Browsing Tag



Jam Packed Thursday with Beck, Damon Albarn, and Mark McGuire

Morning Phase, Beck's soon-to-be released, 12th album (2.25 Capital Records), is being billed as the spiritual successor to his 2002 release, the deeply personal and surprisingly low-key, Sea Change. When you press play on "Blue Moon," you'll immediately see why. Like much of Sea Change, "Blue Moon," only adds careful and cautious embellishments to Beck's brand of loner folk. Damon Albarn of Blur and later Gorillaz will b...READ MORE
9 Score

The Rockometer: Grassed Inn by Blank Realm

        Blank Realm Grassed Inn Fire Records Early press introduced Grassed Inn as Blank Realm's pop album. The band's label, Fire Records, goes as far as name-dropping Big Star and The Zombies. Yet, like the Brisbane outfit's psych rock album (2010's Deja What) and their punk rock and new wave album (2012's Go Easy), such simple designations should be taken with a grain of salt, if at all. Fo...READ MORE
9 Score

The Rockometer: Costa Blanca by The Limiñanas

        The Limiñanas Costa Blanca Trouble in Mind Sexy, cool, and kitschy are the first three words to come to mind when describing Costa Blanca, The Limiñanas' latest release of garage, lounge pop, and psychedelic rock for Chicago's Trouble in Mind Records. Sexy and cool are a given. From their understated arrangements to their sly vocals sung in both French and English, The French duo ...READ MORE
6 Score

The Rockometer: Surfing Strange by Swearin’

        Swearin' Surfing Strange Salinas Records Why turn to a new band like Swearin' for '90s alt-pop nostalgia when there's plenty of the real thing out touring today? The answer to that one is simple. "Dust in the Gold Sack" is every bit the buzz cut as Belly's "Feed the Tree," The Primitives' "Crash," or anything by The Breeders not named "Cannonball." Swearin'...READ MORE

Play Me: “Stacking Spheres” and “Profile of Woman in Silk Hood” by Trouble Books

The Akron ambient/electronic music duo Trouble Books are two of the most unassuming musicians in Northeast, Ohio. Personally, I've seen the husband-and-wife duo of Keith Freund and Linda Lejsovka perform sitting on the sidewalk in front of a record store, sitting on the floor of a gallery, and more or less, appearing out of nowhere in a sparsely populated barroom on an actual stage. Think about it. It's kinda hard to be invisible...READ MORE

A Jam Packed Thursday with Joanna Gruesome (covering Galaxie 500), Snowbird (a Cocteau Twin), White Lung And Eagulls

There's just one problem with Joanna Guresome's cover of Galxie 500's "Tugboat" for a digital only B-side to their "Sugarcrush" single (11/19). It's digital. Otherwise, the Cardiff noise pop band get it all right. They treat the source material with respect, getting that hypnotic bass line just right, and have some fun with it, too. I don't remember banshee screeches and guitar squeals much in the original. I don't remember Galax...READ MORE

Play Me: “Love Is Not Allowed” by Gap Dream

One sheets are for writers who have nothing to say. That's what I've always said. Yet, something struck me about Gabe Fulvimar's personal account on the making of his new album, Shine Your Light (11/26 on Burger Records). I've heard the musical growth it speaks of, from someone who seemed to have stumbled upon a good groove in his bedroom studio, like Stephen Malkmus standing in front of a table of synthesizers, to a fuller, m...READ MORE
8 Score

The Rockometer: Reflektor by Arcade Fire

        Arcade Fire Reflektor Merge Records If you were to ask for my opinion on Arcade Fire as recently as two months ago, you would have gotten a reply like, "A bunch of self-important assholes whose clumsy and bloated anthems make U2 sound subtle by comparison. " Yes, I'm proud of that line. It makes me sound like one of those bitter old critics who's only impressed by his own wit. My st...READ MORE

Play Me: “Dust in the Gold Sack” by Swearin’

No, you're not hearing double. That voice you hear on Swearin's new single, "Dust in the Gold Sack," is not that of Katie Crutchfield, the young artist who released a very well received solo album under the name Waxahatchee for Don Giovanni Records this past spring. Rather, it's her twin sister, Alison. Alison is Swearin'. Katie is not. And, oh boy, is Alison's Swearin' about to take off. Not only is her voice full, fluttery, ...READ MORE

Play Me: “Super Kiwi” by Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo's "Super Kiwi" was made for a 7". It comes from the same recordings done with producer John McEntire (Tortoise) that made up their latest full length, Fade, but unlike the tracks that made the final cut, "Super Kiwi," does not share the same stately and sedate nature. Where Fade is deft and calculated, "Super Kiwi" is fast and ferocious. Where Fade patiently added and removed layers to each track, "Super Kiwi" bristle...READ MORE