Music Review: Fela Kuti – ‘Box Set 3’ (Curated by Brian Eno)


After countless listens, I feel as if I both know Fela Kuti more than I ever knew any other African artist before, and also how little I appreciated the struggles and injustices that take place across the world in other people’s hometowns or communities. It takes a strong light to shine down on some of the darkest days in the shadow. Thank god Fela Kuti burned as bright as he did for our awareness. Read More »

Music Review: Frank Zappa – ‘ZAPPAtite: Frank Zappa’s Tastiest Tracks’


From the sonic exuberance of “Dancin’ Fool” and “Tell Me You Love Me” to the funky dissonance of “You Are What You Is” and “Joe’s Garage” to the bathroom-humor excellence of “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow” and “Titties and Beer,” this album will give you just as much of a “taste” for Frank Zappa’s music as his son’s "Zappa Plays Zappa" did for me some eight years ago. Read More »

Music Review: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band – ‘Circlin’ Back: Celebrating 50 Years’


Back when the term "Americana" just meant pioneer-era antiques, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was bringing American folk music into the pop-music mainstream. To celebrate half a century of making music, the group is releasing a live album of 18 favorite tunes recorded at Nashville's famous Ryman Auditorium, many featuring guest artists from the pantheon of folk, Americana, and country music. Read More »

Music Review: Chicago – ‘Chicago Quadio Box (9-Disc Blu-ray Audio)’


For a less musically talented band, being able to reconceive the sounds within the songs physically and rhythmically could have turned this kind of release been a box set of cheap sonic “tricks” designed to fool the listener into thinking the extra money it costs to buy the “enhanced” version of an album was well worth it. For Chicago? It allowed them to see just what was possible with the sound. Read More »