Category Archives: Pop

Give A Damn

Spanky & Our Gang, John V. Lindsay and the counterculture meet in the whirlwind of 1968

by Marshall Bowden

1968, the summer of the New York Urban Coalition’s ‘Give a Damn’ campaign was much different than that of 1967. The summer of love rose in a giant puffy cloud over the San Franciso Bay area and wafted out across the country. But now that cloud was turning darker.

For Spanky and Our Gang, a Chicago-based pop music group whose music helped spawn the sun-drenched subgenre ‘sunshine pop,’ as for many Americans, it turned into the year.

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10cc Album cover

10cc: Art For Art’s Sake

10CC was one of those bands that were simply too clever for their own good. Once they had established themselves as a band of gifted songwriters with a knack for puns and a slightly warped sense of humor as well as instrumentalists who could play in almost any popular musical style, their more genuine, pop-oriented work was viewed with suspicion. Yet those lured in by the pop songs could never quite warm up to the group’s cynical humor and offbeat musical styling.

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Joni Mitchell’s Career Retrospective Travelogue

Joni Mitchell’s career has been a long one, with many twists and turns. It was effectively brought to a close by her 2015 brain aneurysm, from which she continues to rehabilitate. 2019 has seen the celebration of Mitchell’s 75th birthday by a stellar group of songwriters and performers. In 2002 Mitchell released Travelogue, a retrospective of songs from throughout Mitchell’s career arranged and orchestrated by Vince Mendoza and produced by Mitchell and Larry Klein. This article discusses Travelogue in the context of Joni Mitchell’s career and its place as ‘Mitchell’s last album’, as she told Rolling Stone in 2002.

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Susheela Raman: Ghost Gamelan

Susheela Raman doesn’t think much of borders. Born in London to South Indian parents but raised in Australia, her musical career has been all about bringing together people, cultures, ideas, and sounds to create her own musical voice. She’s worked with musicians from South and South East Asia, Africa, Greece, Turkey, and North Africa on previous releases such as Music For Crocodiles and Vel. So it doesn’t seem at all odd that for her latest album, Ghost Gamelan, she has worked with gamelan musicians from Java.

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