Audio Reviews
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I’ve commented on it before, but it bears repeating here: the British love their singles. They love their 7-inch and 45rpm one-offs, which not-infrequently serve as stand-alone commodities rather than as promotional items culled from attendant full-length albums, as is our stateside wont. They also love it when those singles are then rerecorded, compiled, and packaged as an EP, which, admittedly, ... Continue Reading

Posted: February 16th, 2011

As is the case with many bands tumbling out of the glorious jam that is the 21st Century Baltimore underground, things with Thank You are intermixed and interconnected. Emmanuel and Michael played in a band before Michael started Thank You with Jeff, who was also in another band with Elke, who isn’t in the band anymore, so… wait. Hold on. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. The name of this ban ... Continue Reading

Posted: January 24th, 2011

As we are ever so quickly nearing the close of 2010, I have begun, as most habitual critics do, to reflect upon the past year in music. And, in doing so, I have noticed a disturbing trend. Not with what I have been hearing, per se; no particular genre or artist has struck me as being emblematic of the year thus far, nor has anything been especially disconcerting or wholly out-of-character from ... Continue Reading

Posted: November 24th, 2010

We begin with an impromptu children’s choir, in a classroom, as we are about to be schooled. Mickey Free has been impatiently waiting to blow for some time now. How long? Since his time in Wounds Crew and the era of “Freshen Up ’99”, since his incarnation as Bow ‘n Arrow on the album I Saved My Life seven years prior, since kind of forever. You can hear it in these tracks, that ache of waiting, ... Continue Reading

Posted: November 15th, 2010

Objective analysis poses a unique problem to the critical profession. Specifically: that one would take an activity designed to entertain and enliven—say, reading a book, watching a movie, playing a game, or listening to music—and, by default and by instinct, corrupt what should be a pure, self-contained and emotional experience with external contexts, self-supplied comparisons, and constant, nagg ... Continue Reading

Posted: September 29th, 2010

Though I would like to think of myself as an all-around music aficionado and a genuine devotee of the composers’ and songwriters’ craft, the truth of the matter is that I’m less an appreciator of arranged sound than I am a collector of plastic, foil, paper, and polyvinyl chloride. Of course, I listen to music, and near-constantly at that. But, mainly, I acquire, accumulate, compare, contrast, and ... Continue Reading

Posted: August 18th, 2010

By rights, Gainesville’s Against Me! is a rock-and-roll success story, a classic example of grassroots musicians growing tall and hitting the big time with cozy tour buses, sold-out shows, network television appearances, generous royalty pay-outs, and major-label support. All of which are cause for celebration. Rather, they would be would be cause for celebration under normal circumstances. The ... Continue Reading

Posted: August 6th, 2010

For most bands, the debut album is the thing—the sink-or-swim, make-or-break moment, captured for posterity in physical form. It’s a product of months or even years of preparation and hard work, and its success or failure regularly dictates the musical futures of the persons most directly responsible for its making. As the album, so the band. With this in mind, it’s somewhat odd to note that Ch ... Continue Reading

Posted: July 12th, 2010

While always a bit laggy and muddled, the ways and means of international record releases have become even more time-addled in the era of digital downloads and manifold music blogs. Time zones and trade routes are racing to keep up with the immediacy of streaming bits piped through fiber-optics and plucked from the 3G æther, with the physical product near-always falling behind legitimate downloads ... Continue Reading

Posted: June 16th, 2010

There’s something about the warmer months—late spring through early autumn, roughly April through October in the northern hemisphere if the weather’s willing—that lends itself remarkably well to listening to new music. There’s the heat and added daylight hours which go hand in hand with concert tours and multi-day festivals, the bustle and crowd of the interstates, pavilions, stadiums, and fairgro ... Continue Reading

Posted: June 10th, 2010

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