Of the six musicians who were inducted earlier this month into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, arguably one of contemporary popular music’s highest honours, there’s one that I have a huge liking for. Not that I haven’t enjoyed the work of some of the other inductees this year–Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond or Tom Waits. Read more

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I don’t know whether there is something called a ‘listener’s block’, you know, similar to a writer’s block, which you hit when you just can’t seem to be able to write anything even though a deadline looms large, but most of last week I hit an impediment that could probably be called that. My quest for discovering new music appeared to hit a roadblock. It wasn’t as if the usual stream of new stuff wasn’t coming my way. It was. And through the usual channels: mp3 blogs, emailed newsletters, tips from friends and so on. It was just that I was too keyed up to enjoy the music that was coming my way. Read more

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Ten years; nine studio albums; two live ones; a couple of collaborations; and a reputation for serving up live concerts that never disappoint. Yet this is a band that still remains below the radar. That’s what I like about the hard-working southern rockers from the US, Drive-By Truckers. That and the fact that this is a band that is unabashedly upfront about their red-neckish background – they are based in Athens (Georgia) but originally hail from Alabama. I also like the fact that they nearly always record their albums on retro analog tapes. And insist on vinyl releases. Read more

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Last week, after a couple of quick listens to Radiohead’s The King of Limbs, I had gushed about that album. Now, after several more unhurried listens, I am happy to report that – despite the negative blah by some critics (no guitar riffs; nothing new; very short…. yada yada…) – it is a fine album that I’m going to keep going back to. In fact, what I did after the second, third and fourth helpings of the 37-minute TKOL was revisit the band’s back catalogue and get lost for a couple of days in all of their albums, particularly Kid A, Amnesiac, Hail to the Thief and In Rainbows, all of which came out in  the 2000s, but also the super ones that the band released in the 1990s – Pablo Honey, The Bends and OK Computer. That’s what set me thinking about the Nineties. I know, I know, it’s been a while since that decade passed, but have you stopped to think how much great music was produced in those ten years? Read more

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