Category: REVIEWS

CD and DVD reviews

Joe Parillo Trio with Jay Hoggard, Segments

As Segments begins, you have no idea where you are. Perhaps you have been transplanted into a fantasy sequence of a movie? The first 30 seconds of the opening track, “Intro/Clouds,” definitely inspire this mystical feeling, with a small orchestra playing a theme that segues into a beautiful piano/vibraphone duet. The vibraphone is a pretty…

Mike Clinco, Neon

Composer and jazz guitar extraordinaire Mike Clinco certainly has a passion for melodies, which is evident throughout all of the tracks on Neon. An impressive musician in his own right, he assembled an extraordinary band for this project that transforms smooth, often deceptively simple melodies into a treat for the ear. Regardless of whether or…

La Forza, Dance Music for Your Mind Vol. 1

La Forza is an instrumental duo made up of Divina Klein and Douglas Mackar.   Klein is a classically trained pianist who has a certain expertise with electronic music while Mackar is an underground hip-hop producer with drums/percussion as his forte.   With completely different backgrounds in music, Divina and Douglas mesh it all together…

Straw Dogs, Love And Then Hope

Singer/songwriters & guitarists Dave von Beck and Darren Smith make up the core of Straw Dogs.   Bassist, Eric Bryson and drummer, Casey Miller have been the driving force on rhythm for the last six years.   Love and then Hope also features many guest musicians that contribute their talents on the following: vocals, acoustic…

Evan Spade, Evan Spade

Within the bounds of the music industry, the Internet has emerged as the paramount vehicle of choice for up and coming as well as established artists. The sheer breadth and scope of the net’s reach is virtually limitless, and no one knows this better perhaps than Dallas-based pop rockers Evan Spade. And the pairing of…

Van Atta High, Doin’ Somethin’ Right

I posit that as a music journalist, you aren’t working these days unless you are writing about the proliferation of Pop-Punk bands. For this music journalist, it proves that I am not immune to the generation gap; rather a victim of it. My generation’s vantage point saw Punk as fringe and never intended for mass…

RANDOM STABBINGS & ARTLESS CRITIQUE, MAY 2009

Sweet, Action: The Sweet Anthology (Shout Factory   Records) With one purchase you can become a true 70s-arena-rock know-it-all instead of some underwear-fouling young poseur looking for attention from your hopelessly distracted parents.   Riding a rail between prog and glam at the height of their fame, Sweet (or “The Sweet” if you have nothing…

Jean-Pierre Simons, Sentimentally…To Africa

The multi-cultural and multi-dimensional artist known as Jean-Pierre Simons brings us one diverse piece of work.   The title track “Sentimentally…To Africa” brings it all back to Simons’ roots as a young man growing up in Cameroon.   He says during the song, “Everything is bringing me back to Africa” and you really feel his…

Beyond From Within, Beyond From Within

The record industry has without a doubt become an industry in flux. The standard formula for making a record, marketing that product and reaping the benefits of its sale still apply, it’s just that these days it isn’t the only formula out there. Steve Andrews, the one-man entity behind Pennsylvania’s Beyond From Within, is testament…

Kicksville, The Singles – Season 1

Welcome to Kicksville. Your tour will last roughly an hour and will consist of an episodic journey into a genre-bending society. Before diving into Kicksville’s The Singles — Season 1, take a look at the art inside the CD booklet. Each track has a corresponding cover by illustrator Andy Ewen, with the recurring themes of…

RANDOM STABBINGS & ARTLESS CRITIQUE, APRIL 2009

Bell X1, Blue Lights on the Runway (Yep Roc Records) You know you’re in for a flurry of dishwasher-safe accountant-rock when an album’s first single (“The Great Defector”) uses Doors organ as its major weapon, but this Irish crew do have bigger plans than stealing a few fans away from Broken Social Scene. Note that…