Archives for March 2004

Jason Anderson – New England

Jason AndersonNew England After releasing two records and a half (given that Something/Everything was credited to Jason Anderson/Wolf Colonel) under the "Wolf Colonel" moniker, Jason Anderson decided it was high time to use his own name and not to hide behind a band's name. This decision lead him to the release of his most sincere, complete, and … [Read more...]

Bonnie "Prince" Billy – Sings Greatest Palace Music

Bonnie "Prince" BillySings Greatest Palace MusicFor someone as wilfully contrary in his approach to the music industry as Will Oldham, tackling the hoary old "greatest hits' (that's hits with a small "h') compilation conundrum was never going to be done in a straightforward fashion. Instead of merely stringing together his most popular … [Read more...]

Runner & the Thermodynamics – S/T

Runner & the ThermodynamicsS/T What does it mean to rock? Many of the brightest lights of indie-ana could never make any credible claim to it. Considering that rock with a capital "r" (henceforth "Rock") brings to mind names such as Ted Nugent, Foghat, AC/DC, and so on, it isn't hard to see why today's witty, punk-schooled post-grads would shy … [Read more...]

RockFour – Nationwide

RockFourNationwide Israeli psych-pop. Has there ever been a three-word phrase that inspired more cognitive dissonance? On one side of the equation is Israel, the epicenter of culture clash, the cutting edge of conflict. On the other psych-pop, a whimsical mode of expression for those with the luxury of free time and a surfeit of security and drugs. … [Read more...]

Ric Menck – The Ballad of Ric Menck

Ric MenckThe Ballad of Ric Menck Ric Menck can afford to toot his own horn. The man has done it all musically, whether in his own solo career or with one of his numerous bands or as a founding member of seminal power-poppers Velvet Crush, and he's done it all with an easy grace and aplomb and an ear for hooks rarely seen in today's pop songwriters. … [Read more...]

Kammerflimmer Kollektief – Cicadidae

Kammerflimmer KollektiefCicadidaeWhat do you think of when you think of Germany? No. Scratch that. That question opens itself up to much of the unpleasantness of history. More appropriate: What do you think of when you think of German Music? Falco, Kraftwerk, umm...the short-lived white rap group Die Phantastichen Vier, Kammerflimmer Kollectief? … [Read more...]

Forest Giants – In Sequence

Forest GiantsIn SequenceWithin the first five seconds of Forest Giants' debut LP In Sequence, singer Tim Rippington declares, "I am a rock star." Whether it's a claim made tongue-in-cheek or a prediction is unclear. Formerly of Beatnik Filmstars, Rippington is joined in Forest Giants by two other musicians (Ruth Cochran and Jo Head) to create … [Read more...]

Franz Ferdinand – S/T

Franz FerdinandS/TAs much as critics like me like to harp on innovation and genre-bending, we all love a good rock "n' roll tune. Enter Franz Ferdinand: there's nothing extrinsically special about this music at all. One could say that it combines post-punk, dance-punk, and garage rock into one neat little crepe: seemingly the perfect recipe for … [Read more...]

Ai Phoenix – The Driver is Dead

Ai PhoenixThe Driver is DeadAi Phoenix started in 1997 as a lark between three friends who simply wanted to share their music. The world is lucky they did. Though one of the friends is gone now, a new friend (Bosse) has joined the remaining two (Patrick, Mona) and continued carrying the beautiful, soothing, lovingly-crafted streams of melody forth … [Read more...]

Okkervil River – Split CD

Okkervil RiverSplit CDOn the surface, pairing the enigmatic effortlessness of songstress Julie Doiron with the queasy "bucolicalia" of Okkervil River would seem to be somewhat counterintuitive. Doiron, being unassailably fragile and graceful, and Okkervil finding strength in creaky and damaged songcraft, it's hard to immediately see the uniting … [Read more...]