Thursday, December 29, 2016


The Breeders

I became a fan of the Breeders with this album, and never looked back, when I heard the band’s cover of Happiness Is A Warm Gun on the radio. I’d been lucky enough to have heard Eatontown’s WHTG, when Matt Pinfield was programming the music. And beside’s the cover, which is great, later on I heard Only In Threes, a fun, and funny song about a threesome. Loved it. 

Arty fun is the Kim Deal, Josephine Wiggs, and Tayna Donnely. Before Kelley joined the band, and Jim. The drummer on Pod was Britt Walford, have a grand time making much quirky fun. For Deal and Donnely, a cool way to step into the spotlight, and they never let it go. So if you give thew album a chance, chances are you’ll never let it go either. I didn’t.  
Andrea Weiss

Sunday, December 25, 2016


The Breeders
Title TK

“Title TK” is a publishing term that means “To Come.“ It’s very apt, since this third album was a long time in coming. 

The biggest change in their sound.It’s a different rhythm section than on Last Splash. The music is now adult Indie rock, when that genre was beginning to get off the ground. That doesn’t mean sedate. These songs are anything but mild. It just means different for a different time and place. 

The songs are wonderful. And just as fun as LS, with “Sinister Foxx” being a great example of both. I was glad to buy this album when it was first out. My CD has been retired, so now it’s in digital form. Sounds terrific on headphones, too. 

Andrea Weiss

Friday, December 23, 2016


Mass Romantic
The New Pornogrpahers

While I’ll still review some new or current albums, a few that given me lots of writer inspiration over the years, starting with Kelley Deal’s projects, and now TNP. 

One of the best in TNP’s catalog, I’ll put MR on, along with Electric Version, and Brill Bruisers, Twin Cinema is good, even though I’d always had qualms about its production, and while Together and Challengers have their moments, especially Together, they’re a little too mellow for me to really get into now. 

Pop with much power in it, always bubbly, always sparkling and effervescent, with lyrics that can be clear, like “Letter From An Occupant” is a breakup song. Most aren’t, which adds to the fun. Take anything you want from their lyrics. Neko Case sings the showcases, but Dan Bejar wouldn’t hit his stride until Electric Version. Carl Newman is at his best on”The Body Says No,” another breakup song that likens it to world wide diplomacy UN style. 

This album is really where to start with TNP, and then whatever suits your fancy. It’s all here, and you can’t go wrong with any of it. I hear the band will release something next year, and it will be interesting to hear what they do next. 

Andrea Weiss

Sunday, December 18, 2016


The Breeders
Last Splash
4 AD Records

Full disclosure: I‘d reviewed the LSXX boxed set as a promo from 4AD, when i was on the download servicing list for Beggars Group. I stand with the review’s conclusion that it’s a must for Breeders fans, but there was too much gush, and over excitement, marring the review. So I’ll set the record straight here. 

This album holds up really well. It sounds as fresh and different today as it did in 1993, but could it have been a hit? On the album charts, yes. “Cannonball,” maybe. I suspect it would succeed as a download/stream/You Tube clip. That it was a hit at all means that it was a good song. The time was right for it too. 

And there isn’t a bad track here either. I like them all, 26 years after hearing it for the first time. I finally got to see the band in 2013, performing the album live. Wonderful show. It was like they never stopped. I never got to see them in the 90s, a rock regret of mine, and I was glad to remedy that years later. 

Andrea Weiss

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rise EP

R. Ring
Rise EP
Mass Market Recordings

I’ve had this EP for a while, but never got the time to review it, until now. In 2013 the duo of Mike Montgomery and Kelley Deal toured Europe. This EP was released then. It’s now available at Bandcamp.

Mike’s song "Steam" is very good, and very sad. It’s aid and comfort to a friend whose wife left him. But for all the sadness, there is also empathy and hope. It’s also the most polished song here musically, which suits it well.

As good as Mike’s song is, it’s Kelley’s songs that power the EP. All are about obsession. “Rumine's,”  statement of, “I am cruel, I don’t care,” extends into the question: “Are you mine?” I like the roughness of these three recordings, especially “Rumine,” as it gives them a really warm feel.

All in all, a great EP. And am looking forward to their first full length album in the spring.

Andrea Weiss

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Kelley Deal 6000
Go To The Sugar Altar
Boom! Boom! Boom!
Nice Records

           As head-spinning as Game Theory’s Lolita Nation, but without James Joyce influencing the lyrics. Scott Miller is my all time favorite male musician; Kelley Deal is my favorite for women. Or I could just say they are tied for first place.
            These two albums are of a piece. If you love one, you’ll love the other, as that’s how consistent they are. Spare, but rich and full all the way through. There isn’t a bad song in the bunch. For the most part, they are uncategorizable pop, but then you get a rocker about finding the love of your life, “Brillo Hunt,” with a guitar solo to thrill to. 
            The lyrics are subtle, nuanced, like Scott Miller's or Carl Newman's. Many things are happening here, almost too many to keep track of, and that’s okay. It just means you’ll listen again. 

Andrea Weiss

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Top Tens

It may be a bit early, but I was filling top tens out for radio stations, so I figured it was time anyway.  No rankings except for Special Teams. Song of the year. Songs first.

Special Teams - SunFire (Kelley Deal and Friends)

Nice As F##K -Door

Daws - Roll With the Punches

Tegan And Sara - U Turn

Tacocat - The Internet

Mitski - Your Best American Girl

Margaret Glaspy - You And I

Warpaint - New Song

Angel Olsen - Shut Up Kiss Me

Sad13 - Get A Yes


Nice As F##K

Margaret Glaspy - Emotions and Math

Tegan and Sara - Love You to Death

Mitski - Puberty 2

Tacocat - Lost Time

Daws We're All Gonna Die

Esme Patterson - We Were Wild

Angel Olsen - My Woman

Sad13 Slugger

Andrea Weiss

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Greg Lake

           When I heard that Greg Lake had passed away earlier this week, I was just as upset, maybe even a bit more, than when Keith Emerson passed. I like lyrics, I like singers, and I loved Greg’s songs, all of them. Don’t misunderstand me, Emerson was an amazing keyboard player, I love Carl Palmer’s drumming, but the words were always foremost for me.
            “Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.” An invitation to what? A good time, a wild time, a fun time, or something darker? That’s the wonderful mystery. I still haven’t solved it for myself, but I wonder every time I hear the song.
            “Oh, what a lucky man he was.” Greg wrote this when he was twelve. He was that sharp and pointed even then. When this song was first released, it was naturally taken as anti-war – Vietnam, that is. When I heard it, I thought it was about WWII, but in interviews I read later, he said it was a Medieval fantasy. That's the beauty of this song, that it can mean different things for different people, yet the message remains the same.  When I saw Greg play this song live acoustic in 2010, while his voice was deeper than when he was young. That was the only change. He still sounded great. And, of course, Keith’s marvelous Moog solo, still a favorite of mine.
            “Every day a little sadder, a little madder, someone get me a ladder.” I think everyone feels like this at times. But for all of those times, there are also those like Hoedown, happy ones.
            There are so many others, and everyone will have their own. But I’ll conclude with “I Believe In Father Christmas” and "21st Century Schizoid Man.”
            The former has always been one my favorite Xmas songs, especially as its message is that Xmas shouldn’t be commercialized, something I agree with.
            The latter is, of course, King Crimson, and another favorite of mine, especially since it is the 21st Century.
            Long live Greg, ELP, his solo projects, and his songs. I am so glad I got to see him and Keith on their duo tour. I met him after the show, too. He was a real sweetheart who put me at ease. People were taking pictures of us, and Greg clamped his huge arm around my shoulders, said “relax,” and didn’t let go until everyone had their shot. And that one bit of kindness was I think what Greg was all about. That, and, of course, his music.

Andrea Weiss

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Message #2

I’m thrilled and humbled by the response to my last few posts. And, well, I’ll be reconfiguring things a bit from now on, as in, if I have something worthwhile to say, I’ll say it. If you agree with me on that, happy reading. Of course there’ll be enough record reviews to break things up.

As a disabled and conscientious person, I do think that the disabled will get the shaft from Trump and co. So, as a writer, I’ll speak out on it, but rather than ranting, something a lot more fun. Like a screenplay. A web series I've begun work on, titled Modern Rock.

Out indie band Modern Rock runs afoul of the new thing on the block, alt-alt, a scene that takes the wrong lessons from Nineties alternative rock, and the Nineties in general. The upshot is a slew of right-wing, snobbish, ableist bands. When Modern Rock, is told to get with the program, they refuse, self-release a 7” with two happy, healthy songs, and start the counter-revolution. The band is led by Leaf and Gail, a learning disabled couple. It's their songs that set the plot in motion. Their label wants a full album, so the band gets creative and records one. All hell breaks loose.

Creative, in this case, is how it is to create when you’re disabled in some way, and in this part of the script a whole bunch of stupid myths about the disabled get killed. We’re not stupid, and we don’t think we’re hip, trendy, cool, and fun just because we have problems. And just because we have a disability, it doesn't mean we are disabled at everything, and aren't good at anything. We want a fair chance to show what we can do.

My creative process? Despite never knowing what I’m going to process properly, I do try, all the while knowing it’s something I can’t fully control. Various types of media inspire me. I read The New York Times, The Washington Post, my mail, social media. I have the great fortune to live near a great public radio station, WXPN in Philadelphia. I can sit and think to them anytime, and to a select bunch of musicians whose songs are always there, including, in no particular order, the late Scott Miller, Pavement, The New Pornographers, Fugazi, Kelley Deal (all her bands), Jenny Lewis (all her  bands), The Pixies, Daws, Nirvana, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Dar Williams, and Jill Sobule.

Good art takes a stand. I stand for the rights of the disabled, for LGBT people, for all, and against bigotry. Trump and the alt-right can go to hell. They won’t win, not at all.

Andrea Weiss


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