Author: Matthew Barlow

Eric Bolander: The Wind

Eric Bolander The Wind Independent The Wind is Eric Bolander’s second solo album (following 2016’s Postcards to Myself).  He’s a veteran of the Lexington, KY, music scene, first in local legends Modern Day Relic, and now in Alcatraz Shakedown.   The Wind kicks off with the mid-tempo rocker, ‘Closer To That Flame’; the driving beat conjures up images of Sturgill Simpson’s recent output. For an acoustic singer/songwriter, Bolander is incredibly versatile.  Aside from the opener, the music varies from traditional country and Americana to rock, to perhaps the most intriguing track, a cover of Prince’s ‘Purple Rain.’  Long a staple of...

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Sunns: Felt

Suuns Felt Secretly Canadian The record label Secretly Canadian isn’t actually Canadian.  It doesn’t even have an office in Canada.  I don’t know who they’re trying to fool.  Suuns, on the other hand, are Canadian, from Montréal.  I first saw them live c. 2009 or 2010 back home in the Mecca, in a dusty, concrete room, with a lot of black steel girders, a kind of post-modern music hall on the Lower Main.  I don’t think there was more than 150 people in the room, but it was hard to tell from the dry ice.  Four shadowy figures were on stage,...

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Eric Bolander: The Troubadour of Lexington

I met Eric Bolander last summer at a BBQ joint in McMinnville, TN.  There’s a venue upstairs and he was playing with a couple of other guys.  My friend, Scott, knew one of the other guys, and so introduced me to him, we talked for a bit and he introduced me to Bolander.  He’s a big, hulking man, covered with tattoos, the kind who should be intimidating.  But he’s not, he smiles and laughs a lot.  I never did get to hear him play that night, he was first on, and by the time we got upstairs from the BBQ...

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Superchunk: What a Time to be Alive

Superchunk What a Time to be Alive Merge Records Superchunk are legends, blah blah blah.  They’ve never moved my needle, I have to admit.  Their first bold splash into the world, the song ‘Slack Motherfucker,’ was 10 times better when fIREHOSE covered it.  I’ve long admired their business acumen, mind you.  Frontman Mac McCaughan and bassist Laura Ballance founded Merge Records in 1989 to release the music of Superchunk and their friends.  And this is not a sarcastic, Pitchfork-like dig.  Merge Records is one of the great indie labels, it has integrity and it treats its artists with respect.  As...

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From the Vaults: Manic Street Preachers: Generation Terrorists

From the Vaults: Manic Street Preachers Generation Terrorists Columbia There used to be this great newsstand on Bank Street in the Glebe neighbourhood of Ottawa.  In my early undergrad years, I used to go there to get the British music press, the NME and Melody Maker.  I was always disappointed that the music samplers that came with the magazines in the UK didn’t make it to Canada, but this was how I learned about British and Irish music, the music that didn’t get played on MuchMusic (Canada’s MTV), let alone the commercial alternative radio stations in Canada.  So, I knew all about...

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