Anne E. Johnson

Phil Brett, Anne E. Johnson, Tony Scherman  |  May 13, 2022  |  1 comments
Son House: Forever On My Mind, Superchunk: Wild Loneliness and Yard Act: The Overload.
Anne E. Johnson  |  Apr 20, 2022  |  4 comments
John Mellencamp: Strictly a One-Eyed Jack
Republic (16/44.1 stream, EMI/Qobuz). 2022. John Mellencamp, prod.; David Leonard, eng.
Performance ****
Sonics ****

You might think an artist with 22 Top-40 hits would identify his winning formula and stick with it. Instead, John Mellencamp's long career has been a tale of determined development and often improvement. On his latest album, the 70-year-old Indiana native has nestled deeper into his rural Midwestern roots, eschewing rock defiance for folk philosophy. The result is a powerful baring of the soul, which, to many Americans, will also be a glance in the mirror.

Phil Brett, Anne E. Johnson  |  Apr 15, 2022  |  4 comments
Elvis Costello: The Boy Named If, Charming Disaster: Our Lady of Radium and Black Country, New Road: Ants From Up There.
Anne E. Johnson  |  Apr 07, 2022  |  3 comments
Jonathan Ward, a historian of recorded sound, has some surprising news. Thousands of early 78rpm recordings were made not to preserve music but as disposable materials for selling gramophones. With manufacturers hoping to expand their sales globally, demo records featured regional music aimed at appealing to regional.
Phil Brett, Anne E. Johnson  |  Mar 11, 2022  |  1 comments
David Bowie: Brilliant Adventure (1992–2001) and The Accidentals: Vessel.
Anne E. Johnson  |  Feb 17, 2022  |  2 comments
Bill Callahan And Bonnie Prince Billy: Blind Date Party
Drag City Records (16/44.1kHz FLAC, Qobuz; also available on LP, CD, and cassette tape). 2021. Bill Callahan and Bonnie Prince Billy, prods.
Performance ****
Sonics ***

Bill Callahan and Bonnie Prince Billy—the latter is a stage name for Will Oldham—did not set out to make an album together. They were just trying fill the long pandemic months with music. In 2020, they started singing other people's songs together, broadcasting them to fans via Zoom. They recorded the tracks, choosing a different guest musician to contribute to each song. Eventually they amassed recordings of enough covers, plus reimaginings of some original works, to create this album for Drag City, where they're both signed artists. It's an endlessly interesting and clever project, full of musical exploration. Some of the covers nearly outshine the original versions.

Phil Brett, Anne E. Johnson, Fred Kaplan  |  Dec 10, 2021  |  3 comments
Steely Dan Live: Northeast Corridor, Saint Etienne: I've Been Trying to Tell You and Adia Victoria: A Southern Gothic.
Tom Fine, Anne E. Johnson  |  Nov 12, 2021  |  0 comments
Shannon And The Clams: Year of the Spider and Various Artists: It's a Good, Good Feeling: The Latin Soul of Fania Records (The Singles).
Anne E. Johnson  |  Oct 07, 2021  |  10 comments
As the title of a fan blog puts it, indie is not a genre. It is potentially every genre. It's an attitude, an approach, a commitment to self-expression without regard to, or in spite of, mainstream demands. It's the blend that nobody can label, the outré, the ahead-of-its-time, the defiantly retro.
Kurt Gottschalk, Anne E. Johnson  |  Sep 10, 2021  |  0 comments
David Bowie: The Width of a Circle, Japanese Breakfast: Jubilee, The Chills: Scatterbrain and Juliana Hatfield: Blood.

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