The Perfect John Carpenter LP at Modern Vinyl

Perfect LP is a feature in which the Modern Vinyl writers take on the tall task of summarizing an artist or band’s career in an LP sized selection of tracks. Bypassing what was the single, what was the “hit” and what fans call for throughout shows, it’s time to decide what makes up the Perfect LP.

The Rules

The selections will total no more than 50 minutes. The selections are arranged in logical fashion, as in how you’d like to hear them in a real tracklisting.

The Subject

John Carpenter, horror and sci-fi director, is known for iconic films such as Halloween, Escape From New York, and The Thing, but deserves as much credit as a composer and performer, primarily accompanying his visual work. After a lengthy hiatus in both films and music, he returned in 2015 with the release of full length Lost Themes on Sacred Bones. It was a collection of original music, ostensibly composed music for various things, but never used. It was followed up with the release of Lost Themes II earlier this year, as well as a sold-out international concert tour.
Listen to the LP and read my comments at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/19/16

Interview with Chrome Sparks at the Pitch

In his guise as Chrome Sparks, Jeremy Malvin makes electronic music that is absolutely entrancing. You can dance to it, but calling it dance music would be reductive. He has released a slew of singles, EPs and remixes (of such acts as Fred Falke and the Glitch Mob). After four years, he's finally poised to release his first full-length, out next year on Counter Records.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 9/16/17

Interview with Mac Sabbath manager Mike Odd at the Pitch

Mac Sabbath is the world's only clown-fronted, fast-food themed, Black Sabbath act. There are costumes, a light show and songs, which don't so much glorify fast food as warn of its dangers. It's a strange cross between “Weird Al” Yankovic and Michael Pollan, but it works. The band doesn't do interviews, so we spoke by phone with Mac Sabbath's manager, Mike Odd, about the whole strange affair ahead of Wednesday’s show at the Jackpot.
Read the full interview at the Pitch. Published 9/14/16

Interview with Rusted Wave’s Jake Lamme at Modern Vinyl

Rusted Wave — those who released the amazing Wet Hot American Summer soundtrack — recently launched a Kickstarter for a vinyl release of Anthony Marinelli and Brian Banks’s score to the 1988 western, Young Guns. Despite the star power of the film, which starred the likes of Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, Lou Diamond Phillips, and Dermot Mulroney, the score’s never been released in any format. It’s rather amazing to think about, especially as the 1990 sequel saw not only the release of Alan Silvestri’s score, but an attendant 11-track album by Jon Bon Jovi, titled Blaze of Glory, which was a collection of songs “inspired” by the film.
Read the full interview and preview at Modern Vinyl. Published 9/14/16

Anniversary reunion feature at the Pitch

Josh Berwanger is hanging out in my living room, drinking an iced coffee, expressing admiration for three of the four cats roaming the house. Ostensibly, we’re discussing the reunion of his former band the Anniversary, for which he plays guitar and sings. But we keep getting sidetracked talking about horror movies.
Read the full feature at the Pitch. Published 9/13/16

August Cine Local at the Pitch

If you've read this week's issue, you're obviously aware there are tons of great local releases out now. And now, if you watch your way through all of these videos, you'll know all about the releases coming out in the next couple of months. Whether you like Keef Mountain's stoner doom, Various Blonde's genre-breaking beats, the heartbreaking pop of Heidi Lynn Gluck, or Berwanger's glam power-pop, there's something to catch your eyes and ears. We even have some classic footage from the Wilmas in this month's Cine Local.
View all the videos at the Pitch. Published 9/1/16

Local Album Reviews & Interviews at the Pitch

[caption id="attachment_18942" align="aligncenter" width="540"]The Uncouth / photo by Samantha Levi The Uncouth / photo by Samantha Levi[/caption]
The past few months have yielded some especially strong local releases. The psychedelic rock of Lawrence Psychic Heat, AY-MusiK’s positive hip-hop, the Uncouth’s throwback oi — there’s something new for just about any taste. And five of the acts behind the best such recordings are playing in the area over the next week. Here’s what they have to say.
Read all the reviews and interviews at the Pitch. Published 8/30/16

Live Review of Def Leppard / REO Speedwagon / Tesla at the Pitch

While the weather was turning downtown into a veritable series of waterfalls and small rivers last night, the inside of the Sprint Center was high ‘n’ dry. Sorry. But for the repeated flood warnings blowing up everyone’s phones, no one would have given a thought to the weather outside, because Def Leppard’s performance would’ve kept everyone fascinated, even if a tornado were attempting to destroy downtown. Despite some weird vocal quirks that saw the band sometimes sounding as if they were playing instrumentals, the English pop-metal band’s sound was robust and strong, thanks to a strong guitar work from Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell.
Read the full review at the Pitch. Published 8/27/16

Review of Mondo’s Castlevania at Starburst Magazine

Knowing that Mondo’s Castlevania 10-inch vinyl release is just the first of five releases only makes it that much sweeter to put on the turntable. While hearing the theme music coming from a quality, non-bootleg release is amazing in and of itself, the work the label did on this release is just wonderful.
Read the full review at Starburst Magazine. Published 8/25/16

Review of Ascend/Descend’s ‘Murdock Street’ at Modern Vinyl

Whereas every other d-beat record I’ve heard sounds like it was recorded inside a trash can, Ascend/Descend’s Murdock Street gains its power from the fact that this is hardcore recorded like high-end black metal: each aspect of the quartet stands out, shining brightly. The separation between everything on Murdock Street sounds streamlined, but by no means is that any kind of “not punk enough” slag on the Boston hardcore band. If anything, it makes everything that much more distinct.
Read the full review at Modern Vinyl. Published 8/24/16