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Drug Mountain

Ken Shimamoto
One wonders if Lester Bangs was foreseeing this when he wrote that rock ‘n’ roll is a “raw wail from the bottom of the guts.” Recorded by redoubtable noise maven Steve Albini in his Chicago lair last sum...


Staff Benda Bilili

Ken Shimamoto
Read the backstory on these guys, and you’ll think they’re superheroes. Paraplegic street musicians who tool around the streets of Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on custom-built motorized tricycles...



Sam Sadigursky

Ken Shimamoto
It would be wrong to call Words Project III Miniatures a “poetry-jazz” record. To many folks, that description evokes a ’50s movie cliché of goateed beret-and-turtleneck wearers in a smoky basement, snapping ...


Tom Waits

Ken Shimamoto
Waits has had quite an odyssey, from Troubador doorman to protégé of Frank Zappa manager Herb Cohen (who sponsored the recordings released as two volumes of The Early Years) to Eagles “Ol’ 55″ songwriter ...



Tommy Alverson

Jeff Prince
A Tommy Alverson live performance with his band at a smoky dancehall is something to see as well as to hear. Alverson’s die-hard fans get juiced up, sing, heckle, laugh, holler requests, and generally have a noisy boot-sc...


The Shortest Distance

Ken Shimamoto
The Shortest Distance is an alias for activist Ramsey Sprague, an early driving force behind the 1919 Hemphill radical arts/educational collective. Folks might not realize that Sprague is also a singer-songwriter who has perfor...



The Crash That Took Me

Anthony Mariani
Huge, shimmering, occasionally fuzzy guitars. Pounding, splashing drums and syrupy atmospherics. Slinky, androgynous vocals that slowly transmit Beatles-esque melodies with lyrics about transmutation, self-reflection, and trans...


Breaking Light

Ken Shimamoto
Breaking Light is yet another performing alias of Burleson-based guitarist Kavin Allenson (who usually goes by “Kavin.” with the period). Aside from performing solo acoustic, Allenson occasionally joins forces with ...



Jhon Kahsen Quartet

Anthony Mariani
Everyone knows Johnny Case as that guy who’s played straight-ahead piano jazz at Sardines Ristorante Italiano every night for nearly 30 years. Folks even a little plugged in might also know that Case has done some sonic a...


Erik Deutsch

Ken Shimamoto
The Colorado jam band scene and the Brooklyn avant-garde would seem to be as mutually exclusive as oil and water, but this disc proves they aren’t as incompatible as one might think. Since relocating to the Apple from Bou...