Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Rock

Update! 10/8/2023 My inbox was filled with "first press" info. That's one of the great things about doing these videos and reviews. You learn stuff. So, I learn that supposedly the "first pressing" I have with date of 8-13-71 is an "east coast" pressing and doesn't sound nearly as good as one with a "W1" in the lead out groove and no date. So I search my storage space and I have one. I play it. It is much better... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

While hip-hop and boy bands dominated the musical climate of the millennium, The Donnas rekindled the aesthetics of old-fashioned rock and roll. Vocalist Brett Anderson, guitarist Allison Robertson, bassist Maya Ford, and drummer Torry Castellano joined forces in 1993 and formed the punk band Ragady Anne, later rechristened as The Electrocutes. Two years later, The Donnas emerged as an avenue for the girls to embrace a garage rock sound that didn’t deter from their hardcore origins. To distinguish this outfit, each member took on the “Donna” moniker followed by the first initial of their last names (Brett = Donna A et al). Upon the release of their self-titled debut album and a brief tour of Japan in 1997, The Donnas signed with Lookout Records, and this was during their senior year of high school! In hindsight, The Donnas became the vehicle destined to take off to stratospheric heights.

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1992…the beginning of SoundScan and the year that CD sales reached well over 400 million. And while a huge chunk of that went to 300 people who got production credits on “The Bodyguard” soundtrack, The Wedding Present launched a 12-month campaign to release a new single every month that affirmed David Gedge’s love of 7” vinyl. The band’s singer/songwriter then watched as the entire run sold out and they’d wind up equaling Elvis’ record for the most hits in a calendar year.

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genre Rock Indie Pop Post-Punk format Vinyl

Being a fan of Japanese Sludge/Doom/Stoner/Drone/Psych/Pop-Metal power trio Boris can be exhausting, especially if you’re a record collector. Since forming in 1992 these industry veterans have racked up 29 full-length studio albums alone, not even including their dozen or so collaborative albums and countless extended plays. Having casually heard this band mentioned by friends who were enthusiasts of punk and metal over the years, sometime in 2012 or 2013 I found... Read More

Located at 3138 Fillmore Street, The Matrix was the hub of the “San Francisco sound” in the late 1960s. The pizza parlor turned nightclubs was spearheaded by the members of Jefferson Airplane in 1965, who became the default house band. Whether it was Big Brother and the Holding Company, Steve Miller Band, or Quicksilver Messenger Service, spectators that attended shows at the Matrix witnessed Bay Area bands in a loose environment that was a far cry from Bill Graham’s grandiose Fillmore West.

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genre Rock Psychedelic Rock format Vinyl

(This review originally appeared in Issue 7, Spring 1996.)It is at once comforting and depressing to hear a band of (relative) youngsters writing and performing songs, most of which could easily be dropped into a cassette tape compilation from the early 70s and segue way so smoothly you’d never know they were new. Since I choose comfort over depression every time, I’m enjoying the hell out of this set of alternative shitkicker music which gracefully slips and slides... Read More

genre Rock format CD

(There are two reviews of this record published simultaneously, one by Michael Fremer and one by Malachi Lui, the two working independently, for a young and an "I was around then" perspective).Chris Frantz writes in the updated booklet packaged with this new double LP set of the difficulties involved in mounting the complicated, unique, never before (or since) seen stage show that the late Jonathan Demme so well captured in the film "Stop Making... Read More

genre Rock Art Rock Post-Punk format Vinyl

Immortalized in Jonathan Demme’s 1984 film Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads’ 1983 tour was the theatrical rock tour that ended all theatrical rock tours before it and raised the standard for those following. Choreographed but natural, theatrical but not outlandish, designed but also not, the newly reissued Stop Making Sense still resonates in its societal commentary and continuing influence.

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Back in June, Michael Fremer and I discussed my next Tracking Angle piece, and we agreed that I should do something I hadn’t done in a while and review a new album. I did some research and decided that Lucinda Williams’ Stories From A Rock n Roll Heart would be a good choice. Michael agreed, and so it was decided.I hadn’t heard the album, but I’d admired Williams’ music dating back to the time before her 1998 breakthrough Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Her... Read More

genre Rock format Vinyl

And so it starts again with a ballad. One that Damon Albarn started 20 years ago as, literally, “Half A Song,” finished at the urge of bodyguard Darren ‘Smoggy’ Evans and now the opening track on The Ballad Of Darren, Blur’s first album in eight years. Albarn has written many ballads, probably a few too many: about love, about sadness, about England. Yet “The Ballad” stands out in how defeated it is, especially as the opener for such an anticipated record. It signals... Read More

Imitation is - as you may have heard - the sincerest form of flattery. In the music world, however, it’s a slippery slope: the listener crosses his or her finger when a composer or performer attempts to pay homage to another style or genre hoping that the final result is a well-done and tasteful tribute. It’s not as though Andrew Gold needed to imitate anyone, but out of his love of 1960s psychedelic rock ‘n’ roll he devised a fictitious band (The Fraternal Order of... Read More

genre Rock Psychedelic Rock format Vinyl

A perfect black and white frozen New York City cover for an album released February of 1974 when winters there were still really cold and "pretzles" (sic) were 15 cents. The master tape images in the fold out containing Donald Fagen's notes show that the mixes were finalized on February 5th, lacquers cut at The Mastering Lab on the 6th and the record released for sale on the 20th. That's a pretty fast turnaround! Speaking of fast, compared to the... Read More

genre Rock Art Rock format Vinyl

Here's Tracking Angle's exclusive look and listen to Intervention's upcoming limited to 2500 copies Frampton@50 3 LP box set cut from analog tape by Chris Bellman and sounding like it! Intervention worked with Peter Frampton to get this box to look and sound the way he wanted it and the results are what every great reissue should look and sound like. The box rights a musical wrong.

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genre Rock format Vinyl

This review was brought to the attention of the producer Jason Jones who insists, and I believe him, that this record and "Dixie Chicken" as well, were cut by Bernie Grundman using the original master tapes. A number of readers asked why I didn't first check with people involved. A few times in the past I was assured what I was hearing was AAA even though it sounded otherwise and later I found out I'd been correct and had been handed a line. Here Jones says he can provide documentation that it was cut from tape so I'll take his word for it and issue here a "mea culpa". I was wrong and I apologize. However, I will still write reviews based on what I hear and I'm happy to be corrected and issue a mea culpa later, if only because I've previously been burned. So, Jason, my apologies and I've revised the review below but not to "cover my tracks".

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genre Rock format Vinyl