--album review




The Canton, Ohio-based rock band Lovedrug, led by singer/guitarist Michael Shepard, has shared the stage with artists as diverse as the Killers, Robert Plant, Switchfoot, Sam Phillips, Creeper Lagoon, Eisley, and Matchbook Romance. Since its formation in June 2002, the band has seen several lineup changes, including Matthew Putman (Ester Drang, Unwed Sailor) on drums. Quite frankly, they should be well known through out the world.

--the list



Words and music.

Those three words (accompanied by a fingers crossed hand gesture) was Eddie Wilson s mantra in the 1983 film Eddie and the Cruisers. For Eddie, those three words summed up the magic that happens when just the right lyric matches up with just the right melody.

In the film, shy lyricist  and future English teacher  Frank Wordman Ridgeway (Tom Berenger) provides the poetry, which Eddie (Michael Pare) brings to life with his unique brand of mid-60s rock-and- roll (which sounds suspiciously like early-80s John Cafferty). Now, although Wordman and Eddie are fictional, the 1980s saw some inspired real-life collaborations (as well as some less-than-inspired ones . . . I'm looking at you, Rick James and Eddie Murphy).

But for my money, one of the best example of the words and music synergy happened at the very end of the decade, twenty-five years ago, in the summer of 1989. Yes, the summer when Harry met Sally was also the summer that Don met Bruce that is, the summer Don Henley and Bruce Hornsby released The End of the Innocence.






The way the story most often gets told, Marvin Gaye with i>What s Going On (1971) liberated himself from Motown s formulaic method of music-making and achieved total artistic independence, whereupon the music if not, to be sure, the man himself went on to live happily ever after. But the story gets told incompletely, because What s Going On was only the start of it it was how Gaye leveraged the potential for his independence, but it wasn t how he ventured out and completely seized that independence. To tell that story, you have to tell about Trouble Man.

It s a story that can now be told more elaborately, with a wonderful fortieth anniversary reissue of the original album, complete with some newly released material and a supplementary booklet. Trouble Man is absolutely sui generis within the Marvin Gaye canon for being not only a blaxploitation film soundtrack the only film score he would ever do but for being jazz-based and largely instrumental. The booklet does a commendable job articulating Trouble Man s importance, while the artifact itself sings, as always, with perfect eloquence to the same thing. Except that now it sings even better.





 The punk/ska/reggae outfit The Dingees were nice enough to take the time to share their musical influences with us. Here is a list of their most influential and favorite albums.

-the list