Made for TV Movie – The Story of my Heroics

Made for TV MovieThe Story of my HeroicsIt's really quite ironic that emo, a subgenre that managed to once again, for a brief moment in its youth, instill punk music with a sense of importance and relevance, has turned into one of the most flaccid and sterile music scenes around. It's really quite disappointing (though hardly unforeseen). The … [Read more...]

Skywave – Seen it All

SkywaveSeen it AllI'd like to think that music writers don't have to waste hours of their lives hunting down obscure music only for the sake of firing a few critical harpoons at the bands they find. Shouldn't we be cherishing the local heroes, basement-tapers, and general unknown-unheard brilliance just waiting to be discovered? Well, at least … [Read more...]

The Appleseed Cast – Worcester – The Worcester Palladium, MA – 2001-12-15

The Appleseed CastWhere: Worcester - The Worcester Palladium, MA.When: 2001-12-15Well, unlike Jeff a couple of weeks ago, at least I got to see all the bands on the bill tonight. But the show I had been looking forward to for weeks - and the show that had what I expected to be a spectacular bill - turned out to be something else entirely. Don't ask … [Read more...]

The Get Up Kids – Lackawanna – Sideshow Music Hall, NY – 2001-12-14

The Get Up KidsWhere: Lackawanna - Sideshow Music Hall, NY.When: 2001-12-14Boy, was this ever a much worse night than expected. For one thing, Lackawanna is closer to Niagara Falls than Buffalo, more than an hour and a half from Rochester. The way there, it was raining and sleeting. The way back, it was snowing, and the roads were miserable. It … [Read more...]

The Go-Betweens – The Friends of Rachel Worth

The Go-BetweensThe Friends of Rachel WorthFirst, an apology to Jetset. We were supposed to review this album months ago, but it was sent along with others to be reviewed by an eager contributor who was never heard from again. But better late than never, right? A co-worker came into my office while I was playing this album and said, jokingly, are … [Read more...]

Mom and Dad – Read My Shirt

Mom and DadRead My ShirtOriginality isn't everything, especially when it is not synonymous with quality. Listening to Mom and Dad is a frustrating experience. The disjointed and intentionally sloppy layering of "instruments" brings to mind little precedent. The sense of illogical genius present in Captain Beefheart, the Butthole Surfers, or U.S. … [Read more...]

Quiet American – Gurgle

Quiet AmericanGurgle"My goal with Quiet American is to sketch in sound the experience of being in an unfamiliar place." So writes Aaron Thieme in his brief synopsis of his artistic sound endeavor. When you say "sound-sculpture" to someone, they are likely to bring up images of stuffy and elaborate installations by Brian Eno or the academic … [Read more...]

Tizzy – Down with the Furies

TizzyDown with the FuriesOnly after I was able to get over the fact that Tizzy is not and will never be a death metal band (the dark and blurry cover combined with the album title…) was I able to enjoy their music. With their dual female vocals, Tizzy shares similarities with the likes of Sleater-Kinney's recent work. But compared to that almost … [Read more...]

Golden Famile – S/T

Golden FamileS/TPicture a storm slowly rumbling into the sky above you. You see it coming, and you wait without being able to do anything about it. Once it arrives, it brings darkness with it, pounding down upon all that is below. It occasionally wavers, leaving respites of the eerily calm sort, just before it plunges you into darkness again. Well, … [Read more...]

Trembling Blue Stars – Alive to Every Smile

Trembling Blue StarsAlive to Every SmileTo be honest, it’s really easy to not pay much attention to the lyrics of most songwriters. As most rhyme scrawlers in the rock canon are simply not that creative, I’m generally happy to focus on the quality of musicianship or melodic/sonic dynamics and wait for the rare Dylan or Waits to come skipping down … [Read more...]