Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Moberlys Debut

The Moberlys
Precedent Records

This CD of recordings that span 1977-82, was released in 1996, when grunge was just beginning to recede. It's very punky power pop, out of step and proud of it.

Jim Basnight led the band, and his nicely retro, fun music, with lyrics about young adult love and sometimes sex, are a breath of fresh air for being so simple, yet so heartfelt and strong. The last few songs on the album are live, with whoever was there having a blast.

For anyone who wants to hear something 90s besides grunge, since there was more going on than that, this band is for you. And enjoy, as the next few reviews will be of Jim’s music, and they will be fun too.

Andrea Weiss

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Lady Lamb

Lady Lamb
Even in the Tender
Ba Da Bing Records

I’ve known about Aly Spaltro, who is Lady Lamb, since she was Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, but I had lost track until this latest album and seeing her open for The New Pornographers.

Even in the Tender, released earlier this year, is great, with every track standing out. She’s strongly reminiscent of St. Vincent, especially lyrically. This is old school indie rock, before hipsters got ahold of it and made it boring with everything sounding the same. Back then someone could put a record on their media player and go, “That’s St. Vincent," or Lady Lamb, or Spoon, or TV On the Radio…

Live, she was very gritty, and very appealing. The songs from Tender sound very up to date, and like no one else. The older songs sound current too. If you don't know her music, Tender is where to start, and go see her live. She’s more than worth it.

Andrea Weiss

Sunday, November 10, 2019

TNP Live

Lady Lamb/The New Pornographers
Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA,
November 8, 2019

I've been a TNP fan from the beginning, and this was my second time seeing them live. I would have to say that tonight's show topped the first one, just for songs I’d never heard live before.

Lady Lamb, the opener, was a band I hadn’t heard about in a while. I remember hearing some of their first album. It was folk/rock and I liked it, but not enough to pick it up. Not this time! They were a great opening act and reminded me of Waxahatchee or early Hop Along, two bands I like a lot, so this time I picked up the album. I'll listen to it soon.

TNP brought the energy, and a huge sound. Newest member Simi Stone is great on violin, and her take on Moves’ cello part, which I love and hadn’t heard live before, was wonderful. Blaine and Kathryn were terrific on keys. Todd and John were great on guitar and bass, as was Joe on drums. I am not sure how tall Carl is, but he is a big, tall man. He hunched over an acoustic guitar that looked too small for him, while playing it expertly. Neko, with her natural earthiness and amazing voice, held the crowd in her hand.

They played a good bit of their new album, In The Morse Code Of Brake Lights, and the sound of it, indeed all their songs, was sprawling, but seamless: many moving parts adding up to a natural whole. It all worked. It all was perfect. The didn’t neglect their older songs. There was a smattering of them, including a Dan Bejar tribute, Testament To Youth In Verse.

They saved the best for last though: Letter From An Occupant. Neko’s singing was to die for, and while I’d heard the song Mass Romantic live before, Neko was amazing on that one, as well. Carl is also very good live. Go see them! You won’t regret it. They really are that good, that fun, and that energetic.
Andrea Weiss

Sunday, November 3, 2019


The Muffs
No Holiday
Omnivore Recordings

Kim Shattuck went out on top. These eighteen songs, some fully produced, some home recordings, show her at the top of her game. Likewise, bassist Ronnie Barnett and drummer Roy McDonald.

My three favorites of these excellent songs are “Late And Sorry,” where she unleashes her wonderful scream, “The Kids Have Gone Away,” where she shows how great a guitar player she was, and “Lucky Charm,” which is very sweet.

Shattuck lost her battle with ALS on October 2, 2019. Even as this album wasn’t meant to be her last will and testament, it is now. It’s also a good starting point for getting into a great band. Check them out if you haven't already.

Andrea Weiss


The Breeders
Walking With a Killer (Video)
Marcos Sanchez, Director

Walking With A Killer, from the band’s compelling 2018 comeback album All Nerve, is a cautionary tale about being killed, not necessarily physically, more like emotionally. It’s one of the best songs on a really great album, with some amazing guitar playing by Kelley Deal.

The video is a collage of old black and white, mostly non-horror film clips, animated with liquid neon flowers and plants, the only color in the clip, all to show death and dying as natural, organic, and a fact of life. It’s very well made and, like the best horror films, mesmerizing, the perfect synthesis of song and film. Recommended for Halloween, and for anyone who just wants to see a terrific video.

Andrea Weiss


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