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Noah and the Whale

Noah and the Whale

The First Days of Spring reads like an overly optimistic title for a breakup album, but this second Noah and the Whale release documents lead singer Charlie Fink’s recent separation from former member, Laura Marling. Yet to some degree, these songs hint at the warming of emotions arriving after the bitter cold – much the […]

Vic Chesnutt

Vic Chesnutt

If there was an SSv Artist of the Year, I wouldn’t even consult with anyone else before handing it to Vic Chesnutt. The Georgia songwriter released two albums in 2009, both absolutely stunning in their courage, frailty and emotional resonance. At the Cut and Skitter on Take Off were lauded not only here, but with […]

SSv’s Top 11 Albums of 2009

SSv’s Top 11 Albums of 2009

Some note the underwhelming nature of music in 2009, while others have celebrated such a prolific year. But no matter the greater perspective, there were, indeed, some fine releases that made their way into our vinyl collections, playlists and cultural collective this last year. Thus, it’s only fitting that we close our year-end content with […]

10 Music Events to Expect in the ’10s

10 Music Events to Expect in the ’10s

FACT: Flying cars do not exist. Sucks, doesn’t it? In 1999, the powers that be were all like, “Oh, it’s almost 2000. Time to get rolling on those flying cars. A promise is a promise.” But then, someone else (Steve Jobs, probably) was like, “Cars, man? Let’s work on phones instead.” And the flying car […]

Top 11 Folk Releases of 2009

Top 11 Folk Releases of 2009

As the days slip past, we find ourselves thinking ’bout the holidays, and soon we will be facing the close of yet another year (not to mention the first decade of the new millennium). This can mean only one thing: the time has come for that self-searching, plumbing of our emotional depths, in search of […]

Top 11 Independent Releases of 2009

Top 11 Independent Releases of 2009

A man who prided himself on mediocrity once said, “I hate my records. I don’t know what I like.” That sentiment rings true to me as I sift through the desolation left by the year of some people’s lord, 2009. All the major trends of the aughts have dried up: garage rock, emo, alt.country, all […]

Top 11 Hard Rock Releases of 2009

Top 11 Hard Rock Releases of 2009

Hard rockers and metalheads are only slightly worse than indie kids when it comes to bemoaning the fact that everyone knows about their once-favorite band. But heavy music’s continued surge in popularity in 2009 has undeniably resulted in some of the nastiest auditory destruction we’ve ever been privileged enough to rattle windows with, from grizzled […]

Top 11 Hip-Hop Releases of 2009

Top 11 Hip-Hop Releases of 2009

2009 was a momentous year for hip-hop heavyweights and newcomers alike. The comeback album dominated, as many veterans stepped back into the game with varying results. These giants’ influence loomed large, their shadows spawning new cohorts of talent in a kind of musical cytogenesis. Sure, there was the usual gaggle of artists and critics grousing […]

Top 11 Pop Releases of 2009

Top 11 Pop Releases of 2009

This has been an unusually odd year for “pop” music. The top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 has been held hostage by the Black Eyed Peas for a full 26 weeks, as the band actually supplanted itself atop the chart, unseating “Boom Boom Pow” with “I Got A Feeling,” with a new single now […]

The Pulse of Jazz

The Pulse of Jazz

All apologies to Green Day, but my favorite protest song of the year is an instrumental one. It’s called “Jacobin Club.” It’s written by a dynamite young composer named Darcy James Argue and performed by his Secret Society big band (yes, they still have those) and it creeps along to one of the most ominous, […]