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The Big Takeover Issue #93

Greg Bartalos

Greg Bartalos, a New Yorker for virtually his entire life, has been reading The Big Takeover since the early ’90s. He has worked as a financial writer and editor for more than a decade at Barron’s Online and Bloomberg News, among other places. He has also written about radio, politics and current events, and previously hosted a general interest radio talk show on WVOX-AM. For the better part of 20 years, he has also sung and played guitar and keyboards for the Keyboard Kids. His one and only live performance was at CBGB leading the group Allergic Salute.

Devo – Best Buy Theater (New York, NY) – Thursday, June 19, 2014

22 June 2014

The Spudboys from Ohio land in the Big Apple and go down a storm, playing material recorded from 1974-1977.

Interview With Hugh Cornwell

23 June 2013

The ex-Stranglers front-man discusses his new album Totem & Taboo, God, Arthur Lee, Jan Svankmajer, Manuel de Falla, Henry Moore and more.

The Stranglers Storm North America: An Interview with J.J. Burnel

28 May 2013

For the first time in 16 years, the Stranglers are returning to tour North America, where today they are releasing “Giants,” their 17th studio album. J.J. Burnel: “There are ups and downs. At the moment, we are in a very big up.”

The Stranglers - Giants (Coursegood)

5 May 2012

In a remarkable career that has embraced punk, post-punk, new wave, psychedelia, pop, rock, waltzes and more, the Stranglers are thriving in 2012, while many legendary peers such as the Clash, Ramones and Sex Pistols, are long gone.

Devo - Something for Everybody (Warner Bros.)

25 July 2010

Devo is back with its best record in almost three decades.


Leatherface - The Knitting Factory (Brooklyn, NY) - March 5, 2010

20 March 2010

England’s Leatherface blitzes Brooklyn and plots a return in May.

Devo with JP Inc. - The Fillmore New York at Irving Plaza (New York, NY) - November 20, 2009

28 November 2009

Whether you want to call Devo legends or not, their highly influential legacy is finally being given its due.

Hugh Cornwell – Highline Ballroom (New York, NY) – Saturday, September 12, 2009

22 September 2009

Ex-Stranglers lead singer/guitarist Hugh Cornwell put on one of the most spirited performances I’ve ever seen by him.

Found Music in Newfoundland

4 September 2009

A trip up north goes far in introducing new music.

The Damned - So, Who's Paranoid (English Channel)

20 December 2008

The Damned have released their first album in seven years and thankfully the wait was well worth it.

Rob Dickinson - Fresh Wine for the Horses (Sanctuary)

27 September 2008

Dickinson flirts with melodrama but unlike Wile E. Coyote, who invariably chases the Road Runner only to fall off a cliff, Dickinson is more a like an experienced horse that gallops near the periphery of a jagged cliff yet knows enough to not fall off.

Love - Forever Changes (Rhino)

7 June 2008

With the recent 2-CD reissue of Forever Changes the album continues to astound four decades on.

Hard to Spin Dreary News on Compact Disc Sales

26 January 2008

Last year, U.S. compact disc sales plunged by 19%. With the consumer today facing pressure from all sides, chances are that 2008 will be even worse.

Radiohead and the Rule of Reciprocity

3 November 2007

With its name-your-price approach, Radiohead made people feel that they owed the group something and that indebtedness, however manifested, only led to better buzz and more goodwill.

Band Name Autopsy

3 September 2007

In the future, will we increasingly see names like When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water and Bad Mutha Goose and the Brothers Grimm?

Time Enough at Last?

10 July 2007

Content creators will have an increasingly tough time attracting a large audience as people find themselves with ever more options and ever less free time.

Thee More Shallows (Part 2 of 2)

1 July 2007

Dee Kesler explains why fish, rabbits, dogs, frogs, monkeys, sharks, piranhas, eagles, turkeys and bears have all found a home in the group’s discography.

Thee More Shallows (Part 1 of 2)

21 June 2007

Dee Kesler: “Belgian audiences are ridiculously attentive and then equally appreciative after you finish each song. They were by far the best audience we’ve run across on a national basis.”

Passing Strange – The Public Theater (New York, NY) Sunday, May 13, 2007

27 May 2007

The musician Stew makes his first foray into theater and delivers a winning rock/ballad/funk/punk/electronic/afro-baroque/avant-garde/cabaret musical.

Thee More Shallows - Book of Bad Breaks (Anticon)

29 April 2007

With Book of Bad Breaks the group has its third winner in as many albums.

Thee More Shallows - A History of Sport Fishing - (Monotreme)

15 April 2007

If you want a true San Francisco treat then put down the Rice-A-Roni and pick up this stellar album instead.

15 Overrated Albums

24 March 2007

Time to dropkick the hornet’s nest.

15 Underrated Albums

12 February 2007

What albums do you think deserve more credit? The Cavedogs, Readymade and the Godfathers make my list.

A Tale of Two Halls of Fame

19 January 2007

The rock industry’s power players love to peddle iconography associated with freedom, rebellion and anti-establishment thinking but when it comes to selecting members for its hall of fame, cloak-and-dagger machinations rule the day.

The Damned with The Epoxies and The Adored - House of Blues (Hollywood, CA) - Saturday, November 18, 2006

27 November 2006

Thirty years after these British punk pioneers pressed a stun gun to rock’s sagging bottom, The Damned remain electric.

Shaw ‘Nuff – Magnetic Field (Brooklyn) – Friday, October 6, 2006

30 October 2006

Arthur Lee is no longer with us but thanks to bands like Shaw ‘Nuff his music still is.

The Stranglers - Suite XVI (EMI)

25 September 2006

On Suite XVI you hear something of its own identity. It’s safe to say Hugh Cornwell’s ghost has finally been put to rest.

On Falling Out of Love With Music

30 August 2006

We’re all familiar with music that slowly grows on you. But what about music that slowly means less to you over the years?

Forever Changing: R.I.P. Arthur Lee (Love), 1945-2006

9 August 2006

Last week, Arthur passed away, due to acute myeloid leukemia, in his birthplace of Memphis, Tennessee. Here, I offer my respect to one of music’s all-time greats.

The Bouncing Souls - The Gold Record (Epitaph)

24 July 2006

The Gold Record is golden and ranks as one of the best records I’ve heard this year.

Paul Roberts Leaves The Stranglers (Finally!)

26 June 2006

In replacing HUGH CORNWELL—who also was the group’s lead singer for 16 years – PAUL ROBERTS had enormous shoes to fill. By most accounts Roberts’ feet were too small.

Buzzcocks - HMV Oxford St. (London) - Tuesday, May 23, 2006

12 June 2006

These old warhorses charged ahead at full gale for roughly 45 minutes with their razor sharp attack as fierce as ever.

Listening Without Prejudice: Why MP3s are an Artistic Boon to Musicians

19 May 2006

While there’s been ample hand-wringing about the evolution from vinyl to CD to the MP3, something good and very underappreciated has happened in the process.

Stoop Sale Season Kicks Off in Brooklyn

4 May 2006

From Carroll Gardens to Cobble Hill to Park Slope, Brooklyn is awash with stoop sales, which is great news for music lovers looking to find low-priced treats.

Morrissey - Ringleader of the Tormentors (Sanctuary)

17 April 2006

Much is the same on Ringleader of the Tormentors as in MORRISSEY’s past work: an obsession with love, death, hope, and anguish. But much is different—and in general, this is for the better.

Take Me Out of the Ball Game

3 April 2006

From undulating butts lighting up panoramic scoreboards to BARRY BONDS’ troublesome pursuit of the all-time home run record to a cynical steroids investigation, baseball has never strayed so far from its idyllic roots.

Nada Surf with Rogue Wave and Inara George - Webster Hall (New York) - Wednesday, March 8, 2006

19 March 2006

ROGUE WAVE and NADA SURF released albums that were among last year’s very best, which is why this double bill was such a treat.

Stars with Magnet - Webster Hall (New York) - Saturday, February 25, 2006

2 March 2006

The aptly named STARS were treated like stars when they took the stage at this sold-out show. And well they should be.

Musicians Should Tap the ‘Net to Make More Money

21 February 2006

Don’t let the record labels fool you. Thanks to the Internet there are more possibilities for musicians to prosper than ever before.

Go Ahead. Open’s (Juke) Box

14 February 2006’s stated mission is “To help you discover new music you’ll love.” Based on my couple of hours using the site, I can say it does just that.

Shocker! Howard Stern’s New Show Airs for Free!

6 February 2006

Stern’s radio show on Sirius Satellite, which listeners have to pay to hear, has been made available for free online and by pirate radio stations. With all the talk about music piracy, why did no one see this coming?

Chico Hamilton Releases First of Four Albums to Celebrate 85th Birthday

30 January 2006

With almost a century of music recorded between them legends Chico Hamilton and Arthur Lee hit the studio together. Hamilton will further spoil his fans by releasing three more records throughout the year.

U2 Fans in Brazil Feel the Heat

21 January 2006

BONO says he’s working to end world poverty, but for an upcoming U2 show in Sao Paulo the cheapest full-price ticket will cost someone earning the minimum wage there two-thirds of his monthly salary.

Is Easy Access to Music Making Us Tune Out?

17 January 2006

A new study by British researchers argues that increased access to music is making people appreciate it—less.

Here Today, Gone Next Week

9 January 2006

Why music fans are increasingly not buying lousy music.

Happy Holidaze!

2 January 2006

You hoist another CAN, scarf down more CAKE, and now suffer indigestion and CRAMPS from too much LAMBCHOP and an excess of RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS.

The Spirit of '76 in 2006

26 December 2005

Thirty years on, some of punk rock’s greatest are still going strong. Here’s why a combined DAMNED / STRANGLERS / BUZZCOCKS / STIFF LITTLE FINGERS tour could be a hit.

The Long Winters - "Ultimatum" EP (Barsuk)

19 December 2005

If you’re looking for something to warm you up, look no further than THE LONG WINTERS’ hot new EP.