Saturday, May 16, 2020

THE VAPORS/Together review!

THE VAPORS
TOGETHER

Thirty nine years is a long time between albums. A really long time, actually. A lot has happened in those 39 years. The world that we lived in way back in 1981 is a ghost of its former self. Some things are better, some things worse. There have been generations born and generations that faded into dust. The sense of optimism that the youth of ’81 once clutched tightly to their chests has all but deserted them. The shadows of fear now loom large on our horizon. But all is not lost. Look there… in the distance… there is a ray of light and a beacon of hope. Yes, after 39 long years, The Vapors are bringing us TOGETHER!

Friday, May 15, 2020

THE CORNER LAUGHERS/Temescal Telegraph review

THE CORNER LAUGHERS
TEMESCAL TELEGRAPH
(Big Stir Records)



We all experience those perfect moments in our lives. You know, when that cool breeze hits you on a warm day, bringing with it the smell of fresh cut grass. Or the moment when that secret crush of yours reveals that they feel the same way about you. Or when that super rare import CD that you’ve been searching for ends up in the dollar bin at your local shop. Yeah, those are just some of the perfect moments in life that send electrified joy racing through your veins. While those moments may not come as often as we’d like, we never forget them. Each of us may have different views on life – religion, politics, pastries – but at least we are all connected by the experience of unbridled joy.

Friday, April 17, 2020

DOG TRUMPET's GREAT SOUTH ROAD review!

DOG TRUMPET
GREAT SOUTH ROAD

Something magical happens when siblings form bands. From The Everly Brothers to Oasis, there’s a dynamic within that ‘group’ that tends to lift that music to a different level. However, two (or more) siblings in a band can cause so much friction that the resulting sparks burn the whole band to the ground. There’s a fine line between love and hate and sometimes, siblings forget how to tell the difference between the two. One pair of brothers has managed to create beautiful music together for 45 years and show no signs of the dreaded ‘sibling rivalry’ cliché: Peter O’Doherty and Reg Mombassa (real name: Chris O’Doherty). As members of Mental As Anything (from 1976 to 2000) and Dog Trumpet (since 1990), Reg and Peter don’t follow any formula or blueprint – they just get on with creating music. And on GREAT SOUTH ROAD, their seventh full length album, the brothers have created something that can easily be described as ‘sibling revelry’.


While they both arrive at the same destination – thoughtful Folk-infused Rock – the brothers travel down different paths to get there. Peter uses beauty to paint his musical pictures – his melodies speak to the heart, offering warm and comforting vibrations while his lyrics soothe the soul. Reg, on the other hand, takes a different approach, much like your favorite eccentric uncle. His music is most certainly from the heart but he paints a different kind of picture – you can find beauty in the darkness and darkness in the beauty. These two approaches complement each other, often over-lapping and frolicking together in the Dog Trumpet aural universe.


After over 40 years of creating music. Reg and Peter are still discovering new ways to express themselves. While some of their recordings have been a bit introverted, GREAT SOUTH ROAD is an album that finds the brothers opening up and letting the music breathe. But have no fear, there are still plenty of layers here to unpack, both musically and lyrically. On the surface, Dog Trumpet make records that seem simple and easily digestible but once you dive in, there’s so much depth. And it is safe to say that GREAT SOUTH ROAD is a feast of conflicting emotions by two clever yet grounded songwriters. While it is most certainly a cliché to say, these chaps are still at the top of their game.

Highlights include “Not Quite Enough”, “Lonely Death Cleaning Company”, “Stay For Too Long”, “Gravity”, “You’ve Heard It All Before”, “Gangrene”… To be honest, you could replace those song titles with any of the other tracks and I’ll still stand by them, too. Mesmerizing from start to finish.


Dog Trumpet doesn’t make Pop-by-numbers records. GREAT SOUTH ROAD is immediately appealing yet it can be deceiving at the same time. Reg and Peter make albums that are honest, intelligent, and melodic. And to say that this is quite possibly their finest – and certainly most consistent – collection of songs might be an understatement. There’s really nothing quite like a Dog Trumpet album – classy, eccentric, and lovely. And they still sound as fresh and original as they did back in the early Mentals days. GREAT SOUTH ROAD is one of the year’s best albums and climbs to the top of the Dog Trumpet ‘best albums’ list.

Keep on truckin',
SCHNEE

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

SPAZ reviews SHOES/Elektrafied: The Elektra Years 1979-1982 (4CDs)!

SHOES
ELEKTRAFIED: 
THE ELEKTRA YEARS 1979-1982
(4CDs)


From the start, Shoes was one of those bands that hit you both in the head and the heart. They made records filled with melodies that would wrap themselves around your brain and lyrics that would reach deep down into your heart. They never played the part of ROCK STARS – they were normal guys that loved to play music. To be more precise, they were ordinary guys with extraordinary talents. With John Murphy (bass, vocals), his brother Jeff Murphy (guitar, vocals), and Gary Klebe (guitar, vocals) up front and drummer Skip Meyer (R.I.P.) holding down the beat, Shoes was a band that many of us needed then – and now. Thankfully, Klebe and the Murphys are still together and making music, albeit at a much slower clip than the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. And each release is a cause for celebration.

Monday, March 23, 2020

An EXCLUSIVE Q&A with THE SESHEN’s Lilan St. Juste



STILL DREAMING:

An EXCLUSIVE Q&A 
with 
THE SESHEN’s Lilan St. Juste



STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: CYAN is just about to be released. How are you feeling about the album and the reaction to it so far?
LALIN ST. JUSTE: We are thrilled to be releasing new music. The reaction thus far has been positive and we can't wait to connect to our audience with these new expressions of ourselves.

Friday, March 13, 2020

RECORD STORE DAY 2020 postponed until June 20!




FROM THE OFFICIAL 

RECORD STORE DAY 

WEBSITE:



We’ve decided that the best of all possible moves is to change the date of Record Store Day this year to Saturday, June 20.

We think this gives stores around the world the best chance to have a profitable, successful Record Store Day, while taking into consideration the recommendations of doctors, scientists, the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, and the need to be good citizens of both local and worldwide communities. 

We’re working with all of our partners and our stores to make this change as smooth as possible for everyone who participates in Record Store Day: customers, record stores, artists, labels and more. Record Store Day is everywhere and we want to hold our party when everyone can gather around safely to celebrate life, art, music and the culture of the indie record store.

    Friday, March 6, 2020

    An EXCLUSIVE Q&A with CAROLINE ROSE



    STEPHEN SPAZ SCHNEE: SUPERSTAR is just about to be released. How are you feeling about how the album turned out and the reaction so far?
    CAROLINE ROSE: Well, I guess it all feels like a big experiment and I’m excited to see what happens next! The reaction always seems to be better than I anticipate.