Archives

Hammock – Oblivion Hymns

Hammock – Oblivion Hymns

When the ambient standard-bearers Stars of the Lid played live this past December with the Wordless Music Orchestra in (what else?) a big church in Brooklyn, it was their first live show in New York in roughly four years. It has been even longer since their last official release, And Their Refinement of the Decline, […]

Wild Beasts – Present Tense

Wild Beasts – Present Tense

Wild Beasts fill in some subtle, important gaps in the musical landscape. Temporarily leaving aside the distinctiveness of their tastefully restrained and potent approach to electronic music, Wild Beasts are frank and unusually thoughtful about their libidinous ways. You don’t have to look too hard at modern mainstream music to find examples of artists across […]

Doug Keith – Pony

Doug Keith – Pony

Last year, on the song “I’m From Nowhere,” Neko Case sang, “I remember the 80s/ I remember it’s puffy sleeves.” It’s not a song about nostalgia, it’s a song about the boredom that comes from playing in a touring band and being “on the road for 21 days” and still feeling lucky to be alive. It’s a intimate notion, […]

La Luz – It’s Alive

La Luz – It’s Alive

Musical styles can migrate, like birds. It doesn’t happen all at once, a song here, a band there, but given some time to marinate, what was the groove in one place (if it’s any good) will find a foothold somewhere else. We all know about grunge and Seattle, it’s a story well told, but in […]

Various Artists – This Is The Town: A Tribute to Nilsson, Vol. 1

Various Artists – This Is The Town: A Tribute to Nilsson, Vol. 1

For the purpose of full disclosure, before digging in for this review I knew very little about Harry Nilsson. (Embarrassing, I know) I only that he was a respected musical figure and one I felt I needed to investigate further. I knew the hits, such as “Everybody’s Talkin’” from the movie Midnight Cowboy and the […]

Foster the People – Supermodel

Foster the People – Supermodel

In 2011, the indie pop trio Foster The People bursted onto the scene with the undeniably catchy album Torches. Song after song, melody after melody, line after line felt like the album a 10 year veteran would release at the height of their maturity and songwriting. Torches was nominated for three different Grammy Awards, and […]

Diane Cluck – Boneset

Diane Cluck – Boneset

I was in an obscure club on the Illinois-Iowa border in a dusky town that felt forgotten in the wake of American industrialism. A bearded, soft-spoken proprietor. Leftover snow. Cheap wine. An ecstatic young man on an upright piano. In a cracked voice and an acoustic approach, he began singing stories; his unplugged, unpretentious performance […]

Lyla Foy – Mirrors the Sky

Lyla Foy – Mirrors the Sky

Is music like sex and pizza? It’s been said that sex is like pizza; even when it’s bad it’s still pretty good. Does music exist in this same strange purgatory concerning criticism? This question has lived unformed, yet persistently lurking, in the back of my mind while writing many music reviews. Of all the arts, […]

Nickel Creek – A Dotted Line

Nickel Creek – A Dotted Line

Nickel Creek can sound like three different groups, depending upon just which member’s doing the lead singing at any given time. The trio’s A Dotted Line drastically changes direction from song to song, it seems. Also, it’s much more bluegrass-influenced, than strictly bluegrass. Then again, Nickel Creek has always defied easy categorization. It sounds to […]

Unwound – Rat Conspiracy

Unwound – Rat Conspiracy

In the recently released The Jesus Lizard Book, Pavement’s Bob Nastanovich recalls of that band: I remember seeing their afternoon 1995 Lollapalooza set…in Chicago with Unwound’s drummer Sara Lund, outstanding in her own right, and she watched Mac [McNeilly, drummer for the Jesus Lizard] admiringly and called him ‘by far my favorite drummer.’ I concurred.” […]