Dancing Towards Doomsday

If you’ve been paying attention to the news, things look bleaker than they have in a long time. You can bury your head in the sand and hope it stops. You can take to the streets in protest in an effort to make it stop. Or you can dance your cares away. Leave it to the genius of Merrill Garbus of tUNe-yArDs to turn cultural appropriation and apology for white privilege into a dance party as she does on I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life (4AD). Not only does the new album contain some of tUNe-yArDs’ fiercest […]

Complete Coverage

In the history of modern pop music, certain acts are associated with the songwriters behind their biggest hits. Dionne Warwick will forever be linked with Burt Bacharach and Hal David. While they had hits written by others, the Fifth Dimension’s most memorable hit singles were penned by Laura Nyro. Motown divas The Supremes (Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, and Florence Ballard) are another perfect example. It’s hard to imagine where they would be without the songs composed by the team of Lamont Dozier and Brian and Eddie Holland. Essentially an expanded and rebranded reissue of 1967’s The Supremes Sing Motown, The […]

Seasonal Gaiety

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating. LGBTQ musicians are making some of the most captivating and inspiring music out there. Since the beginning of 2018, new releases by queer artists such as Jim Andralis, Lucy Dacus, H.C. McEntire, and Sarah Shook rank among the best to be heard. Beginning with the release of her eponymous 2005 debut recording, Brandi Carlile has consistently delivered outstanding albums, including The Story and Bear Creek, that have earned her a devoted following. With a goose-bump raising vocal range and the ability to write songs with immense emotional impact, Carlile doesn’t disappoint with […]

Do You Remember Yesterday?

If you’re of the age to remember the first time that Donna Summer’s On The Radio – Greatest Hits – Volumes I & II was released in 1979, you may recall that it came with a large poster of Summer. It was also a single-slot jacket containing both vinyl LPs. Rereleased, no doubt, to coincide with the Tony-nominated Broadway musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, the double LP reissue of On The Radio – Greatest Hits – Volumes I & II (Casablanca / Mercury / UMe) no longer includes the poster. That image can now be found in the reissue’s […]

Late Summer Dance Fling

Anyone who’s familiar with the work of Róisín Murphy shouldn’t be surprised by the concept of Irish electronic dance music. Heck, even U2 has been known to dabble in electronic beats. That said, the aptly-titled Pleasure (Red River) by Irish electronic dance band Le Galaxie definitely ups the ante. The ten dance-floor-ready tracks on Pleasure are as forward-thinking as they are nostalgia-inducing, mixing modern dance moves with a healthy respect for disco history with a splash of new wave. The merger of electronic and organic instrumentation with the shared vocal duties by May Kay Gegharty and Michael Pope also give […]

Queerer than Ever

Remember when lesbian rock was measured on a Melissa Etheridge scale? The way you could find common ground with other Indigo Girls, Tracy Chapman, K.D. Lang, Joan Armatrading, Melissa Ferrick, and Two Nice Girls fans. Then, along came Sleater-Kinney, Kaia (and The Butchies), Tegan and Sara, Le Tigre, Team Dresch, Mary Gauthier and Ani DiFranco, and the world began to shift on its axis. These days the spectrum has broadened to include Brandi Carlile and Brandy Clark, St. Vincent and Sia, Hayley Kiyoko and Kehlani, Julien Baker and Beth Ditto, Lucy Dacus and H.C. McEntire. Courtney Barnett’s brilliant 2015 debut […]

Seasonal Gaiety

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating. LGBTQ musicians are making some of the most captivating and inspiring music out there. Since the beginning of 2018, new releases by queer artists such as Jim Andralis, Lucy Dacus, H.C. McEntire, and Sarah Shook rank among the best to be heard. Beginning with the release of her eponymous 2005 debut recording, Brandi Carlile has consistently delivered outstanding albums, including The Story and Bear Creek, that have earned her a devoted following. With a goose-bump raising vocal range and the ability to write songs with immense emotional impact, Carlile doesn’t disappoint with […]

Second City Soundcheck

After a lengthy absence, the Chicago rock music scene is back on our radar again. With the reunited Smashing Pumpkins (minus D’arcy, of course) embarking on a huge concert tour and Liz Phair’s 25th anniversary reissue of her groundbreaking debut album Exile in Guyville (under the moniker Girlysound to Guyville) on almost everyone’s playlist, the Second City sounds good. In addition to the Girlysound to Guyville reissue, Liz Phair is also being feted on vinyl via the LP reissues of 1994’s Whip-Smart and 1998’s Whitechocolatespaceegg (both on Capitol / UMe). Arriving as it did so soon after Exile in Guyville, […]

Cover Girls (and Guys)

Sister Orchid (Palmetto) is not the first time quirky singer / songwriter Nellie McKay has turned her attention to the songs of others on an album. That distinction belongs to 2009’s Normal as Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day. And on 2015’s My Weekly Reader, she sauntered through the 60s. For Sister Orchid, McKay applies her unconventional interpretive skills to a set of jazz standards with fragrant results. The subtly bubbling organ on opener “My Romance” gives the song a lighthearted texture. In fact, much of the album has a pleasing, airy Blossom Dearie quality, particular on numbers such […]

Seasonal Gaiety

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating. LGBTQ musicians are making some of the most captivating and inspiring music out there. Since the beginning of 2018, new releases by queer artists such as Jim Andralis, Lucy Dacus, HC McEntire and Sarah Shook rank among the best to be heard. Beginning with the release of her eponymous 2005 debut recording, Brandi Carlile has consistently delivered outstanding albums, including The Story and Bear Creek, that have earned her a devoted following. With a goose-bump raising vocal range and the ability to write songs with immense emotional impact, Carlile doesn’t disappoint with […]