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Big Takeover Issue #83
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The Pearlfishers - Love & Other Hopeless Things (Marina)

19 April 2019
On Love & Other Hopeless Things, the band’s eighth album, Scott clearly draws inspiration from the Burt Bacharach/Zombies/Paul McCartney/Laura Nyro side of the pop world, but he doesn’t sound like he’s merely regurgitating bits of his favorite records.

Treefort Music Fest - Boise, ID - March 20-24, 2019

14 April 2019

Treefort Music Fest is intended both to draw rising national talent to Boise and showcase what the city’s own music scene has to offer. And, as it occurs just as brisk breezes replace patches of ice in the downtown area, the spring-timing couldn’t be better.

Joan Torres's All Is Fused - Revolution (Self-Released)

12 April 2019

Whether Revolution is a beginning of something new, an ending of the band’s old style, or a transition between the two, it certainly remains Torres’s most finely executed statement yet, and ends with the exciting open question of what will follow.

Mott the Hoople ’74 - Chicago Theatre (Chicago, IL) – April 3, 2019

6 April 2019

It was a rare opportunity to see Ian Hunter flanked by pianist Morgan Fisher and guitarist Ariel Bender, the players who stood together during the heyday of Mott the Hoople leading to 1974 albums The Hoople and Live.

Benny Bassett - Words For Yesterday (Self-Released)

6 April 2019

_Words For Yesterday_is both thematically more mature and ultimately more profound than its predecessor, and it comes out April 12th.

D.G. Adams - Nest of Vipers (Self-Released)

5 April 2019

Adams proves himself capable of numerous styles here, and Nest of Vipers just might be one of his best albums yet.

Bitter's Kiss - The Divorce Party Soundtrack (Self-Released)

4 April 2019

The Divorce Party is a bit of a hodge-podge of an album, but it also includes some of Bitter’s Kiss’ finest work yet.

The Monochrome Set - Monty Hall (Jersey City, NJ) - Saturday March 2, 2019

4 April 2019

These legends are making vital new music every bit the equal of anything in their catalog.

Swervedriver - Warsaw (Brooklyn, NY) - Friday March 29, 2019

3 April 2019

Still, Swervedriver got a good crowd reaction and managed to play the best set I’ve ever seen them play

The Monkees – Mystic Lake - Shakopee, Minnesota - March 14, 2019

2 April 2019

In March 2019 (and less than a month after the death of Peter Tork), The Monkees presented “The Mike & Mickey Show” in the Minneapolis area, showcasing longtime reunion holdhout Michael Nesmith and the most constant member and main voice of The Monkees, Mickey Dolenz.

American Football - LP3

American Football - LP3 (Polyvinyl Records)

29 March 2019

LP3 excitedly shatters the notion of expectation in American Football, blurring their legacy into a foreign concept.

Murray A. Lightburn

Murray A. Lightburn - Hotel Café, Los Angeles – March 8, 2019

22 March 2019

Murray A. Lightburn from The Dears performed an intimate acoustic show at the Hotel Café in Los Angeles to promote his latest solo album Hear Me Out.

Sleaford Mods and Vulpynes - The Academy - Dublin, Ireland - Friday, February 7

17 March 2019

Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn strip music to the barest of bones – a skeletal rhythm track and a forceful vocal attack.

Matmos - Plastic Anniversary

Matmos - Plastic Anniversary (Thrill Jockey)

15 March 2019

Matmos’s newest effort broadens their toolkit considerably, featuring all things plastic from silicone gel breast implants to PVC pipes.

Kevin Thomas Band - A New Heart (Self-Released)

15 March 2019

A New Heart doesn’t quite live up to the work of Thomas’ influences, but he certainly does a fantastic job following in their footsteps, creating a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

In Flames - album cover

In Flames - Knitting Factory, Boise – March 13, 2019

14 March 2019

Mere days after the Boise outpost of Michael Dorf’s dwindling Knitting Factory franchises reopened after a fire tore down most of the structure last fall, what heavy-metal band took the stage to help rechristen the venue? In Flames, of course.

Ivor Lane - Postplay (Self-Released)

13 March 2019

Postplay subverts the past, invents the future, and refuses to rest in the present, thus becoming something which stands to become a minor classic in its own right.

Kikagaku Moyo

Kikagaku Moyo with The Mattson 2 – The Regent - Los Angeles - March 6, 2019

10 March 2019

Tokyo psychedelic ensemble Kikagaku Moyo played to a capacity crowd at the Regent last Wednesday with support from The Mattson 2.

Post Death Soundtrack - It Will Come Out Of Nowhere (Self-Released)

8 March 2019

It Will Come Out of Nowhere is the inspired rejuvenation of a band whose vision and voice will always outlast any interpersonal changes.

Daggerplay - Subterranean Reality (Self-Released)

3 March 2019

Subterranean Reality isn’t groundbreaking, revolutionary punk, but nevertheless it’s punk at the highest caliber and of a quality that will even rival the band’s heroes.

Necrot - Ignacio Orellana

Necrot - Neurolux (Boise) – February 27, 2019

28 February 2019

Featuring heavily dissonant riffs laden with death-metal vocals, Necrot gave a blitzkrieg of a performance that alternately dizzied and tizzied the club crowd.

Andy Gill from Gang of Four

Gang of Four – The Roxy - Los Angeles - February 6, 2019

13 February 2019

Post-punk legends Gang of Four brought their influential blend of funk, disco and noise-rock to the Roxy last week. Founding guitarist Andy Gill led the band through a propulsive set that mixed newer material with classics from the band’s early years.

Michael Chapman - True North (Paradise of Bachelors)

8 February 2019
At 78, Chapman, in fact, has proven himself as influential as his better-known contemporaries, enjoying a recent reissue campaign and leaving a mark on recent folk rockers like Steve Gunn, Cian Nugent and Ryley Walker.

The J. & F. Band - From The Roots To The Sky (Long Song Records)

7 February 2019

From The Roots To The Sky is a challenging listen to say the least, but the high level of skill from the performers and the hidden depths it conceals also make it one of the most rewarding.

Ralph Alessi - Imaginary Friends (ECM)

6 February 2019

The brassman pulls off a neat trick on this record: being faithful to jazz tradition whilst not falling to the traditionalist trap.

Neon Music

Club FOXES Presents: Life on Mars - Fais Do-Do (L.A.) – Jan. 31, 2019

5 February 2019

The musical legacy of 1970s glam rock was celebrated last Thursday at the Fais Do-Do in Los Angeles, as guest singers performed classics from the era accompanied by a solid house band.

Heather Gruber - Dance Into The Desert (Self-Released)

5 February 2019

Dance Into The Desert is a remarkable debut album which encloses a large amount of craft and attention to detail within a deceivingly modest pop format.

Various Artists - Goosebumps: 25 Years of Marina Records (Marina)

5 February 2019

If it’s folky, vaguely R&Bish, prefers jangle to distortion and vibraphones to reverbed snare, mixes heart-on-sleeve sincerity and arch cleverness, and, above all, remains intensely melodic, it can find a home on Marina.

Ty Segall, William Tyler @ Thalia Hall (Chicago) - November 2, 2018

4 February 2019

Two guys, two guitars, and one small stage in the middle of the room.

Jamie Saft/Steve Swallow/Bobby Previte - You Don’t Know the Life (RareNoise)

4 February 2019

Dedicated to improvisation, the keyboardist’s omnivorous tastes and punk rock attitude keep at least one foot outside the tradition at all times.

Chris Lastovicka - Fortune Has Turned Remixed (Ahari Press)

2 February 2019

Few manage to create something that at once feels removed or distant from the composer and yet still retains a high degree of raw emotional honesty.

Anne Steele - Made Out Of Stars (Self-Released)

1 February 2019

Made Out Of Stars occasionally feels like a collection of odds and ends but it’s impossible to complain because the quality of songwriting and execution is just so pitch perfect.

Joe Lovano - Trio Tapestry (ECM)

1 February 2019
For Trio Tapestry, his debut for the venerable label ECM, Lovano enlists pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Carmen Castaldi for a more meditative program than we’re used to hearing from him.

BRAVE - the calm | the storm (Self-Released)

30 January 2019

the calm | the storm is a conceptually perfect work from a band at their peak, and proves that no wait is ever too long if the results are this rewarding.

Toro Y Moi - Outer Peace

Toro Y Moi - Outer Peace (Carpark Records)

28 January 2019

Two years after Boo Boo, Chaz has channeled that chill opera’s focus on jadedness and turned it outward into riposte.

Mark Peters and The Dark Band - Sum Of All Parts (Audio Heart Records)

26 January 2019

Sum Of All Parts, with its four songs, should leave fans more than satiated until Mark Peters, with or without The Dark Band, enters the studio again.

Closer You Are: The Story of Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices - Matthew Cutter (Da Capo)

21 January 2019

Fans will love Matthew Cutter’s tale of their “fading captain,” Robert Pollard. New listeners may be intimidated by the sheer volume of Pollard’s material to absorb, with more than 100 albums on offer when solo and side projects are counted alongside Guided By Voices’ output. For those overwhelmed neophytes, Closer You Are is a godsend.

Anchor Thieves - The Havoc Siren [Self Released]

21 January 2019

Even with only four songs there is more to the Havoc Siren than on most LPs three times longer. “Solstice” is the climax and brings elements of shoegaze, plodding along, crescendoing before coming down to an abrupt ending which is leading this listener to go and check out the band’s back catalog.

ELO - The UK Singles Vol. One: 1972-1978 (Legacy Recordings)

19 January 2019

The UK Singles Volume One puts a twist on what could have otherwise simply been another greatest hits collection.

Todd Warner Moore - Spark (Self-Released)

19 January 2019

Spark is brimming with as much heart and soul as technical skill, and it must easily rank as one of 2018’s most flawless folk albums.

Damon Mitchell - Elise (Self-Released)

18 January 2019

Elise is a very strong, confident effort from a musician who is still discovering his image, but it shows a remarkable amount of promise.

Badfinger - self-titled, Wish You Were Here (Real Gone)

18 January 2019

Fresh reissues allow listeners to appreciate these overlooked Badfinger albums from 1974 for them for the gems they are.

Divine Weeks - We’re All We Have (self-released)

14 January 2019

Remember when U2 and the Alarm wrote unabashedly uplifting anthems, with simple, catchy guitar hooks, lighter-waving arrangements and lyrics that unironically championed love and joy over hate and gloom? Divine Weeks remembers.

Home Invasion

Steven Wilson - Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall (Eagle Vision/Universal)

12 January 2019

In contrast with his music’s meticulous prog-rock precision, real-world paranoia, isolation, and gothic gloom, Steven Wilson fills the venerable Royal Albert Hall with thrills, abandon, camaraderie and euphoric spirit.

Adam Rose - Levitate the Base (Self-Released)

7 January 2019
If the title or album artwork are any indication, Rose is strongly influenced by the psychedelic prog rock of King Crimson and early-era Pink Floyd.
R.E.M. at the BBC

REM - REM at the BBC (BBC/Craft)

3 January 2019

“It’s already been seven years since R.E.M. called it a day,” says BBC producer Mark Cooper. “It’s lonely without them.” This pile of well-preserved pop may not stop everybody from hurting as R.E.M.‘s retirement enters its eighth year, but it can coax smiles to temper the loss.

cindygod - demos EP

cindygod - demos (Self-Released)

2 January 2019

Gauntlet Hair has been reborn as cindygod. The change in name and lineup also comes with a revamped industrial and at times chilling demeanor.