"The Ramones all originate from Forest Hills and kids who grew up there either became musicians, degenerates or dentists," wrote the band's something-like-a-manager Tome Erdelyi in a press biography sent out from his company Loudmouth Productions in 1975. "The Ramones are a little of each. Their sound is not unlike a fast drill on a rear molar." Erdelyi was born in Budapest as Erdélyi Tamás in 1949 (he adjusted that year to 1952 for most… more »
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Semisonic may have been consigned to the ranks of one-hit wonders, but these days, singer Dan Wilson has hits to spare. As the band wound down in 2003 after the million-selling success of 1998's single "Closing Time," Wilson was starting up a new career as a co-songwriter for hire, working with Rachel Yamagata, Mike Doughty, Jason Mraz and more. He ended up in the studio with the Dixie Chicks, co-writing nearly half the songs on… more »
There may be no better farewell for lyricist Gerry Goffin, who died Thursday at age 75, then this appreciation offered in an interview last year by Frankie Valli, back in the spotlight with Jersey Boys. Valli was in a Manhattan diner talking with me about the enduring appeal of songs from the early 1960s. Songs that were released on 45 rpm records, purchased by teenagers (most of them girls), expected to be forgotten the moment they… more »
New + Noteworthy
Remembering Tommy Ramone
eMusic Reviews View All
2014 | Label: Smalltown Supersound / Redeye
West Coast psych rock has undergone a bit of a revival lately, having been rediscovered and reconfigured by the likes of Tame Impala, Pond and Black Bananas. But DJ Harvey (last name Bassett) isn’t riding any wave; nor is he seeking out the cutting edge. With Wildest Dreams, the surfing émigré who brought NYC house and disco sounds back to the U.K. after a spell in the States in the mid ’80s is doing what comes naturally. This debut is every bit as at ease with its references as you… more »
Tom Petty’s half-swallow, half-yowl singing voice has been part of the American rock landscape for nearly four decades. Classic-rock staples like “Refugee” comingle in the collective pop consciousness with MTV-era smashes like “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and “Free Fallin’.” His weathered voice and his band’s smooth professionalism have made the world-weary aspects of his music go down more smoothly — think of the “rebel without a clue” depicted in “Into the Great Wide Open,” or how “American Girl”s second verse, depicting despondent loneliness, undercuts the anthemic brio.
On Hypnotic… more »
2014 | Label: Warner Bros.
“I’ve been wearing all black since the day it started/ When I stopped and looked back as my mind departed,” sings Jenny Lewis in the beginning of The Voyager‘s opening song “Head Underwater.” The first line refers to the death of her father and the end of her band band Rilo Kiley, both of which occurred early in this album’s protracted and sometimes difficult three-year creation. The second hints poetically at how she reacted to these developments. “I’m not the same woman that you were used to,” she warns. If… more »
2014 | Label: Polyvinyl Records
“Indie pop” is a fuzzy descriptive musical term, but however you define it, Alvvays are the real deal. The Canadian group is directly in the lineage of Orange Juice, the Go-Betweens and Teenage Fanclub — starting with ’60s soul, surf and girl-group pop, reconfiguring with bookish, modernist takes on being sad and in love, recorded on the cheap. And while you might initially slot the Canadian band’s self-titled, Chad Van Gaalen-produced debut next to indie-pop revivalists like Veronica Falls, Hospitality or Camera Obscura, they play with urgency and grit often… more »