Search Results for: Graded on a Curve

Graded on a Curve:
Low Cut Connie,
Dirty Pictures (Part 1)

Low Cut Connie wants you to know they’re not Elton John. They’re on their knees pleading, up in your face screaming “Who are you going to believe–us or your own ears?” But you know what? I don’t give a flying feather boa. I like Elton John. No, nix that–I adore Elton John. I adore his […]

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Graded on a Curve: Nirvana, Nirvana

Today we remember Kurt Cobain on what would have been his 53rd birthday. —Ed. In 1991 a Pacific-Northwest three-piece changed the direction of the record industry, securing a spot in music history as the spearhead of Grunge. In 2002 a self-titled album attempted to sum up their essence; rather than electing to represent the trio’s […]

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Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for February 2020, Part Three

Part three of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for February, 2020. Part one is here and part two is here. NEW RELEASE PICK: Lee Ranaldo & Raül Refree, Names of North End Women (Mute) Lee Ranaldo is world-renowned as one of the guitarists in Sonic Youth. […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Rod McKuen,
Beatsville

When the ancient Greeks coined the word bathos, I’m pretty sure they had Rod McKuen in mind. America’s most popular–and worst–poet of the 1960s, McKuen produced books of poetry the way Virginia opossums make babies, each and every one of them catering to the tastes of a reading public deeply suspicious of the filthy beatnik […]

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Graded on a Curve: Typical Girls,
Volume 5

In May of 2016, Emotional Response Records issued the first installment in their Typical Girls compilation series, an endeavor dedicated to “current female fronted punk and indie bands from around the globe.” Here we are in 2020 and the label is dishing out a fifth volume, which includes 16 acts in styles ranging from the […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Jan St. Werner,
Molocular Meditation

Molocular Meditation is the new record from Jan St. Werner, who is likely best-known as half of the electronic duo Mouse on Mars. The record offers the titular 19-minute track on side A featuring the voice of the late Mark E. Smith, plus two more shorter pieces on side two where the leader of The […]

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Graded on a Curve;
Black Sabbath,
Sabbath Bloody
Sabbath

Dear Satan, I’ve always considered you a cool guy. Lord of the Flies, Leader of the Loyal Opposition, natty dresser, boogie man of little kids and grown Puritans alike–even your horns are badass. So why, if you don’t mind my asking, did you appoint Ozzy Osbourne your ambassador to our world of sin? I would […]

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Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for February 2020, Part Two

Part one of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for February, 2020. Part one is here. NEW RELEASE/VALENTINE’S DAY PICK:  Lulu Lewis, “The Love Song EP” (Ilegalia) The general guideline (I wouldn’t call it “policy”) with this weekly column is a focus on physical releases that […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Frank Zappa,
Hot Rats

Frank Zappa and I have a complicated relationship. During my formative years spent smoking pot with pig farmers I was besotted by the fellow. I thought he was smart, and figured that listening to him made me smart too. But we agreed to a temporary separation around the time of the 1979 release of Sheik […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Bryan Ferry,
Live at the Royal
Albert Hall 1974

Bryan Ferry’s solo discography commenced in deceptively lowkey fashion with a pair of covers albums in 1973-’74. The setlist for BMG’s Live at the Royal Albert Hall 1974 draws from those records as it showcases the man’s sturdy, distinctive pipes and equally unique interpretive skills plus a killer band including guitarist Phil Manzanera, guitarist-musical director […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Bambara,
Stray

Bambara formed over a decade ago in Athens, GA, with a move to Brooklyn thereafter. The release of Stray on February 14 via Wharf Cat Records finds them four LPs deep in a discography that has evinced considerable refinement. Consistencies include attention to texture and dynamics as they resist cliché in the development of a […]

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Graded on a Curve: Darkthrone,
Transilvanian Hunger

Darkthrone vocalist Nocturno Culto sounds like Sonic Youth in dire need of a tonsillectomy. Which is fine by me, seeing as how Kim Gordon can’t sing her way out of a Chinese restaurant takeout carton and Thurston Moore’s cooler-than-thou vocals make me want to call the nearest hipster removal service. No, I’ll take Culto’s cartoonish […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Gwar,
Scumdogs of the Universe

Gwar has a serious attitude problem. These interplanetary Huns arrived on our sorry excuse for a planet to kill or subjugate everyone on it because, well, we’re inferior beings and they hate us for it. But here’s what puzzles me. How is it these mutant metal barbarians first stepped foot on the shithole we call […]

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Graded on a Curve: Earth, Wind & Fire,
The Best of Earth, Wind
& Fire Vol. 1

Today we remember Maurice White who passed away for years ago this week with a look back from our archives. —Ed. Of all the things I’ve loved during my tenure on this planet, it’s hard to beat Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White. And not because he’s a musical genius and head honcho of one […]

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Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for February 2020, Part One

Part one of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for February, 2020.  NEW RELEASE PICKS: Arbor Labor Union, New Petal Instants (Arrowhawk) Some will listen to this record, Arbor Labor Union’s second after 2016’s I Hear You for Sub Pop (well, third if you count Sings […]

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