriting 101 -- verse, chorus, verse, bridge. If there is a better pop-rock band in America, let me know. Twenty years in and no sign of lazy rock star bullshit, just plenty of great chiming guitar riffs and hooky-as-hell tunes. Album of the year.

Thankful For Some Tasty New Rock Music!

Happy Thanksgiving. It's been a terrific month for mining new music. I caught an advance screening of Led Zeppelin's new concert movie at MoMA (and their press conference), discovered what may be my favorite album of the year, and found inspiring young musicians sharing their chops and muses with the world. With the holidays around the corner, here are some early suggestions for music very much worth sharing with friends, lovers, bosses, and family.