Dangerous Muse – “Fame Kills” video

Mike Furey has unveiled a ‘spectacular Spectacular’ (to borrow a phrase from Baz Luhrmann’s  Moulin Rouge) for “Fame Kills” under his music project moniker Dangerous Muse.  The original song debuted in 2011 and is a thrillingly epic electro-synth track that is achingly melancholic and dreamily romantic – and totally danceable.  “Fame Kills” … [Read more...]

Sleigh Bells – Reign of Terror

In my full-time job as a middle school band director, I’m often afforded the singular opportunity to bridge the gap between my own listening preferences and those of my students. When we’re not preparing works by the luminaries of grade school wind band music (John O’Reilly, James Swearingen, Robert W. Smith, etc.), any number of other artists’ … [Read more...]

Gang Gang Dance – Eye Contact

With pop music – at least that of the radio friendly unit shifter variety – three devices are undeniably ubiquitous: earworm melodies, lyrical inclusion, and conventional song format.  Think about it - if your song has a good hook, a direct and universal message, and a strategically placed chorus, it’s a fair bet that people will at least give you … [Read more...]

Grandfather – Why I’d Try

Do you remember the immediate and palpable differences between Nirvana’s Nevermind and In Utero albums?  Most critics – and fans, for that matter – will point to the production as the most prominent factor that distinguishes the lauded grunge band’s second and third albums.  Nevermind boasted a glossy veneer and shimmer that, as it turned out, did … [Read more...]

Hunters, Run! – EP3

New York City post-punkers Hunters, Run! have revived a decades-old distribution method for their latest batch of new songs; one that has been enjoying increased popularity thanks to what is sure to be one of many backlashes of the digital download era.  The band is in the midst of what they call an “ambitious 7 inch series,” in which tunes are … [Read more...]

Interpol – s/t

Anyone still nostalgically operating in a post-millenial state of revelry is bound to be disappointed by Interpol’s fourth offering – a self-titled set of tunes that retains the band’s trademark gloomy atmospherics while ditching the sprawling emotional contour that made their oldest material so spellbinding.  To quote one of the group’s own song … [Read more...]

Puracane – I’ve Been Here the Longest

If Portishead’s trip-hop freaked you out a little bit and Mazzy Star’s shoegazey dream pop was just too saccharine, then Brooklyn’s Puracane might just have the remedy. Lacking the melodramatic Sturm und Drang of Depeche Mode but too groove-oriented to qualify as ambient chill, Puracane’s amalgam of electronic loops, ghostly vocals, and bass-heavy … [Read more...]

Darlings – “We’re Not Going”

The "garage band" ethos has existed for a few decades now, and with their new track "We're Not Going," New York City band Darlings is doing its part to carry on this tradition. The song kicks off with a sludgy, rythmic guitar riff, which sounds like it could have been written on the spot. The music seems like it was written for a hot city day, … [Read more...]