The Boys of Summer


It’s summertime. Let’s sing about it!

The Beach Boys | “Don’t Go Near The Water” (from Surf’s Up)

No American band has said more about the importance of catching waves and spending time at the beach than the oft-underrated/overrated/underrated again Beach Boys. In 1971, the Boys kicked off their Surf’s Up album […]

Devo Deep Cuts


I had another topic ready for this week’s Hidden Gems, but then Devo went and released their first studio album in 20 years on Tuesday. I haven’t been able to concentrate on much that’s not Devo-related since. So here’s four less-than-obvious Devo songs you should check out.

“The Day My Baby Gave Me […]

The Numero Group


Over the past five years or so, the Chicago-based Numero Group label has established itself as one of the best reissue labels on the market. Numbering each release in a manner similar to the DVD giants at the Criterion Collection, the label’s crate-digging efforts have revived the excellent work of a few has-beens […]

Live Tracks


Live albums are often odd ducks. Even for bands who are known for being better in concert than in the studio, the magic doesn’t always translate. Now, this column is far from definitive, but here are a handful of live tracks worth hearing.

The Whites Stripes | “Jolene” from Under Great White Northern […]

Comedy Part 4: New Shit


Now, I come to the end of my 4-part series on comedy albums you need to know. I started off with stone cold classics from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Then I continued to mine material from the same era by black comedians and by funny old white guys. For this last installment, […]

Comedy, Part 3: Old White Guys


In the third part of my 4-part series on comedy albums worth knowing, I’m offering an alternative to last week’s entry about Old Black Guys and allowing the under-represented contingency of white male comedians to get a column.

Andy Griffith | The Wit & Wisdom of Andy Griffith

Though obviously best known now […]

Comedy Part 2: Old Black Guys


In the second part of my 4-part series on comedy albums worth knowing, I’m highlighting 4 albums by black comedians from the ’60s. (Next week is Old White Guys. Last week, if you missed it, was Stone Cold Classics). You’ll notice I didn’t include Bill Cosby or Richard Pryor. It’s not because I […]

Comedy, Part 1: Stone Cold Classics


I’ve slipped a few comedy albums into this column on occasion in the past, but I’ve barely scratched the surface of the albums you need to hear. In fact, while conceiving this entry, I came up with so many funny albums that I am going to make this Comedy Month (yeah, I know […]