January 19th, 2024Moondog Comes Alive Ghost Train Orchestra and Kronos Quartet revive the startling music of the Viking of 6th Avenue
By: Fred Kaplan
Louis Hardin, who renamed himself Moondog, was one of the most unusual composers of the 20th century. Tall, bearded, and blind from a childhood accident involving fireworks, he spent much of the 1960s living on the streets of New York City, often standing ramrod straight at the corner of West 54th Street and 6th Avenue, dressed in square-patch clothing of his own making, his head cased in a Norse helmet (some dubbed him “the Viking of 6th Avenue”), playing his music,... Read More
October 22nd, 2023Tom Waits Left Asylum Records With a Party In His Head and corrected the spelling of "Ballantines" too!
By: Michael Fremer
Following a decade's worth of Asylum albums almost all of which were produced and engineered by the great Bones Howe, and none of which were originally commercially successful but they sure did sound good, and over time the audiences caught up with what he was doing, Tom Waits self-produced his Island debut Swordfishtrombones. Waits traded in his bar fly hipster small jazz combo recorded live in the studio thing for a far more experimental, heavily produced and... Read More
September 23rd, 2023"Tubular Bells" 50th Anniversary Edition Miles Showell cuts at 1/2 speed from a digital master
By: Michael Fremer
The late British jazz saxophonist Lol Coxhill famously referred to this record as "Tubercular Balls"—and that's before he knew that his first name was short for "laughing out loud". For many reasons this album was and remains a phenomenon. Nineteen year old Mike Oldfield had already been in and out of many bands. He'd been a folkie with his sister Sally in a group called Sallyangie, the 'angie' part taken from the Bert Jansch... Read More
June 20th, 2023Balmorhea's Latest Release on Deutsche Grammophon, "Pendant World" The group's latest features a struggle in subtlety
By: Evan Toth
Subtlety is a delicate art form. Too little, and one runs the risk of being too obvious, clunky, or blatant. Too much, and no one gets the joke, takes the hint, or catches the drift. Finding the right amount of subtlety makes comedy funnier and mysteries more intriguing; it can also lead to music that is full of the magic that leaves the listener wanting to hear more. Performing and recording together since 2007, Balmorhea has often explored the auditory world of... Read More
November 23rd, 2022Suspended Memories Defines The Essence Of “Musique Nouvelle” In The 90s From the archives: Remember the supergroups? Sure you do!
By: Tracking Angle
(This review, written by Glenn Hammett, originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)Remember the supergroups? Sure you do! In the late 60s, if a musician had a successful backlog of material, or simply looked the part, he could combine his talent with others of similar rock-royalty status. After months of grooming and preparation, they would announce themselves to the world as the next best thing. Shortly thereafter, egos would flare and they’d break up (usually to... Read More