Latest Blog Posts

by Jessy Krupa

4 Jun 2012


Of the 27 new TV series that debuted on the major networks last fall, over half have already been canceled. For every surprise hit, like ABC’s Once Upon a Time or NBC’s Grimm, there were many more misfires, like FOX’s heavily hyped Terra Nova, NBC’s The Playboy Club, CBS’ Unforgettable, and the CW’s Ringer. Perhaps in an effort to rebuild audiences, the powers that be have already announced what new shows we’ll be seeing this fall and have released multiple previews online.

I previously predicted the failures of Lonestar, Charlie’s Angels, and several other series that you probably don’t remember, but I still get things wrong sometimes. Along with guesses on what will rise up the ratings charts and what will be canceled before 2013 arrives, here’s a look at what Monday nights are going to look like in a couple of months.

by Sarah Zupko

1 Jun 2012


Old timey folk is making a big comeback in the wake of Carolina Chocolate Drops’ success. Mornin’ Old Sport began life in Boston, but have recently relocated to the Bay Area where there is a thriving old time music scene of jug bands and folk players. Like so many of these artists, Mornin’ Old Sport’s tunes incorporate early 20th century vaudeville sounds into the mix, as well as bits of traditional jazz and early country string band elements. It’s a thrilling mix that is practically the version definition of Americana music as it draws from so many strands of American roots music across ethnic and racial lines. Today we have the pleasure of premiering “I Don’t Care If the Sun Don’t Shine”, a tune penned by Mack David, recorded by Patti Page in 1950, and also among Elvis Presley’s first recordings. On 10 July, the band will release their latest album, Misery Loves Co.. Scott Nanos says of the new record, “[it] is even more old-timey than the EP — basically we just keep getting more old-timey as we keep going on,’ he said. ‘Whereas the EP sounds pretty Thirties Jazz Age, this one also has an old Western swing and bluegrass tinge to it.’” Check out the tune and tour dates below.

by Steve Jansen

1 Jun 2012


Like Halley’s Comet, Glasgow’s the Blue Nile tend to come around so rarely it seems like they’re perpetually in a state of being discovered. Likewise for their occasional orbits, it’s tough to tell whether they’re genuinely preeminent, or just create a stir for being so mysterious.

Personally, with the exception of the timelessly sublime “Tinseltown in the Rain”, I’ve found myself leaving the Blue Nile more often than I’ve taken to them. However, “Mid-Air”, the lead single from head Nile man Paul Buchanan’s latest album of the same name, is justification alone for his four-year absence.

by Evan Sawdey

31 May 2012


If Justin Pierre is anything, it’s self-deprecating.

Fans of the songs he’s made as the frontman for Motion City Soundtrack know full-well the power of cutting one’s self down to size. When he sings about falling asleep to episodes of Veronica Mars, it doesn’t stand out as a cheeky pop culture reference as much as it does describe a very specific kind of loneliness that speaks to a very specific generation—a reference with is embedded with experience almost as much as it is astute observation. Even on the song “Radio, Radio: Are You Getting This?” from his 90s-rock side-project Farewell Continental, there features a long breakdown wherein the band gives voice to their own harshest critic (“I guess you can’t love everything,” the narrator sighs). So even when the band is running their own festival, working with the likes of Ric Ocasek and Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger over the course of the same album (in that case, 2007’s Even If It Kills Me), or having their last album—2010’s magnificent My Dinosaur Life—get hailed as the Album of the Year by Alternative Press, you know full well that their success isn’t getting to their heads: it’s only keeping them that much more grounded.

by Sarah Zupko

30 May 2012


Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page get the attention as the major guitar gods, as do a plethora of other superb rock musicians, but a humble, blind guitarist from the little town of Deep Gap, North Carolina playing an acoustic guitar in flatpicking style is arguably one of the finest guitarists of the 20th century, right there alongside Django Reinhardt. Not to diminish the abilities of rock’s greatest axes, but as pretty much any guitar player will tell you, electric guitars are easier to play than acoustic ones and the stacks of amps and effects pedals can make a mid-range talent sound far better than they actually are. With an acoustic, there’s no room to hide. It’s just you and the strings and those strings don’t lie.

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