CD Reviews – February – 2007



The Show I’ll Never Forget

Edited by Sean Manning

DeCapo Press

3.5 out of 5

If there is one thing that truly keeps the wheels of the music business turning and allows for the skullduggery that takes place in the form of astronomical ticket prices and seven dollar beers, it’s the passion that the fans have for live music.

It’s this passion that is celebrated in the book The Show I’ll Never Forget.  While the book is laid out in the format of short essays on particular shows, it is far from the typical recounting of set lists and drum solos that permeates many music magazines. Instead, the book aims, at most times successfully, to explore the power of music as a social interaction on a visceral and personal level. This is highlighted by a review of a junior high benefit concert, featuring no one you would have heard of, appearing alongside reviews of mega-famous bands like The Rolling Stones and Queen.

Many of the essays are highly personal and moving, focusing more on the human condition than the spectacle of musical grandeur. 

While none of the writers presented in the book are particularly well known, the experiences they relate will surely strike a universal chord with anyone who has looked at music as more that just a pleasant distraction.

“American Bandstand” host Dick Clark once told his audience that “Music is the soundtrack of your life,” and The Show I’ll Never Forget proves his theory in spades.

— DJ Hippie




Rise Above

Hi-Phi Records

4 out of 5

Funkiphino’s newest effort may well be one of the most professionalCDs produced in Colorado over the last few years.

The Boulder-based funk outfit, which has always strived to up the ante of their presentation, be it live or in the studio, has crafted a near-flawless disc that not only showcases their talent, but also gives a nod to their inspirations.

Beyond simply nodding to those inspirations, the band is also joined by some, including Francis “Rocco” Prestia and Stephen “Doc” Kupka of Tower of Power and members of the SanFrancisco Symphony and Opera. There are also some local guests, including Hazel Miller, Yo Flaco!’s Neil McIntyre and members of SoulSchool.

Funkiphino recorded the album in their hometown as well as in Los Angeles and at George Lucas’ legendary Skywalker Sound in Marin County, Calif.

The 12-song arrangement is the band’s second full release and it took some time to get it done, but it’s clear that the time spent was worth it. The band teamed up with Grammy-winning producer Matt Sandowski, who collaborated with band leader and keyboardist Chris Fischer. Airshow Mastering’s David Glasser mastered the album.

This is not an album that should be played on crappy computer speakers. This piece yearns to be played on a big stereo with the listener stuffed into a sofa that will allow them to soak up the sound.

— Brian F. Johnson



Alabama Thunderpussy


Relapse Records

3.5 out of 5

I don’t know when or how it happened, but Alabama Thunderpussy has arrived. Their newest album is exactly what a metal release should be — dirty, kick ass rock. But even in that, there are delicacies that are amazingly well crafted. For a band that once seemed like a novelty act, Open Fire shows that their 10 years together have taught them more than enough to earn their master’s degree in metal.                           

 — Brian F. Johnson




I Feel Like  a Fading Light


4 out of 5

Ihate it when reviewers make up terms to describe music, but whoever thought up “narcotic pop” hit the nail on the head for KimTaylor’s latest effort I Feel Like a Fading Light. 

This is an album that is soft and subtle in the vein of Josh Ritter. It’s essentially a singer/songwriter album, but it sounds like so much more, as the depth of Taylor’s songs fill the recording with a relaxed passion that is utterly contagious.                        

— Brian F. Johnson

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