Rock/Pop/Etc.

CD Review: Thomas Dolby – A MAP OF THE FLOATING CITY

Thomas Dolby - THE MAP OF THE FLOATING CITY | ©2011 RedEye

Distributor: RedEye Suggested Retail Price: $14.36 Thomas Dolby may be best known for his 1982 pop hit “She Blinded My With Science,” but anyone who has dug deeper into his catalog has discovered a wealth of wonderfully eclectic and cleverly constructed tracks. I’ll always had a place in my heart for “My Brain is Like A Sieve” from his 1988 release ALIENS ATE MY BUICK and it always reminds me there was more going on with this artist than he was given credit for. However, his studio output has been few and far between, with his last official release being …Read On »

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CD Review: PAJAMA CLUB – self-titled debut

PAJAMA CLUB | ©2011 Lester Records

Fans of CROWDED HOUSE may be a bit surprised at the new side project by co-founder Neil Finn. The singer-songwriter, who has made a fine career out of expert pop craftsmanship that has evoked the best of the Beatles at times, tries something completely different with Pajama Club. Created with his wife Sharon (who shares vocals with him), the album is more synth heavy and totally alternative in sound and feel than Crowded House. The beautiful melodies and harmonies Finn and Crowded House are known for have been replaced by chunkier musicianship and songs that take a few listens before …Read On »

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CD Review: Tori Amos – NIGHT OF HUNTERS

Tori Amos - NIGHT OF HUNTERS | ©2011 Deutsche Grammophon

You never quite know which direction Tori Amos is going to zigzag in. She’s an avant garde pop princess who burst onto the scene in the early ‘90s as that decade’s answer to Kate Bush. Her piano playing was impeccable and her knack for catchy songwriting with deep messages made her debut LITTLE EARTHQUAKES a phenomenal and still potent debut. Since then she’s followed the beat of her own offbeat drummer with highs and lows. She never sits still long enough to question her decisions and her latest NIGHT OF HUNTERS is perhaps the most challenging work to date. It’s …Read On »

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The year of living musically at the 36th TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

Toronto Internation Film Festival (TIFF) logo

Toronto beefed it’s celebrity profile in 2011 at the 36th Annual Toronto International Film Festival by having a slew of music documentaries. Interestingly they were all about musicians who have heavily dabbled in film in the past. Here’s a quick look… THE ARTIST: U2 THE FILM: FROM THE SKY DOWN GENERAL CONSENSUS: Decent enough look at a band at the crossroads in 1991, one forgets how close they came to imploding. U2 the band still cries out for a career spanning definitive movie and this ain’t it. Music cult fans will appreciate seeing cult legend producer/musician Brian Eno in action. …Read On »

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CD Review: ROME

ROME | ©2011 Danielle Luppi

At first impressing with his replication of 60’s Hollywood sleaze jazz in the brilliantly underrated WOMAN CHASER, Danielle Luppi then swung to stop-on recreations of his motherland’s cinematic sound during the same period, an ITALIAN STORY that ranged from Morricone Spaghetti western-isms to the sensual jazz of composers like Piero Piccioni (CAMILLE 2000). Now Luppi invites DJ Danger Mouse to venture with him to ROME, their entrancing collaboration taking Luppi’s Italo soundtrack tributes to the next, mod level. With a beautifully dreamy sound that recalls the retro-progressiveness of the group Air, Luppi and Danger Mouse’s concept album mixes catchy songs …Read On »

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The 10 Coolest R.E.M. Songs – It’s the End of R.E.M. As We Know It And These Songs Will Make You Feel Fine

R.E.M. - COLLAPSE INTO NOW | ©2011 Warner Bros.

Yesterday the Athena, GA rock band R.E.M. consisting of singer Michael Stipe, bassist Mike Mills and guitarist Peter Buck called it quits after a little over 30 years as a unit. Their blend of jangly guitars and socially conscious lyrics made them a fringe alternative band throughout the 1980s until they finally broke out with 1987′s “The One I Love”. This led to signing to major label Warner Bros. which brought them into the mainstream major leagues with a series of pop hits including “Losing My Religion,” “Shiny Happy People” and “Stand.” Although their albums over the last decade have …Read On »

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CD Review: Lindsey Buckingham – SEEDS WE SOW

Lindsey Buckingham - SEEDS WE SOW | ©2011 Buckingham Records

Distributor: Buckingham Records Suggested Retail Price: $9.99 When Lindsey Buckingham joined Fleetwood Mac in 1974 (with Stevie Nicks), the end result was a transformation of a rock solid band into a pop music powerhouse. Buckingham was an expert and visionary musical architect who had a vision that not even the band probably fully grasped at the time and his contributions resulted in some of the finest pop songs ever (I defy you no to start singing along to “Go Your Own Way” when it comes on the radio). While Buckingham still tours with Mac, the band hasn’t released a new …Read On »

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Single Review: Erasure – “When I Start To (Break It All Down)”

Erasure single - "When I Start To (Break it All Down)" | ©2011 Mute Records

Distributor: Mute Records Release Date: August 30, 2011 While many modern pop artists look to the 1980s for inspiration (Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, The Killers, etc), the artists that were part of defining that decade (and are still viable artists) are few and far between. There are the warhorses (Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, etc.), but groups amazing, ahead-of-their-time groups like Depeche Mode and Erasure forged through their electronic-infused work throughout the 1990s and the 2000s with their musical integrity intact and a constant forward momentum. I’d say Depeche Mode has experimented the most in this time, but the Erasure duo of …Read On »

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CD Review: BEYONCE – 4

BEYONCE - 4 | ©2011 Sony Music

Distributor: Sony Music Suggested Retail Price: $9.99 If I had my choice of soaking in a new Elvis Costello album or checking out the new Beyonce release 4, I would probably go for Costello. However, considering there isn’t a new Costello release, there’s no harm in evaluating Beyonce’s latest. To be honest, I thought her last release, I AM … SASHA FIERCE, was an impressive, groundbreaking album for the artist. She experimented with her sound and conjured up some very powerful ballads that transcended the Diva genre. With 4 (her fourth solo release), she plays it somewhat safe. There are …Read On »

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Film Fest: The Laughs Are On at the 2011 Los Angeles Film Festival

2011 Los Angeles Film Festival poster

Dateline: Downtown Los Angeles Exactly why, you may wonder, would one need to attend a film festival in Los Angeles. Isn’t everyday a film day? Yes and no. Sure, any given day there might be a film premiere or a star appearance. But only the Los Angeles Film Festival offers such a magnificent mix of multimedia culture clash. It may be only the second year for the LA Film Festival in its new location—downtown’s glitzy steel and glass entertainment center known as L.A. Live—but it already seems as familiar as popcorn and butter. With most films showing at the Regal …Read On »

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