Search Results for: "Graded on a Curve"

Graded on a Curve:
John Lee Hooker,
Burnin’

By the time John Lee Hooker recorded Burnin’ for the Vee Jay label in 1961, he’d been on the recording and performing scene in and beyond Detroit for roughly a dozen years, wielding a sui generis, some said anachronistic, yet surprisingly adaptable style, both solo and with backing. On Burnin’ the band consisted of the […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Bon Jovi,
Slippery When Wet

Celebrating David Bryan, born on this day in 1952. —Ed. I’ve always considered Bon Jovi a disease–like kuru, say, only a helluva lot scarier. To contract kuru you have to live in New Guinea and eat contaminated human brains. You can contract Bon Jovi by turning on your car radio. That said, I never–and I […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Maps,
Counter Melodies

The Northampton, UK-based electronic musician James Chapman is Maps, and with his fifth studio album Counter Melodies his attention turns like never before to the crafting of vibrant club techno. Soaking up the flow of the disc’s ten selections, there is little doubt the whole would go down an absolute storm on dancefloors all over […]

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Graded on a Curve: Punky Meadows,
Fallen Angel

Celebrating Punky Meadows on his 73rd birthday. —Ed. Well I’ll be damned. The last time I spoke with Punky Meadows at his tanning salon in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, the legendary pretty boy guitarist for the long-defunct “Anti-Kiss” Angel told me he had no interest in returning to the rock stage, and was solely listening […]

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Graded on a Curve: Lewsberg, Lewsberg

This review could not have been written without the formidable knowledge and translation skills of Martijn de Vries. Dank je wel, mijn vriend. Lang leve Louis-Ferdinand Céline! —MHL Forget tulips, windmills, canals, and tall people (tallest in the world!)—what the Netherlands should best be known for are Rotterdam’s Lewsberg, the greatest rock and roll band […]

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Graded on a Curve:
LCD Soundsystem,
Sound of Silver

Celebrating James Murphy in advance of his birthday tomorrow. —Ed. LCD Soundsystem’s Sound of Silver—the only electronica LP you need ever own! You can forget about all the rest of them—they blow! It’s like the Beatles, and all those bozos buying all their LPs when the only one that conceivably matters is The White Album. […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Jeff Beck, Truth

You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth! Because the truth is that Truth, guitarist extraordinaire Jeff Beck’s 1968 debut solo LP is, well, a mere notch above meh. Truth—a collaboration of sorts with Rod Stewart aided by Ronnie Wood on bass and Mickey Walter on drums, has been lauded by fans and critics […]

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Graded on a Curve:
The Kinks, The Kinks
Are the Village Green Preservation Society

Celebrating Dave Davies in advance of his 76th birthday tomorrow. —Ed. Ray Davies is without a doubt the most fascinating and enigmatic figure to emerge from England’s whole Merseybeat movement. Was he a hard rocker or music hall romanticist, an ironically distanced and gimlet-eyed chronicler of an England in terminal decline or the biggest mourner […]

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Graded on a Curve: Ears of the People: Ekonting Songs from Senegal and The Gambia

It’s no mystery that the banjo originated in Africa, but the specifics of the instruments beginnings are less well known, at least until now, as on February 3 Smithsonian Folkways releases Ears of the People: Ekonting Songs from Senegal and The Gambia. Across 25 tracks, the sounds on this CD are as enjoyable as they […]

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Graded on a Curve:
David Crosby &
The Lighthouse Band, Live At The Capitol Theatre

In what will be the last album David Crosby released in his lifetime, this one and only full-length release featuring the Lighthouse Band, was recorded live at the Capitol Theatre, in Port Chester, New York (a village in Westchester, that straddles New York and Connecticut) on December 8th, 2018. (David Crosby and the Lighthouse Band […]

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Graded on a Curve: Marcella & Her Lovers, Got You Found

Vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Marcella Simien was born in Louisiana but currently resides in Memphis, TN. She’s the frontwoman for Marcella & Her Lovers, whose debut album Got You Found came out digitally in 2020 but is getting a deserved vinyl edition, available now through Black & Wyatt Records. The daughter of noted zydeco […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols

Celebrating John Lydon, born on this day in 1956. —Ed. Well here it is–the first and best punk album ever vomited upon an unsuspecting public. And I don’t want to hear any naysaying or quibbling. With 1977’s Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols Johnny Rotten and Company fired a shot heard round the […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Sana Nagano,
Anime Mundi

Sana Nagano excels at high-flying avant-jazz violin in a variety of settings, including as the leader of her own groups. For her latest full-length, she contracts the lineup to a trio of Karl Berger on piano and vibraphone and Billy Martin on drums and percussion. Recorded on August 18, 2020, the album documents a needed […]

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Graded on a Curve: Television,
Adventure

Remembering Tom Verlaine. —Ed. Sometimes I flabbergast myself. I think I know what I like and what I don’t like, only to find out I don’t know a damn thing about anything, least of all my likes and dislikes. Take KC and the Sunshine Band. I hated them with a passion for like 30 years […]

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Graded on a Curve: Humble Pie,
Smokin’

Remembering Steve Marriott, born on this day in 1947. —Ed. I have an unwholesome relationship with Humble Pie. It may not be as unsavory as my obsession with the impossibly déclassé Grand Funk Railroad, but still. The fact is I return again and again to Steve Marriott and Humble Pie’s refried boogie like a dog […]

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