CD Review: Fanfarlo — Rooms Filled With Light; Playing Vinyl, March 10

Fanfarlo Rooms Filled with Light Atlantic Records By Al Kaufman The indie-pop world took notice when Fanfarlo released their debut, Reservoir, in 2009. Now, three years later, Fanfarlo has gone back about 30 years to create their new sound. In listening to Rooms Filled with Light, one would not be unreasonable to believe the band […]

CD Review: Heartless Bastards — Arrow; Playing The EARL, March 2

Heartless Bastards Arrow Partisan Records By Al Kaufman Heartless Bastards answer the all important question: What if Adele was backed by a Texas band? Erika Wennerstrom, the vocal storm behind the band, has penned 11 songs that show off all her abilities. The soulful “Marathon” is followed by the poppy “Parted Ways,” until the song […]

CD Review: Red Wanting Blue — From the Vanishing Point; Playing Smith’s Olde Bar, February 27

Red Wanting Blue From the Vanishing Point Fanatic Records By Al Kaufman Red Wanting Blue plays slick, mainstream pop-rock songs. That could be the whole review right there, but it would leave the layout for this review wanting. It’s like Train or Hootie and the Blowfish, or, to a lesser extent, Counting Crows. It’s that […]

CD Review: Amy LaVere – Stranger Me; Playing Smith’s Olde Bar with Rich Robinson, March 2

Amy LaVere Stranger Me Archer Records By Al Kaufman Turbulent times often leads to great art. Such is the case with Amy LaVere. While preparing to make her third album three years ago, her producer and mentor, Jim Dickenson, died of complications from triple bypass surgery. Then her guitarist, Steve Selvidge, left to join The […]

Q&A with Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne; Playing The Loft, February 10

By Al Kaufman Fountains of Wayne is not your typical success story. The New York-based band came up with the name after driving by a yard art store in Wayne, N.J., then quickly signed with Atlantic Records in 1996. They were subsequently dropped after their first two albums did not sell up to Atlantic’s expectations. […]

CD Review: Dare Dukes — Thugs and China Dolls; Playing Highland Inn January 21 and Grocery on Home February 4

Dare Dukes and the Blackstock Collection Thugs and China Dolls Starland Records By Al Kaufman When Savannah’s Dare Dukes released his debut, Prettiest Transmitter of All, in 2008, he established himself as a gifted songwriter who could write a catchy (but not obvious) hook. But, most importantly, he demonstrated that he has a penchant for […]

CD Review: Black Keys — El Camino

Black Keys El Camino Nonesuch By Al Kaufman It surprises nobody anymore that a couple of white boys from Akron, Ohio (Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, to be precise) can pack their music with so much blues and  soul, but the fact that with El Camino, their seventh album, they continue to get better and […]

CD Review: R.E.M. — Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage 1982-2011

R.E.M. Part Lies Part Heart Part Truth Part Garbage 1982-2011 Warner Brothers By Al Kaufman For many people outside of Georgia, R.E.M. broke up about 15 years too late. They should have called it quits after Bill Berry retired and before Michael Stipe started bitching in his songs. R.E.M. had a few lean years in […]

CD Review: The Twilight Saga — Breaking Dawn Part I Soundtrack

Various Artists The Twilight Saga — Breaking Dawn Part I Soundtrack Chop Shop/Atlantic By Al Kaufman While the Twilight movie series caters to teenage girls who find nothing more romantic than sleeping with 500-year-old vampires who wear glitter, the soundtracks aim for a wider audience. Past releases have helped aid the careers of the likes […]

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