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Spoon – They Want My Soul

Spoon – They Want My Soul

Consistency does not make for a very sexy narrative. Nor does it feel very rock n’ roll. This is Spoon’s gift and their curse. This is not to say that Spoon has not changed or progressed in the two decades since Britt Daniel and Jim Eno formed the band. Their most dramatic leap was perhaps from […]

Hozier – From Eden

Hozier – From Eden

Simple and timeless.  Hozier has filled From Eden up with nothing but smooth guitar notes and basic beats that leave you sitting back with a smile on your face waiting for the next bit of lyrical art.  A near perfect blend of Dave Mathews’ voice and the lonely, melodramatic sounds of  The Black Keys, Hozier […]

Mimicking Birds – EONS

Mimicking Birds – EONS

Mimicking Birds’ new album is a well-measured step forward from their self-titled 2010 debut. The instrumentation is more ornate and the microphones are probably more expensive, but founding member Nate Lacy’s vocals and melodies stay a winding path between fresh and familiar. The same charm and solace that Lacy’s songwriting has exuded since as far […]

Shovels and Rope – Swimmin’ Time

Shovels and Rope – Swimmin’ Time

These are the best of times for the Americana super duo Shovels and Rope. In a span of five years the husband and wife team of Micheal Trent and Carry Ann Hearst have snatched national prominence from the jaws of certain obscurity using little more than a couple beat up drums and two old guitars. […]

Eels – The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett

Eels – The Cautionary Tales of Mark Oliver Everett

There is a sort of classic archetypal story music critics tell, about an artist dropping the big sound they are known for; all the bells and whistles, all the studio tricks and heavy production. This artist goes on to release a quieter, sparsely instrumented album that speaks truth with a capital “T” because of its […]

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Days in Abandon

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart – Days in Abandon

In a recent interview on BBC 6 radio, host Lauren Laverne (a ‘90s Britpop alum as the former leader of the band Kenickie) asked Kip Berman, singer/guitarist of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, about his fondness for the band Felt, which elicited some funny remarks about “B-town” from Berman. Laverne’s question likely stemmed […]

Matthew Heller – Tragedy Town

Matthew Heller – Tragedy Town

Matthew Heller’s latest EP, Tragedy Town, was nearly an unearthed gem. In the onslaught of releases these days, it’s easy to look past even well-publicized albums month after month. For an independent artist like Portland, Oregon’s Matthew Heller, it can become a near-impossible task to break through the noise. But what Heller does given his 15 minutes […]

Morrissey – World Peace Is None of Your Business

Morrissey – World Peace Is None of Your Business

For all the hype about Morrissey’s unparalleled wit and political tact, his songs lack passion.  Comprised of mockery and classic rock guitars (which are not necessarily and bad things), his songs are not for those who are searching for something wholesome and life-changing.  They do, however, offer a lasting glimpse into the raw talent that […]

311 – Stereolithic

311 – Stereolithic

Omaha-bred alternative rockers 311 may never earn the title of the greatest or coolest band the world’s ever seen, but they’re nothing if not unique — not a single other band sounds like them. And while the quintet may also never garner critical adoration, or even begrudging respect, they deserve to. Wildly eclectic and extremely hard-working, 311 is one […]

Pink MountainTops – Get Back

Pink MountainTops – Get Back

On a frigid night in Boston last November, I trekked over to the Brighton Music Hall to catch a Destoryer solo show. Stephen McBean, the man behind Black Mountain and Pink Mountaintops,  opened up the show in ballistic fashion, compared to his tour mate, Dan Bejar. McBean was a shaggy, imposing figure, who spoke little […]