Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Hip-hop, R&B, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

 
Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Feb 13, 2015
The 183rd most acclaimed album of all time is this week's Counterbalance, a pastoral 1968 masterpiece from the Kinks. God save little shops, china cups and virginity.

Klinger: How in the hell has it taken us this long to talk about the Kinks? Ray Davies is (and this can’t just be me) one of the finest songwriters in rock history. Sure, he might not have the incisive fogginess of Dylan or the cantankerous anthemry of Lennon, but he can usually be counted on to bring a certain dignity — something very close to wisdom — to the proceedings that you just don’t often hear. I suppose the rap on the Kinks is that they never made their masterpiece. For whatever reason, they never delivered a career-defining statement of purpose that would match a Sgt. Pepper or a Blonde on Blonde or an Exile on Main St. Over the years, though, critics have come around to this week’s record, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, which currently sits at No. 183 on the Great List. Which, if you buy into the rap on the Kinks, pretty much makes sense.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Thursday, Feb 12, 2015
While the Grammys may have gotten metal absolutely wrong again, a new album by the Swedish outfit Marduk and a noteworthy tenth anniversary remind us that not all is wrong with the metal world.

I have no trouble admitting I have a total weakness for noting anniversaries of classic heavy metal records. As one with a great interest in the genre’s history, and like anyone else my age who has witnessed the musical form evolve right before our ears (if you can pardon the synesthesia), it’s important to recognize those recordings whose impact was the biggest—not to mention fun. And for nostalgia’s sake, those nice round numbers of 40, 30, 25, and 20 are good moments to do so, which you’ll see on this column as it goes along. In fact, there’s a big one coming in the next few weeks.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Wednesday, Feb 11, 2015
Even in bootleg form, the Clash's Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg stands as one of the most daring, fearless, idiosyncratic recordings ever put on tape by a major recording artist.

Combat Rock (1982) gave the Clash the commercial success in America that their rabid fanbase felt they deserved and critics had expected from them since their landmark record London Calling was universally heralded as the last great record of the ‘70s. (Depending on which side of the Atlantic you were on, it could have also been the first great record of the ‘80s.). Combat Rock’s first two singles, the funky new-wave boogie of “Rock the Casbah” and the sloppy power pop of “Should I Stay or Should I Go”, were performing exceptionally well, getting them plenty of airtime on MTV, a booking on Saturday Night Live, and a gig as the opening act on the Who’s 1982 comeback tour in arenas across the United States.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Tuesday, Feb 10, 2015
6 String Drag was a regionally beloved Southern roots rock band, who seemingly fell off the face of the earth at the top of their game. Bass player, Rob Keller, tells what happened and how they made it back.

Kenny Roby (previously featured here) and Rob Keller disbanded 6 String Drag at the top of their game, nearly 15 years ago. The first new album from 6 String Drag, Roots Rock N Roll, brings the group together again, ranging the gamut of roots rock with their brother-from-another-mother harmonies. Why would a regionally beloved band, seemingly at the peak of success, fall off the face of the earth? Love.


Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Friday, Feb 6, 2015
Oh, 191st most acclaimed album of all time, you let me violate you, you let me desecrate you, you let me penetrate you, you let me complicate you. A 1994 industrial bellwether is this week's Counterbalance.

Mendelsohn: If there was one album that could concisely sum up my musical taste as a teenager, it would be Nine Inch Nail’s The Downward Spiral. In 1994, I was wandering around the rock and roll wilderness, trying to find my way with nothing more than a couple of Rush records and a mixtape of Pink Floyd’s greatest hits. Then the video for “Closer” hit MTV and my world changed. A path opened up in the woods and I was shown the way into my rock and roll. I spent the next couple of years listening to The Downward Spiral record, along with the rest of the NIN archive, plus a myriad of less talented bands who were proffering the industrial rock that was fighting for ears in the mid ‘90s. None of it was as well thought out as Trent Reznor’s vision. Some of it was downright terrible (obligatory finger pointing at Marilyn Manson—not the worst, but a frequent and repeat offender). By the end of high school I had cut my long hair, boxed up the black t-shirts and acquired a marginally better taste in music. I would check in with Nine Inch Nails from time to time over the last decade but it seemed that aside from the ardent following Reznor had built for himself, there was little cultural currency left in the newer albums, as he drifted into an atmospheric approach that lent itself better to movie scores than rock albums.


Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

© 1999-2015 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.