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CourtneyBarnettAlbumCover
9 Score

The Rockometer: Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit by Courtney Barnett

Much like the beloved American sitcom, Seinfeld, a show about nothing, Courtney Barnett's debut album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit, managers to be highly entertaining while working with the most banal source material. Man plays hooky from work. Couple goes house hunting. Courtney swims. Courtney buys groceries. These are but a sampling of the seemingly ordinary scenes recreated over the course of eleven songs. There's even a track, "Small Poppies," where Barnett thinks about moving the lawn. She doesn't actually cut the grass, mind you, she just thinks about it.
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jsbxFreedomTower

Should You Buy the New Blues Explosion Album? Take the Quiz

'90s alt-rock innovators, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, have a new album out. Should you buy it? Take the quiz and find out.
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Obnox

New Jam City: New Jams by Obnox, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and Flesh Lights

After two albums where the lines between rock and hip-hop became increasing blurred, Obnox offers up something different as a first taste from his second album of 2015: a rocker, no slashes, no dashes, just a rocker.
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SleaterKinney_NoCitiesToLove_cover-608x608
8 Score

The Rockometer: No Cities to Love by Sleater-Kinney

Sleater-Kinney are an important band, a very important band. Their left-leaning politics and fiercely proud feminism sheltered countless listeners during the band's first run through the '90s and early-to-mid '00s. Carrie Brownstein also has one helluva rock kick. And you know that song of theirs, "No Rock 'N' Roll Fun?" Turn it around and the message becomes, Sleater-Kinney are Rock 'N' Roll fun.
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GotobedsPoorPeopleAreRevolting
10 Score

The Rockometer: Poor People Are Revolting by The Gotobeds

What's not to like about these Pittsburgh smart-asses, the Gotobeds? Poor People Are Revolting, the band's debut long player for Gerald Cosloy's 12XU, is two sides of punk rock slop packed with clever vocal jabs and insatiable melodies.
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NudeBeach77AlbumCover
7 Score

The Rockometer: 77 by Nude Beach

While the album title, 77, may suggest the golden era of punk rock, Nude Beach's behemoth, 18 song, 70+ minute effort actually pays homage to a different Rock 'N' Roll tradition -- That of the American bar rock band. That old practice of men working for the weekend and then ringing it in with beers and blasting guitars may wax and wane, but never completely goes out of style. Depending on your vantage point, the trio of Chuck Betz, Ryan Naideau, and Jim Shelton may remind you of Tom Petty in the '70s, The Replacements in the '80s, Wilco's early output in the '90s, or contemporary rabble-rousers like The Men.
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BSR-056 LIFE-THRILLS COVER
9 Score

The Rockometer: Life/Thrills by Lower Plenty

That bit about friends from other bands in town gathering around a kitchen table to write and record music describes Lower Plenty to a tee. The ten, largely acoustic numbers collected on Life/Thrills are spontaneous and endearingly unpolished: The percussion often sounds like washboards or bottles and cans; the guitars are loosely strummed and tuned to good enough; and, the lyrics are often conversational in nature, gathered from bits overheard about town or supplied as the answer to the simple question, "What did you do today?"
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newpornographersbrillbruisers
8 Score

The Rockometer: Brill Bruisers by The New Pornographers

By definition, a supergroup, like Canada's New Pornographers, should be fun. A supergroup is an opportunity for friends to get together and make music free from the same kind of expectations placed on their main projects. Yet, despite the pedigrees of Carl "AC" Newman, Dan Bejar (Destroyer), Neko Case, and the others who've contributed to the band's last two albums (2007's Challenger and 2010's Together) this supergroup had begun to sound like a super drag. Ornateness had been mistaken for quality. Tempos lurched into mid-tempo hell. The band's most recent effort, Brill Bruisers, is a lot of things: Fun, engaging, a return to form, a new direction, and most definitely not a drag.
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