Archives for April 2010

Balkan Beat Box – Blue Eyed Black Boy

Listening to Blue Eyed Black Boy by Balkan Beat Box reminds me that I may not understand all of the intricate workings of making music, but I know what I like. The three core members - Ori Kapan, Tamir Muskat and Tomer Yosef - met up in New York City and released their first album in 2005. The trio's diverse backgrounds come together in a sound … [Read more...]

Dirt Mall – Pacifuego

Dirt Mall’s second full-length album Pacifuego comes out swinging like a mixed martial arts fighter ready to knock somebody out; the Boston based rockers created a fervent and unrefined hybrid of Rock & Roll and 70s inspired punk, making the songs on the record a bit more engaging than on their previous release Got The Goat by The Horns. There … [Read more...]

New EP from Midnight Spin

Already named New York’s “Best Emerging Artist of 2009” by readers of The Deli Magazine, Midnight Spin recently shot their first music video for the debut single “In the Air (Revival)” (MP3) with the help of MTV producers seeking additional high-profile exposure for the band and this undeniably accessible song. This goal is now being met as this … [Read more...]

Moneybrother – Real Control

There's a whole lotta  music goin' on on this, the fifth full-length (first in the U.S.) from Sweden's Moneybrother (aka Anders Wendin).  A whole lotta heart, too. Wendin is a veteran by now, having been on the scene since the 90s, and he sounds especially confident on Real Control, combining the strains of rock, punk, reggae and pop he's been … [Read more...]

Coheed & Cambria – Year of the Black Rainbow

I prepared to review Coheed & Cambria’s fifth studio album, Year of the Black Rainbow, by immersing myself in their entire discography and mythos for the last two weeks. I know these albums very well now, and what follows may spark disappointment (towards the band) and outrage (towards me). YOTBR is a huge letdown, quite possibly standing as … [Read more...]

Sones de México Ensemble – Fiesta Mexicana: Mexican Songs & Stories for Niños and Niñas and their Papás & Mamás

When I was a young child, growing up I experienced both the traditions of coming from a family deep in Mexican culture while being born in the United States. Living on the U.S./Mexican border in one of the largest border cities also added an influx of strong culture from all sides. Through years of schooling where I transitioned from a bilingual … [Read more...]

Forming – Sleep Like A Dog EP

As much a part of essential nineties nostalgia as a Bart Simpson slogan t-shirt or the first few series of Power Rangers, the inspiration for the songs on Forming's Sleep Like A Dog EP will be obvious to anyone who has listened to much alternative rock music from that period, with bands like Dinosaur Jr. in particular having a disproportionate … [Read more...]

Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small

Merge Records is now a fairly well-oiled machine, but it wasn’t always so. It started off as a bedroom label working exclusively in the 7” format as a means for Mac McCaughan and Laura Balance to put out their and their Chapel Hill friends’ bands’ music because, as Mac put it, "it's not like there was anyone else asking to put them out." Slowly and … [Read more...]

Debut album from Ash Reiter

Leading the way in a fusion of musical stylings that encompass the jazz elements of Feist and the intimacy of Cat Power, Ash Reiter won’t let the beat drop whether she is crooning about trampled hearts or singing an ode to a run down apartment. Reiter has been performing and touring since 2006 when she started her college band, Drunken Boat, a … [Read more...]

No Second Troy – Colors

The aspect of music being entirely subjective has always bewildered me. On one side, you have people arguing that music cannot be judged as being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ because who’s to say what qualifies something to be worse than the other? And on the other side, you have people arguing that music can be directly broken up and dissected and that yes, … [Read more...]