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Don McLeese


  • The Healing of Daniel Johnston

    Sonic Youth and Kurt Cobain were fans. A look at how the singer-songwriter became a beyond-underground musical hero

    • Music
  • Straight On Till Morning

    As an invitation to musical adventure, Blues Traveler have never offered better than "Great Big World," the eighth song on the sprawlingly ambitious 13-cut Straight On Till Morning. While the tune retains the trademark blasts of John Popper's nuclear-strength harmonica, the hardedged riffing of guitarist Chan Kinchla and the rhythmic limberness of drummer Brendan Hill […]

    • Music
  • Last Day on Earth

    Although John Cale's reputation has been inextricably linked with (and often overshadowed by) Lou Reed's since the two men founded the Velvet Underground, it is fitting that his most frequent collaborator on the Seducing Down the Door compilation is Brian Eno. Over the past couple of decades, the two have had few peers as rock […]

    • Music

    Since the Velvet Underground were never much for historical reverence, it comes as a relief — and a kick — to hear the band playing fast and loose with their legacy on this reunion-concert album. Despite the mock (I trust) portentousness of the Roman numeral in the title, the Underground refuse to succumb to the […]

    • Music
  • Human Wheels

    John Mellencamp hits hardest when he leads with his heart instead of his head. While his material was rarely as dumb as his detractors suggested back in the Cougar days, his more self-consciously ambitious songcraft of recent years occasionally suffers from thematic overreach. At their best, however, the powerhouse performances by Mellencamp and band reduce […]

    • Music
  • 1992 in Country Music

    Did Nashville's crossover dreams come true at the expense of its soul

    • Music
  • Goin' Back To New Orleans

    Though his career has stretched from session musicianship to gris-gris psychedelia and supper-club standards, the music of Dr. John has never strayed far from its roots. And those roots have never been more joyously, bawdily or playfully celebrated than they are on this album. A sequel of sorts to Gumbo (1972), Goin' Back to New […]

    • Music
  • On Every Street

    Five years ago, Dire Straits was threatening to become the biggest band in the world — and/or an extended arena-rock cliché — when Mark Knopfler whipped off his headband, put down his guitar and hopped off the "money for nothing, chicks for free" treadmill. After an extended hiatus, Knopfler has made an album that falls […]

    • Music
  • Vagabond Heart

    On Vagabond Heart, rodeo drive intersects Gasoline Alley. Though the album's production shows typical signs of conspicuous consumption, the strength of the songs and the depth of Stewart's conviction make this his most compelling work since the early Seventies. Rather than attempting to bring his career full circle — inevitably an exercise in return-to-form nostalgia […]

    • Music
  • The Neighborhood

    In a period when grace is a rare commodity in popular music, the new Los Lobos album, The Neighborhood, soars with it. Songs such as "Angel Dance," "Little John of God," "Deep Dark Hole" and "The Giving Tree" sound like secular hymns, a tribute to the soul-deep songwriting of David Hidalgo and Louis Peréz. The […]

    • Music