Author: Alan Sculley

NOW HEAR THIS | Hot new releases to check out now

PICTURED: The Dears. Photo by Richmond Lam by Alan Sculley, Last Word Features   As the wait continues for larger live-music concerts to return, here’s a selection of new albums that can help fill the gap. There’s plenty of stylistic variety represented with these albums, and come to think of it, each of these albums is pretty varied in and of itself. Maybe one or more of these titles will become a new favorite in your collection. The Dears Lovers Rock Back in 2006, the Dears made an album in Gang Of Losers that sounded like a more soulful,...

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NOW HEAR THIS | A fresh crop of promising releases, from power pop to punk

by Alan Sculley New albums reviewed this month include the latest offerings from two all-time greats on the music scene – Lucinda Williams and X. But don’t sleep on the other albums in this column, as Fizz Fuzz, Cable Ties and Catholic Action all give us reason to sit up and take notice of their new releases.  Lucinda Williams Good Souls Better Angels One of music’s best songwriters, Williams has returned with Good Souls Better Angels, an album that cracks open some new ground for this veteran artist. For one thing, this is Williams’ most topical album (although the...

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STAYING QOOL UNDER QUARANTINE | Little Steven Van Zandt’s Underground Garage 

PICTURED: Van Zandt in the studio for his Underground Garage radio show. by L. Kent Wolgamott Stuck in his New York apartment, Little Steven Van Zandt decided he’d dig back through the archives of his weekly “Little Steven’s Underground Garage” syndicated radio program and create something special for those who are laboring under the coronavirus quarantine. He called the new program “The Qoolest Quarantine Qollection” and found a host — “Trenton Quarantino,” another of his many alter egos. “I’m thinking everybody’s home, everybody’s trapped at home, let’s give them some extra special content,” Van Zandt said in a late-April phone interview....

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ON THE RECORD | New music to listen to now

by Alan Sculley, Last Word Features With many of us now sheltering at home during the coronavirus crisis, we can take some comfort in knowing the music industry continues to crank out a steady stream of new albums. Here are some new releases that are making my days a bit more enjoyable. Early James: Singing For My Supper Singing For My Supper, James’ full-length debut, is a good example of how inspired production, coupled with well-written songs, can lift an album to a truly magical place. Things start with James, whose idiosyncratic voice gives him an immediately distinctive presence,...

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PICTURED: Fitz and the Tantrums Photo by Luke Dickey by Alan Sculley, Last Word Features NOTE: The Friday, March 13 show at the Ventura Theater has been cancelled due to ongoing concerns related to COVID-19. Like many artists before him that had felt pressure in trying to follow up a hit song, Michael Fitzpatrick of Fitz and the Tantrums readily admits that he struggled with expectations to come up with a song for the band’s next album that could measure up with “HandClap,” the multi-chart hit from the band’s self-titled 2016 album. “It’s tough because as much as you...

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