CD Review: Ramajay Intercoastal — Work in Progress; Playing Old Crow Tavern and Grill, July 9

Ramajay Intercoastal Work in Progress Self-released By Al Kaufman “Ramajay” means many things; from “party” to “show off.” But the definition that is most relevant for our purposes is an improvisational competition between pannist (or steel drummers). And, of course, these competitions often lead to showing off and party-like atmospheres. The party atmosphere is what […]

CD Review: Ben Sollee –Inclusions; Playing Eddie’s Attic, June 22

Ben Sollee Inclusions Tin Ear/Thirty Tigers By Al Kaufman Ben Sollee is a classically trained cellist. Wait, keep reading. He is also a man with strong pop sensibilities and a heart throb voice. It’s a voice full of yearning and longing, but sensitive enough to say he only wants to cuddle. Women’s hearts have fluttered […]

CD Review: Black Lips — Arabia Mountain

Black Lips Arabia Mountain Vice Music By Al Kaufman Every artist has that moment when they wish to be taken seriously. They make that attempt to branch out and not get pigeon-holed. The Jim Carreys and Will Ferrells of the world perform dramatic roles. The U2s release messes like Zooropa. In 2009, Atlanta’s Black Lips […]

CD Review: Death Cab for Cutie — Codes and Keys; Playing Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, August 11

Death Cab for Cutie Codes and Keys Atlantic By Al Kaufman Thanks to iTunes and other sites, the concept of the album is all but gone. Bands still release CDs, but they are just afterthoughts. They put their “reach out and grab you” song first, usually something a bit different as the third or fourth […]

CD Review: Hank III — Hillbilly Joker

Hank Williams III Hillbilly Joker Bruc/Sidewalk By Al Kaufman Hank III never had a good relationship with Curb Records. They thought they were signing a old-fashioned country singer that was more like his grandfather than his dad. What they got is a kid who likes punk and thrash metal more than anything else. The whole […]

CD Review: Crash Test Dummies — Oooh-La-La and Demo-Litions; Playing Smith’s Old Bar, May 22

Crash Test Dummies Oooh-La-La Deep Fried Records Crash Test Dummies Demo-Litions Cast-Off Recordings 1996-97 Deep Fried Records By Al Kaufman Back in 1993, Canada’s Crash Test Dummies, led by Brad Roberts — whose throaty bass-baritone sounded like he had washed down a hive of bees with a bottle of whiskey — released  their second CD, […]

CD Review: The Belle Brigade — The Belle Brigade

The Belle Brigade The Belle Brigade Reprise By Al Kaufman Brother/sister act Ethan and Barbara Gruska call legendary film composer John Williams (Jaws, E.T., Superman, Star Wars,Indiana Jones, to name a few) grandpa. With such a musical pedigree, it is expected that the duo should accomplish some beautiful things. More often than not, they do.

CD Review: Fleet Foxes — Helplessness Blues; Play The Tabernacle, May 14

Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues Sub Pop By Al Kaufman Like Low Anthem, or their Rainy City compatriots, Cave Singers, Fleet Foxes create tiny bits of baroque, indie magic. Their songs shimmer, shine, and dance in the light. As on their 2008, self-titled, debut CD, the sextet harmonizes like the best Crosby, Stills and Nash songs, […]

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