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Recordings

Stone Jack Jones

by David Greenberger February 26, 2015

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  Raised in West Virginia and now living in Nashville, Stone Jack Jones has brought forth his second album, close on the heels of last year’s Ancestor. The 10 songs on Love & Torture are again ...

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The Mavericks

by Tim Mack February 26, 2015

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  They shouldn’t be this happy. This should be their joyless, introspective “dark” album full of loss and regret. Instead, it’s the best dance album you’ve heard this year, and better yet, it sounds like a band ...

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Various Artists

by B.A. Nilsson February 26, 2015

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  Seeking the living heritage of American song, John Lomax visited a number of Southern prisons in 1933 with recording gear in tow. Not the most dignified of scholars—Lomax had a racist streak that supported his ...

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Anonymous 4 with Bruce Molsky

by B.A. Nilsson February 5, 2015

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  The opening strains of the opening song—“Weeping, Sad, and Lonely”—are so ethereal, so gorgeous, that when we reach the lyric—“Oft in dreams I see thee lying/On the battle plain/Lonely, wounded, even dying/Calling, but in vain.”—it ...

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D’Angelo

by Mike Hotter February 5, 2015

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  I purposely stayed away from reading any reviews or prerelease hubbub before purchasing this album for myself as a Christmas present, wanting to be as unswayed by others’ opinions on it as possible. A casual ...

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Ariel Pink

by Mike Hotter January 29, 2015

  Ranked fourth in my Top 10 albums for 2010, the breakthrough album Before Today from Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti impressed me for being “skuzzy, freaky, fun, unpredictable, maddening and ridiculous—a gander into a brainpan skewed ...

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Punch Brothers

by Tim Mack January 29, 2015

  Will the mandolin be enough to save us from our iPhones? Not likely. Throw in a banjo, guitar, upright and fiddle? Maybe there's a fighting chance. On their fourth album, The Phosphorescent Blues, Brooklyn-based bluegrass collective the ...

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Hypercolor

by David Greenberger January 29, 2015

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  A trio featuring guitarist Eyal Maoz, bassist James Ilgenfritz and drummer Lukas Ligeti, Hypercolor have been playing together for the better part of a decade, and that is a key to why this debut release ...

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Best Recordings of 2014: Josh Potter

by Ali Hibbs December 31, 2014

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  1. Aphex Twin, Syro “He’s back . . . ” Like the whispered buzz of some techno-utopian prophesy—excitement cut with nervous dread—the news of IDM pioneer Richard James’s triumphant return to his most influential moniker changed ...

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Best Recordings of 2014: David King

by David King December 31, 2014

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  1. Einsturzende Neubauten, Lament Envisioned as a performance piece about the horrors of war, Neubauten’s Lament a is simultaneously visceral and thoughtful, gorgeous and repulsive. The album of the year is both a history fetishists’ dream ...

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Best Recordings of 2014: David Greenberger

by David Greenberger December 31, 2014

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  1. Bill Frisell, Guitar in the Space Age Frisell explores a set of songs that made an impact on him in his youth and may well have drawn him to the guitar in the first place. ...

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Gift Guide: Off the Beaten Path CDs

by David Greenberger December 11, 2014

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  The once wide and clear avenues for alerting possible listeners to the existence of a new release have become a thicket of narrow pathways. Hence, many recordings, even ones created by favored artists, can remain ...

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Gift Guide: Reissues

by David King December 11, 2014

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  The holiday season is always a good time for fond reminiscence of simpler times--when music arrived in a physical package made up of artwork and these things called liner notes. It is also a good ...

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Gift Guide: Classical Music

by B.A. Nilsson December 11, 2014

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  Four years ago, Sony Classical released all of Leonard Bernstein’s symphony recordings (with the New York Philharmonic) in one 60-CD box set that quickly sold out its initial pressing. Bernstein’s conducting is always reliable, often ...

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Gift Guide: Folk, Blues, Bluegrass, and Celtic Music

by Glenn Weiser December 11, 2014

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  If you’re scouting around for gift CDs in the folk, blues, bluegrass or Celtic music genres, look no further—I’ve scoped out the roots music landscape for you, and 2014 has given us a wealth of ...

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Aphex Twin

by David King November 26, 2014

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  For decades now Aphex Twin’s Richard James has maintained a mystique that paints him as both madman and genius. His work is like some sort of curse he is forced to pour out over homemade ...

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Run The Jewels

by David King November 26, 2014

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  In an age when Taylor Swift can release a jingle for New York City’s tourism campaign that simply says “New York: It’s waiting for you,” like it’s a fucking pot of gold waiting to be ...

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Captain Beefheart

by David Greenberger November 20, 2014

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  The Captain Beefheart catalog has been in a shoddy state for some time. The new four-CD set Sun Zoom Spark: 1970 to 1972 remedies that in suitably dignified style. The peak of Beefheart’s powers with ...

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Arch Stanton Quartet

by Jeff Nania November 20, 2014

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  Blues For Soli is The Arch Stanton Quartet's sophomore release, which comes two years after their first record, and a year after the group collectively traveled to Egypt for a cultural exchange which featured a ...

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Marco Benevento

by Jeff Nania November 13, 2014

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  “Don’t sit down on them . . . what you’re feeling,” Marco Benevento sings on "If I Get to See You at All" from his newest record, Swift. This seems like an apt message for ...

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Pallbearer

by David King November 13, 2014

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  Someone call Ozzy Osbourne and tell him he’s allowed to die now. Satan has cut a deal with his replacement, and I’m not surprised to tell you that they are from Little Rock, Ark. Pallbearer ...

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The Flaming Lips

by Mike Hotter November 13, 2014

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  The Beatles’ Summer of Love release, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, is usually the album touted as their best, but if you give a close listen to the rest of their catalog, you would ...

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A Harmony of Its Own

by David Greenberger October 30, 2014

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  Music is one of the primary elements by which I can chart my life. Through these events and ideas I see where I was and where I’ve gone. Records released more than 40 years ago ...

Paul Bley

by David Greenberger October 9, 2014

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  It’s rare that unadorned type alone can make for such an apt cover, but Paul Bley’s Play Blue is as fine an example as you’re likely to see. The inch-high uppercase sans-serif black letters fill ...

Weezer

by David King October 9, 2014

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  Weezer suck. They’ve sucked hard, very, very hard for the better portion of their time as a band. And it seems all this sucking was done on purpose—well at least purposefully by frontman Rivers Cuomo, ...

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