Would-Be-Goods – The Morning After

Would-Be-GoodsThe Morning AfterThis album is bound to please your inner urbane cosmopolite, if you have one. If you don’t have one, you still might get something from this album of short, simple pop songs. You may know of the Would-Be-Goods guitarist Peter Momtchiloff from his associations with Talulah Gosh, Heavenly, and Razorcuts. His playing … [Read more...]

Doug Gillard – Salamander

Doug GillardSalamanderOut of the blathering ashes of Guided By Voices' largely disappointing farewell tour comes the suddenly bandless guitarist Doug Gillard, playing nearly all his own instruments, writing his own songs, and churning out Salamander, a sly and slippery bit of accomplished pop. Of course, we have only good things to expect from … [Read more...]

#1 Defender – The Diary Truthful EP

#1 DefenderThe Diary Truthful EPOnce upon a time, there was a beautiful site named mp3.com. It held thousands upon thousands of independent bands, all scrollable and clickable and downloadable. At the same time, I was a young and impressionable lad, just discovering independent music. I scrolled and clicked and downloaded my way into independent … [Read more...]

Mus – Fai

MusFaiThe connection that listeners can feel to a movie soundtrack is hard to fake. Though truly worthwhile soundtracks come about only every couple of years, the best – Kill Bill, Lost in Translation – can far outlast even their cinema corollaries. Mus’s Fai seems to be tracking a film somewhere in the weirder caverns of your heart: trippy … [Read more...]

Camp Susannah – Happy Today

Camp SusannahHappy TodayCamp Susannah is the musical alter ego of Susanna Blinkoff, who in other incarnations is an actor and screenwriter. And there's something to that, I think, because she seems to approach her music like a professional rather than the starry-eyed diarist who typically inhabits the ground floor of the "singer/songwriter" genre. … [Read more...]

Calexico – Convict Pool EP

CalexicoConvict Pool EPIf Joey Burns and John Convertino have injected into Calexico any element of their experience with Howe Gelb in underground luminaries Giant Sand, it was the tendency to craft records that can feel like compilations. Sure, early Calexico offerings like Spoke and The Black Light or tour-only releases like Aerocalexico 2001 … [Read more...]

Various Artists – Confuse Yr Idols

Various ArtistsConfuse Yr IdolsMaking a tribute album is about as necessary as remaking a classic movie. You know the best the remaker can do is to make it as good as the original was, and this rarely happens. Narnack Records has tossed its hat into the ring and ended up with an album of mixed results. Confuse Yr Idols features the likes of Elf … [Read more...]

Perfect – Once, Twice, Three Times a Maybe

PerfectOnce, Twice, Three Times a MaybeOnce, Twice, Three Times a Maybe has already lived a fairly interesting life, particularly for a disc that was only recently released. The album was recorded in 1996 by Perfect, a now defunct band that featured Tommy Stinson of the mythic band the Replacements. The group had already released an EP, and the … [Read more...]

A.C. Cotton – Notes for the Conversation

A.C. CottonNotes for the ConversationWhen your aunt talks about “rock 'n roll,” she’s thinking about A.C. Cotton’s Notes for the Conversation. Your aunt knows nothing of rock’s many sub-genres. To her, “it all sounds the same.” Never mind that most of what the musically educated world would call “rock” is far too intense and abrasive for her … [Read more...]

Straylight Run – S/T

Straylight RunS/TBe it by arrogance or honest integrity, to leave a wildly successful band like Taking Back Sunday truly takes a pair of brass ones, yet ex-TBS members John Nolan and Sean Cooper did exactly that. Throwing caution to the wind, they jumped ship and formed Straylight Run, eventually rounding out the roster with drummer Will Noon … [Read more...]