Here’s some belated praise for yet another deeply satisfying suite of impassioned, unpretentious American rock and roll from one of our most understated master craftsmen. From the Dream Syndicate days through his current band, Steve & company can always be counted to forge these perfect organic structures built of manic guitar lines, instantly familiar riffs, surging rhythms and crescendos that demand you hit the repeat button almost before they fade to fuzz. “Came on like a force of nature,” Steve muses in the exquisitely minimalist “Freak Star,” and it could be a snatch of critical autobiography, because these songs feel as necessary and elemental as a sudden windstorm, or the rolling waves that threaten to absorb the narrator of “The Deep End.” We’re damn lucky to have them.
Geek Factor: Obscure Great Recordings: How many of you are unmitigated music geeks? A person for whom each obscure album that gets a glimmer of praise becomes a new holy grail, becomes an excuse (not that you need one, really) to go to every second hand shop within a 150 mile radius or endlessly surf the net, because you MUST have this slab of bliss? More importantly, you don’t just hoard your latest find. You then make the rounds stopping by friends’ flats or calling them to spread the news (and perhaps play the thang), and hopping on to e-mail lists and bulletin boards, to share this wonderful, new-to-you music that has made your life just a bit better.
If this description is in any way accurate, then let me recommend a book to you. Lost In The Grooves will keep you busy for a while. Let me also recommend buying some small Post-Its or some highlighter markers, because it’s possible you might destroy the book if you just dog ear the pages every time your interest is piqued.
This tome is the latest inspired creation from Kim Cooper and David Smay, the folks behind Scram magazine and the editors of the excellent book Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth. The premise of this book is quite simple