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Author Archives: Dennis Pernu

Father John Misty

I Love You, Honeybear
Upping The Ante
 
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In 2012, Josh Tillman, former drummer of the much-lauded Fleet Foxes, released his first album as Father John Misty. Presenting tales of Laurel Canyon excess, narcissism, and self-loathing, Fear Fun was itself a highly pleasing indulgence, in part because it was often difficult to discern (more…)

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Wilco

Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014
Roger That
 
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Tough to believe it’s been two decades since Jeff Tweedy reluctantly took the remains of the critically adored but ultimately doomed alt-country standard-bearers Uncle Tupelo and laid down roots for a Chicago-based band he would dub Wilco. Tough to believe, that is, until one takes in the (more…)

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Gretsch Roots Collection: Jim Dandy Flat-top, Dixie 6 Guitar-Banjo

Back to the Country
 
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Gretsch Roots Collection: Jim Dandy Flat-top, Dixie 6 Guitar-Banjo Price: $239 retail (Jim Dandy Flat Top) and $499 retail (Dixie 6 Guitar-Bajo) Contact: www.gretschguitars.com Cynics inclined to dismiss Gretsch’s Roots Collection as a crass ploy to hop aboard the current (more…)

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Danny Garcia

Looking for Johnny: The Legend of Johnny Thunders
 
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Often dismissed by cognoscenti as a morbidly nihilistic knuckle dragger, John Gazale, Jr. – a.k.a. Johnny Thunders – tends to be remembered more for the trampled track of junky business he left in his wake than for his catalog or impact. In addition to founding roles (more…)

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Tweedy

Dad Rock, Subverted Righteously
 
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Where does time go? In 1996, the liner notes to Being There, Wilco’s masterful two-disc paean to American music, included a dedication from ringleader Jeff Tweedy to his wife and their newly born son, Spencer. Fast-forward 18 years and we find Wilco’s frontman releasing another double LP (more…)

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Neil Young

A Letter Home
 
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In more ways than one, Journey Through The Past – the title of Neil Young’s 1972 directorial film debut – would have been a better title for A Letter Home, the latest from Winnipeg’s favorite son. Recorded in the 1947 Voice-o-Graph booth at Jack White’s Third Man (more…)

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Courtney Barnett

The Double EP: A Sea of Split Peas
 
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Courtney Barnett’s sleepy slacker persona might be a put-on, but what this young Aussie may (or may not) lack in what the older folks call “gumption,” she compensates for with droll, witty lyrics dosed with indie lo-fi and ’60s garage psych. Comprising Miss Barnett’s prior limited (more…)

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Worland Prairie

Built For Speed
 
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Worland Prairie Price: $1,950 Info: www.worlandguitars.com. It’s been well-documented how car-crazy vets and teens in postwar America reimagined the American automobile. Some shaved, sprayed, and slammed contemporary two-door sedans, creating the custom car. Others invented the hot rod when they stripped prewar coupes and roadsters (more…)

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Nils Lofgren

Face The Music
 
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Wags might be forgiven for calling Nils Lofgren the Forrest Gump of rock. The dude’s not only played with everyone, it seems, but he’s been a key guitar (and accordion) foil for some of the most critically acclaimed figures in rock. And that’s precisely where (more…)

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The Jayhawks

Sound Of Lies, Smile, Rainy Day Music
Stumbling Through The Dark
 
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In late 1994, Minneapolis’ entry in the “godfathers of alt-country” sweepstakes appeared on the ropes. The Jayhawks learned that Mark Olson, who for 10 years had split songwriting duties with lead guitarist Gary Louris, was taking his leave. Suddenly, the harmonies that (more…)

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