Music Review Archives. Band Stuff. Work Stories in Progress.

Check out some of the ExMogul Music reviews from the archives, below.

I reviewed music on and off for about 15 years, while I took a break from singing and doing gigs.

Now I've flipped that around. And here's my band, SPEED LIMIT 70.

January 5, 2009

Newspaper Joe

Newspaper Joe is the pseudonym of DIY singer/songwriter Mike Clark, who has an intriguiging list of influences on his myspace. Besides the known musical entities like Johnny Cash, John Prine, Lou Reed and The Clash, NpJ also lists used instruments, junkyard percussion and shit-house poets as influences. And darn if those don't accurately figure into the sound he makes.

Several of his available tracks come from his 2006 release entitled Lazarus, Gin, Mercy and Gin (Paris, Dr. Lazarus); the tracks City Clinic, Neither Here Nor There, and Dead Canyon are featured on the new release Sad Bastard Routine (2008). City Clinic has a very low-fi aesthetic, and is very effective. Heavy echo makes the lyrics a bit hard to decipher, but NpJ paints a lonely soundscape with his melancholy vocal tones, accompanied by a few Casio-sounding keyboard effects. Neither Here Nor There takes a folky-storyteller approach, with nice vocal harmonies and stripped down instrumentation, good use of organ ala Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." The track lives squarely in the alt-country realm and is a bit slicker than the low fi of Clinic. Dead Canyon is hard driving, and opens with a nice couple of cymbal crashes and guitar power chords. The sound level of this track is alternately mellow during the verses, to raucous during the chorus - which give it a nice balance. Vocally, this has a contemporary singer/songwriter vibe which contrasts nicely with the old timey vibe of Neither Here Nor There. Visit Newspaper Joe's site and listen to more: