Album Review: The Weatherman

The Weatherman by Gregory Alan Isakov (Suitcase Town Music, 2013. 41 minutes) Gregory Alan Isakov is a singer-songwriter. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, he immigrated to the United States as a child, and was raised in Philadelphia. He began touring with a band at the age of 16 and has been influenced most by the music of Leonard Cohen, Kelly Joe Phelps and Bruce Springsteen. He now resides in Colorado.  Heavy Mellow I was sitting in my car driving down the road in the middle of the night. I knew there were a few albums that I needed to get into, so I put on Isakov’s newest release, The Weatherman. I found it a suitable audio journey as I braved the dark freeways of the night. At the same time, I found that Isakov’s… Read More →

Album Review: The Beast in its Tracks

The Beast in its Tracks by Josh Ritter

The Beast in its Tracks by Josh Ritter (Pytheas Recordings, 2013. 44 minutes) Josh Ritter is an American singer-songwriter born in Moscow, Idaho. A graduate of Oberlin College, Ritter sang open-mic nights and worked odd jobs until he was discovered by Glen Hansard. Ritter has released 7 full-length albums and numerous EPs. A Gig, Most Difficult In my opinion, the hardest gig in show business is that of the singer-songwriter. Typically alone on stage without much accompaniment, the singer-songwriter can’t hide behind anything. When you have a band, the focus of the audience wanders from member to member. A backing band can bring energy to a mundane song; it can hide meaningless lyrics. But when you are alone on stage,… Read More →

Film Review: Searching for Sugar Man

Searching for Sugar Man

Searching for Sugar Man written and directed by Malik Bendjelloul (Red Box Films, Passion Pictures, Canfield Pictures, PG-13, 86 minutes) Starring Sixto Rodriguez and Stephen “Sugar” Segerman. Global Globalization With the advent of the internet, globalization has become truly global. Everyone has the ability to connect with anyone. In business, you can accept a client from half way across the world. In relationships, you can fall in love and date on Skype. There’s no hiding in the modern world. But before the internet, humanity encountered a unique era, connected but far apart. In the 40 years after World War II, the commercial jet became a staple of travel. With some money saved, the world becomes your oyster. Yet at the… Read More →

Album Review: Shut Down the Streets

Shut Down the Streets by A.C. Newman (Matador Records, 2012. 40 minutes) A.C. Newman is a Canadian singer-songwriter. After contributing as a band member of Superconductor and Zumpano, Newman currently leads The New Pornographers. He launched his solo career in 2004. Dreaming Solo When I was in a band, a solo project always sat in the back of my mind. Going solo offers unique creative opportunities compared to a collaborative band setting. Compositional and lyrics choices are yours alone. Truthfully, most solo projects should never find the light of day because collaborative band settings function as an editing process. Most band members keep each other from making major musical mistakes. But, a rare few hold the talent to do it… Read More →

Album Review: There’s No Leaving Now

There’s No Leaving Now by The Tallest Man on Earth (Dead Oceans, 2012. 39 minutes) The Tallest Man on Earth is the stage name of Swedish singer-songwriter, Kristian Matsson. Matsson has released three full-length albums and two EPs. He is heavily influenced by Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, and Woody Guthrie. Matsson is married to fellow singer-songwriter Amanda Matsson of Idiot Wind. In Exploration of Top-Notch Analysis In case you didn’t notice, my previous review explored a book of poetry—the first poetry review on this blog. I’ve avoided poetry because I don’t know what to do with it. It has been said to critically review art one must question whether the artist completed her purpose. If you don’t like the art… Read More →