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Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

Against Me! – Transgender Dysphoria Blues

The Reinvention of Tom Gable was made complete with the release of the 6th full length studio project ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues,’ by Florida punkers Against Me! While Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ grammy acceptance for the single, ‘Same Love,’ makes us all feel a little better about progress for LGBT equality Against Me! lead singer Laura […]

Sleigh Bells – Bitter Rivals

Sleigh Bells – Bitter Rivals

Alexis Weiss screams “Hi!” as Sleigh Bells’ newest album opens, and it’s a confrontational salutation that sets the tone for Bitter Rivals. What’s disconcerting is that before the fuzzy guitar gets riffing, we also hear what sounds like someone unsheathing a blade. It’s then followed by some strangely menacing female cooing and the disconcerted whines […]

Neil Finn – Dizzy Heights

Neil Finn – Dizzy Heights

For anyone who thinks that Neil Finn peaked with his Crowded House work, you may want to think again. With more than a half dozen solo records plus his work with his sibling as part of The Finn Brothers and a music career that spans more than 30 years, like a fine wine he keeps […]

Sun Kil Moon – Benji (Take 2)

Sun Kil Moon – Benji (Take 2)

Clear, engaging communication must include vivid, particular imagery. Such is standard advice from any given intro to communication textbook. Whether it’s to tell you how to write a captivating sentence or give an arresting speech, good communication involves recasting the details of everyday life in order to communicate ideas, concepts, what have you—so we’re told. […]

Sun Kil Moon – Benji (Take 1)

Sun Kil Moon – Benji (Take 1)

Mark Kozelek has built a twenty-plus year career out of making personal, reflective music, but “Carissa,” the arresting opener on Sun Kil Moon’s new album, Benji, captures a different kind of bare vulnerability. Against a backdrop of somber acoustic guitar, he describes finding out that a second cousin has died by accident when burning a […]

Josh Matthews – A-Sides

Josh Matthews – A-Sides

Social commentary can be a tricky beast, especially when it comes to music. If you use your music to point out problems but don’t really suggest any ways to fix said problems, is that really worth anything? And if you do offer solutions to the problems, does that make you pretentious for seeming like you […]

Star Anna – Go to Hell

Star Anna – Go to Hell

It’s easy to be impressed by Americana music, especially when fronted by a female lead. The slide guitar, the slow burn, the yearning croon, lusty and wanton. But the genre’s ubiquitous nature is giving rise to mediocrity – good Americana (like a man in many a song) is hard to find. Through five years and […]

Dum Dum Girls – Too True

Dum Dum Girls – Too True

End of Daze, the five-song 2012 EP from Dum Dum Girls, set a higher standard for their work than anything that had led up to it. Their debut album, 2010’s I Will Be, found an admirable level of quality and didn’t waver from it, moving from one catchy, fuzzy, Vaselines-indebted pop-rock song to the next; […]

Delorean – Apar

Delorean – Apar

There’s been a fair deal made of changes to Delorean’s sound and approach on their new album – it’s a break-up album, it’s spare and analog, it’s more sophisticated than previous efforts. All of this may be true to varying degrees, but what most strikes me is how much it still sounds like Delorean. Production […]

Jake Bugg/Albert Hammond, Jr – Live at the Wiltern

Jake Bugg/Albert Hammond, Jr – Live at the Wiltern

LOS ANGLES —  At first glance, the crowd lined up around the block for Jake Bugg’s Friday night Wiltern concert could have been the same garden variety mall teens excited to see still un-tattooed Justin Bieber, say, five or so years ago. They looked that young. The baby-faced picture on the shirts and posters filling […]