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 […]

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: The Romans – Tomorrow Coming Soon EP

The Romans Tomorrow Coming Soon EP By Stephanie Roman I discovered The Romans (no relation) while they were playing live in Castleberry Hill for a friend’s art fundraiser. While I enjoyed viewing the art inside the gallery, the music outside was even more compelling. The moody vocals and warm melodies mixed perfectly with the setting […]

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: The Cure — Bestival

The Cure Bestival Sunday Best Recordings By Ellen Eldridge The immediate warmth of the bittersweet opening paragraph to “Plainsong” opens the two-CD set with, “‘I think it’s dark and it looks like rain,’ you said/’And the wind is blowing like it’s the end of the world,’ you said/’And it’s so cold it’s like the cold […]

CD Review: Korn — The Path of Totality

Korn The Path of Totality Roadrunner By Ellen Eldridge Korn came through Atlanta headlining for the Mayhem Festival in 2010, and again this fall to play Wild Bill’s. As soon as the opening track, “Chaos Lives in Everything,” started with its hi-hat beat and techno feel. Deeper into The Path of Totality the sound recalls […]

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 […]

CD Review: Nickelback — Here and Now

Nickelback Here and Now Roadrunner By Ellen Eldridge Nickelback surprises me with how controversial they’ve become lately. The protest against their scheduled Thanksgiving Day performance in Detroit seems far too overdramatic for what I always considered a pretty decent pop rock band. Front man Chad Kroeger and the rest of the band have not responded […]

CD Review: Sarah Siskind — Novel; Playing Eddie’s Attic, November 16

Sarah Siskind Novel Red Request Records By Al Kaufman It would be easy to write Sarah Siskind off as just another hippie chick. Just read some of the liner notes on Novel: “All drums and percussion were handmade or household objects.” Or how about, “Sarah makes unique jewelry made from beads, charms and the like […]

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