All posts by Todd Totale

John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – This Christmas

John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – This Christmas (Universal) The pairing is complete nostalgia. There is no other reason that John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John are together for a Christmas album aside from the fact that they were both cast together in a small little movie musical called Grease over thirty years ago. Grease has … Continue reading John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John – This Christmas

Lost Classic: Roxy Music – Viva! Roxy Music

Roxy Music – Viva! Roxy Music (Virgin) During my first year of high school, I befriended an upperclassman who shared my obsession with rock and roll music. The two of us were also similar in trying to expand our collective musical knowledge by exploiting every opportunity that presented itself to us so that we could … Continue reading Lost Classic: Roxy Music – Viva! Roxy Music

Roxy Music – The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982

Roxy Music – The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982 (Virgin) A few years ago, I named Bryan Ferry’s Olympia release as worthy enough to receive the Roxy Music moniker. The argument went that the Roxy personnel all took part in its creation (including Brian Eno) so why not just used the brand name? I had a … Continue reading Roxy Music – The Complete Studio Recordings 1972-1982

Cat Power – Sun

Cat Power – Sun (Matador) The story goes that when Chan Marshall set off to begin the follow up to the very hard to follow up The Greatest, she presented her progress to a friend. She could tell that the new material didn’t grab her friend in quite the manner that she hoped, and after … Continue reading Cat Power – Sun

Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Crown and Treaty

Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Crown And Treaty (EMI) Occasionally, an album arrives and upon first listen you get the sense that the music jumping out of the grooves wasn’t created in a sterile studio with too little daylight and too much attention to detail. With Sweet Billy Pilgrim’s third release, Crown and Treaty, you get … Continue reading Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Crown and Treaty

Swans – The Seer

Swans – The Seer (Young God) The cover art to Swans’ 12th album–like the record itself–makes a credible argument that The Seer is probably better suited for a vinyl format. It features a painting of a dog, presumably a Yorkshire Terrier, a small breed of canine that is small in stature and originally bred to … Continue reading Swans – The Seer

Joyce Manor – Of All The Things I Will Soon Grow Tired

Joyce Manor – Of All The Things I Will Soon Grow Tired (Asian Man) I guess I’m supposed to ignore the fact that Joyce Manor do little more than deliver a very competent blend of late 20th Century punk rock and praise them for their “honesty” and “DIY ethos.” There’s a place for that, particularly … Continue reading Joyce Manor – Of All The Things I Will Soon Grow Tired

Husky – Forever So

Husky – Forever So (Sub Pop) Our favorite Seattle label is now making its way down under to find the next big thing up here. Husky represents their first signing from Melbourne, with the moniker actually the first name of the band’s guitar and vocalist. The only “Husky” I knew growing up was the name … Continue reading Husky – Forever So

Christian Mistress – Possession

Christian Mistress – Possession (Relapse) If memory serves, Girlschool was the only band of The New Wave of British Heavy Metal that featured women in the line-up. I bring this up because you cannot get away from the fact that Olympia, Washington’s Christian Mistress conjures up the exact kind of feel that is reserved for … Continue reading Christian Mistress – Possession

Testament – Dark Roots Of Earth

Testament – Dark Roots Of Earth (Nuclear Blast) To be honest, I would rather see Testament included in the “Big 4” line-up than Anthrax. The lineage is there and, most importantly, the band has parlayed its third decade into an example that even headliners Metallica should have considered well before the submission that was Death … Continue reading Testament – Dark Roots Of Earth