Music Reviews

“alvin_dave”

Dave Alvin

Blackjack David

Hightone

When the time comes to film Cormac McCarthy’s “Border Trilogy,” if Dave Alvin doesn’t do the music, then something’s wrong. Like the best fiction, Blackjack David is more than words and sound. It’s real life. Alvin strikes you as one of those people you see at parties, standing in the corner watching it all. When it comes time to tell what he’s seen, such as on “California Snow” or “From a Kitchen Table,” you are there, eavesdropping on these suddenly real people.

Alvin is best known as one of the Blasters, where he wrote such classics as “Border Radio” and “Marie Marie.” This album finds him in a more mature, country/folk feel. You’d be hard pressed to recognize the frenzied rockabilly rave-up of the Blasters on this record, or the slash and burn guitar style that got Alvin a spot with X. Instead, he creates moments with his songs that really make you sit back and wonder how he built such powerful music out of such simple pieces. The title cut, a traditional tune arranged by Alvin, sounds like it was recorded yesterday, with a touch of a Daniel Lanois airiness in the production. Or maybe it was recorded in Robert Johnson’s hotel room half a century ago. It’s that sort of record. Hightone Records, 220 4th Street, #101, Oakland, CA 94607


Recently on Ink 19...

Greg Hoy

Greg Hoy

Interviews

Fascinated by the arcane world of musical gear, Randy Radic spoke with dyed-in-the-wool gearhead Greg Hoy about his setup on new EP Holy Mother of God, how he produces his unique sound, and a gear-gone-wrong moment.

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson

Event Reviews

Joe Jackson brought his Two Rounds of Racket tour to the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C. on Monday. Bob Pomeroy was in the area and caught the show.

Matías Meyer

Matías Meyer

Interviews

With only a week to go before powerful new feature Louis Riel or Heaven Touches The Earth premieres in the Main Slate at UNAM International Film Festival, Lily and Generoso sat down for an in-depth conversation with the film’s director, Matías Meyer.

Mostly True

Mostly True

Print Reviews

Carl F. Gauze reviews the fascinating Mostly True: The West’s Most Popular Hobo Graffiti Magazine, a chronicle of forgotten outsider subculture.

The Tin Star

The Tin Star

Screen Reviews

Anthony Mann’s gorgeous monochrome western, The Tin Star, may have been shot in black and white, but its themes are never that easily defined.