Charlie Bertsch / 22 Sep 2022

On Being A Fan

Growing Older With Pavement

As the first chiming notes of Pavement’s “Grounded” rang out, I leaned into my friend. “This is my favourite.” Although a huge fan herself, with her interior décor and a large tattoo to prove it, she looked up at me, quizzically. “Really?”(...)
Charlie Bertsch / 08 Sep 2022

France in Revolt

Maudit Dragon on Punk

Maudit Dragon’s eponymously-titled debut demonstrates what happens when a band stubbornly pursues its artistic vision without worrying about whether it might be out of step with the times.(...)

Charlie Bertsch / 17 Aug 2022

Egypt on Drugs

Mutate, by ABADIR

ABADIR’s Mutate is a remarkable achievement, both for its adroit fusion of divergent cultural traditions and the way in which it renders such descriptions irrelevant.(...)

Charlie Bertsch / 06 Jul 2022

Working Through History

Folk on Acid, by OOPUS

If you stumbled upon Estonian band OOPUS at a festival, where many different acts are on the schedule, it might take you a few minutes to realize how special they are.(...)

Charlie Bertsch / 01 Jun 2022

Germany’s Long 1960s

Punkt, by Faust

For the first twenty seconds, the opening track of Faust’s “new” album Punkt conjures a soft, roomy soundscape, like most of the material they have released since their partial reunion in the 1990s.(...)

Charlie Bertsch / 27 Apr 2022

The Dark Side of Alternative

Tucson’s Whole Enchilada Benefit

When it happened, I’d finally decided to move forward through the crowd, loosely grouped in front of the outdoor stage at Tucson’s iconic Hotel Congress. Beloved local band Sidewinders, the penultimate act at this Whole Enchilada benefit show, was already playing their third number. But I still hadn’t committed myself to the experience.(...)

Charlie Bertsch / 09 Mar 2022

Ukraine Crisis Playlist

Mooncup, by wetcatsmell

I was hiking my favourite trail, timing my passage from one boulder to another to the pulsing rhythms of wetcatsmell’s debut album Mooncup, when I suddenly had to stop: the music, my legs, the entire process of trying to go through the motions of everyday life.(...)

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