Pink Floyd — “Moonhead”

The Moon Landing Inspired Pink Floyd’s Most Overlooked Song

A bluesy, atmospheric piece that the band improvised live on the air during the Apollo 11 mission deserves to be more than a footnote of musical history.

Over the decades, “Moonhead” has remained one of the most overlooked entries in the band’s canon, despite its historic status. Pink Floyd was commissioned by the BBC to perform instrumental music live on the air as the Apollo 11 crew’s video and audio signals came streaming in across the emptiness of space, beating the Soviets at the race that had been spurred on by John F. Kennedy’s rousing moonshot speech in 1962.

Pink Floyd was uniquely qualified for the task.

What are the Hidden Talents and Skills Behind Our Favorite Music Stars?

Photo by Roger Woolman / CC.3.0

When it comes to music, you can’t beat a hypnotic bass line or an electrifying drum solo, something that songwriters and musicians take pride in delivering the best of the best to create songs that can live on forever. However, did you know that as well as making some incredible music that some of our favorite musicians and singers have many other strings to their bows in the shape of some not-so-secret skills that you may not have necessarily known?

Photo by Campus Party Brasil / CC BY 2.0

When you think of Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden, you think of a rock legend, but as well as flying high in the charts, Bruce also flies high in the skies, too, as a qualified pilot. After having a trial flying lesson in Florida, Bruce got the “flying bug,” and he now could be your pilot on your next private flight!

Are you impressed? As well as being a pilot and a rock legend, Bruce is also a talented fencer, too, and historically, Great Britain’s seventh-best fencer.

Rock stars have a reputation for their outrageous acts and outlandish behavior, so you may be surprised to learn that these days, Blur bassist Alex James has swapped his wellies from performing at Glastonbury to wearing his wellies on his own cheese farm. Alex has dedicated a significant amount of his time to developing his dairy range, and, in fact, you might be surprised to know that his own brand of cheese was voted “Best Goats Cheese” at the 2008 Cheese Awards.

What goes quite well with cheese? Wine, of course! If there ever was a dream collaboration, then for sure Alex should do this with the American rock band Train, who have developed their own brand of wine. They developed the Save Me range in conjunction with the San Francisco Wine company. There are links to their songs in their wine range, which includes a red wine named after their top hit, “Drops of Jupiter.”

As well as achievements in the food and beverage industry, many of our favorite singers and musicians also demonstrate their talents in other areas. Singer-songwriter and musician Imani Coppola is also a talented artist and has seen her work exhibited in New York. Imani is not alone when it comes to talented musicians who paint. The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood and Bob Dylan are both incredible artists, and the late great David Bowie was also a prestigious painter and sculptor, too. Rock legends The Eagles are a celebrated band all over the world for their incredible back catalog, which includes possibly their best-known hit, the legendary “Hotel California.” As well as being a great lyricist, Glenn Frey developed quite the reputation for his card skills and often used to participate in games of poker. According to legend, Glenn, along with Don Henley, were “avid card players,” playing on a regular basis — not necessarily in their own homes, but elsewhere in the likes of tour buses, hotel rooms and even backstage at concerts.

One other singer known for his poker playing hobby was Lemmy, who was the lead singer of Motörhead. His band created the “Ace of Spades,” which is an absolute rock classic and widely considered to be a song that inspires professional poker players before a game.

These musical stars reinforce that, in fact, regardless of age, that it is never too late to try and learn something new or indeed develop existing talent. It also demonstrates that age should never be a barrier to starting a new career. Hands up for those who want to become a prog-rock musician as a new career! It would mean we would have to review your album, though! Still interested in changing your life? Form an orderly queue now!

A Conversation with Jimmy Keegan and John Boegehold of Pattern-Seeking Animals


Pattern-Seeking Animals is a new project with current and former Spock’s Beard members Ted Leonard (Guitar and Vocals), Jimmy Keegan (Drums), Dave Meros (bass) and Spock’s long-time contributing songwriter John Boegehold (Keys and Producer). Their self-titled debut album is now available in CD, vinyl, and digital formats.  I had the pleasure to speak with both Jimmy and John not only about their new music, but about the state of music today.  Everything is covered here- from K-Pop to Prog, Imagine Dragons to The Beatles, and from Thai food to spaghetti.

Here’s an audio snippet of John and Jimmy discussing new vs. old technology in music-


How did Pattern-Seeking Animals come to be?

JOHN-   It essentially started off as a recording project. I had a couple songs I’ve been working on.  Originally I had programmed drums and I thought it would be cool to go into the studio and have Jimmy put down some drum tracks, just for something, because I get sick of programming drums sometimes. In the time between I scheduled the session and the session about 6 weeks later, I came up with a few more tunes. So I asked Jimmy to see if he wanted to work on a whole project and he was into it. I talked to Dave and Ted about it, and then it just snowballed pretty quickly into an actual group.

Did most of the songs come into the studio already written, or was a lot of the album created in the studio?

JOHN-   The only thing we recorded in the studio were the drums, everyone else contributed from their home studios. Some of the material existed before all this- some were several years old that didn’t make it on a Spock’s record, a couple I didn’t submit to them. The rest were written for the album. Essentially they’re all new. At any given time I have a folder with, I don’t know, 60, 70, 80 different ideas- like 30 second of me strumming a guitar and bleating out a melody. “Oh maybe I’ll use that someday.” So when I start to write for a project, I’ll go back into the folder and listen to it- most of the time, I’m like “Oh this is crap, I don’t want to use this.”  But every once and while, I’ll think “Oh this is kind cool! Maybe I’ll build a song around that.”  I think the only one made from entirely from scratch was “Orphans of the Universe”.

So there were some tracks that were supposed to be part of a Spock’s Beard album?

JOHN-  More or less some bits. For an example, “These are My Things”-  There was a version of it a couple years ago that we tried in the studio and everyone was feeling it differently. So I said screw it and completely rewrote it.  The only original thing that exists in the current version are the lyrics and I think the melody in the verse. The chorus, the bridge, and everything else is totally different.  “No One Ever Died and Made me King” was a song Dave I wrote years ago and we tried to get it on a Spock’s record, but the guys didn’t want to do it for whatever reason. Again the melody and lyrics are the same, but a lot of the instrumentals are different on that one.  I didn’t want to have it exactly the way it would have been as a Spock Beard song because obviously there are different players with a different approach.

JIMMY- I think subliminally part of the reason I’m even involved with this project is that every time John would submit 5 tunes to Spock’s thing, there would be 2 songs that were dripping with Spock’s. And there would always be 1 or 2  songs that would be quirky or left of center and those were the ones I would embrace. For whatever reason it was too removed from anything Spock’s had done. My attitude is that’s the direction we should be going, removing ourselves from wherever we have been or where they had been.

JOHN-  Yeah, there always seemed to be a split within the group, and since I wasn’t in the group, I had no say as far as the direction and what kind of material should be done. And whether it’s Spock’s or anything else, I’m always in the camp of moving forward, try different things, different influences, don’t get too comfortable in your sound, because I just know as a listener, 2 or 3 albums of an artist or band doing essentially the same thing, it gets really tedious for me.

When I listened to your album, I was surprised at how it really wasn’t too Spock’s Beardy, if I may use that as an adjective. It has some little Spock’s flourishes here and there, but for the most part, I thought it sounded pretty fresh and original. Did you guys make an active effort to get away from that style?  Did you find yourself in the studio saying “That sounds too Spocky, let’s tone that down”?

JOHN-  From a writing stand point, absolutely . When I was writing for Spock’s, and it started sounding like Kansas or Genesis or Yes, I would tend to go with it, because Spock’s fans would like these influences. In this group, if things start to go in that direction, or sound like a Spock’s tune, I shy away from them. I have so many other influences and things I’d like try with this that I couldn’t with Spock’s or other groups because they have their narrow lane of things they’d like to do, for better or worse. There’s always that argument with groups that you don’t want to piss off the fans and do something totally different, but on the other hand you want to try to attract a new audience.

I heard that you guys are already working on a second album, is that right?

JOHN-  Yes, the whole thing is written and we’ve recorded Jimmy over at Rich’s (Mouser) a couple months ago.  Yeah, Dave and Tim have already been recording parts.

Wow! You guys waste no time! Is there going to be a different approach to this album, either in the style or how you’re recording it?

JOHN-  Yeah, it’s a pretty different approach. There are somethings that are similar in terms of overall sound, but it’s got a different… well what do you think Jimmy?

JIMMY-  (Laughs) When I heard the first demo he posted, I almost jumped up and down in my chair, because this was nothing like the first album. I’ve been doing this for 40 years- I’d like to think that I have a voice. Ted has a voice in a literal sense and Dave is an unbelievably defined bass player, John writes the songs, and Rich does the sounds- When you throw all those things in a basket, you’re going to have similarities because of all of our voices but other that we’re making a left turn while everyone is probably expecting a right turn.

JOHN-  Yeah, if everyone likes the first album, who knows, everyone might listen to the next one and go “This sucks, what are they doing!?” (laughs) But to me, it’s always more important to just write cool stuff and I figure if we like it, the fans will like it.

Is there a plan to do live shows or a tour?

JOHN-  Yes, the plan is there, it’s just logistics.

JIMMY-  Yeah, it’s managing the concept of a new project, managing the concept of a genre of music that has a limited fan base. When you have a new band, it’s just about fighting to get in, the time, the locations. It’s weird- most other genres of music, the band tours and then the album comes out. The tour is promotion for something that’s coming or something that just came out. Prog is the odd occasion where people want to know what it is first. Nothing’s announced yet, but we’re working on a couple of festivals and we hope to get that solidified shortly.

JOHN-  Yeah, the album just came out, so people are still discovering us, but there is already some interest and we’ll just see where it goes.

You guys have worked with engineer/mixer Rich Mouser a multitude of times now. What elements did he bring to the album?

JIMMY-  Rich, besides being a great engineer in the technical sense and having a studio with a great sound to it, he’s also a very creative guy, so his input and response to the things we’re doing always has an influence and his influence is strong, even when we’re just recording the drums. And the drums are the first to go down, then everyone has to respond to me. So it’s not only a technical conversation, but also an artistic conversation.

JOHN-  I remember reading an interview with The Police, years ago, and they were asked why don’t they have a producer and essentially they said “We know what we want, so what we need is an enlightened engineer.” Which is basically what Rich is. He’s not just someone who can turn the knobs, but he has great ears. After all the parts are in there- I’m thinking this part is going to be more keyboard heavy, he might say, “You know what? This part has a really cool guitar part, it should be higher in the mix” and I usually go with him on that stuff, cause he’s more objective and has that kind of ear.




What’s your favorite track on the album?

JIMMY-  “Ghosts Stories” because it’s the most unusual. I know the rest of the record has these elements that will attract prog fans. The songs on the record that I like are the ones that don’t.  (laughs). Let’s sort of play the Peter Gabriel game. Everyone associates Peter Gabriel with Genesis so they qualify him as a prog artist. But he hasn’t made a prog record since his first solo album. Everything he makes are basically pop records, but with really intelligent lyrics and beautiful composed and produced. It’s also like Jellyfish, or David Bowie, other artists that prog fans embrace, not because they are prog rock but because they’re great. So I’m looking for THAT song.  “Ghost Stories” tells an interesting story and you can visualize it as it’s passing through and we went different directions sonically and tried new things- for me it’s just the one that hits all my bells.  This is an odd album for me, because I really enjoyed the whole record. With this album I was just more invested and I find myself wanting to listen to it as if someone gave me the record.

JOHN-  I don’t know if I have a favorite. By the time it gets recorded, I don’t want to say I’m sick of everything, but I’m just worn out on it. Like right now, when I’m talking to you or talking to other interviewers, my head is 100% in the second album, and I even have a folder on my iTunes that is labeled Pattern-Seeking Animals 3 with a few ideas in that one. If I look back at it, for me it’s more about moments; things that came together. In “Fall Away”, Ted’s solo when he goes into the key change and he hits that high C or whatever he hits, that worked out so perfectly. I’m more of a songwriter/producer nerd, so when I hear things that impressed me that were pulled off, I’m more happy with that stuff than maybe a whole song.

Any song impress you the most, from the writing process to its completed recording?

JOHN-  Probably “The Same Mistakes Again”, which was originally about a one-minute chunk out of “Stars Along the Way”, which was something else Dave and I started writing for Spock’s around when Nick was in the band.  It was really different than what it is now. And I eventually kept adding to it and changing it, and I could never get it to work. There was a version of it that I submitted to Spock’s for the last record, but for various reasons, we won’t get into it, it didn’t happen. And I just tore this song down to its basics and wrote a whole new bunch of sections. So with “The Same Mistakes Again” I took the verse and part of the chorus which was just a chord progression with just one vocal line, I thought it would make it’s own really cool song, so I pulled it out of there. Ted said, but I really like it in “Stars Along the Way”, but I said “No, trust me, it’ll be its own cool song.”  So I was really happy with how the whole thing turned out exactly as I hoped it would.



Apart from the band, what else are you guys working on?

JOHN-  This is my everything at the moment, at least for the next few years. Every once in a while a friend will go “Let’s go write a song”, a country song or whatever. Or if someone calls me up and asks me to score some low budget movie, great I’ll do it, because I have this company I work for occasionally where I can do it in a weekend and make some ok money. So stuff like that, but overall, this is it for me.

JIMMY-  I’m slated to go out with Robert Berry and the gang and do the 3.2 tour in September and October. And I’m still working on my own record… it will happen. I keep dumping all this money into doing something for our house and I keep thinking, wait, I could’ve just put that 10 grand into this record and I’d be done. But when the 3.2 thing was thrown on the table, I was like, “Yes! I can!”

What have you been listening to lately, any new favorite artists or bands?

JOHN-  I listen to…   (JIMMY laughs in the back ground)  Here’s the thing- I listen to so many different types of music. I listen to a ton of pop. I listen to K-pop, I listen to J-pop. I like poppy happy driving music you don’t have to think too much about.

JIMMY-  (sings) Hey Hey We’re The Monkees!

JOHN-  Yeah, I liked The Monkees more than The Beatles when I was a kid, but that’s me. Because I’m such a production nerd, I sit there with a lot of current pop stuff with my headphones on, and listen to all the production stuff for good ideas. A lot of EDM stuff.  On the prog end of it, not too much. But when I started working on Pattern-Seeking Animals, I thought, “I wonder what’s out there in the prog world.”  So I listened to some prog radio stations and there’s definitely interesting stuff out there. I love Big Big Train. Opeth has a new one coming out which I’m excited about. Anything Roine (Stolt) comes out with, Flower Kings or what not, I like; I just like the way his mind works, as a writer and producer and everything. A group I’m really into right now, is Manchester Orchestra.

How about you Jimmy? What have you been listening to?

JIMMY-  St. Vincent.  I went to see Paula Cole a little while ago and she blew me away. I’m similar to John in a sense where each button in the stereo of my car has nothing to do with the next one. The session I was doing right before Nick asked me to join Spock’s Beard, was with a guy named Rahsaan Patterson, a neo-soul artist- although he hates that title. I was doing those kind of records and finding myself counting in 7 and 11 and stuff like that. I’m trying to listening to anything that can spin my head as much as possible. I like…. um… what’s the band’s name?

JOHN-  Twenty-One Pilots

JIMMY-  Haha, yeah, I like what I’ve heard from them.  A lot of the pop stuff I feel is getting a lot of play- I can give them all the same note. Stop trying so hard to get my attention! Let the SONG get my attention. I like it when people have interesting voices or when I hear a great musician play but when it sounds like your forcing it, then I say “Shhhhhh!” I want to hear the song! But your noodling thing, whether it’s a guitar thing, keyboard thing, or vocal thing, if it’s distracting me from what you’re saying, then you’re going to far. Stop trying to produce every note. So that’s pop music for me now. It’s too swimming in production. It feels like we’re in 1984, when MIDI hit, and the DX-7 took over. There was a lot of technical innovation but not a lot of music, as much as I love Trevor Horn. (laughs) Oh, Imagine Dragons was the band I was trying to think of.

Ah! I honestly cannot stand them.

JIMMY-  I APPRECIATE them. There’s a weird trend in pop music that I’m having a tough time with.  Bernie Taupin was giving an interview while they were touring around promoting the movie and he mentioned something that was fascinating. There were only three singles from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.  Back in that day, it really wasn’t expected to have more singles on an album. You’d have your lead single, and if it did well, you’d have a second single. And if THAT did well, you’d release a third. By the time you released the third, you’d already finish the next record. So even though they had this huge inspiration slam putting out this double record, by the time they released their third single, Caribou was done. So that’s three singles off one of the best albums of all time, if not my favorite album.  So what I’m getting at, is that we’re not in album-based sales anymore; people are just putting out songs. I looked at the charts a couple months ago, and saw that Drake was at #1, #4, #6, he was #9- in the Top 40 he had like eight songs. One of these hip-hop artists, released the whole record-  he said, these are the singles, and he released them all on the same day.  So while I appreciate the innovation, I have a tough time keeping up with it- I’m like “Wait, WHAT am I supposed to listen to? It’s just a weird psycho market out there. And I love it and hate it all at the same time.

JOHN-  I’ve just accepted it. I’ve given up. You still have people arguing that streaming is killing music. C’mon, grow-up! When we record over at Rich’s place, Rich says something like “We’re trying to get that Drama sound by Yes.”  Haha, can we have a reference from this century please?  I’ve joked with Jimmy, “Yeah that sounds great like Abacab!”  I mean, I love all that great stuff, but things change. When I talk to people and they say they like pop music too, I know what they’re going to say next. “Oh yeah I like Crowded House, and Squeeze, and Supertramp.”  Those are oldies at this point. If we’re talking about pop music, pop is what’s happening now. I think there is some great stuff out there, as good as stuff now as there ever has been. But I know, I’m an oddball for my age, trust me. I get teased by my friends all the time, because if you look at my iTunes, I could be a 17 year old Asian girl.

          When I was a teenager listening to music, you would always go to prog, a new Genesis or a new Yes album, to hear all the new cool technology, latest synth sounds, the latest production ideas. Prog was always at the forefront of all that stuff and somewhere along the way, that changed completely. Now all the new stuff is in EDM, dance, and pop stuff, and that’s where I go for all the cutting edge synth sounds and production ideas. There’s nothing wrong with using the old B3, Mellotron, or whatever, but there’s so much great stuff that has come out since then. Listen to Zedd, an EDM artist- stick on some headphones sometime and put on the album True Colors.  Some of the synth work on there is phenomenal.  And some of that new pop stuff and K-pop- it’s all cutting edge synth work and I wish that more prog acts would embrace it, because there is such a bigger pallet of colors out there when it comes to sounds of synths, keyboards, and guitars.

JIMMY-  I think that Steven Wilson is at the forefront of a lot of things, he’s not just surviving off of the prog crowd. Young people like him because he’s embracing everything that’s contemporary and he’s writing lyrics that are relevant to people today. His fans include teenagers and girls. How novel!

JOHN-  What a concept! (laughs)

What are some of your pet peeves?

JIMMMY-  Oh my, I have lots of them. (laughs)

JOHN-  It looks like you opened up a can of worms there!

JIMMY-  That’s a big-ass can!

JOHN-  I’ll start! I’ll keep it to music. It goes back to what we were talking about. My pet peeve is musicians who automatically dismiss anything which is happening by younger players. Anyone that says, “Oh they’re just kids, they don’t know what they’re doing, no one writes good music these days, there’s no good songs out there.” I just don’t like that attitude. It drives me crazy.

OK, Jimmy, how about just one or two things- it doesn’t have to be about music.

JIMMY-  My pet peeve is people with a lack of empathy. Musically, I’m not too far off from what John was saying. I hate recycled music. I hate that everyone wants to keep doing the same thing over and over again. The Beatles were all in their 20’s, like 21, 22 when they kicked into gear. When the Beatles ended, they were still in their 20s. And this is one of the most defining bands in history. So if you look at age and judge anything by age, you’re completely dismissing the greatest music that ever happened.

JOHN-  Yeah, and when I was teenager, Genesis and Yes were only a few years older than me and they were putting out some of the most fantastic music ever. A lot of players might keep on coming out with great music, but as far as actually progressing and turning out new things, a lot of musicians just get locked in to what they’ve always done.

Is there a musician you haven’t got a chance to work with, but would like to?

JIMMY-  Yeah, Peter Gabriel! I can retire after that! I would love to work with Sting. My old buddy [Josh Freese] is working with him instead. Whatever! I’m not jealous!  Also St. Vincent- I would love to do something with her. I would love to collaborate with some of these EDM synth artists- ya know working on some of the instrumental stuff and see what happens. A lot of these DJs will put drummers on stage, but it’s really more just for color. I would love to get deeper in the whole game with some of these synth guys, and incorporate acoustic, electric, new, old, any kind of instrumentation and do an album that has no rules.

How about you John, any artist you’d like to either produce, or write for, or play with?

JOHN-  No.  I mean there are a ton of people I respect, but I don’t know how I would interact with other artists. I’m more of producer and writer and I just prefer to do my own stuff. I don’t have bucket list, let’s put it like that, because a lot of times I think what sounds like a good idea on paper, I’m not sure how it would actually work out. For an example, let’s say Kerry Livgren, who I have ultimate respect for, if something were to put us together to write something, I’d be like “Well, why would he need ME to write something?” I suppose I could come up with something. (laughs) 

What’s your favorite food? 

JOHN-  Free

JIMMY-  That’s right! I’m a musician. I’ll just say spaghetti, that’s what I had for dinner last night. And that’s spaghetti with meat sauce.

JOHN-  Thai food

JIMMY-  I like Thai food too- but John actually GOES to Thailand.

JOHN-  Before I learned the language and had friends over there, I would eat only Pad Thai. But once I started hanging out over there, I learned there’s so much other great food there. A lot of Vietnamese food is really good too.

Did you feel the earthquakes?

JOHN-  The first one happened when I was recording the acoustic guitar part for one of the new songs. And when the second one happened, I was recording acoustic guitar on the exact same song. Coincidence? I think not.

Anything else about the album you’d like to say to the Progarchy readers?

JOHN-  I hope you like it!

Get a hold of their album and find out more about Pattern-Seeking Animals at

Ancient Empire: Wings of the Fallen

67171265_2461857220754940_7734590682475528192_nAncient Empire’s new album will come out from Stormspell in early or mid-August.

This nifty preview of its cover art (above) suggests a sincere metal homage to Judas Priest’s Sad Wings of Destiny and Angel of Retribution.

Also, check out the previous track from Ancient Empire with a “wings” theme — namely, “Wings of Steel” (one of my favorites) from When Empires Fall.

Rock on, Ancient Empire!

Premiere: Experimental Rockers KALIKA Launch “Data Religion” EP


Maastricht, the Netherlands-based experimental rock quartet Kalika are releasing their sophomore EP “Data Religion” via Progarchy. Stream the EP in full below.

Named after the Hindu goddess Kali, on “Data Religion” Kalika tackle the theme of technology as a tool which can manipulate people pretty effectively. Singer and guitarist Prannay Sastry previously commented: “Today, personal data is freely available to the big data hoarders and is regularly misused. The EP examines a world in which things have gone wrong and there is a divide between the haves and have-nots of all this data. This divide is one of ownership – the data horders own the have-nots, leaving them powerless.

Kalika - Data Religion

Transferring a myriad of emotions through the six-track release, Kalika depicts the moments of darkness, happiness, as well as melancholy. About the EP’s flow, Sastry had to say the following:

We wanted to subvert the narrative arc that a lot of albums have by starting with the darker songs and ending on a lighter note. We carefully curated the order and the flow of the tracks so that the listener can go on their unique journey.

“Data Religion” is out today; stream it below. Follow Kalika on Facebook and Instagram.

Album Review: Lulu Lewis — Genuine Psychic @lululewismusic


Lulu Lewis serves up a refreshingly quirky blend of art rock on Genuine Psychic. It should make many of you sit up and take notice.

Founded by a husband and wife duo — Pablo Martin (Tom Tom Club, The Du-Rites) and Dylan Hundley (Metropolitan) — Lulu Lewis have established themselves as one of New York’s most versatile underground rock bands over the past three years.

Genuine Psychic is their full-length debut album, presenting us with a highly inventive and unique sound. Call it “Harlem Punk Rock” (a blend of post-punk and goth and soul) — because that’s how they describe what they’re doing. And a rebel punk sensibility definitely infuses each of the tracks here in a highly appealing way.

The sound and style of spiffy singer Dylan Hundley will remind many of us of Emily Haines from the superb band Metric. I am a huge fan of Haines and Metric, and therefore I find very much to like here. Genuine Psychic is likewise a musically intelligent and entertaining offering from the similarly-talented Hundley and Lulu Lewis.

There isn’t a bad track on Genuine Psychic. Each one is terrific, and the album gets even catchier the more you listen to it. If you like your pop whip-smart and off-kilter, this is a disc for you. And Pablo Martin’s clever production has hidden depths that reveal themselves on subsequent listens.

The album is extremely well paced, with chill-out tracks like the ironically-named “Moving Fast” followed by great weirdo-groovy rock-out sessions like the hilariously fun “Intelligent Life.”

The album itself debuts this week, and so Lulu Lewis are playing a release show with the Messthetics at Union Pool (Brooklyn, NY), July 12, 7 p.m. (It should be good, but what I really want to see is them do a show in Brooklyn with Cardi B.)

Lulu Lewis balance their sharp insight and dark poeticism with an appealing air of playfulness. Haunting goth-rock tracks live alongside tongue-in-cheek, synth-driven new wave. It’s all connected by a sonic world of snazzy guitars, crispy rhythm, and ironically lo-fi flourishes. Genuine Psychic recalls rock sounds of the Bowery’s grittiest days, with a perspective that builds on the past rather than copy it.

There is much to enjoy here, so try it out, if you truly are musically adventurous and you do want to have some real fun.

Album Review: The Raconteurs — Help Us, Stranger


The new album from The Raconteurs proves yet one more time what a generational talent Jack White is.

Help Us Stranger teams him up once again with Brendan Benson (vocals, guitar), Jack Lawrence (bass guitar), and Patrick Keeler (drums), and this magic combination brings out the supreme best from all of them.

Keeler’s drums, in particular, take this album to a whole new level, infusing the tracks with unstoppable momentum and musicality. His synergy with the violin on the last track “Thoughts and Prayers” is notably jaw-dropping.

The songwriting from Benson and White has a diverse range that assimilates and transcends the genre’s tropes. “Only Child” is just one example of how catchy and witty they can be, with their rock even rising to the level of high art. A clear example is the aforementioned “Thoughts and Prayers.”

The band’s all-around genius is especially exhibited on “Somedays (I Don’t Feel Like Trying),” which takes a melancholy lyric and surrounds it with remarkably uplifting music. The sympathetic listener comes away supercharged to enjoy life at its fullest.

The Raconteurs rock in way that is rarely achieved by other bands, with the indisputable proof found in completely unhinged tracks like “Don’t Bother Me” and “Live a Lie” and “What’s Yours is Mine” and (my album favorite, with White’s trademark whoops of joy) “Sunday Driver.”

Go for a long drive and turn up the volume. One of the best albums of the year. Connaisseurs of exquisite guitar sounds will find much to feast on here.