Album Review: Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt Reflects the Past and Present

Pearl Jam released Lightning Bolt on Tuesday, their 10th studio album and first in four years. The Seattle-based grunge-rockers chart a bit of new territory on Lightning Bolt and take an almost drastic departure from 2009’s effort Backspacer and much of its predecessors. Whereas Backspacer and 2006’s self-titled Pearl Jam give an almost immediate satisfying listen with mostly quick-paced songs Lightning Bolt as a whole slows the tempo a bit and offers more substance than the sometimes repetitive guitar chords and loud, 1-2 punch crashing percussion oft displayed on previous albums. Pearl Jam Lightning Bolt Review The first three tracts … Continue reading Album Review: Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt Reflects the Past and Present

Album Review: Rush Hemispheres on SACD

Hemispheres, Rush’s last album featuring a sidelong title track, is the latest to receive Audio Fidelity’s remastered touch on the SACD format. It was originally scheduled for release in August but got it’s due last week, not to coincidentally when Vapor Trails received new life with a complete remix overhaul. Hemispheres, released in 1978, in many respects represents the final sound of what would define 1970s Rush. The album represented the third and last of the band’s concept albums that included one song divided into sections. (Rush took another 34 years to release a concept album, Clockwork Angels, but without … Continue reading Album Review: Rush Hemispheres on SACD

Concert Review: Pet Shop Boys Celebrate First Ever Stop in Portland

The Pet Shop Boys stopped in Portland for the first time in their notable 30-plus year career on Friday night at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and celebrated keyboardist Chris Lowe’s birthday in style with a 23-song set that lasted 100 minutes but was so engaging and entertaining it felt like half that. The British pop duo who, like many synth-heavy bands, found fame in the 1980s with hits like “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” and “It’s a Sin” dazzled with a spectacular lights and laser show. At times the evening felt much less concert and more of … Continue reading Concert Review: Pet Shop Boys Celebrate First Ever Stop in Portland