Francophone Lands Licks, 2003

Post-script: Bertrand Cantant was eventually convicted of “murder with indirect intent,” and spent less than four years in prison. Three years after his 2007 release, his ex-wife committed suicide with him in the house. In 2012, he appeared on an Amadou and Miriam album. A solo set he released in 2017 charted at #13 in… Continue reading Francophone Lands Licks, 2003

Confusingly Named Background Gloom Licks, 2003

RAPTURE, Songs for the Withering The Rapture that Williamsburgers don’t know are a heavy-hearted quintet of Helsinki codeine-metal fops who quote Emily Brontë and Sophocles on their lyric sheet and gorgeously balance light croons with heavy grumbles about cold years and hangings and maggots (“our only friends”) and “bad dreams, hollow sleep of dark rooms,… Continue reading Confusingly Named Background Gloom Licks, 2003

G.G. Allin review, 1987

Snark, pure and simple (okay, paired with a pinch of one-upmanship I suppose), prodded by my annoyance of at an early example of the tiresome hipster schtick of pretending to like (or actually liking, who cares) music by a mentally ill person — in this case, a presumably dangerous and smelly one. In retrospect, I… Continue reading G.G. Allin review, 1987

Neo-Prog Licks, 2003

NIGHTFIST, The Epic For a CD recorded for $600 and containing barely 26 minutes of music, this one sure seems long, though the title suggests that’s exactly how these five recent high school graduates from Menlo Park, California, want it. “Rabid fans of Yes, Queen, Dream Theater, Grateful Dead, and Metallica,” reportedly not at all… Continue reading Neo-Prog Licks, 2003

Outsider Proto-Punk Reissue Licks, 2003

MICHAEL YONKERS BAND, Microminiature Love St. Paul, Minnesota, 1968. Techie-teen leader of Michael and the Mumbles tires of twanging surf ditties at prom and VFW crowds, so he saws down his Fender and slashes open his speakers and lets his ominous baritone vibrato’s pomped-up medieval-castle Procol Harum poetry fall into black holes of Link Wray-reverbed… Continue reading Outsider Proto-Punk Reissue Licks, 2003

Monster Records Metal Reissue Licks, 2004

TRUTH AND JANEY, ERUPTS! In April 1976, an unpretentious numskull trio from some Iowa cowtown recorded this ballroom concert (longest endurance tests 9:05, 8:12, 7:21, 6:51), not issued on double vinyl till the early ’90s, and not on CD till now. To read their backstory, you need their 1,000-pressing 1976 studio LP, No Rest for the… Continue reading Monster Records Metal Reissue Licks, 2004

Everclear review, 1997

One of my few section-fronting (and therefore longer) lead reviews in Spin. For some reason I don’t get, Generation Xers (or youngers) who write about music do not seem to remember Art Alexakis all that fondly. Perhaps they just weren’t old enough for him at the time. Spin, November 1997