The Crimson White

All content by Jordan Cissell
Wilco's Star Wars full of surprises

Wilco's Star Wars full of surprises

July 22, 2015

“A miracle only ever grows wild,” Jeff Tweedy half-mumbles on “Random Name Generator,” one of 11 tracks from Wilco’s new album “Star Wars.” Miracle or not, “Star Wars,” available as a...

Underrated Stewart songs to hear before you go

Underrated Stewart songs to hear before you go

July 15, 2015

Rod Stewart will perform at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater on Thursday, July 16. The show’s official billing as “Rod Stewart: The Hits” gives reasonable assurance that one will leave the Amphitheater...

Banditos release self-titled album

Banditos release self-titled album

June 17, 2015

The Banditos’ self-titled debut is a rowdy, rollicking good time, a totally uninhibited collision of Appalachian twang, rock ‘n’ roll swagger, blues throb, punk snarl and youthful inertia. And they’re...

Travelling band Hot Damn Scandal provides Americana soundscape

Travelling band Hot Damn Scandal provides Americana soundscape

May 27, 2015

Last week on Pearl Street in downtown Boulder, Colorado, I stumbled onto something beautiful. Four scruffy guys stood playing folk music on the sidewalk, crowded around a beat-up old suitcase with a hand-written...

New album examines wrestling

New album examines wrestling

April 12, 2015

“Beat the Champ” is ostensibly an album about professional wrestling. But in crafting 45 minutes worth of songs about the spandex-clad world of big biceps and bigger egos, bandleader and lyricist John...

Courtney Barnett's album provides distinct sound with dry delivery

Courtney Barnett's album provides distinct sound with dry delivery

March 29, 2015

Courtney Barnett’s trademark stream-of-consciousness delivery is less the smiling UPS representative ringing the doorbell and conveying a package directly into your hands, more the disgruntled teenager...

Earle's 'Terraplane' places emphasis on Texas-inspired blues music

Earle's 'Terraplane' places emphasis on Texas-inspired blues music

March 3, 2015

Texas blues has always run a little contrary in tone to its counterparts in the southeast. The line is by no means a hard and fast one, but generally speaking, the old Mississippi howlers have cultivated...

Father John Misty’s sophomore album another pop-folk masterpiece

Father John Misty’s sophomore album another pop-folk masterpiece

February 16, 2015

Father John Misty is back with vim and vigor.Misty, who goes by Josh Tillman when he’s not on stage, released his first record as Father John Misty, “Fear Fun,” back in 2012. Before that, he was...

Jeff Bridges releases new album

Jeff Bridges releases new album

February 3, 2015

As it turns out, The Dude also reclines.Jeff Bridges’ new album, “Sleeping Tapes,” was designed with the sole intention of soothing you to sleep while raising money and awareness for No Kid Hungry,...

Sleater-Kinney keeps breaking rules with album 'No Cities to Love'

Sleater-Kinney keeps breaking rules with album 'No Cities to Love'

January 21, 2015

“We win, we lose. Only 
together do we break the rules.”From the moment they groped and clawed their way to the top of the Pacific Northwest’s riot grrrl scene in the mid-1990s, those words –...

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard release album of spacey folk jams

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard release album of spacey folk jams

January 12, 2015

Yeah, yeah. Their name may sound like the title of a long-lost Dr. Seuss book, but don’t write off King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard just yet. On “I’m in Your Mind Fuzz,” this seven-piece Australian...

Numero Group releases two dozen tracks, many never before heard

November 18, 2014

The following 24 songs have quite 
literally never seen the light of day. Back in the late 1960s, a fellow named Jerry Riegle stuck a recording studio underground in an active limestone mine near Kansas...

New album from Annie Lennox commands chilling vocals

October 28, 2014

People probably know her best as the sonic boom of a voice on the Eurythmics’ 1983 vaguely menacing vector of a hit “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” so Annie Lennox’s new album “Nostalgia”...

Sun Ra outlandish, not boring

October 13, 2014

There is absolutely no guarantee regarding whether anyone will like this record or hate it, but I can say this with complete certainty: you should listen to it and find out. Sun Ra, born Herman Poole Blount...

“Passerby” showcases simplicity

September 28, 2014

In the closing seconds of “Winter is Passing,” Zoe Randell, the singing half of Australian duo Luluc, questions, “Winter is passing. I wonder what’s to come?” She doesn’t proffer an answer....

Gram Parsons continues to exemplify country rock

Gram Parsons continues to exemplify country rock

September 14, 2014

Gram Parsons died 41 years ago Friday. As Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards once said, although we have no idea of what Parsons would be doing were he still alive, he made enough beautiful music...

Twin Peaks' new album combines different talents

Twin Peaks' new album combines different talents

August 24, 2014

Twin Peaks are inviting some lofty comparisons for their second album. The band’s name is a reference to the television series and movie created by disturbingly iconoclastic director David Lynch; the...

Two contemporary Americana musicians release new albums

Two contemporary Americana musicians release new albums

July 22, 2014

Jenny Lewis and Tom Petty, both fixtures of the super-hyphenated alt-country, alt-rock, country-rock scene that constitutes contemporary Americana, both release new albums today and both sets of new music...

Steve Wynn’s “Sketches in Spain” fun listening, for a while

July 8, 2014

Think of “Sketches in Spain” as you would a pre-owned Jeep Wrangler: never mind that the neighbor’s kid drove it into the ground during five years of Saturdays spent traveling to away games and Sundays...

Sturgill Simpson pushes boundaries of country music

June 17, 2014

Sturgill Simpson stuffed his first record, last year’s “High Top Mountain,” full of brief, jaunty tunes sounding exactly like what you think of when you think of country music: greasy slide guitar,...

Neil Young’s ‘A Letter Home’ returns artist to his original roots

May 28, 2014

Before we get all caught up in discussing how this record sounds (‘cause anytime the Neil Young aesthetic is presented for consideration, heated disagreement will inevitably ensue), it seems prudent...

Leon Russell’s perfect croak worth the journey

April 9, 2014

Don’t worry – age hasn’t improved Leon Russell’s voice one bit. On new record “Life Journey” – his 37th solo studio effort, not to mention the hundreds of other artists’ albums on which...

Dental technician produces album 44 years after 1st record

March 13, 2014

Forty-four years ago, a lady from Los Angeles you’ve probably never heard of released a record called “Parallelograms.” It was at once mellow but vivacious, pastoral but worldly. The album sold incredibly...

Hard Working Americans create solid album of alt-country covers

February 3, 2014

“All I wanna do is stomp and holler.” And, apparently, shove out loud guitar licks, beat the drums ‘til they’re blue, and let your fingers and thumbs dance across the keyboard like the main...

Springsteen’s upcoming release continues heartfelt rock style

January 8, 2014

The cover of Bruce Springsteen’s upcoming Jan. 14 release, “High Hopes,” prominently features two not-quite-mirror-image The Bosses, each clad completely in denim and wielding a blurry Stratocaster,...

The profit of the process

The profit of the process

November 25, 2013

Robert Witt and Paul Finebaum agree: Not all assets are a dab of ink on the balance sheet. One of them carries a whistle and wears a big straw hat to practice each day. “Nick Saban is the best financial...

‘Who is William Onyeabor?’ captivating introduction to a musician

November 13, 2013

This record is really bad background music. I know, I know: What good is a CD full of eight- and 10-minute instrumentals if you can’t talk over it at the Starbucks counter or pipe it into the living...

60 percent of freshmen out-of-state

60 percent of freshmen out-of-state

November 5, 2013

When Douglas Fair, a junior at The University of Alabama, first considered the University, he said it was scholarship offers that caught his eye. Fair, originally from Knoxville, Tenn., eventually decided...

‘New’ yet another display of McCartney’s continued relevance

October 23, 2013

What I’m about to do feels absolutely felonious. In the few hundred words that follow, I will liken several of the songs from Paul McCartney’s aptly titled new album, “New,” to the signature sounds...

What's the use?: After updates, grounds use permit poses procedural complications

What’s the use?: After updates, grounds use permit poses procedural complications

October 8, 2013

Though student organizers of the Stand in the Schoolhouse Door 2013 march never formally submitted a permit request for grounds use, the University of Alabama administration used recent summer revisions...

UA releases fall enrollment data

UA releases fall enrollment data

September 18, 2013

The University of Alabama’s fall 2013 entering freshman class of 6,478 students includes 126 National Merit Scholars, according to a University press release. According to the University’s annual...

Reissued records resemble earlier works

September 12, 2013

Light in the Attic Records is reissuing three of Roky Erickson’s early records – “The Evil One,” “Don’t Slander Me” and “Gremlins Have Pictures” – Sept. 17. I listened to them yesterday,...

New sound for Mayer: Western vibes for ‘Paradise Valley’

September 4, 2013

Let’s set aside a few minutes to give John Mayer’s new album, “Paradise Valley,” a try. You might like it. You might not, but two things are for sure: We don’t have the same tastes, and you won’t...

Camp 1831 inaugural run deemed successful

Camp 1831 inaugural run deemed successful

August 29, 2013

This summer, many incoming freshmen’s first steps into The University of Alabama community took place more than 65 miles from campus. In addition to the University’s regular schedule of Bama Bound...

UA astrology club seeking Virgos, Aquarians

April 11, 2013

To hear club co-founder and president Dominique Butler tell it, the story of the Zodiac Society’s origin was written in the stars. “The idea came about in a very random way – my sister Alexis...

Fifty years later, true nature of race relations still open for discussion

April 9, 2013

"Look at that black guy riding by on his skateboard right now,” Utz McKnight said, swiveling in our bench on the Crimson Promenade to point out a skateboarder weaving coolly through congested lunch-time...

New Hendrix album a reminder of what we lost

New Hendrix album a reminder of what we lost

March 13, 2013

“People, Hell & Angels” is 50-odd minutes of previously unreleased Jimi Hendrix. What more can or should I say? “Back at the saloon my tears mix and mildew with my drink / I can’t really tell...

Alabama’s desegregation leaders recall struggles, eventual victories

March 4, 2013

“What happened on that day in those doors is a matter of great consequence in the last century of American history,” E. Culpepper Clark said in a presentation to The University of Alabama’s Blackburn...

Indie-rock Wussy’s new album literally and figuratively priceless

February 13, 2013

Let’s see. It’s Sunday night, easing into Monday morning, and I’m sitting here tearing through a package of generic Fig Newtons and digging Wussy’s new, free, download-only album “Berneice Huff...

UA grads cite job opportunities, continued involvement as reasons for staying in Tuscaloosa

January 28, 2013

Every weekday for four years, Erika Baranek woke up to an early Tuscaloosa morning to attend workouts and practice with the UA women’s rowing team. Now Baranek, who graduated in May 2012 with a degree...

Forty-plus years of good later, Good Rats still have good to give listeners

January 16, 2013

There’s no surprise more pleasant than a rock ‘n’ roll surprise, and it’s been awhile since a rock ‘n’ roll band surprised me as pleasantly as Good Rats did last week, when I ran across the...

Professors decide on first week attendance policy

January 10, 2013

Don’t mistake its relative brevity for insignificance. Though many students plan on spending their first class meetings doing little more than reviewing syllabi, University of Alabama faculty say that...

Jewish UA students weight in on Hanukkah at Capstone

December 4, 2012

For Jewish University of Alabama students next week, burning the midnight oil holds far more significance than staying up late to study. The Jewish holiday Hanukkah takes place this year from Dec. 8 to...

In many classes, ‘Dead Week’ is alive with final tests, projects

December 3, 2012

“Dead Week” often proves much more lively than its nickname may suggest. Many students spend as much time during the period immediately preceding the week of final exams, officially deemed Study Week...

Some students profit from ticket resale

November 19, 2012

For Jessica Allen, the Alabama Crimson Tide’s Nov. 5, 2011 matchup against Louisiana State University was the game of eight centuries. “Last year I sold just my LSU ticket alone for $800 dollars,...

Harry Potter club celebrates books, promotes literacy

November 15, 2012

For members of Muggles Spreading Magic, the mischief is never completely managed. Muggles Spreading Magic is The University of Alabama chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance, an international nonprofit...

Businesses still facing rebuilding barriers

Businesses still facing rebuilding barriers

November 15, 2012

  By Jordan Cissell Staff Reporter ^ If there is one thing Evan Smith knows about rebuilding a restaurant from scratch, it’s that the process is not an easy one. “I’ll tell you what I’ve...

Callooh! Callay! releases new, compelling album

November 14, 2012

Here’s the neat thing about local act Callooh! Callay!’s new album “TALK:” it’s equally compelling at a speaker-rattling blast as it is in low-volume ambience. If that strikes you as dubious,...

SGA Elections Board considers changing voting day

November 8, 2012

The Student Government Association Student Elections Board will decide this week whether or not to reschedule spring 2013 elections approximately one month earlier than last year’s voting day, an SGA...

Bailey sets strong example for first generation

Bailey sets strong example for first generation

October 24, 2012

First generation college students at The University of Alabama may not know it, but they have friends in high places. All the way at the top, in fact. University President Guy Bailey, who completed his...

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Jordan Cissell