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Mogwai – Rave Tapes (Take 1)

Mogwai – Rave Tapes (Take 1)

In a year that will see the release of many eagerly-anticipated efforts from artists both new and old, veteran post-rock group Mogwai have delivered a promising start with their eighth full-length album, Rave Tapes. Set to be released on January 21st under the Sub Pop, Rave Tapes stands as a testament to an experienced band devoted […]

Lily & Madeleine – Lily & Madeleine

Lily & Madeleine – Lily & Madeleine

It would be unfair to say Lily and Madeleine are completely without guile. The young sister act (Lily is in high school and Madeleine is a Freshman in college) certainly have the earnest quality of a duo performing at a church youth group talent show. Their guile, however, lies in how they understand the importance […]

Mindy Smith – Snowed In EP

Mindy Smith – Snowed In EP

The holiday season is one that’s typically described in a blur of red and green lights. Folks hustle and bustle to and fro from party to party and store to store in order to help bring the best holiday possible to their family and friends. And while those intentions are pure, it often comes at […]

Cumulus – I Never Meant It To Be Like This

Cumulus – I Never Meant It To Be Like This

I worry about the collective memory of musicians (though critics aren’t much better) – too quick to reference the recent band of renown instead of the founding fathers (or mothers, as it were). If we’re truthful, every answer to who influenced a band should be “James Brown,” but if we did that some dipshit would […]

Jake Bellows – New Oceans

Jake Bellows – New Oceans

It’s a very easy thing to compare (confuse) music to (for) the eternal feminine. Empirical evidence shows how music calms and comforts, lifts spirits and inspires emotion. How many soldiers have marched to their deaths to the beat of a drum? How many young men have fallen irredeemably in love with a young woman over […]

Alex Chilton – Electricity By Candlelight

Alex Chilton – Electricity By Candlelight

Unlike the majority of packaged material that emerges in the wake of a legendary musician’s death, Electricity by Candlelight easily justifies itself: this bootleg recording of a one-of-a-kind Alex Chilton performance illuminates new and interesting shades of the Big Star-frontman, while confirming every bit of the talent and charm that earned him legions of fans […]

Laurel Halo – A Chance of Rain

Laurel Halo – A Chance of Rain

Laurel Halo’s Chance of Rain is framed by a pair of minute-plus mellow jazz-ish keyboard explorations, “Dr. Echt” and “-Out.” Album outliers in both a musical and literal sense (and presumably a play on the “direct out” of a given piece of music equipment), the relationship between the two miniatures and everything else that occurs […]

Trent Dabbs – The Way We Look at Horses

Trent Dabbs – The Way We Look at Horses

Another year, another release for Trent Dabbs. The easy (and incorrect) assumption about the Nashville songwriter would dismiss his incredible output due to a lack of editing or willingness to hang up all the laundry to dry outside, proper or not. But Dabbs is an anomaly, a craftsman with a rare fountain of interesting ideas. […]

John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts

John Grant’s bio reads like an example case from a psych major’s textbook. Between alcoholism and a coke addiction, Grant has come to terms with his homosexuality in a kaleidoscope of psychological dysphoria. As if identity crisis and the societal bends of homophobia weren’t enough, Grant announced to a London audience in 2011 that he’d […]

Mike Doughty – Live at Crescent Ballroom

Mike Doughty – Live at Crescent Ballroom

Though I was anxious for the main event, I was also curious about Moon Hooch, the band Mike Doughty picked to open up for him. Less than three years ago Mike heard them busking in the New York subways and decided to take a chance on them. At first I was dubious about the sound […]