Showing posts from July, 2006

CD Preview: Madeleine Peyroux - Half the Perfect World (Rounder)

Madeleine Peyroux will release her third album, Half the Perfect World on September 12th in the U.S. and on November 6th in the U.K. The production here by Larry Klein is masterful, Klein has been knockin' em dead with regularity recently with similarly superb production on albums by Joni Mitchell, Julia Fordham, Bird York, and soundtracks such as Crash (2005) and Duets (2000) , as well as Madeleine's last album, Careless Love (2004) . Half the Perfect World features four new originals, three written by Peyroux, Klein, and Jesse Harris, and one song penned by Peyroux, Klein, and Walter Becker of Steely Dan. The other eight tracks are well chosen covers by the likes of Johnny Mercer, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits, and Serge Gainsbourg, among others. The core band from Careless Love is back including Dean Parks on guitar, David Piltch on bass and Jay Bellerose on drums. Keyboard duties are ably handled by Sam Yahel and Larry Goldings. Each track sounds like Klein h

Wawa in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, 7/30/06

Although Wawa stores have yet to hit New York City, today's New York Times Magazine includes the following article. Those who live in Wawa's mid-Atlantic coverage area already know. Consumed Convenience Cult? By ROB WALKER Published: July 30, 2006 The I Love Wawa group on has more than 5,000 members, making it the largest of several Wawa-related groups on the online-community site. Over on , there’s a group called We Love Wawa, with about 950 members. This would be pretty ho-hum if Wawa were an indie band or video game. Instead, it’s a chain of convenience stores, with 550 locations in five states on the East Coast. Many of the postings to these groups involve praise for Wawa’s house-brand goods — coffee, hoagies, etc. But the most intriguing factor in Wawa loyalty may be something else: the service. This, at least, is the contention of Neeli Bendapudi, an Ohio State University marketing professor who studied the chain as part of her continuing re

Karla Bonoff - Haddon Lake Park, 7/12/06

Karla Bonoff made a somewhat rare local appearance tonight at the Norcross-McLaughlin Memorial Dell at Haddon Lake Park in Haddon Heights, NJ. Although it was a typical Philadelphia summer night (hot and muggy), a good sized crowd turned out to hear Karla perform with her long time producer and bassist Kenny Edwards , with accompaniment by Nina Gerber on electric lead guitar. Even though Karla had difficulty getting the proper monitor mix for virtually the entire show, the audience had no such problem as this amphitheater had maybe the best sound and lighting you might hope to find at such a venue in a park. With easy parking, great music, friendly artists, and no rain, it was a totally enjoyable experience. Kenny Edwards opened the show with a solo set, having finally released his own album in 2002 after nearly forty years working as a sideman and producer. His solo material was excellent, with a singing voice that somewhat resembles James Taylor. He performed most of his songs on a

Arif Mardin (1932-2006)

Arif Mardin, one of the all-time great record producers died on June 25th at age 74. In conjunction with the two founders of Atlantic Records (Ahmet Ertegun & Jerry Wexler), Mardin's extraordinary talent as a producer not only aided the success of the label, but his steady hand helped create a large catalogue of music that we've known and loved over the last forty years. Many excellent articles have been written on Mardin, a good reference point would be the Wikipedia biography, but the following appreciation was written by Alan Gorrie of the Average White Band and posted as a "White Paper" (one of his continuing series of diary style essays) on the AWB website : DATE: June 17, 2006 FROM: Alan SUBJECT: Farewell Arif We sadly say goodbye to Arif Mardin who passed away on Sunday. It would be fair to say that none of what we have today could have happened without him. Like so many of his protégées, almost all of whom became his musical family, he gave us the knowled

Now We Are Two

Two years ago this month, I started this review site just to see what all the fuss was about with blogging. Now having just finished the complete alphabetical index of every article going back to day one, the only thing more staggering than the amount of material already posted is the backlog I've still got of articles that desperately need to be written, concert photos and movie reviews that need to be posted, new CDs that need to be covered and so forth. And the only thing that often seems to be missing from the equation is the time to do it. But, I'll keep at it, and maybe in another year or two I'll get caught up (or at least make a dent). What with the internet, MySpace in particular, WXPN, WFUV, KCRW, BBC, satellite radio, and all the venues from Philadelphia to New York and everywhere in between, the opportunities to hear new music have never been more available and more varied and the independent music scene has never been more vital. Thanks for reading, and as alw

At the Half - 2006

Charlie Ricci, who writes the Bloggerhythms review site, originated the mid-year reality check several years ago, so in keeping with that tradition I offer my top five albums of 2006, at the half. 1. Lelia Broussard - Lil-Yah ( Decidedly Ready for Prime Time: A disc that still sounds great even after massive repetition, Lil-Yah is easily the best thing I've heard this year and it would take something really huge to knock this out of the top spot between now and year's end. As I write this, the record is being reconfigured for national release and while the changes might make it better, it's hard to imagine tinkering with perfection, and the original self-released version (still available at her website, but not for long) is just that. Read my complete review . 2. KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope (Virgin) Scotland's Best New Export: Selling one million copies of her debut album in Britain in 2005 was no small feat for KT Tunstall but it was the happe