CD Review: Sonya Kitchell — This Storm

CD Review: Sonya Kitchell — This Storm

Sonya KitchellThis StormDecca/Velour by Al Kaufman Sonya Kitchell could very well be the oldest 19-year-old in the world. When she released Words Came Back to Me in 2006, at the age of 16, people were blown away that a voice so mature could eminate from a body so young. In the ensuing two plus years […]

CD Review: Reckless Kelly — Bulletproof

CD Review: Reckless Kelly — Bulletproof

Reckless KellyBulletproofYep Roc Records by Al Kaufman Austin's Reckless Kelly, named after Australian outlaw Ned "Reckless" Kelly, have never quite been able to live up to their image. While they try to convey themselves as renegade country-rockers, they often come across as Steve Earle with the rough edges rubbed clean. While Bulletproof offers a glimpse […]

Passion Pit — Chunk of Change

Passion Pit — Chunk of Change

Passion PitChunk of ChangeFrenchkiss Records by Al Kaufman The thing that set New Order (and their predecessor, the even more dour Joy Division) apart from all the other synth-rock bands of the eighties was their passion. There was substance behind their sound. There was raw emotion. Michael Angelakos has tapped into that same passion-synth sound […]

Vance Gilbert — Up on Rockfield

Vance Gilbert — Up on Rockfield

Vance GilbertUp on RockfieldDisismye Music by Al Kaufman Many an artist, Chris Robinson of Black Crowes and Lenny Kravitz come immediately to mind, have made a living out of imitating their idols. But possibly none have done so as deliberately as Vance Gilbert has done on his latest CD, Up on Rockfield. For each song, […]

Lucinda Williams — Little Honey

Lucinda Williams — Little Honey

Lucinda WilliamsLittle HoneyLost Highway by Al Kaufman Lucinda Williams, so wonderful when she sings of her pain and despair, is even better when she sings of her joy. The recently engaged Williams opens her new disc with the blistering "Real Love." It has all the fire and passion of some of her greatest kiss-off tunes, […]

The Panics — Cruel Guards

The Panics — Cruel Guards

The PanicsCruel GuardsDew Process by Al Kaufman Opening up with a grandiose drum solo from Myles Wootton, Australia’s The Panics leave little doubt that this is not another lo-fi CD that their fans have come to expect. On Cruel Guards, their third CD, the quintet has gone for broke. In an effort to expand beyond […]

Todd Snider — Peace Queer

Todd Snider — Peace Queer

Todd SniderPeace QueerAimless Records by Al Kaufman There’s nothing like a presidential election to get the juices flowing in the arts world. It has single-handedly revitalized Saturday Night Live, it has brought Oliver Stone out of his conspiracy lab to create the presidential bio, W, and now, it has inspired troubadour Todd Snider to release […]

Lukas Ligeti — African Machinery

Lukas Ligeti — African Machinery

Lukas LigetiAfrikan MachineryTzadik by Al Kaufman When you have been commissioned to compose for the Kronos Quartet, and have drummed for experimental demigod John Zorn, you are not a typical musician. Lukas Ligeti is not a typical musician.On his second solo album, Afrikan Machinery, composer/percussionist Ligeti plays mostly the marimba lumina, an electric marimba designed […]

The Bittersweets — Goodnight , San Francisco

The Bittersweets — Goodnight , San Francisco

The BittersweetsGoodnight, San FranciscoCompass Records by Al Kaufman Hannah Prater’s voice evokes emotions that most people never even knew existed before they heard her. Just imagine the results if Lucinda Williams’, Jenny Lewis’ and Joni Mitchell’s DNA were all mixed up in a petri dish. She has raw emotion, grit, and vocal clarity. Her voice […]

Connor Christian and Southern Gothic — 90 Proof Lullabies

Connor Christian and Southern Gothic — 90 Proof Lullabies

Connor Christian and Southern Gothic90 Proof LullabiesVintage Earth Records by Al Kaufman Most Southern rock strictly abides by the GAG order; "GAG" standing for God, Alcohol, and Girls. On 90 Proof Lullabies, Connor Christian mostly abides by the rules, especially when it comes to the two "G"s. Christian and company are at their best when […]

Kirk McMillan — American Dreamworld

Kirk McMillan — American Dreamworld

Kirk McMillanAmerican DreamworldMile Marker 16 Records by Al Kaufman Kirk McMillan is an earnest guy. While listening to bands in Memphis in 2002, he decided something was missing from his life. So when he got back home to Atlanta, he quit his family’s food business and bought and learned how to play a guitar. He […]

P Is For Panda — Mix Tape Vol. 1

P Is For Panda — Mix Tape Vol. 1

P Is for PandaMix Tape Vol. 1Hopeless Records by Al Kaufman Indie rock is alive and well, thanks to good folks like Chad Pearson. Pearson used to run The Militia Group label. Then he walked out on music altogether and worked in both baking and construction. But you never forget your first love, and in […]

Kimbrough, Womack, play Eddie’s on Sunday

Kimbrough, Womack, play Eddie’s on Sunday

by Al Kaufman You know what’s missing in music today? Guys who write great songs. It’s not missing per se, we just don’t hear about it because we’re too busy trying to find out which singers forgot their underwear when they left the house.Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack both wear underwear (or they may not, […]

Aimee Mann Yuks It Up at Variety

Aimee Mann Yuks It Up at Variety

Aimee MannVariety PlayhouseSeptember 5, 2008 by Al Kaufman Aimee Mann has been long tagged as an angry, depressed person who writes angry, depressing songs. Last Friday night at the Variety, Mann showed off her more comedic side. Relaxed and confident on stage with her band, Mann introduced her early hit single, "That’s Just What You […]

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