Archives for January 2005

Man Man – The Man in a Blue Turban With a Face

Man ManThe Man in a Blue Turban With a FaceTheir songs have titles like “Werewolf (On the Hood of Your Heartbreak)” and “White Rice, Brown Heart.” They rant like half-drunk hobo poets about gorilla suits and pornography over a slapdash combination of horns, drums, and fat bottomed licks. The Moonstone Pre-School Choir contributed their naïf … [Read more...]

Pale Man Made – Show of Hands EP

Pale Man MadeShow of Hands EPThe title track on Pale Man Made’s third album, Show of Hands, may be as good as anything you’re likely to hear from an underground band this year. Or it may be better, depending on how you feel about the combined catalogs of The Pixies, Sleater Kinney, Joy Division, and The Fall. If you’re inclined to see the … [Read more...]

Danny Pruitt – Codeine Dreams EP

Danny PruittCodeine Dreams EPAlt-country artists usually bore me because they are too slow, overly reliant on country motifs, eager to infuse their records with too many instruments, or commit a combination of these sins. Danny Pruitt avoids all three errors on his new solo EP, Codeine Dreams. While his three-year-old band, Shiloh Fivecoat, was on … [Read more...]

Lock and Key – Pull Up the Floorboards

Lock and KeyPull Up the FloorboardsPull Up the Floorboards is the kind of album that, in the late-90s, would have been my most treasured possession. But that's not to say it's dated; I just don't listen to the style that often anymore. It takes a band like this to remind me why I loved it so much in the first place. Lock and Key has a definite … [Read more...]

Engine Down – S/T

Engine DownS/TRichmond, Virginia-based quartet Engine Down is a model act for rock-band evolution. The band started with the DIY ethic, playing basements and releasing 7" splits. Progress hasn't exactly been slow; the band's formation was only in 1996. Now these guys have signed onto a new label (Lookout! Records) and toured with acts popular as … [Read more...]

Daniel Carlson – Now

Daniel CarlsonNowDaniel Carlson's solo debut Now is a tidy, five-song EP that introduces Carlson as a talented, if somewhat derivative, pop balladeer. Carlson writes dreamy, introspective pop songs in a style that goes back to 1970s singer/songwriters like Carole King and Jackson Browne. Like those progenitors, Carlson revels in the deeply … [Read more...]

The Language of Flowers – Songs About You

The Language of FlowersSongs About YouBelfast’s the Language of Flowers are intent on returning the listener to the days of guileless, jangly pop circa mid-80s Sarah Records with wispy female vocals singing modest songs of everyday loves and losses. For about half of Songs About You the band succeeds only at tweaking those memories (if you have … [Read more...]

Cul de Sac – Abhayamudra

Cul de SacAbhayamudraWhen it comes to rock music, few practitioners have been more pivotal than Can. With such albums as Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi, Can has done as much to expand rock and roll’s vocabulary as virtually anybody else. Their importance is massive and undeniable. At the band's artistic peak, Can's lead singer was a manic sage from … [Read more...]

Black Moth Super Rainbow – Start a People

Black Moth Super RainbowStart a PeopleSomething about Black Moth Super Rainbow releases makes all of them seem familiar. Maybe it’s because the basic overall sound of most of the band’s releases comes off like some weird amalgamation of muzak, Kraftwerk, primitive video game MIDIs, and the background music used in high school science education … [Read more...]

The Adored – S/T EP

The AdoredS/T EPThe Adored is Los Angeles' latest secret. The band has shared bills with Supergrass and with The Futureheads, and the guys played a private party hosted by Interpol. LA Weekly nominated the band for "Best Dance Artist" of 2004, and Buzzcocks frontman, Pete Shelley, is such a fan that he appears as a guest vocalist on this debut … [Read more...]