music journalist since 1992 | educator since 2004 | podcaster since 2020 | Iranian American since birth
Another Bugged Out Mix/Another Bugged In Selection
The multi-talented and multi-dimensional Erol Alkan showcases the many sides of his musical personality on this double disc, his second for the Bugged Out series. Click on his name to read my interview with him for the October issue of DJ Times Magazine.
Listen a wide range of mixes from Erol on his Soundcloud page.
As Above So Below
These ladies were championed by Moby years ago. They have been absent as Azure Ray for a while, but this mini-LP is worth the wait. Taking strong cues from Mazzy Star, As Above is spine tingling. Click their name to read my review for Under The Radar Magazine.
Watch the trailer for the album here.
California Wives are really (potential) husbands from Chicago, but their West Coast envy is not even vaguely trying to disguise itself. Pacific Ocean pop is what they are all about–albeit forced at times. Click their name to read my review for Under The Radar Magazine.
Preview the album on Soundcloud here.
Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics
It’s About Time
I’m really liking this return to soul that’s been populating my mailbox, both real and virtual. This Atlanta soul combo stays true its R&B roots. No surprises, just classic soul stuff with Ruby’s scratchy vocals providing the bite.
Listen to the whole album on the band’s site.
Watch Me Dance — Agitated
Skankmaster Toddla T’s idols Ross Orton and DJ Pipes remix his album Watch Me Dance. Filthifying the original more than it already was, the rework would be better without the slowed down bits. Click his name to read my review for Electronic Musician.
Stream the whole album via Mixmag.net.
On the 10-year anniversary of this Danish duo the piano is at the forefront, not quite blocking the fuzz surf guitar. Raveonettes switch their sound just enough in sound to keep you interested. Click their name to read my interview for Electronic Musician Magazine.
Watch their video for “The Enemy” on NPR’s First Watch.
Old World Romance
Sea Wolf has finally won me over with its re-imagination of vocals and melodies from Travis’ Fran Healy and Echo and the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch. Click the name to read my interview with Sea Wolf’s Alex Brown Church for Soma Magazine.
Preview the album on Team Coco.
(Serpents and Snakes)
I like fruit, but I don’t like butter, a dichotomy where this band is concerned. Garage band-sounding to point that they sound like they never left the garage and that’s where they’re going to stay. Click their name to Read my review for Under The Radar Magazine.
Listen to the whole album on Spotify.
The Citizens Band
Grab A Root And Howl
The conscious supergroup of stars got together to bring awareness to the political climate of the country in classy ’20s style. Click their name to read my review for Under The Radar Magazine.
Listen to a collection of tracks from the album here.
Wheels Turn Beneath My Feet
This live album comes with an 84-page booklet documenting Fink’s tour for his last album, Perfect Darkness. Gathered together from various European dates, Fink’s live renditions have an emotive quality that are sometimes missing from the recorded versions. Click his name to read my review of Perfect Darkness.
Watch a preview of that tour here.
Portland’s Menomena is almost as much about humor as it is about music. A little bit Pink Floyd plus a little bit Blur makes this pop combo a little bit interesting. More Blur than Pink Floyd on their latest, Moms.
Stream the whole album here via Hype Machine.
Pet Shop Boys
Synth-pop kings PSB enlisted Kanye West’s producer, Andrew Dawson, to produce their latest full-length. Not sure why they felt this was necessary, but PSB’s winning sound is always timeless and in no need of help from a hitmaker. The two have that covered.
Watch the video for “The Winner.”
Using as many different styles from around the world as possible, this Canadian collective is also about using the oldest instruments it can find. The result is palatable for everyone. Click its name to read my review for Electronic Musician Magazine.
Watch the video for “Conquering Lion.”
More like a drag act than a conventional dance act, I really want to dislike Ssion. Ssion’s presentation pushes all the same offensive buttons Peaches does. But I like Peaches, and I grudgingly like Ssion too. I like all its catchy, obvious, appealing tracks.
Listen to a selection on Ssion’s SoundCloud page.
(Arts and Crafts)
Mountie country music from this Canadian crooner. New album is bundled with a greatest hits, which is only interesting because of the other Canadian musicians on it. Click his name to read my review for Under The Radar Magazine.
Watch the video for “I Wanna Rob A Bank” here.
The Nervous Wreckords
Let Them All Talk
Looking at this album’s cover you’d be forgiven in thinking it is a compilation of drag queen diva house music. The Nervous Wreckords are, in fact, a indie pop/rock band with quite conventional songs for that style.
Watch the video for “Doin’ It To Do It.”
There are a few themes running through the new fall season shows.
One, there are many characters that had their kids when they were teenagers.
Two, there are many gay characters.
Three, almost every show is a rehash of one, or more, old shows, very little originality.
Four, Stephen King is used as inspiration a few times.
Read my reviews of new shows that premiered in September this fall season for Under The Radar by clicking on the show’s name.
Go On (NBC) Chandler is wasted in this Dear John rehash.
The New Normal (NBC) Modern Family‘s Mitch and Cam have a baby via surrogate.
The Mob Doctor (FOX) The Sopranos meets Grey’s Anatomy, except this show sucks.
Revolution (NBC) Lost meets Stephen King’s The Stand.
Partners (CBS) Will And Grace with none of the good parts.
Ben and Kate (FOX) Brother-sister comedy that feels incestuous.
The Mindy Project (FOX) Real girl looking for love and making all the wrong choices.
Animal Practice (NBC) Scrubs for animals with Weeds‘ Uncle Andy.
Guys With Kids (NBC) Guy half of What To Expect When You’re Expecting.
The Neighbors (ABC) You Can’t Do That On Television with aliens.
The Last Resort (ABC) Ben from Felicity in uniform, yeah, I didn’t believe it either.
666 Park Avenue (ABC) The Shining all over again, but with too much mystery.