Search Results for: Graded on a Curve

Graded on a Curve: America,
History: America’s Greatest Hits

Celebrating Jerry Beckley on his 69th birthday yesterday. —Ed. America gets a bum rap. I’m not talking, mind you, about the United States of America, which gets all the bad press it deserves. No, I’m talking about seventies soft-rock superstars America, the folkie trio who gave us “A Horse with No Name,” which Randy Newman […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Pussy Galore,
Sampler

To fully comprehend the superstars of sleaze Pussy Galore you must listen to their 1986 homage to/destruction of the Rolling Stones’ 1972 masterpiece Exile on Main Street. Sloppy to the point of incoherence, their cassette-only desecration is guaranteed to either inspire disgust or disdain in just about everybody but people who enjoy half-assed first takes, […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Slade,
Slade Alive!

Celebrating Don Powell on his 75th birthday. —Ed. You can forget all about Kiss Alive! because Slade’s Slade Alive! is the real thing–a gut-bucket blast of pure rock ‘n’ roll energy from the poorest spellers in the history of music. This 1972 studio live affair captures this band of Wolverhampton rowdies at their rawest, and […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Paul Williams, Evergreens: The Best
of the A&M Years

It is the fate of some singer/songwriters to be the worst interpreters of their own work. Burt Bacharach springs to mind. Ditto Hoyt “Joy to the World” Axton and Jimmy “MacArthur Park” Webb. Kris Kristofferson falls into this category—unlike Webb and Axton he’s instantly recognizable for his rugged good looks and ragged voice, but few […]

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Graded on a Curve:
The Who,
The Who Sell Out Super Deluxe Box Set, 2LP Stereo Version

The third album from The Who (Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Keith Moon), The Who Sell Out, released in December of 1967, has continued to grow in stature as the years go by. While the group’s sprawling concept albums Tommy and Quadrophenia are regarded as masterpieces, their Who’s Next was lauded as their best […]

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Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for September 2021, Part Two

Part two of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for September 2021. Part one is here. NEW RELEASE PICKS: New York United, Volume Two (577) This set follows-up a lovely self-titled LP from 2019, on which an exquisite fusion of jazz and electronics was unveiled as […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Otis Redding,
Lonely & Blue: The Deepest Soul of Otis Redding

Celebrating Mr. Otis Redding, born on September 9, 1941. —Ed. As one of the undisputed titans in the annals of Soul Music, Otis Redding seemingly needs no introduction. Any serious discussion of the genre he so thrillingly mastered will reflect upon the rewards to be found in his work, and that it’s never fallen out […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Laura Nyro,
Go Find the Moon: The Audition Tape and Trees of the Ages; Laura Nyro Live in Japan

On September 10, Omnivore Recordings unveils a fascinating artifact detailing the strength of singer-songwriter Laura Nyro’s skills from the earliest vantage point yet: 1966, at 18 years of age. Go Find the Moon: The Audition Tape is raw documentation of Nyro playing songs for Milt Okun and her future manager Artie Mogull, the tape contrasting […]

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Graded on a Curve:
The Pretenders,
Learning to Crawl

Celebrating Chrissie Hynde on her 70th. —Ed. A couple of days ago, I found myself doing something I haven’t done (no exaggeration) in years: dancing. I dervished about the apartment all by myself, like a lunatic, with the cat looking on from the safety of the bed, wide-eyed with eminent peril. I could tell the […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Sloks,
A knife in your hand

Based in Turin, Italy, the trio Sloks specialize in garage punk, raw and aggressive, with their second full-length A knife in your hand dishing out a formidable stream of primo bash and squall. Ivy Claudy handles the vocals and the pummeling of a floor tom, Tony Machete pounds on a larger drum set, and Billy […]

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Graded on a Curve: Spooky Tooth,
Spooky Two

Celebrating Mike Harrison, born on this day in 1945. —Ed. Spooky Tooth: I don’t know exactly how to start this review of Spooky Two, except by saying that Spooky Tooth has always, at least in my mind, been in a dead heat with Foghat as funniest band name ever when stoned. For the longest time […]

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Graded on a Curve: Coldplay,
Live in Buenos Aires

All of my closest friends—amongst whose number I count legendary toughwoman champion Shannon Hall, Dutch Heavyweight Boxing Champion Martijn “Vuisten van Staal” de Vries, notorious East End London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray, and Stewie my cat—simply can’t comprehend my love for Coldplay. They think I’m soft. They think I bathe in violets. In short, […]

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Graded on a Curve:
The Jam,
In the City

Celebrating Bruce Foxton who turned 66 yesterday. —Ed. In the year punk broke, 1977, The Jam carried with them a whiff of a year far past, namely 1965. Paul Weller brought punk’s jacked-up velocity and coiled tension to the band’s debut LP, In the City, but the LP is also steeped in the spirit of […]

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Graded on a Curve: New in Stores for September 2021, Part One

Part one of the TVD Record Store Club’s look at the new and reissued releases presently in stores for September 2021.  NEW RELEASE PICKS: Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra, Tinctures In Times (Community Music, Vol. 1) (The Royal Potato Family) This is the first of four albums, all issued on vinyl, that will complete trumpeter-composer-arranger […]

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Graded on a Curve:
Bee Gees,
Bee Gees 1st

Celebrating Barry Gibb on his 75th birthday. —Ed. Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the most twee of them all? Belle and Sebastian? The Shop Assistants? The Pastels? Well sure, if you adhere to a literalist definition of twee as a post-indie phenomenon. But I take the sniper’s long-range view of music history, and like […]

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