Need My Sugar – Kim Nalley

Kim Nalley has been a fixture on the San Francisco music scene for the best part of a decade and with this album, her sophomore release, looks set to increase her profile significantly in both her native US and Europe. In a world where any number of pretty young  ...

My Father, Dancing

Bliss Broyard’s collection of short stories, My Father, Dancing, is so splendidly nuanced that one is tempted to overstate the book’s low-keyed charms. In this era of blockbuster bestsellers and publishing "sensations," the small pleasures of Broyard’s stories are to be savored. The collection is dedicated "in memory of  ...

Grateful – The Songs of John Bucchino

John Bucchino has been the saviour of many a cabaret singer. His lush melodies and clever, psychologically astute lyrics remain relatively unknown and can be counted on to grace any set and impress even the most jaded audience. Bucchino is not only a fine interpreter of his own work  ...

Mule Variations – Tom Waits

Does life seem nasty, brutish and short? Tom Waits certainly appeared to feel that way on 1992's Bone Machine, an almost unrelievedly stark and grim meditation on death that piled up critical accolades even as it struck many longtime fans as a creative dead-end. For years Waits had been  ...

Miles Davis: Jazz at the Plaza / At Newport 1958

These two albums bracket the summer of 1958—the first recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival in June, the second at a Columbia Records party in September—and document one of Miles Davis’ best bands at the height of its powers. Tenor saxophonist John Coltrane had worked with Davis since 1955,  ...

Midnite Vultures – Beck

He's the prolific one-name artist known as much for his homegrown musical experiments as his full-band funkadelic workouts. Despite well-publicized battles with his record company, he's back with a new album and a few new tricks up his sleeve. What's his name? If you guessed Prince, you need a  ...

Mer de Noms – A Perfect Circle

At this point, approximately fifty years into its existence, it can be fairly expected that "rock" is not going to cough up a new paradigm anytime soon. The advent of digital sampling technology and turntable manipulation, both of which slunk in through the back door of white hip-hop fandom,  ...

I Have Been to Heaven and Back – Mekons

Mekons I Have Been to Heaven and Back Ever since there have been rock critics, there have been critics' bands. The Velvet Underground set the standard: their every move was met with an avalanche of good press, yet they never sold any records. It's an insult to  ...