Archives for January 2011

Rachel Goodrich – s/t

Just because someone has had their music featured on a cable TV show, tinkered with by a Grammy-winning producer, and been written about in The New York Times doesn’t necessarily mean they’re worth your time, money, or Internet bandwidth.  Indeed, can’t we all reference at least one artist from the past decade who boasted imposing credentials and … [Read more...]

Useless Keys – Is the Painting Changing EP

The lugubrious angst and anomie of the 1990s are still hangin’ around in the form of this band that revels in the soft verse / loud chorus dichotomy and a slow, dissonant churn of distorted, sharp guitars, menacing bass undertow, and emotionally disaffected vocals from Michael Bauer with lyrics that verge on the paranoid.  It’s no surprise that the … [Read more...]

Interview with Tim Booth and Jim Glennie of James

James embarked on a North American tour in support of the U.S. release of The Morning After The Night Before, a unification of their two, U.K. released, mini-albums. The fifth stop on the tour was Boston’s Paradise Rock Club on September 25, 2010 and after being allowed to witness the soundcheck, musicologist DJ Ambient and I were able to secure … [Read more...]

Petra Haden and Yuka Honda collaborate on album

Salt on Sea Glass is the debut album from If By Yes is the collaborative project helmed by two of the most original talents in pop music. Petra Haden, the vocalist behind the groundbreaking vocal projects Imaginaryland and Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out, is known for her inventive harmonies and complex voicings and touring and studio stints … [Read more...]

Album out now from Starlings, TN

[MP3]: “With their bowed dulcimer, droning echo, and mysterious psychedelic touches, Starlings, TN combines the otherworldliness of John Cale-era Velvet Underground with the tradition of string and bluegrass bands of the ‘20s and ‘30s.” – All … [Read more...]

North Atlantic Oscillation – Grappling Hooks

Grappling Hooks, the debut record by North Atlantic Oscillation, is a wondrous experience. Fusing elements of post-rock, synth pop, electronica with fearless experimentation, it’s surprisingly melodic and cohesive. However, as is sometimes the case, it is best heard in small doses; hearing the entire thing at once can be a chore. The duo of Ben … [Read more...]

Last Harbour – Lights

Given their involvement in other musical operations (brave timbers, Anna Kashfi, Samson & Delilah), demanding day-jobs (including running Little Red Rabbit Records) and geographical dispersal, it’s somewhat remarkable that the members of Last Harbour continue to be so prolific and committed over ten years down the line.  It’s also gratifying … [Read more...]

Destroyer – Kaputt

In the long, disjointed list of "themes alluded to or avoided" in the press release to Dan Bejar's 9th LP as Destroyer, Kaputt, a couple lines stick out as more serious-minded than others: "The hopelessness of the future of music" and "The pointlessness of writing songs for today." If perhaps a little sour and self-handicapping, they struck me as … [Read more...]

The White Wires – WWII

Been there, done that is one way to describe the sun-soaked garage-punk heard on The White Wires’ sophomore effort WWII. The Canadian trio of Ian (vox/guitar), Luke (bass/vox) and Allie (drums) dive head first into a playful and melodic, yet somewhat formulaic, mix of sun-soaked garage-punk. The power chords are crisp, executed with a youthful … [Read more...]

Eric & Magill album out now

“All Those I Know” [MP3]: Eric & Magill’s debut album All Those I Know was written over e-mail with Osterman while Weber was living in Armenia, the initial process of creating All Those I Know was so successful that Weber began to collaborate this way … [Read more...]