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Recordings

Eastbound Jesus

by Josh Potter April 11, 2013

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  Since their win at SPAC’s battle of the bands a couple summers back, Eastbound Jesus have consistently topped local polls and best-of lists in the “country” category. While flattered, the band themselves have always insisted ...

Petra Haden

by David Greenberger April 11, 2013

  Petra Haden long ago surpassed the coolness factor of being one of the triplet daughters of jazz bassist Charlie Haden with a rich slew of musical endeavors. Most notable among these have been her multitracked ...

The Knife

by Josh Potter April 11, 2013

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  Even if you’re not a longtime fan of Swedish brother-sister electronic duo the Knife, you likely know their 2006 single “Heartbeats,” which was prominently featured in a Sony commercial and has subsequently been covered by ...

Zan Strumfeld

by Josh Potter March 20, 2013

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  “I played clarinet for eight years, but I probably couldn’t blow a note today.” This was the handwritten, numbered confession on my copy of Zan Strumfeld’s Someone New EP, penned under a flap of screen-printed ...

Marnie Stern

by Josh Potter March 20, 2013

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  Marnie Stern shouldn’t actually exist in the real world. As far as I can tell, she is the mythical ideal of a rock babe, equal parts cute and badass, able to coo a catchy chorus ...

The Major Lift

by David King March 6, 2013

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British indie darlings Alt-J have no soul. Like David, the android from Prometheus, and Superman before him, Alt-J’s problem is that they do everything and they do it well. Don’t think I’m saying the band ...

Atoms for Peace

by Josh Potter February 21, 2013

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Radiohead have never made much sense to me as a rock band. This may sound strange, given the decade and a half they’ve spent in that critically untouchable Bardo realm reserved for guitar-weilding titans, just ...

Titanics

by Josh Potter February 21, 2013

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Despite the resurgence of synthesizer-based bands in recent years, Albany has largely missed the blissed-out genre “chillwave” altogether. Which is ironic, given that what many New York City progenitors of the sound are attempting to ...

Foxygen

by Josh Potter January 17, 2013

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Year-end lists can be a clusterfuck of critical gloating, parasitical echo-chambering, and self-congradulatory back-patting, but before even that could begin (as early as November for some plucky publications that gambled on a flop from Big ...

A$AP Rocky

by Dan LaFave January 17, 2013

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A$AP Rocky’s debut mixtape in 2011 displayed such explosive promise that RCA records signed him to a $3 million recording contract. They didn’t overreact. A$AP’s first major-label effort, Long. Live. A$AP, is stacked with his ...

Pantha du Prince and the Bell Laboratory

by Josh Potter January 17, 2013

One element of electronic dance music that rarely gets discussed is the form’s debt to American minimalism (Steve Reich, Philip Glass, et al.). Last year’s multi-artist Rework: Philip Glass Remixed was evidence of the affection ...

Year in Recordings

by Josh Potter January 3, 2013

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Best of 2012 Critic: Josh Potter 1. Grimes Visions If “experimental” and “pop” ever belong in the same sentence, they best describe Claire Boucher’s bedroom electronic project, Grimes. Imagine Madonna scoring a post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie, and you’ve got Visions. 2. ...

Conehead Buddha

by Josh Potter December 20, 2012

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Earlier this spring, local concert promoter Greg Bell celebrated his 20th year in the business of booking live music. Headlining the night was a band whose history goes back nearly as far, who rose to ...

Rodeo Barons

by Josh Potter December 20, 2012

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A couple years ago, Chris Carey released his solo debut Sunset Moon. The ’70s-vintage folk-rock and alt-country felt a bit like the antidote to his primary gig as drummer for Railbird—or at least the fulfiment ...

The Major Lift

by David King December 13, 2012

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Why are Muse still a band? They seem bored, copping the same Radiohead poses that have gotten them through what seems like a dozen or so releases. But it’s not the band’s laziness and boredom ...

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Gift Guide: Pop, etc.

by Josh Potter December 6, 2012

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So, here’s how this is going to work. I’m going to rattle off a bunch of good records that came out this year under vague genre headings. Pop music has become so Balkanized and personal ...

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Gift Guide: CDs Off the Beaten Path

by David Greenberger December 6, 2012

While there’s access to more music than ever, the reality is that most new music has little chance of being heard outside of the following that already exists for it. With that in mind, here ...

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Gift Guide: Jazz

by Josh Potter December 6, 2012

Let’s face it: As practical as it can be to buy a gift certificate or download card for a music junkie, unwrapping one is kind of an anticlimax. If you’re going to gift music, get ...

Gift Guide: Classical

by B.A. Nilsson December 6, 2012

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Show your friends how much you love them by giving them relief from Christmas music. Start with Jeanne D’Arc: Batailles & Prisons (Alia Vox), a recently released two-disc set assembled by Jordi Savall and his ...

Gift Guide: Folk, Blues, Bluegrass and Celtic

by Glenn Weiser December 6, 2012

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Given that vintage guitars, mandolins, and banjos are pretty pricey as Christmas gifts, the next best thing you can give a roots music fan are CDs of people playing them well as they sing blues, ...

Gift Guide: Christmas Music

by Shawn Stone December 6, 2012

The coolest Christmas album of 2012 arrives courtesy of Cee Lo Green. Cee Lo’s Magic Moment (Elektra) is a savvy collection of well-loved tunes that, musically, are all over the map. Cee Lo never gets ...

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Prince Rama

by Josh Potter November 29, 2012

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In an interview with Bullett earlier this week, Taraka Larson, mastermind and vocalist for the sister duo Prince Rama, explained the band’s new record thusly: “I think in a way we are asking the world ...

Captain Murphy

by Josh Potter November 29, 2012

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As of press time, the identity of mystery rapper Captain Murphy was still unknown. But, man, the Internet can speculate. All year, tracks have been cropping up now and again with a deep-voiced rapper spouting ...

Between the Buried and Me

by David King November 15, 2012

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Between the Buried and Me are a metal band who speak a musical language all their own, but it’s one they have cobbled together with bits and pieces of the great work of others. With ...

London Symphony Orchestra

by B.A. Nilsson November 15, 2012

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Conductor Valery Gergiev is not a bar-shaper who smooths each moment of music that emerges from under his baton. In the context of so many who pursue an interpretive identity through fussiness, Gergiev’s performances can ...