All posts by D L Lewis

Adventure Beyond by Starflight

Adventure Beyond

Starflight
Contemporary, Pop
Self-release, distributed by Mondo
www.starflightband.net
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

This is an album of pure pop music joy. From its highly produced opening track – the uncharacteristic single Phasers on Stun, though to the album closer, Starship Take Me Home, the overwhelming emotion is the joy of making music. A vague science fiction feel bookends it, but the body of the album is very… continue reading »


Dakshin Khun (Southern Man)

Post by , April 1st, 2014

This is one of the most evocative albums I’ve heard this year. The opening track, Altain Magdal evokes that area of Asia stretching from Nepal to China. It will be a challenging album for some: the vocals are Mongolian throat singing – a guttural, seemingly toneless sound, with a remarkable range. However, we hear a… continue reading »


Daramad

Post by , April 1st, 2014

This beautifully presented CD explores a fusion of traditional Middle Eastern music, Eastern European music, Asian music and a soupcon (maybe a little more) of western jazz. Daramad are, let’s get this out of the way, musicians of skill and nuance. Western instruments such as the guitar and clarinet mix beautifully with ‘world’ instruments such… continue reading »


In Black and White

In black and white

Tango Saloon (featuring Elana Stone)
Contemporary
Newmarket Music
www.thetangosaloon.com
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

This is a single: two songs. The Tango Saloon is an experimental tango group, which describe its work as ‘tango meets spaghetti western’ though, as it admits, it’s a bit more eclectic than that. The A-side (I guess – it’s a CD) is a dramatic tango, with Elana Stone’s vocals giving the right type of… continue reading »


Smile by The Idea of North

Smile

The Idea of North
A cappella, Jazz
ABC Records
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

James Morrison, in his liner notes to this album states, baldly and with good reason, ‘A cappella is different’. The Idea of North have been around for two decades (can it really be that long?), showing exactly how a cappella is different. A cappella needs a few elements to get it to work. You don’t… continue reading »


Stories of Ghosts

Deborah Conway and Willy Zygier
Contemporary, Rock
Intercorps/MGM, 2012
Reviewed by , March 1st, 2014

I conclude this review on the day that Australian female rock icon, Chrissy Amphlett died. There is a slight synchronicity – Deborah Conway, like Chrissy Amphlett, appeared and thrived in a male dominated industry, in no way kowtowing to sexist assumptions of what women in rock should be. Deborah Conway has carved out a unique… continue reading »


The Bee Gees: The Biography

The Bee Gees: The Biography

David N Meyer
Biography, Books
North Sydney: Ebury Books, Random House, 2013, 319pp.
ISBN 978 1 74275 157 (pbk)
Reviewed by , March 2nd, 2014

The Bee Gees are one of the great enigmas of popular music – nothing seems to be consistent. Unfairly derided, they are among the world’s biggest selling acts: only the Beatles, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Garth Brooks outsell them. Yet, they tend to remain forgotten, although the nostalgia plaguing modern culture currently (see Reynolds, S, Retromania:… continue reading »


The Youngs: The brothers who built AC/DC

Jesse Fink
Biography, Books
North Sydney, Ebury Press, a division of Random House, 2013, 313 pages
ISBN 1 74275 979 1
www.randomhouse.com.au
Reviewed by , April 1st, 2014

  Writing a book on AC/DC is difficult. The achievements are immense. The second biggest selling rock album of all time: Back in Black(only beaten by Michael Jackson’s Thriller, according to most sales statistics). A live act which remains energetic and vital into their sixties. A signature sound that is easily copied, but never duplicated…. continue reading »


About D L Lewis

D L Lewis lectures in academic studies at the Australian Institute of Music. His lecturing interests are popular music, roots music and popular culture. He is also a mandolinist, guitarist and bassist in various bands with a musical experience spreading over 20 years.

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