Alex is a musician and KDVS DJ. He is currently studying abroad in the Netherlands.

On the Underground is Alex Levin's stunning debut album. He's learned his lessons well from instrumental masters John Fahey and Leo Kottke, and he also lets in a lot of other influences in making this wonderfully diverse album. I love that he pays homage to these influences, such as by naming some of his songs "Song for Townes" and "Requiem for Fahey," but does not imitate them shamelessly, and instead develops his own vision. "Milly Gilly" shows off his slide work and is filled with many rich nuances. "Southern Town," the sole song with vocals, is a class, solidly constructed singer-songwriter piece. "Catching the Westbound" is complex outside of a strictly folk mode. "Lucky Strike" has perhaps the most beautiful musical theme on the album. "Mojo Blues" does new, interesting things with as tried-and-true a style as the blues. "Free Coffee" is a careful, gentle reprieve from some of the harder-edged songs. "Off the Grid" is cited by Alex as his Sonic Youth-inspired song, and it is filled with subtleties and has a driving rhythm worthy of the band. Furthermore, five different guitars were used in recording the album, which lends it even greater texture. Finally, he's giving it away for free, a true artist. There is not an album that I am inspired to recommend more than On the Underground. —Brian Ang

Recorded at KDVS by Robin Kahn

On the UndergroundReleased: July 20, 20081. Song for Townes2. Milly Gilly3. Southern Town4. Requiem for Fahey5. Catching the Westbound6. Lucky Strike7. Mojo Blues8. Free Coffee9. Reckon It Red10. Off the Grid


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