Spoon – Gimme Fiction (deluxe reissue)

Spoon’s fifth album is not the most obvious place to start with a deluxe repackaging treatment. Sat betwixt 2002’s cult classic Kill The Moonlight and 2007’s commercial crossover Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, 2006’s Gimme Fiction is very much a transitional affair. Missing its predecessor’s minimalistic invention and its sequel's crafted precision, the LP has … [Read more...]

Yo La Tengo – Stuff Like That There

Yo La Tengo have been in a retrospective bubble since 2013’s well-received but too quickly forgotten Fade LP.  With an expanded version of 1993’s sublime Painful (as Extra Painful on Matador) and a vinyl reprint of 1990’s well-loved Fakebook on vinyl (on the Bar/None label) both appearing last year, backwards glancing has been helpfully reminding … [Read more...]

Fake Chapter record label founder releases Sex, Drugs & Cubicles book

Fake Chapter label head releases Sex, Drugs and Cubicles book about the pitfalls of the music industry Fake Chapter Records founder Michael Gilligan has released a new book, Sex, Drugs and Cubicles, compiling insider tales about the “music trinity of money, greed and stupidity” experienced over a lifetime in the music industry. Gilligan … [Read more...]

The Young – Chrome Cactus

I had the immense privilege to review The Young’s 2012 full-length release, Dub Egg. This Austin, TX quartet thrives on rock and roll. It’s sewn into their very fiber. Their newest release, Chrome Cactus was released August 26th 2014 via Matador Records. Adaptable yet precocious, the fuzzy vocals of singer Hans Zimmerman naysay against the … [Read more...]

Chelsea Light Moving – Chelsea Light Moving

Recognize the names, “Reena”, “Sacred Trickster”?  How about, “Teenage Riot”?  These are either foreign entities and don’t concern your musical palate vocabulary whatsoever, or perhaps they excite enormously and spark the very madness of why you started listening to music in the first place.  They are of course, “the hits”, if you will, for the … [Read more...]

Savages – Silence Yourself

A savage is the transformation underlying what happens to the characters of Lord of the Flies once they realize that there is no turning back. This sort of conviction, this sort of desperation, this sort of primitive impulse is shown in everything from the way the children in the book hunt and kill a wild boar, to the way they turn on each other … [Read more...]

Yo La Tengo – Fade

After thirty years of making music, it’s safe to say that a band like Yo La Tengo has nothing left to prove. They’ve already been able to create the indisputable classics, they’ve been able to showcase a litany of covers that is without a doubt unmatched, they’ve been able to explore each new release as a challenge to create something fresh and … [Read more...]

Come – Eleven: Eleven (deluxe reissue)

Although very much a sociable entity in the fertile Boston underground rock scene of the early-‘90s, Come still stood aside from many of their peers.  Not indebted enough to Hüsker Dü and plaid shirts to be like Buffalo Tom, not as melodically-honeyed as Belly to follow an indie-pop path and not into sufficient soap opera hedonism to keep up with … [Read more...]

Artists On Albums: AOA#33 (Thalia Zedek on Junkyard)

Thalia Zedek on… The Birthday Party’s Junkyard (Missing Link/4AD, 1982) I remember clearly the luckiest record shopping day of my life.  It was 1982 and I was at Newbury Comics, the only record shop in Boston that stocked underground records at that time.  I went to the new arrivals bin and starting flipping through the stack, and then I … [Read more...]

FAO#35: Chris Brokaw & AC Newman

Better together or alone?  For some prolific artists who have spread their careers across multiple bands, side-projects and solo ventures it’s a question than can be asked repeatedly.  Teamwork can be essential for dynamic musical forging as shown through the catalytic reactions inherent in collaboration.  Yet single-minded solo visions can also … [Read more...]