Tuesday , September 22 2020

Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is a Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Culture, where he reviews NYC theater; he also covers interesting music releases. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at http://www.orenhope.com/ you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at http://parkodyssey.blogspot.com/ where he visits every park in New York City. And by night he's a part-time working musician: lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado, a member of other bands as well, and a sideman.

CD Review: Melissa Mulligan, Love This Life

This is an upbeat pop-rock CD from Connecticut singer-songwriter Melissa Mulligan. The best songs, especially “Dark Horse” and “Janie,” could be radio hits, and Mulligan’s maple-syrup voice reminds one of the sometimes underrated Paula Cole’s. “Borrowed Wings” is another catchy number, with airier, Sarah McLachlan-ish vocals. “Girl,” a dramatic rocker …

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CD Review: David Jacobs-Strain, Ocean or a Teardrop

The extremely talented but still very young David Jacobs-Strain writes, plays and sings in traditional forms, but (because, I suspect, of not having yet lived the life of which he sings) he sounds like he’s trying too hard. The result is a great-sounding CD that fails to convince. The problem …

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CD Review: Brad Wilson – Brad Wilson

Brad Wilson is a proud practitioner of the wall-of-sound variety of blues-rock. His first solo CD opens with a straight blues, “Black Coffee At Sunrise,” but most of the LA rocker’s songs (he wrote all thirteen) are in the blue-eyed tradition of the Allmans and Lynyrd Skynyrd, with a solid …

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Between Two Rivers – by Nicholas Rinaldi

Though his New Yorkers live somewhat dreamy lives, Rinaldi’s New York is not a modern-day version of Mark Helprin’s from A Winter’s Tale (though Echo Terrace’s rooftop Independence Day party bears a distant relation to Helprin’s images of TB victims lying on rooftops all over Manhattan). It’s not even Woody Allen’s. It’s the real thing.

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Luka Bloom: Before Sleep Comes

Luka Bloom's music has always had a dreamy quality. When you get right down to it, he's a crooner, after all. But his new 28-minute CD is all dreamy, all the time.

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Richard “Groove” Holmes: Super Soul

This is a reissue of organist Richard “Groove” Holmes’s 1967 LPs Super Soul and Soul Power!, complete with the original liner notes. Probably best known for his hit version of “Misty,” Holmes was clearly in his soul-jazz fusion prime when he made these recordings. His combination of groove (he was …

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Michelle Anthony: Stand Fall Repeat

A fine bass player and pianist, Anthony, who is model-thin, has a powerful, rich voice reminiscent of Mama Cass or Ellen McIlwaine. But her sensibility, in spite of the CD's relatively lush arrangements, has more in common with the starkness of Lucinda Williams or Liz Phair.

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The Self-Destruction Handbook

This little book cleverly satirizes America's obsessions with sex, health and various vices. Filled with bizarro-world table turning, plain absurdity, and acute observations of familiar social phenomena that no one likes to talk about, it would make a great gift for anyone who can take a joke.

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Lovedrug: Pretend You’re Alive

Lovedrug’s “Pretend You’re Alive,” or as I started to think of the CD, “Pretend You’re Radiohead,” has a promising first minute, but the thin, snarly vocals aren’t my cup of tea – they come across as affected, rather than animalistic a la (say) Perry Farrell or Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie. But …

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