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Skeletons in the Piano

by Ali Hibbs July 17, 2013


  As The Post Mortem (Skeletons in the Piano’s mock-newspaper press vehicle) reported in April, a “local ghost” named Ashcraw Timmins has been hired to optimize the band’s web presence. By the sounds of the band’s ...

M.R. Poulopoulos

by Ali Hibbs July 17, 2013

  Michael Poulopoulos is old-school. That’s not a term you’re likely to find in any of his songs though. Adhering to the guitar-and-voice rudiments that have come to define Americana, Poulopoulos has built his songwriting career ...

The Major Lift

by David King June 19, 2013


  Kanye West Yeezus “You see Kanye go all Trent Reznor on SNL?” my friend texted me last month. I hadn’t but I could just imagine it: Kanye in black leather stomping around to distorted beats and screaming. ...

Terry Gordon Quintet

by Jeff Nania June 13, 2013


  Tomorrow Calling is the Terry Gordon Quintet's fourth release overall and the second on WEPA records. This group's strengths are many, from the proven writing skills of Gordon and saxophonist Eric Walentowicz, to the always-fiery ...

Michael-Louis Smith

by Jeff Nania June 13, 2013


  Michael-Louis Smith's newest album is a beautiful narrative about the passion, pain,and resilience of the “First Black Nation,” Haiti, and specifically its recent struggle with the earthquake in January 2010. In the age of the ...

The Major Lift

by Ali Hibbs May 29, 2013


  One of the primary assumptions in contemporary music criticism is that the golden age of the long-playing album is dead. With MP3s, digital streaming and file sharing, recorded sound has become so abstracted from the ...

The Flaming Lips

by Ali Hibbs May 15, 2013


  The Flaming Lips have an uncanny knack for making bad-trip psychedelic rock sound surprisingly sweet and reassuring. It’s that desperately hopeful outlook on stark mortality that earned “Do You Realize??” it’s berth in the zeitgeist ...

Kurt Vile

by Mike Hotter May 15, 2013


  It seems the music critics of the world (i.e. anyone with Internet access) have agreed that this is the Philadelphia rocker Kurt Vile’s magnum opus, some grand summation of the studied and gifted musician’s aesthetic ...


by Ali Hibbs May 15, 2013


  Shaun Smith takes his synthesizers very seriously. While some electronic artists like to keep their tools and techniques cloaked in mystery, Smith lays his whole rig out there in the liner notes of his new ...


by Ali Hibbs May 2, 2013


  Some funk bands brow-beat you into having a good time. Some funk bands blast you with a horn figure they lifted from the JBs and then demand you tell them how you’re feelin’. Some funk ...

Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie “Prince” Billy

by Mike Hotter May 2, 2013


  Ostensibly a tribute to the Everly Brothers, What the Brothers Sang finds compatriots and kindred spirits in the avant-folk scene, with Dawn McCarthy and Will Oldham delivering an album that should prove deeply enjoyable to ...


by Ali Hibbs May 2, 2013


  Were it not for the fact that Explosions in the Sky scored the soundtrack to the TV series Friday Night Lights, post-rock bands like Albany’s lastdayshining would probably get more readily compartmentalized as self-indulgent, artsy ...

Eastbound Jesus

by Ali Hibbs April 11, 2013


  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 Ali Hibbs April 11, 2013


  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 Ali Hibbs March 20, 2013


  “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 Ali Hibbs March 20, 2013


  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


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 Ali Hibbs February 21, 2013


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 ...


by Ali Hibbs February 21, 2013


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 ...


by Ali Hibbs January 17, 2013


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


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 Ali Hibbs 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 Ali Hibbs January 3, 2013


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 Ali Hibbs December 20, 2012


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 ...