Archives for October 2006

Crystal Castles – xxzxczx me

Crystal Castlesxxzxczx meThank god for drum machines & sequencers. I am in love with this band. Fractured, disjointed keyboards layered with manic vocals that recall Black Cat #13 makes for a really sexy song. I am glad that bands like this are around to combat the boredom of straight forward guitar bands. Heavily indebted to both San Diego & … [Read more...]

The Black Maria – A Shared History of Tragedy

The Black MariaA Shared History of TragedyThe knock on indie punk and hardcore pioneer label Victory Records is that the current roster is weak. The Black Maria's A Shared History of Tragedy won't change that. This band doesn’t just play radio-ready hard rock; they have obliterated any urge they had to sound unique. So if you don't see these guys … [Read more...]

The Knife – Silent Shout

The KnifeSilent ShoutBeing Swedish Grammis winners of "Pop Group of the Year" in 2003 for their previous work on Deep Cuts, specifically the ultra-sweet "Heartbeats," expectations were high for The Knife to produce a delicious follow-up. Hell, the song was so good it jump-started two careers, The Knife's and Nick Drake wannabe Jose Gonzalez (whose … [Read more...]

Pumajaw – Edinburgh – Liquid Room, Scotland – 2006-10-22

PumajawWhere: Edinburgh - Liquid Room, Scotland.When: 2006-10-22I've been going to gigs at the Liquid Room, and back when it was called the Music Box, for many years now and it was the first time I've walked into the venue and seen seats laid out on the floor. Perhaps this is a sign that they weren't expecting a big crowd, although it isn't a … [Read more...]

The Oaks – Our Fathers and the Things They Left Behind

The OaksOur Fathers and the Things They Left BehindThe Oaks’ debut album, Our Fathers and the Things They Left Behind is a thought-provoking recording of several songs that have their roots in the soil of Afghanistan. Songwriter Ryan Costello spent two years there on a humanitarian mission living with recently returned refugees, learning from them, … [Read more...]

The Curtains – Calamity

The CurtainsCalamitySometimes songwriters need time to get the lead out. The Curtains, Chris Cohen’s not-Deerhoof band, stands as the musical bathroom where he squats when he gets a bad case of song diarrhea. Thanks to a deft ear, Cohen molds song farts into brown logs of beauty without the shitty smell or corny leftovers. Cohen (who recorded … [Read more...]

Annuals – Be He Me

AnnualsBe He MeI'd never have imagined associating the chirping of crickets with anything short of an irredeemable borefest - popular culture be damned, I was wrong. “Brother,” lead-off track to Be He Me, evolves behind the facade of an ambient, insect-centric landscape. Once the tiny creatures lose their prominence, North Carolina-based … [Read more...]

Tanya Donelly – This Hungry Life

Tanya DonellyThis Hungry LifeGiven Ms. Donelly's impressive rock resume, I expected more from This Hungry Life. I wanted more of the visceral post punk that graced Throwing Muses' seven studio albums, more of the energetic alternative rock of the Breeders, and more of the sprightly guitar pop of Belly. Or even better, more of the impressive blithe … [Read more...]

Red Sparowes – Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun

Red SparowesEvery Red Heart Shines Toward the Red SunExplosions in the Sky once revealed that an ideal, if naïve, approach to instrumental music is plot formulation and, in doing so, underscored their not too tenuous connection with orchestral music past. If a composition of any genre can tell a story without language’s aid, then it has … [Read more...]

Librarians – Alright Easy Candy Stranger

LibrariansAlright Easy Candy StrangerWould you have trouble with a band from West Virginia that has caught your attention in the past few years? Unless you live there, or nearby there, you probably consider the West Virginia music scene a well-kept secret. Not many exports, it seems, and not always a destination on touring bands' itineraries. … [Read more...]