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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

CD Review: Minus Ned — Are We Finally Fitting In?; Playing The Nest, November 10

Minus Ned Are We Finally Fitting In? Nedhead Records By Al Kaufman When guitarist Ned Bridges decided to form a band with fellow Connecticut friends Zach Guglin (vocals/drums) and Michael Martens (guitar), he probably thought the band would just break up when he took off for college. Instead, the two remaining members recruited guitarist Mark […]

CD Review: Memoryhouse — The Years; Playing 529, November 1

Memoryhouse The Years Sub-Pop By Al Kaufman The Toronto duo, Memoryhouse, released a four-song EP, The Years, on Arcade Sound a little over a year ago. On this version for Sub-Pop, they’re up to five songs (replacing “the Waves” with “Modern Normal” and “Quiet America”). They also re-recorded the remaining three songs. At this rate, […]

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