Monday, June 24, 2019

Xmal Deutschland

Xmal Deutschland were a post-punk band from Germany that sounded like a perfect hybrid of Siouxsie & The Banshees and Cocteau Twins.  Sadly, they never garnered the attention they deserved and by their final album, 1989's "Devils" most of the original members had gone.  They had a bit more rhythmic kick than most 4AD groups, but still fit pretty well with the stereotypical 4AD sound.  Highly recommended.

Thursday, June 20, 2019


Television was an essential New York band from the late '70s.  Originally formed by Tom Verlaine and Richard Hell, Hell left before they recorded their now-classic debut, Marquee Moon.  Verlaine and 2nd guitarist Richard Lloyd interwove their guitars in a who's playing lead/who's playing rhythm style that would influence many post-punk bands like The Church and The Chameleons.

Television lasted a brief 2 albums before breaking up, but Verlaine continued recording under his own name and didn't stray far from the formula.  Television reformed for 1992's self-titled album and have occasionally played shows ever since.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The Cranberries

When I first heard the Cranberries, it was the song "Linger" and I kept getting it confused with that Sundays' song around the same time. I still think the first album sounds like Sinead O'Connor fronting the Smiths... but I don't think that's a bad thing.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Crime And The City Solution

Crime & The City Solution were an Australian band fronted by singer Simon Bonney, with members drawn from The Bad Seeds, Birthday Party, Einsturzende Neubauten, and more recently, WovenHand. They definitely have a similar vibe to early Nick Cave - a dark, cinematic vision full of ships and the wild sea that occasionally turns violent. Great stuff.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Depeche Mode - Singles Boxes 1-6

As any collector of those pesky CD singles knows... the problem is that there's a different release for every country/region of the world, often with differing tracks. Which is why this box set exists. It collects all of DMode's singles and attempts to compile all the different versions.

Going from 1981 to 2004, that makes up 36 singles, which is a heck of a lot of songs.

If you're wondering about the exact tracklisting, the record collector's resource is Discogs

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Saturday, May 18, 2019


XTC have been brilliantly crafty and annoyingly quirky... sometimes in the same song.  But they made some truly classic songs of the late '70s and '80s.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

16 Horsepower

16 Horsepower started David Eugene Edwards' musical career by playing a dark, gothic-tinged, old time country music. The band gradually morphed into something pretty unique, even while retaining the use of instruments like banjo, mandolin and dulcimer. DEE continued on with Wovenhand after ending the 16 HP name.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Danielle Dax

Danielle Dax... I got to see her live in... 1990, I think it was. She was excellent. Her cover of "Tomorrow Never Knows" was getting good rotation on the MTV. Sire Records thought she could be the next Siouxsie Sioux. And then... silence. Apparently, she is a fairly successful interior decorator and gardener now.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Corey Hart

Speaking of terminally un-hip artists... many people may be surprised to learn Corey Hart is one of the best-selling Canadian songwriters. Known internationally for his early '80s hits "Sunglasses at Night" and "Never Surrender," a deeper look into his work does reveal many gems along the way.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Drivin' N' Cryin'

Led by singer/songwriter Kevin Kinney, Atlanta's Drivin' N' Cryin' first found success on college radio in the mid-80s before finding themselves on heavy rotation with 1990's Fly Me Courageous. They were another casualty of the grunge era, their AOR roots rock deemed untrendy and were totally forgotten about by 1993's follow-up.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Dream Syndicate

The Dream Syndicate were an LA band in the 1980s. Despite critical accolades and getting the opening slot on tours for both U2 and REM, they never found commercial success. Too punk for country, too country for New Wave, too AOR for Alternative, too edgy for AOR.

In the '90s, Gutterball was a short-lived band featuring Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate), Bryan Harvey (House of Freaks) and Armistead Wellford (Love Tractor).

And now, surprisingly, The Dream Syndicate are back, touring and releasing albums again.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Gang Of Four - Songs Of The Free

Gang Of Four... creating a groove out of hurky-jerky rhythms. This album actually has a smoother, pseudo-funk sound. Leftist anthems you can dance to.

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Offspring

Just in time for summer... these guys epitomize SoCal punk rock.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Midnight Oil

One of the greatest live bands I've ever seen, probably the best "political" band to ever exist, Australia's Midnight Oil was all over Alt radio in the '80s and '90s.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


Joey Ramone was a brilliant songwriter.  Unfortunately, from the early '80s on, Johnny would veto or just refuse to play on any of Joey's songs he didn't like, which means a lot of the later albums were half-assed affairs with too many songs from Dee Dee, or even CJ.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Cult

The Cult embody rock music, sometimes in spite of themselves.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

The way of CURVE

Curve - essentially the duo of Toni Halliday and Dean Garcia - were one of my favorite bands of the 1990s. So many bands tried, and almost all failed, to merge a dark, cacophonous sound with pseudo-industrial rhythms with Ice Queen vocals. Curve not only succeeded but during the 5 years between their 2nd and 3rd albums, they saw Garbage hit mainstream hitdom with a very similar, though poppier and less edgy, sound.

Their discography gave me fits back in the day - oh, those Brits and their love of multi-release CD singles and the myriad of promotional-only material that I would sit on the back floors of record shops hunting for. I'm sure I missed a few, but I found a good lot...

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Young Gods

One of the first bands to make "rock" music with samplers. They made great use, in particular, of a Guns N Roses riff. But it never turned them into a one-trick pony. The music is powerful, yet expansive and very organic. Great stuff.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Steve Earle

From hard-rockin' to straight-up bluegrass, Steve Earle is a great songwriter, roots rocker, and as close as I get to "country" music.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Prodigy

Along with Chemical Brothers and Moby, The Prodigy really helped electronic music take hold in America.  They often got slagged off in the press, but their music really was a precursor to Grammy-winning Skrillex and giant EDM festivals that are commonplace everywhere now.

RIP Keith Flint

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Talk Talk - RIP Mark Hollis

Such a great band, even their hit singles didn't do justice to the great albums they graced the '80s with before getting quieter and quieter and disappearing with a whisper.