• 2015 So Far

    Posted 3/29/2015 by cal

    We're only three months into 2015 and there's a ton of exceptional music out already. It's hard to keep up. It was hard to draw a line on what to include in this piece. Nevertheless, in my continuing odyssey of trying to determine whether or not record reviews still have any value at all, I'm going to post this rundown of albums I've been loving so far this year, brief (in most cases) blurbs with links to listen or download (in most cases), making this whole process as easy and painless for you as possible, in an attempt to get you to pay attention to some things you might not otherwise hear. Yes, you!

    Read more... Comments (0)
  • The Prematurely Air-Conditioned Arts Collective Presents John Zorn's Cobra

    Posted 3/20/2015 by cal
    Pro: There's an ensemble in Milwaukee playing John Zorn's Cobra—twice so far, but hopefully many more times. Con: I didn't know about it until the day of the second installment (last night). It took place at Woodland Pattern Book Center, five blocks from my house. Clearly I am not as in-touch with my community as I ought to be. Read more... Comments (0)
  • The Best Music Of 2014

    Posted 1/20/2015 by cal

    The Beast. Many, many words and numbers and links (and even a few playlists) concerning my favorite musicks of 2014. Enjoy.

    Read more... Comments (0)
  • Thoughts About This Dead 50th Anniversary Thing

    Posted 1/17/2015 by cal
    Confession: I have no great, abiding affinity for the music of The Grateful Dead. The love I have for that band boils down to a deep respect. They started something in music that has had so profound an effect on my life and our world that I'll never fully comprehend it. Many of the greatest experiences of my life simply wouldn't have happened if it weren't for the Dead. One of the best band names ever, too, by the way. Jerry Garcia: incredible musician and philosopher. Phil Lesh: unreal bass player. The other guys: great at what they were doing, for a very long time. Read more... Comments (0)
  • The Best Shows I Saw In 2014

    Posted 12/23/2014 by cal
    In an effort to impress upon people who need these things explained the ultimate meaningless of the numbers involved in these lists I like to write, there is a tie for number one this year. The shows were so completely different and earth-shattering that I couldn't possibly choose. BUT THEN NUMBER TWO SHOULD REALLY BE NUMBER THREE. Are you happy now? Read more... Comments (0)
  • Secret Chiefs 3: Cactus Club, 10/8/2014

    Posted 10/9/2014 by cal
    I keep thinking that at some point they're not going to be as good. Probably just trying to lower my unreasonable expectations of this band. Fortunately Secret Chiefs 3 are unreasonably good. Every time they pick up instruments and play. Read more... Comments (0)
  • SONGS OF INNOCENCE (and other tangentially related topics)

    Posted 10/5/2014 by cal
    I think U2 may have finally brought about the death of the record review. As a longtime fan, I can only sit back and laugh at the hoopla surrounding Songs Of Innocence. I've found it to be a pretty enjoyable listen. It's not going to win over many new fans, that's for sure. In fact, the way in which it was released has only energized the curious U2-hatred that has existed ineffectually for decades. It's like politics: At least 90% of the half a billion who now "own" this album made up their minds about U2 long ago. Those who haven't bought into the cult of U2 are now even less likely to listen to Songs Of Innocence, and even if they were to listen, there would be no getting around their hyperconscious truth that U2 is crap and couldn't possibly make good music. Read more... Comments (0)
  • King Crimson: The Vic, 9/26/2014

    Posted 9/29/2014 by cal
    In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a prog-nut from way back. Yes started me down the road, but it wasn't long before I became almost as obsessed with ELP, and since Greg Lake had been in King Crimson prior to forming that band, it was inevitable that I'd find my way to In The Court Of The Crimson King (as if the cover art alone weren't enticing enough). Crimson is different from all the other 70s prog giants in that over the course of its nearly half-century of on-and-off existence, it has never become an utterly lame anachronism. Robert Fripp has always been mindful of the Crimson legacy. Still, each successive reformation of the project brings an increasing threat of tarnish. For the few of us who care about such things, anyway. Read more... Comments (5)
  • Phish: Midwest Run 2014

    Posted 7/23/2014 by cal

    Reviewing Phish is quite a different undertaking than reviewing other music. For one thing, there's a whole dictionary of jargon and mythology that's taken for granted, making the critique virtually unreadable to the uninitiated, but going about it any other way would make the review tedious for almost anyone who might be interested in reading it. Also, rather than just take into account the experience of a single show, it's important to put it into a thirty-plus-year context and assess where it stands in the pantheon of live Phishdom. There's also a lot of puzzling over the intentions of the band, particularly Trey, and conjecturing about how much effort he's putting in and what sort of statement he might be making--mostly by people who've never had a conversation with the man himself.

    I didn't feel like thinking about all that crap on my birthday weekend this year. I just wanted to relax and enjoy myself. In the long run, though, I have a lot of thoughts about the Midwest run, and I can't keep them all to myself. So here are some of them. Read more... Comments (2)
  • Dave Matthews Band: Summerfest, 7/2/2014

    Posted 7/3/2014 by cal
    Ten years ago I would've been coming at this from a pure fan perspective. At that point I knew every song Dave might play and had a pretty good handle on when he might play it. Last night I had trouble singing along to "Rhyme & Reason" and couldn't remember the name of "The Stone". I guess I'm not the fan I once was. There are probably a lot of reasons for this. Let's see... Read more... Comments (1)
  • Swans: Lincoln Hall, 6/25/2014

    Posted 6/25/2014 by cal
    One by one, a motley gang of intense-looking men weave their way through a maze of speakers and instruments and begin to build a wall of sound. At first, it needn't be categorized as music, and at certain times throughout the set, by most metrics, it wouldn't be, especially according to most people Michael Gira's age. Then again, from a certain perspective, everything is music; some of it, you just can't hear. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: Milwaukee Theatre, 6/20/2014

    Posted 6/24/2014 by cal
    The Milwaukee Theatre is clearly not designed for rock and roll. Why they put on such shows there is beyond me. Even Sting back in 2004 seemed kinda edgy for this room. The overdressed, gregarious bar staff is ill-equipped to serve the thirst of even a well-below-capacity horde of Nick Cave fans (or even Leonard Cohen fans) in a timely fashion. The sterile decor of the hall itself screams middle-school auditorium, complete with underperforming PA that popped and cracked repeatedly under the extreme duress of the Bad Seeds' sonic onslaught Friday night. And none of these factors made much of an impact on the show, as Australia's creepiest export led his band and audience through an intoxicating séance of storytelling and noise. Read more... Comments (0)
  • I don't know what to call this one.

    Posted 6/9/2014 by cal
    I'll come right out and say it: The dissolution of The Delphines is devastating. Hush has become my biggest obsession-album of the year so far. To think that you could make that album and then not carry on, that messes with my head. Obviously it can't be nearly as trying for me as it is for the members of the band, and I'm excited for whatever they all come up with next, but it won't, and it oughtn't, be The Delphines. And that's brutal, for the city of Milwaukee and for music at large. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Calliope: ORBIS

    Posted 5/24/2014 by cal
    Calliope's 2013 self-titled debut was pretty eclectic for a classic rock record. The new EP Orbis is the sophomore effort to hone the sound: with psychedelia, in this case, fuzzy synths and reverb and layers of sound. So, you don't get the occasional jam-band tendencies or the White Denim-esque prog/folk tunes or the countryish stompers that coexisted on the first album. But do you miss those things? Read more... Comments (0)
  • Mogwai: The Vic, 5/16/2014

    Posted 5/19/2014 by cal
    Mogwai bears the burden of perfecting its own style of music simply by inventing it. The movement carries on, and Mogwai with it, in varying degrees of dilution. Everything that has come after, say, 2001's Rock Action hasn't quite stacked up because it had already been done, and not just by Mogwai but by its innumerable imitators as well. Happy Songs For Happy People and Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will are great albums, but along the way were plenty of retreads and awkward sidetracks. Mogwai essentially drifted through a decade in a relative creative stasis before releasing Rave Tapes earlier this year, which is proving to be the first significant evolution in the band's sound in ages. I've felt for years that Mogwai isn't the same band that changed my life when I first experienced it live at The Vic in 2001. Friday night at The Vic, this was no longer a bad thing. Read more... Comments (0)
View more

Tagcloud

Kendrick Death Grips Apollo Vermouth adoptahighway Tay Butler Haz Solo Open Mike Eagle Midwives Klassik Twin Shadow Kiings Porterfield bliss & alice Webster X milo Pizzle Colin Plant Christine Hoberg Piper Davis Torrice Albarakat Siren Disappears DRKWAV Medeski Skerik Zorn Grohowski Bjork Mount Eerie MKE iamamiwhoami Old Earth Black Monolith Forsyth Shabazz Palaces Great Old Ones FKA Twigs Perfume Genius Mondkopf Godflesh Timber Timbre Sun Kil Moon Ariel Pink Medicine Cult Of Youth Emptiness St. Vincent Ishraqiyun SC3 Delphines RTJ FlyLo Death Blues D'Angelo Anathema Eyvind Kang Marissa Nadler Primordial Andy Stott Sun Glitters Swans Thou TitD TV Girl Voices Scrimshaw SD Laika gauss Kinth Strange Matter Lotus Ash Piles Sat. Nite Duets M-Nat Mortgage Freeman Dogs In Ecstasy Canopies Panda Bear Elbow Antemasque DJ Quik Suga Free Happyness CWM Blut Aus Nord TVotR Dead Phish Trey Nick Cave Cactus Club Moss Folk Loop Blind Shake Running Vocokesh Space Raft Tapebenders Bread Mothers Ryan Adams Riverside Pabst Turner Hall RWPH Juniper Tar MKE Day Volcano Choir King Crimson Mind Over Mirrors JKB Laswell Lombardo Wilco Metheny Mogwai Breadfest Marcy Twin Brother Caley Conway Zebras LTT Bremen Cafe DEJJ U2 Vic Chicago Fripp DMB Summerfest Lincoln Hall Xiu Xiu Milwaukee Theatre Catacombz Scarring Party CML Disguised As Birds Calliope Bladerunner Reggie's psych Beast In The Field Plastic Crimewave Syndicate SOYSV Elusive Parallelograms The Blind Shake Garibaldi Pitchfork Lolla Bonnaroo Summer Camp AIHA Papadosio Beck Altos Rebecca Rego Cowboy Winter Linneman's Umphrey's Riviera Chris Forsyth Solar Motel Wereworm Ruined Costume Circle-A Victory And Associates rutabega Revenge Society Skategoat Bungle Patton Spruance Dunn Forest Swords The Field Marc Ribot Ceramic Dog Altar Of Plagues Gorguts Besnard Lakes Fuck Buttons Run The Jewels El-P Killer Mike Ulver Danny Brown Daft Punk BSBD MoTA MBV Hiatus Vhol Boards Of Canada Cloak Ox Chance The Rapper Dirty Beaches John Grant Grumbling Fur Dustin Wong Jesu Joey Bada$$ Jonwayne Junip Locrian Palms Pelican Russian Circles Sigur Ros Thundercat Washed Out White Denim Black Sabbath Pearl Jam Carcass Nirvana McCartney Bowie Northless Fatty Acids SND Soul Low KPRC Fable Heartthrob Myles Coyne Blessed Feathers JFlash Hello Death Kid Millions Dana Coppa SPEAK Easy L&R Animal Collective Thom Yorke Radiohead AfP Tame Impala Leonard Cohen Field Report Umphreys Sparks RIP Metallica Lou Reed mkefilm pop prog Linnemans Day Joy Eric & Magill Pizza! Steven Wilson Yes Dick's rock Earl Greyhound Eight Bells The Men My Gold Mask Shouting Matches Spectrals Team Spirit Temple Their/They're/There Tripwires Turf War. Angel Olsen Woods Mikal Cronin Wire Savages Kller Mike Yo La Tengo metal Across Tundras Cult Of Luna TFOES Fen Intronaut Nero Di Marte October Tide Portal Opeth electronic ambient Beacon Dying Machines Jonas Reinhardt Pharaohs Umberto Xander Harris All Tiny Creatures Body Language Emma Louise Isaac Delusion Majical Cloudz Mood Ring Mozart's Sister Royal Canoe Tullycraft Yeasayer Femmes Sigmund Avett Brothers Schubas Township Constellation moe. Cornmeal Caravan Of Thieves STS9 MMW Thievery Diplo UV Hippo Jon Mueller Outside Quarters Follakzoid Psychic Ills Sacred Bones Orpheum Mike Dillon Decibully IfIHadAHifi Championship canyonsofstatic Promise Ring R.I.P. Claypool Dead Kenny Gs Fiona Apple Ciocarlia Jack White Neurosis Atlas Sound Atlas Moth Mission Of Burma Brokeback Katatonia Zatokrev Sigh Gojira Paradise Lost Shining Daylight Dies Switchblade Wodensthrone Les Discrets The Gathering ITTCT Fear Falls Burning 2012 Godspeed Baroness Converge Liars Kendrick Lamar Ani of Montreal Frank Ocean Lonerism Grizzly Bear Dirty Projectors indie Police Teeth Fanfare Ciocarlia Nervous Curtains Bottom Lounge Worrier TPDR Mad Planet Lotus Plaza indie rock Suckers Lower Dens post punk Hollows Sugar Stems Royal Baths Bear In Heaven Smoking Popes Imagine Dragons El Valiente Avett Bros Death Cab BMO Alpine Valley MCA Beastie Boys Burning Sons Lisa Ridgely Black Eagle Child Joe Crockett Hotel Foster Call Me Lightning Trapper Schoepp Levon Helm Moon Curse Paul Cebar John Sieger Hugh Masterson sviib Sat Nite Duets Semitwang Coachella Rothbury Forecastle Hangout Sasquatch Wakarusa Chili Peppers SCI moe Primus Janes Pretty Lights Bon Iver Bassnectar MMJ Girl Talk Andrew Bird Sleigh Bells IMP Cloud Nothings Grimes PJ Harvey Kumas Hot Tuna Stonefly Deerhunter Drake Loyal Divide J.Viewz Cymbals Eat Guitars Today Is The Day The Roots Hank 3 Junius Kanye Jay-Z Fucked Up CunninLinguists Grails Destroyer Rosebuds Young Widows Esoteric Crappy Dracula Danglers Hue Alpha Transit Riverwest Anthrax Testament the rave Brief Candles Dick Dale Empty Bottle pink floyd the wall Fib Seq WMSE Arcade Fire Rush RSD Wild Flag av club dreampop gothic King's Horses Terrior Bute yuck dirtbombs garage techno arkady ikarus down Summercamp Buckethead barrymore muzzleofbees Lollapalooza PiL Pavement Malkmus Yorke APTBS Future Rock Borg Ward 2010 lists Big Boi Janelle Monae The Books Beefheart National Acorn Nicki Minaj M.I.A. Agalloch Broadrick Enslaved Eminem Sufjan GNL Howl Street KGF Jaill Dusty Medical Dirtnap 88.9 Drugs Dragons Conrad Plymouth Fibonacci experimental Ribot Charleston Congress mgmt dr. dog quasi bone thugs strange boys the knife shows Roger Waters jambase Systemic Torment CoCoB Willy Porter widespread panic umphrey's mcgee ott bluetech big gigantic lotus sub swara zappa plays zappa john butler trio 88Nine Aragon Majestic you-phoria interviews features STP Miramar albums 2009 Madison Festivals films Deer Creek reunions Hampton Atomic RushMor 2008 Chicago Theater BBC kibitzer high noon Zeppelin tdmii Schlock 2007 2006 Double Door

Syndication

Recent comments

Archive