How Music Works by David Byrne (Canongate, 2012) As with The Bicycle Diaries, Byrne shows himself to be eloquent, thoughtful, erudite, and surprisingly scholarly in his quest for understanding; in this instance of the practical and philosophical underpinnings of (a career in) music. Talking Heads fans and wannabe musicians rejoice!
Mi-Sex: Not From Here
Mi-Sex: Not From Here (Golden Robot, 2016) Reformed, there is no doubt that new wave Kiwi band Mi-Sex have successfully updated their sound (evidence the non-album reworking of ‘Computer Games’), yet without frontman Steve Gilpin and with only limited involvement by guitarist-songwriter Kevin Stanton the new compositions lack personality.
42 Word Review: The Soul Men Blues Brothers Tribute
The Soul Men Blues Brothers Tribute Performance at the Grandview Hotel, Cleveland, 15 November 2015 Strong vocals (both male and female); excellent musicianship; joyful, energetic, iconic: the Soul Men Blues Brothers Tribute brings real justice to our favourite musical recidivists, unlocking the briefcase full of [mostly rhythm and] blues and delving deep into Jake and Elwood’s repertoire.
42 Word Review: Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett
Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett (Milk! Records, 2015) Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist Courtney Barnett’s debut album stands out for its witty, poetic lyrics and its sardonic, coffee house critique of Melbournian life, grafted with uncommon adroitness onto a musical framework that celebrates the grunge and chutzpah of post-punk indie rock.
42 Word Review: Happy New Year by the Violent Femmes
Happy New Year (EP) by Violent Femmes (2015) Following bassist Brian Ritchie’s move to Australia, born-again 80s rock trio the Violent Femmes have recorded an EP in Tasmania, with two of the four tracks (‘Fast Horses’ and especially ‘Love Love Love Love Love’) likely to appear on future compilation albums.