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Tony Coulter

TONY COULTER was on various radio stations in the New York City area for 25 years, and is also a longtime, if occasional, music writer. Currently he is contributing a biweekly blogpost to WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

Alain Neffe’s Potlatch Music

I’ve generally been ambivalent about the way so many current rock bands are appropriating elements of previously subterranean eighties styles, from postpunk to minimal synth to noise and industrial music. I guess I just don’t believe that the way to be original in 2008 is to copy obscure bands from twenty-five years ago (or forty years ago, for that matter). The good thing about all this retro-ness, however, is that some excellent musicians who were almost completely ignored in the eighties are finally getting attention.

Revenge of the Anti–Mega-Mix

Two pseudonymous British gentlemen lurk behind the “band” name Modern Shit. The first has used various vaguely absurd monikers over the years, including Amos, L. Voag, and Xentos “Fray” Bentos; the other has stuck with one improbable handle: Lepke Buchwater (no doubt meant to echo the name of legendary U.S. crime kingpin Lepke Buchalter).

They're Pseudo, and They're Spectacular

Given the financial disincentives created by the instant downloadability of just about any rare old recording in the age of the MP3, it’s worth celebrating the fact that there are still labels out there releasing nicely packaged and properly remastered reissues.

Toupidek Limonade: Le Phoque a bu l’air (In Poly Sons 1106)

Not too long ago, the concept of “French rock” was pretty much treated as a joke. This may have changed as ye-ye girls and Gallic electronica gained hipster credibility, but much of the really interesting French rock is still largely unknown.

Off the Freak Folk Path

All I knew about Josephine Foster before hearing her latest album was that she was considered part of the neo-hippy “freak folk” scene, along with people like Devendra Banhart.

Brian Wilson Presents Smile

Many Rail readers will already be familiar with the bare outlines of the history of Smile, the legendary lost Beach Boys album. Nonetheless, the background story of Nonesuch’s new release is worth rehashing—in part because some of its frequently repeated elements are debatable.

Elusive Butterfly

Over the last couple of years, I’ve spent more time than I probably should have poking around the music distribution site CD Baby. The secret behind what makes it so interesting is precisely what they would never admit: They take anything, however amateurish, however misguided—and however unrelated to consensus reality.

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The Brooklyn Rail

DEC 19-JAN 20

All Issues