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Author Archives: M. R. Benning

Debut Album Review: Eisley’s Room Noises

Eisley’s impressive debut, Room Noises, spins with an innocent, mysterious, melancholy vigor reminiscent of Belly with steroid-injected harmonies. The 12 tracks featured on the album showcase the talented quintet’s ability to delve into the imaginary worlds of stimulus deprived children, and replicate their findings beautifully for the rest of us. Those who have been following the band since their 2003 ... Read More »

DVD Review: The Blind Boys of Alabama – Go Tell It On The Mountain

In the world of Gospel inoculated blues, The Blind Boys of Alabama are kings. That’s why, in December of 2003, it seemed appropriate for the seven man act to organize a show at New York’s Beacon Theatre, invite a few supporting artists, and film the event so it could later appear on PBS. Originally, the show would only appear on ... Read More »

The Redwalls at Cleveland’s House Of Blues

Formerly a British Invasion cover act, The Redwalls have transcended the copycat scene and morphed into homage. Guitarists Andrew Langer and Logan Baren, along with bassist Justin Baren, traded off vocals over the course of the evening and the girls swooned for each of them. Their raspy, yet firmly capable voices and competent playing skills added to their old-soul personas ... Read More »

Concert Review: Jolie Holland at Little Brothers

On February 8th, the night before I would see her in concert, Jolie Holland told me that “nobody makes money on their first tour.” As I sit in Little Brothers, a small club in Columbus, Ohio, I can see her point. The bar is nearly empty with only seven people including myself waiting for the show to start. There are ... Read More »

Portishead To Reunite

Portishead will be playing for the first time in seven years for this concert in support of the Tsunami relief efforts. The concert is to take place on February 19th at the Bristol Academy. It’s a good cause and, if I could make it overseas, I’d be right there to see Portishead share the stage with one of my other ... Read More »

It’s Time For The Pixelator

One of my coworkers brought an import graphic design magazine to work. The coolest feature this mag had was a how-to guide on building your own pixel town. The magazine’s staff decided to make it an old west theme, bodies hanging from the gallows and all. I quickly copied the article to show some people I know. Then I started ... Read More »

CD Review: Erasure’s Nightbird

Love abounds on Erasure’s latest release, Nightbird. “Because Our Love Is Real,” “Don’t Say You Love Me,” and “All This Time Still Falling Out Of Love,” are only the title specific tracks about amorè. The universal language represents the best and worst of 80’s synth-pop and, in Nightbird’s case, happens to be a double-edged sword. Andy Bell’s soaring voice (a ... Read More »

Album Review: 2005 Grammy Nominees

Ten years ago the first Grammy Nominees album contained the likes of Sheryl Crow, Seal, and Michael Bolton. Bonnie Raitt lent her guitar-slinging and vocal talents to two tracks while Boyz II Men and Barbra Streisand played their parts as bookends. Mary Chapin Carpenter was the country songstress while Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Luther Vandross, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion ... Read More »

Book Review: I, Fatty

It only makes sense that Jerry Stahl would be the one to pick up the torch and demystify the rise and fall of the silver screen giant Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle in his latest novel, I, Fatty. Stahl, perhaps feeling a kindred spirit in Arbuckle through addiction and Hollywood-induced pain, has produced the most endearing and heart-felt novel of his career. ... Read More »

The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come For Free

"America creates it and England perfects it" is a saying I’ve grown accustomed to hearing since the age of twelve when I removed my MC Hammer tapes from a displayed collection and relegated them to the bottom of the random item box in my closet. I was making the transition from pop to rock, and it wouldn’t be long before ... Read More »