Jeff Elbel is obsessed with music (just like you), which explains his affection for The Big Takeover. As far as he can recall, he has contributed to every issue since #43 with R.E.M. on the cover. His featured articles have included interviews with heroes Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil, “Saint Bob” Geldof of the Boomtown Rats, and Sharon Jones of the Dap-Kings. Jeff works for a NASA consultant group by day, and fills as many of the other waking moments as possible chasing his daughters and performing with groups including his rock and roll band Ping. Jeff also freelances for the Chicago Sun-Times, and is nearly always sleep-deprived.
Collaborator Jackson Browne referred to Zevon’s music as “song noir.” 1978’s Excitable Boy is reissued as an audiophile’s dream by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab.
Should all bands that manage to survive four decades together make albums this good?
Favorably compared to essential 1978 live album Waiting for Columbus, this set highlighting the post-*Lowell George* Little Feat arrive on Blu-ray for the first time.
Reissued for its 50th anniversary, this album of instrumental tracks finds “cool jazz” drummer Chico Hamilton supported for a feast of swampy soul-rock and southern boogie by the members of Little Feat.
Jazz Dispensary: At the Movies is a spirited collection of familiar and obscure soul, funk, and R&B tracks used in urban cinema, blaxploitation films, and cult-classic movies released between 1969 to 1975.
Prog-fusion fixtures Simon Phillips and Derek Sherinian partner with Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal and Ric Fierabracci to form a prog-rock dream team of virtuosic player’s players for this instrumental outing.
This set attests to the supergroup trio’s power and truncated potential even better than its gold-selling studio 1973 album.
The Claudettes returned to their suburban Chicago haunt at The Venue in Aurora, Illinois for a wide-ranging set drawn from all points of the band’s 13-year career – including songs from an upcoming EP.
The 25th anniversary of indie folk-rocker Ani DiFranco’s top-charting album Little Plastic Castle is celebrated with its first-ever vinyl release.
Progressive rock fans in Denver ventured through a cool and drizzling Thursday night to see genre pioneers and frontrunners Yes perform during the band’s The Classic Tales of Yes tour.
Wilco made a strong case for the fresh songs from Cousin and Cruel Country, interspersed with fan favorites.
This limited 2xLP Record Store Day release captures a hometown performance of Travis’ 2001 album The Invisible Band.
Legendary Police guitarist Andy Summers delighted enthusiastic superfans during an intimate evening of music, imagery and stories.
ABBA’s 1973 debut album Ring Ring was the first of the Swedish pop phenomenon’s “golden eight.” For those with a sweet tooth, it’s a crafty pop confection.
Yusuf / Cat Stevens shares his wishes and advice with England’s new monarch. “The major message of the song is, don’t forget that there’s One above you, and be careful to look out for those who are below you,” says Yusuf.
The Foreign Films’ sixth release guides the crafty Bill Majoros’ love of classic ‘60s/‘70s pop-rock toward the retro-futuristic ‘80s.
Paul McCartney’s second album under the Wings banner arrives this week as a limited-edition vinyl LP reissue for Record Store Day, just in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary on April 30.
While performing their 1983 debut album for its 40th anniversary, New Orleans’ heavy rockers Zebra created a special one-off event for returning fans at the Arcada Theatre.
The Arcada Theatre was rocking with Angel classics and songs from forthcoming album Once Upon A Time.
The box set is a treasure for Zappaphiles, and the LPs are recommended for newer disciples who want to bridge the gap between the well-known Hot Rats and Apostrophe (‘) albums.
This live set captures a summit meeting of iconoclastic musicians as it happened nearly 30 years ago at the famed and influential Montreaux Jazz Festival. The concert predates and foreshadows a classic album for fans of ’90s fusion.
Spanish native and Austin, Texas transplant Diego “Bull” Avello and band offer riff-driven blues-based rock and positivity.
“We never really went away, but it really feels like the Wayside is back,” says singer John J. Thompson. The Wayside brings its blend of roots-rock, alt-country and Americana to two new singles.
Shara Nova performed new My Brightest Diamond material during an opening set for the fifth of seven seasonal Gezelligheid concerts by Andrew Bird. Photos by Alec Basse.
Spooky metal for Halloween! Iron Maiden brought its Legacy of the Beast tour to United Center in Chicago, IL.
Students of the American Civil Rights movement will find this album, widely considered to be the Staples’ best fusion of Gospel fervor and pop appeal, to be a joyous component of the syllabus.
Thanks to Schoolkids Records for bringing this underrated gem from the days of college rock and jangle-pop into the light.
Live at the Roxy documents early days when the Hip leaned heavily upon its blues-rock roots. The heady and visceral material is played with fierce commitment.
The Band’s fourth album Cahoots is celebrated with a deep dive into the quintet’s career circa 1971.
These reissues present the Who’s revered mod-era material in the best possible light within the constraints of the vinyl format.
The Police made a high-octane run between 1978 and 1983, showing rapid development from admitted origins as calculated punk scene posers to ultimate status as world-dominating pop-rock chart-toppers.
This album’s charm hinges upon Jonathan Richman’s knack for writing songs that radiate innocence and simple fun.
This compelling record from Meters guitarist Leo Nocentelli is out of character in a very special way, and it also comes with an astonishing origin story.
Dissolution Wave is the aural equivalent of a weighted blanket. If you’re pining for the melodic and heavy space-rock from the late 90s, Cloakroom has returned with its third album to provide the sublime but downcast shoegaze sound your spirit craves.
24 years later, Another World still charts a path of imagination toward a better place.
As the Rolling Stones tour in support of the band’s 60th anniversary, this concert film is being re-released from the days when the band had merely 40 years, or “licks,” to their credit. This 2003 show was captured at Madison Square Garden.
This 7” vinyl disc features a hot CCR performance drawn from the Creedence Clearwater Revival at the Royal Albert Hall live album and documentary concert film.
Marvin Gaye’s catalog overflows with gems, but What’s Going On is the crown jewel.
Songs spanning 1962 debut album Surfin’ Safari through 1989’s Still Cruisin’ capture the pure escapism of classic surf-rock sides and expand toward Brian Wilson’s pursuit of pop perfection characterized as “teenage symphonies to God.”
After the homespun McCartney and domestic collaboration of Ram, Paul McCartney stepped back toward band work with his third post-*Beatles* album.
Despite forecasts of an inbound storm that threatened to disrupt Nine Inch Nails’ headlining set, Chicago received sunny end-of-summer weather during most of the final day at Riot Fest. Jeff Elbel’s coverage includes The Linda Lindas, Jawbox, Lunachicks, Jimmy Eat World, and Sleater-Kinney.
This 7” platter features live performances from 1970 of two songs that would soon appear in studio versions on CCR’s Cosmo’s Factory album.
The Eargoggle Regales, the Eargoggle Revels is a captivating, imaginative, and immersive experience. Is it an expansive double-vinyl set with a comic book that illustrates each of its 17 songs, or is it a comic book rendered by top talent that has a soundtrack song for each of its vignette-sized stories?
Fans of the Genius may wish for deeper cuts or signature songs like “One Mint Julep” of “Hit the Road Jack,” but the band follows Charles through every playful twist and dynamic shift.
EXTC featuring original XTC drummer Terry Chambers concluded a sixteen-date North American club tour April 9th in Toronto. The band will resume live shows in the UK in July. It has been forty years since XTC toured the United States, and hardcore fans were keen to attend. Philamonjaro interviews the band.
The energy and revelatory portraits captured in New Adventures in Hi-Fi are often considered to be the culmination of R.E.M.’s aim for Monster and the band’s last truly great work.
Frontman Papa Emeritus IV (Tobias Forge) delivered a high-caliber set of gothic evil with a wink and a tongue planted firmly in cheek.