Arsenio Orteza

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Notable recent releases

Music
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 9/27/17, 05:33 pm

It’s All Over Now

Brinsley Schwarz

In lieu of new music from Nick Lowe, there’s this previously-not-officially-released swan song of the group in which he cut his chops. It’s just as well that it didn’t come out when new. Its mixture of romantic ballads, dry wit, golden oldies, and sock-hop silliness would’ve surely puzzled the mid-1970s masses. “Cruel to Be Kind” probably would’ve too. Four years later, slowed down and echoed up, it wowed ’em but good. There really is such a thing as being ahead of one’s time.

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Mark Humphrey/AP

Assured and reassuring

Music | Remembering the ‘Gentle Giant’ Don Williams
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 9/21/17, 01:27 pm

On Sept. 8, emphysema claimed the country singer Don Williams. He was 78.

Williams began his 50-year career as a member of the Pozo-Seco Singers, a Corpus Christi folk trio configured along the lines of Peter, Paul & Mary. He sang lead on their first Top 40 hit (“I Can Make It with You”) and co-lead on their last (“Look What You’ve Done”). Their album covers identified him as “Donnie.”  

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Noteworthy recent albums

Music
by Arsenio Orteza
Posted 9/12/17, 12:07 am

Paranormal

Alice Cooper

If you’re compiling a best-of from Cooper’s last 25 years, check out “Fireball,” sure-footed hard rock sung with minimal histrionics from the point of view of those who’ve foolishly dismissed talk of the fire next time. Next, try “Private Public Breakdown,” the only “theatrical” number in which Cooper doesn’t resort to cartoonish condescension to bridge the distance between himself and the characters he portrays. Last, try “The Sound of A,” a spooky slice of psychedelia that Cooper wrote 50 years ago then forgot about until now.

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