Audio Reviews
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Total: 213 | Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22
Ideally, the act of music-making is a participatory enterprise: a shared experience between the performer and the audience where, in the best of circumstances, the line between the two is pleasantly vague. The singer-songwriter steps down and winds his or her way through an audience that sings along as it spills onto the stage, weaving limbs and clapping hands in a swaying, dancing mass of interco ... Continue Reading

Posted: March 1st, 2009

The Crazy Dreams Band was clearly a product of the 1970s, rising and falling in a manner befitting the rock narratives and legends of the time. After coming up scrappily, playing dive bars and port towns, the executives of Big Tyme records discovered them, signing the group to an exclusive deal. They were the toast of the rock scene, touring with some of the hottest bands. Years of hard work and d ... Continue Reading

Posted: January 5th, 2009

There are times when I have wanted desperately to describe Bloc Party as the Oasis of indie rock—a band of upstarts whose abilities are seemingly overshadowed by the publicity surrounding them. I admit it: it’s the cynic in me. Having been propelled forward by the infamous NME hype machine in 2005, when their debut full-length Silent Alarm was named Album of the Year, Bloc Party has spent precious ... Continue Reading

Posted: December 16th, 2008

Isthmus’s debut Land Bridge is a hell of a powerhouse though not quite a self-titled release. The Baltimore quartet combines the best elements of other recent single-named metal bands like Isis, Neurosis, Pelican, Mastodon, and Baroness while adding some mathier elements normally found in groups identified by longer monikers such as Behold…The Arctopus. Land Bridge has a lot of ideas going o ... Continue Reading

Posted: November 27th, 2008

Wait a minute… Dillinger Four released a new album? Bullshit. It’s been, what, six years since Situationist Comedy came out? Six years! That’s a lifetime in the world of music—for punk-rockers especially. Theirs is a genre built on kinetic energy and constant stimulation, where inertia is always a threat and repeated delays can easily turn into an indefinite hiatus or, worse yet, a full-on brea ... Continue Reading

Posted: November 22nd, 2008

The cover of this album is pretty wild, a neon collage of 60s go-go girls, low-rent psychedelic squiggles and, for reasons unclear, a solarized Edgar Allan Poe peering from one corner. In other words, the art is intriguingly eye-catching, a marked improvement over the childlike scrawls that usually grace a MT6 record release. Singer Dave Gibson has this (presumably) American imitating a Brit imita ... Continue Reading

Posted: November 21st, 2008

Itunes classifies this 2007 release as folk, but it's really a mixed-bag of styles hailing early 00s lady-fronted indie rock. Based on the cutesy animal references, I was expecting something far more silly and pop. Thankfully, the sound here is mindfully put-together with an element of theatricality. Not overblown Xiu Xiu drama, mind you, but a pretty polish, a la Blonde Redhead, hangs about certa ... Continue Reading

Posted: November 21st, 2008

I really wish I knew where Marnie Stern was born. I know she lives in Manhattan now, which explains a lot of why her music sounds the way it sounds, but I don't know in what kind of place she grew up, or when, around what kind of people. I read a very recent Pitchfork interview with her, (see here) which was insightful between the lines--it maybe explained the psychological origins to her sound, ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 21st, 2008

One of the hardest things about being on tour is having to deal with the countless terrible opening bands so it can really be a wonderful thing when sitting at the merch table and music you actually enjoy and think is really good starts blasting out from the stage area. Such was the case when I first heard Brat Pack in a university squat in Mainz, Germany this past September. Every band was pretty ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 11th, 2008

Looking over the C.V. of Chicago trio Dianogah is like reading an abbreviated Who’s Who of the Windy City’s independent music scene. From 1995 to the present, drummer Kip McCabe and bassists Jason Harvey and Jay Ryan have cut four full-length albums with a variety of well- and sorta-known Illinoisemakers. People like musician-engineers Steve Albini, John McEntire, and Bob Weston; whistling multi-i ... Continue Reading

Posted: September 14th, 2008

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