Rhode Island’s Newest Folk Roots Movement

December 22, 2011

Rhode Island is known for interesting music. Whether its the noise bands out of Providence, or the current emergence of folk and bluegrass, the ocean state has a variety of musicians that offer many talents.

Currently, the state is seeing a new wave of bluegrass, alternative country and folk. Some of the best acts include the alt-country sounds of Jeff Byrd and Dirty Finch, the indie folk styling of Andrew Spatz, the nitty-gritty of Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons and bluegrass’ newest talent, Big River Stomp.

Big River Stomp hails from West Greenwich, featuring guitarist James Studley, Jeff Budzinski, Matt Dipinto, and Jesse Burdick on banjo. Each musician brings forth a rich bluegrass background with strong vocal talents. Burdick’s styling on banjo goes from backyard to big stage having shared the stage with well known bluegrass musicians such as Bourbon Boys and String Fingers.

Big River Stomp offers the sounds of traditional bluegrass, as well as the modern sounds of newgrass. Like any good cowboy story, each song tells detailed tales of life.

Big River Stomp is a band not to miss in the folk roots emergence of the smallest state in the union.

RM CRESSER © 2011 500 Rad Records


500 Rad Records Welcomes 2012

December 21, 2011

As we approach 2012, 500 Rad Records is getting a facelift for the new year. We are changing some ways we are doing things, for instance the introduction of new bands, local and national. We will also take on live show reviews, and new albums. We will introduce comics, and essentially became a music online zine. We look forward to these changes, and don’t worry we still have about 480 more classic albums to review! 


Happy Holidays from the 500 Rad Records,



Stay tuned for a best of 2011 list, and an introduction to a new local band.


Belle & Sebastian’s Stevie Jackson Releases Solo Album

October 13, 2011

After fifteen years in the public indie eye with the band Belle & Sebastian, vocalist and guitarist Stevie Jackson releases his first solo album this month.

With critics and fans alike, one says Belle & Sebastian, one automatically thinks Stuart Murdoch. We learn that with Jackson’s solo album, Jackson deserves much more credit than he receives.

Reminding one of the post Pavement bands (Preston School of Industry, and Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks), Jackson’s solo record sheds light on to what his role is with Belle & Sebastian.

(I can’t get no) Stevie Jackson can be compared to the 2002 Belle & Sebastian composed soundtrack for the film, Storytelling. “Scooby Diver,” sang by Jackson sounds similar to his new song, “Try Me.” The song also carries similar riffs to the Gentle Waves’ song, “Weather Show.” The Gentle Waves was Isobel Campbell’s solo band with Jackson playing guitar.

Stevie Jackson’s studio band is an all star cast and features members of Belle & Sebastian, The Pastels, The Company, Trembling Bells, and New Pornographers. We learn that Jackson has a lot of pull in Belle & Sebastian, as if Murdoch is the heart, Jackson is the soul. (I can’t get no) Stevie Jackson proves the Jackson is the man behind the newer Belle and Sebastian sound.

(I can’t get no) Stevie Jackson is a new Belle & Sebastian record without Stuart Murdoch. An unknown critic once stated that, “His songs are noticeably different from Murdoch’s compositions. They tend to be shorter and less introspective, opting for catchy 1960s-style pop more often than the folky melancholia that defined Belle & Sebastian’s early releases.”*

Jackson’s solo album provides the fact that is not this statement is not entirely true. Jackson’s compositions are at times a bit immature  and simple, as heard in, “Press Send.”

“Did you ever wake up after sending an email to a friend….female”

Yet, Jackson’s own work shines on “Just, Just to the Point”. A song that could define a new sound for him, and screams brit pop. “Where do all the good girls go,” is the typically 60’s pop, Jackson leads towards as heard in his Belle & Sebastian songs.

Overall, Jackson first solo record is his favored reproduced 60’s pop. The album is decent. (I can’t get no) Stevie Jackson could be considered as a new Belle & Sebastian album, just without Stuart Murdoch.

*this quote can be found on numerous websites, (Wikipedia, BBC) regarding the band, however no credit is given to a single author*

RM CRESSER © 2011 500 Rad Records


Hurricane Irene: Songs for a Storm

August 28, 2011

Hurricane Irene Playlist. There is a couple going around right now. This is my pick for the big storm:

1. “Hurricane Watch” Mecca Normal
2. “Tired of Waiting For You”-Kinks
3. Irene” – Caribou
4. “Rock you like a hurricane” – Scorpions
5. “Hurricane” – the Coathangers
6.”Storm Surf” – The Surfaris
7. “Ocean of Noise” – Arcade Fire
8. “Queen of Stormy Weather” – Boston Spaceships
9. “Saltwater” – Beach House
10. “Rock Lobster” – B -52s
11. “One Scotch, One Bourbon, One Beer” -Amos Milburn
12. “Who Stop the Rain” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
13. “Super Soaker” – Wavves
14 “Destroy Everything You Touch” -Ladytron
15. “When the levee break,” Led Zepplin
16. “Goodnight Irene” – Lead belly

Rock and Roll, stay safe fellow East Coasters.

RM CRESSER © 2011 500 Rad Records


Welcome Back Matt Pinfield and 120 Minutes.

July 30, 2011

The days of 120 Minutes. A wonderful two hour program that introduced young minds willing to stay up late to new and old indie and ‘buzz alternative’ bands. Ending in 2003, the show ran for 17 years.  MTV actually pulled the show in 2000, and sending it to MTV2 where it aired until 2003. Like the rest of the networks, MUSIC television was officially dead  succumbing to the hype of reality tv shows. Perhaps after almost ten years of reality shows, folks are sick of it. Also returning this year are brand spanking new episodes of old nineties favorites such as Beavis and Butthead. To sweeten the MTV nostalgia, indie music fans recently learned of the return of 120 minutes. However, 120 Minutes is no longer on Sunday at midnight, but on now Saturday at 1 am, hoping to catch the SNL audience.  Also, its no longer on MTV, but again on MTV2.

According to MTV.com, Pinfield is thrilled to be reunited with 120 Minutes.  Matt Pinfield, is not the original host of 120 Minutes, for Dave Kendall created and hosted the show until the early nineties. The question is, will it be the same groundbreaking influential show it once was?  In the article, Pinfield mentioned bands such as Sleigh Bells and Das Racist. Das Racist? 120 Minutes will now take on indie hip hop as well rock. Not only will video watchers get to learn about the underground indie rock bands, but now the indie hip hop community will have the opportunity to thrive off the show as well.  120 Minutes did air videos from different types of artists outside the indie genre at times. Goth rock Marilyn Manson even hosted the show a few times. It will be interesting to see what is considered a band situable for the modern 120 minutes. I predict the following bands will be apart of the video line up. The Thermals, Best Coast, the Cool Kids, and Wavves to name a few. Pinfield promised in the article that the show is more action packed. All this writer hopes for is another episode hosted by Thurston Moore and Beck, which is quite possible considering Moore’s new album, Demolished Thoughts was produced by Beck.

As we are learning, MTV is somewhat struggling. Still nervous to change the reality TV format, MTV is putting classic revamped shows onto its other stations. So my question to you MTV why are you resurfacing old shows? MTV has been on the air for thirty years, and let’s face it, its been dead for the last 15 years. With quality viewing such as Jersey Shore, why not show anything else?  Its no longer working is it? In all due honesty, I have not watched MTV or its clones in years.  However, tonight I will.

As a fellow music lover, bring back music television. Its what the people want. Whats not a better way to start off with Matt Pinfield and 120 Minutes. One step at a time, MUSIC television. One step at a time.

RM CRESSER © 2011 500 Rad Records


We’re Back!

April 10, 2011

SO after much hiatus, and a computer being fixed, I will be coming back with new reviews soon. This winter I did catch up with some indie icons. The legendary Calvin Johnson, Ian Svenonius and Ted Leo. Interviews and show reviews can be found on Patch Narragansett.


Top 20 albums of 2010.

December 30, 2010

Here are the top 20 albums of 2010.
Fresh sound, brilliant new band! Wonderful album.
2. Deerhunter- Halcyon Digest
please see: https://500records.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/album-of-21-of-500-deerhunter-halcyon-digest/
3. Stereolab – Not Music
4. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
When we all thought Damon was getting stale, he brought in legends such as Mark E. Smith and Mick Jones to produce this amazing album.
5. Spoon- Transference
6. The Thermals – Personal Life
A perfect name for this album, because Hutch totally opens up and tells you whats up. Sadly, it sounds like he is in a super rut. Sort of depressing album, and the b sides that didn’t make the album were better, “Separate” and “Canada”. The Thermals Pinkerton album, indeed!
7. Ted Leo and the Pharmacists- The Brutalist Bricks
Ted’s best album since Shake the Sheets! see: http://narragansett.patch.com/articles/ted-leo-and-the-pharmacists-rock-the-met
8. Quasi – American Gong
9. Superchunk -Majesty Shredding
10. Wavves – King of the Beach
11. The Black Keys – Brothers
12. Beach House – Teen Dream
13. New Porngraphers – Together
14. Miles Kurosky – The Desert of Shadow Effects
The much anticipated album from Beulah’s frontman. He told me that it wasn’t what the fans expected but the turnout is different. Good job Miles!
15. Belle & Sebastian – Write about Love
16. Born Ruffians – Say It
17. The Soft Pack – The Soft Pack
18. Arcade Fire- The Suburbs
19.Ty Segall- Melted
20. Admiral Radley – I Heart California