Friday, December 31, 2021

Happy New Year in Black & White

Another year bites the dust. 2021 finally comes to an end. And just as things were looking up, guess who decided to mutate and unleash his Omicron variant upon the world? Fucking COVID. I guess the world will be shutting down again. Most concerts we were looking forward to are already being postponed or even outright cancelled. We did manage to squeeze in a few decent gigs in the short time when things were somewhat safe, this is what we're celebrating in this post.

Friday's Playlist: The Best of 2021

Happy New Year!

As much as I hate seeing time slip away so quickly, I must admit I'm pretty glad to see 2021 coming to an end. I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking I didn't care much for that year. Don't get me wrong, it was no 2020. Don't get me started on that one. But if I had been in a coma for most of 2021 it would have been no big loss for me. Still, there were a few things that didn't totally suck about the year that's about to end. Some of that was the music.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Thank You For Talkin’ To Me Africa

Something a little different this Friday. If the title of this Playlist is lifted off a song by Sly & the Family Stone, the ressemblance ends here. Well, not completely: this Playlist gets plenty funky, too. Especially towards the end.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Unsung Guitar Heroes

Happy Friday! 

Are you in the mood for some tasty guitar? Good. For some unfair reason, these cats are not considered royalty. They're not the Claptons, the Becks, the Hendrix, the Pages of rock n'roll. They're not the Charlie Christians, the Wes Montgomerys, the John McLaughlins, the Pat Methenys of jazz. They're not the BB Kings, the Stevie Ray Vaughans, the Guitar Slims of blues.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Robert Quine - Sessions & Contributions

In contrast with the other episodes in our Sessions & Contributions series, this installment doesn't focus on superstars but rather on an unsung hero of rock music.

Although not a household name, Robert Quine was a pioneer guitarist in the punk, post-punk and no-wave genres although calling him that is greatly limiting the breadth of his talents. Free jazz, folk music, avant-garde...

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Murray Head @ Olympia, Paris - December 8th, 2021

Murray Head has always enjoyed tremendous success in France and his 1976 record Say It Ain't So yielded some of his best known songs, including the hit Say It Ain't So, Joe. So forty-five years after the release of the LP, the Englishman's embarking on a tour where he plays the entire album in sequence. Well, not exactly in sequence: he cleverly starts at song number two, plays the album and then plays the climactic first song of the record, the aforementioned Say It Ain't So, Joe.

Chloe Foy @ Olympia, Paris - December 8th, 2021

Opening for Murray Head, and later joining him as part of his band, is a young British singer songwriter named Chloe Foy. Her first full length album Where Shall We Begin was released last summer. Accompanying herself with a guitar, and aided by another guitarist who would also be part of the main act's band later in the evening, Chloe Foy sang her delicate songs in an angelic, ethereal voice that left the audience spellbound. This is what a support act should always be: a wonderful discovery.

Monday, December 6, 2021

JJ Wilde @ la Maroquinerie, Paris - December 6th, 2021

Canadian rock sensation JJ Wilde is embarking on her first ever European tour, and this is was her first proper concert in France apart a few acoustic promo showcases and radio appearances. Ruthless, the album she released last year, is a great slice of hard driving, good old fashioned rock full of groove and melody.

Friday, December 3, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Madchester and Rave Rockers

This Friday's Playlist focuses on a particular time and place, namely Manchester in the early nineties. Inspired by New Order and similar artists that blended psychedelic pop and electronica, the artists in this Playlist created this specific idiom that is informed equally by rock and rave culture.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

The Black Lips @ Trabendo, Paris - December 2nd, 2021

The reformed bad boys of garage rock have been on a country tangent since the release of their excellent new record Sing in a World That's Falling Apart. But their version of country music is very informed by the seedy, druggy sounds of the Velvet Underground and they end up sounding like murky, punk version of Exile-era Rolling Stones, or Royal Trux attempting Americana, or an even more chaotic version of the Clash. Needless to say, that's a good thing.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Steve Hackett & Genesis Revisited @ Salle Pleyel, Paris - November 30th, 2021

While (what's left of) his former band is wrapping things up with one last tour of the world's arenas, the ex-Genesis guitarist is also embarking a nostalgia trek of sorts. But where his erstwhile bandmates concentrate on the hits of their post-Gabriel (and post-Hackett) career, pleasing aging yuppies and soccer grandmas, Steve Hackett is here presenting a veritable prog extravaganza consisting of the very best of his Genesis days as well as a couple of solo pieces.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Ayron Jones @ New Morning, Paris - November 29th, 2021

Ayron Jones' music isn't easily categorizable: alternative rock, blues, hard rock... His major label debut Child of the State is one of this year's best releases and landed him the opening slot for The Rolling Stones U.S. tour this past fall.

Rozedale @ New Morning, Paris - November 29th, 2021

Opening for Ayron Jones on his first European concert at the legendary New Morning jazz club was Rozedale, a local duo comprised of a singer and a guitarist.


Monday's Playlist: George Harrison: 20 years gone

 Hard to believe it's been twenty years since George Harrison passed away. I don't know if he was my favorite Beatle (my ranking changes several times a day) but he released my favorite solo Beatle album. No, I'm not talking about Wonderwall Music...

Friday, November 26, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Prog-Rock Pond Scum

Are you busy right now, or do you have a little time on your hand? And by a little time, I mean THIRTEEN F*CKING HOURS! Because that's how long this playlist lasts.

That's right, it's a behemoth of a playlist. Over seventy tracks. Several hundred musicians. Fifty billion time signatures. Massive, we tell you. Excessive in every way. In that regard, it's coherent with the subject: Progressive Rock.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Power Ballads

Two and a half years ago we gave you a sprawling playlist the wonderful atrocities committed by Hair bands. Well, consider this part two. It's all there: schmaltzy lyrics, syrupy melodies, ham-fisted power chords, cheesy synthesizers...

Friday, November 12, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Shredders

Happy Friday! You know, sometimes you just have forego subtlety completely. Restraint is for the timid. This playlist is ostentatious. It's flash. It's loud. This playlist is about that over-the-top style of guitar playing that was pioneered by Eddie Van Halen: lightning-fast, brash and unapologetic. The players in this playlist don't believe that less is more. They believe that more is not enough.

Saturday, November 6, 2021

Gary Lucas @ Sunset/Sunside, Paris - November 6th, 2021

Journeyman guitarist Gary Lucas is celebrating forty years of a multifaceted career at one of Paris' premier jazz clubs. It is quite a privilege to hear him play and regale us with stories in such a setting. Accompanied   by five high-caliber musicians hailing from extremely diverse musical and geographical horizons, the evening was an exquisite blend of jazz, blues, classical and contemporary avant garde.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Listen to the new Jethro Tull song here.

Jethro Tull has released a new song. Listen to Shoshana Sleeping below. 

Friday's Playlist: Awesome Bass Solos (pt. 2)

Happy Friday! Almost five months ago we debuted the new Awesome Bass Solos series in our Friday playlists, and finally here is the second episode that is all about that low end.

Right off the bat, a little caveat: these are not necessarily solos exactly. Sometimes it's just a fill, sometimes it's a chorus, sometimes it's an intro, sometimes an interlude. It just means a certain section of the song prominently features the electric bass. So don't get on my case over semantics, ok?

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Listen to U2's new song here.

Check out U2's new song below. it is part of the soundtrack for the upcoming film Sing 2.

Monday, November 1, 2021

Check out Porcupine Tree's new song here!

I didn't expect the announcement that the Porcupine Tree camp had been teasing to be anything more than a retrospective album, or old outtakes but I'm glad I was proven wrong! A new album for June 2022 and a world tour are in the works!

Sunday, October 31, 2021

 Friday's Sunday's Playlist: HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2021


In honor of our favorite holiday, enjoy the ghoulish sounds of our new Halloween playlist. Two years ago we shared a playlist of Halloween-themed rock songs which you can revisit HERE. This year's playlist is comprised of horror movie themes and assorted atrocities!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Great Vocal Performances

This Friday's Playlist compiles some truly breathtaking vocal performances from genres as diverse as soul, jazz, rock, or metal. A lot of these recordings have become classics, but hopefully some might be slightly less obvious.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

The Pineapple Thief @ Élysée-Montmartre, Paris - October 23rd, 2021

The Pineapple Thief had always been one of the most promising so-called Prog bands of the last twenty-some years, and with the arrival of Gavin Harrison in 2016, first as a session drummer then from 2017 a full-time member, the combo from Somerset was catapulted at the head of the heap. Their dramatic, kinetic sound is reminiscent of latter-day Marillion, Radiohead, Mogwai, Archive or Porcupine Tree but they have an identity all of their own thanks to frontman Bruce Soord's sinuous yet memorable melodies.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Just Cool Rock Shit (pt.2)

A little over a year ago we shared a playlist with the self-explanatory title of Just Cool Rock Shit. This Friday's Playlist is more of the same: no theme, no real common thread except for some good hard rocking music. You've got some old stuff and some newer stuff. Some classics and some unknown gems.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Instru-Mentals!

Happy Friday! This is our 101st Friday's Playlist. Where does the time go?

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize turns five

Five years ago today Bob Dylan won a Nobel Prize in literature. How mind boggling is it that someone who, until not so long ago, was reviled by the establishment, portrayed as a drug addict (which to be fait wasn't without merit), dismissed as a mere figure of a shallow sub-culture, the icon of an ephemeral counter-culture which produced nothing?

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Popa Chubby @ Olympia, Paris - October 10th, 2021

New York City's Popa Chubby is a bona fide superstar here in France, and consequently the Olympia is packed to the brim with twelve-bar connoisseurs and guitar aficionados flocking like pentatonic pilgrims to attend the twice-postponed Parisian return of the blues-rock heavyweight. 

Friday, October 8, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Mixing Desk Hero: Tom Dowd

This Friday's Playlist celebrates one of the most legendary producers in popular music, whose career in genres as diverse as soul, jazz, blues, Southern rock and even punk (!) has spanned half a century and has led him to work with such luminaries as Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton... But enough with the man's credentials. 

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Little Caesar @ Les Étoiles, Paris - October 3rd, 2021

Little Caesar at les Étoiles is our second show since the return of live music after nearly two years of living in suspended animation, with concerts, cinemas, restaurants and travels shut down for most of the world's population, in the same venue where we saw Robert Jon & the Wreck three weeks ago.

Incredibly, this is the band's first Parisian concert in a thirty plus-year career. They've played other French cities before, and lead singer Ron Young did play the capital with his Manic Eden project in the nineties but this is Little Caesar's Parisian debut!

Friday, October 1, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Awesome Guitar Solos (pt. 5)

Happy Friday, happy payday!

This is our fifth installment in our ongoing Awesome Guitar Solos playlist series. Click HERE to check out the previous installments. As usual, it's a mix of stone-cold classics and more left-field choices. These solos will either make you want to pick up a guitar or to throw it away in disgust, knowing you will never be able to come up with anything so mind-meltingly awesome.

Listen to the lost Rolling Stones song Troubles A' Comin' here

The Rolling Stones reissue campaign is once again heating up, with Tattoo You now getting the super duper extra deluxe treatment, complete with out-takes, left out tracks and other unnecessary artefacts that fans like me can't wait to spend their hard-earned cash to lap up frantically.

Listen to David Bowie's "new" single here.

Any new music released by David Bowie before his death would've been awaited with trepidation and welcomed as the return of the messiah, as exampled by the surprise release of his fantastic last two records. Now that the man has been dead over half a decade, the rabid fans are understandably thirsty for more.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Farewell, Mr. Mayall.

A few days ago, John Mayall announced that he was cancelling most of his upcoming farewell tour dates due to the pandemic and his advancing age. You can find his statement HERE.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Rhythm in Peace, Charlie Watts.

It's been almost four weeks since the beloved drummer passed away. Never a showy musician, Charlie Watts was nonetheless an incredible drummer as evidenced by the numbers in this playlist.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Robert Jon & the Wreck @ les Étoiles, Paris - September 14th, 2021

Finally. It had been twenty months since we last set foot in a concert hall (it was at the Zénith and the band was Tenacious D). Tonight we finally ended that dry spell and attended the Parisian return of Robert Jon & the Wreck.

Friday, September 3, 2021

Album Review: Iron Maiden - Senjutsu

Iron Maiden is one of the biggest Metal bands on the planet and any new album by them is going to create some trepidation among music fans. It's also inevitably going to be compared to the classics they produced in their mid-eighties heyday, and whether it is fair or unfair doesn't matter: it simply is. And let's be honest: in the eyes of the record-buying public, they are never going to recapture the magic of Piece of Mind or Powerslave.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Rhythm in Peace, Charlie Watts.

We just got the shitty, although not altogether unexpected, news that Charlie Watts passed away earlier today.

Of course, dying at the age of 80, after a lifetime of accomplishments, a successful career, and a beautiful family is perhaps not a tragedy.

But, man, is it ever sad. Charlie Watts. The Stones just lost their Roll. As awesome as the songs are, as commanding as Jagger is onstage, as cool as Keith's riffs are, the real backbone of "the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band" (tm) has always been Charlie and Keith's interplay.

Friday, August 6, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Pretty Songs

In contrast to last week's playlist, this Friday's entry focuses on beautiful, delicate songs. No agression, no heavily distorted guitars, no blast beats. A little respite from the brutality of everyday life.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Let's Get Bröötal






Friday, July 23, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Funny Songs

This Friday's Playlist aims to bring a little levity to these trying times. This is a collection of funny songs. They may not all be funny ha ha, but they're funny. Trust me.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Happy Birthday Maggot Brain

July 12th was the 50th anniversary of the release of one of the trippiest, grooviest, best, most influential records in pop music history. Funkadelic'a Maggot Brain was a melting pot of funk, soul, rock, psychedelia, drug culture, hippie idealism, Black Power politic, hendrixian guitars, jingles and anthems.

Friday, July 2, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Awesome Guitar Solos (pt.4)

This Friday's Playlist is the fourth installment in our Awesome Guitar Solos series. You can find the previous installments HEREHERE and HERE.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Awesome Bass Solos (pt.1)

 It was about time we featured the bass guitar. We've done quite a few playlists centered around the guitar (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE) so in that spirit here's some of the greatest bass guitar solos or lead breaks.

Friday, June 18, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Songs from the Brill Building

The Brill Building is an Art Deco building in New York City, and is famous for having housed a number of music industry offices where composers and lyricists would write the hits of yesteryear. While not rock and roll exactly, these songwriters' impact on popular music in general cannot be overstated. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Friday's Playlist: Happy New Year and Fuck 2020

Finally, the new year is upon us. We all agree that 2020 was shit, and sadly there are no do-overs. So let's wipe the slate clean, shall we? Start fresh. Let's say this year is going to be at least a little better than last year. Can we try that?