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Arctic Monkeys

by David King September 18, 2013


  Welcome to Arctic Monkeys’ The Chronic. Perhaps the last thing you would expect from an early Internet buzz band like the Monkeys, whose pedigree was raucous garage rock and songs about sordid sexual hookups, would ...

Nine Inch Nails

by David King September 18, 2013


  What brought Trent Reznor back to Nine Inch Nails? If you are intrigued by that question then you might be interested in Hesitation Marks, Reznor’s first album in five years. The entire album is dedicated ...

Earl Sweatshirt

by Ali Hibbs August 22, 2013


  Tuesday (Aug. 20) was something like a super-moon for late-summer album releases, Ty Segall, Julianna Barwick, No Age, Zola Jesus, Julia Holter, Shigeto and Braids (see more below) all logging anticipated entries. There was none ...


by Ali Hibbs August 22, 2013


  One of my biggest musical regrets in the past year was missing Braids’ Valentine’s performance last fall. This didn’t, however, set in until I first listened to the Montreal band’s 2011 debut Native Speaker last ...


by Ali Hibbs August 22, 2013


  It’s easy to forget, in the age of Kanye, that DJs were the first stars of hip-hop. Those early Jamaican soundsystem battles weren’t won and lost on account of the microphone “toasters,” either; it was ...

Listening Room

by B.A. Nilsson August 15, 2013


  Live at Caffè Lena: Music From America's Legendary Coffeehouse, 1967-2013 There’s a moment in Hedy West’s 1968 performance of “Shady Grove” when one of the lyrics gets a startlingly loud laugh and she stutters for a ...


by Ali Hibbs August 7, 2013


  Ironically, British house producers like Gold Panda will tell you that the best dance music currently is being made in Berlin. So, maybe the rise of U.K. electronic duo Disclosure is just the final crest ...


by Ali Hibbs August 7, 2013

  To my knowledge, there’s no such thing as a “North Country sound,” save for the gaggle of Adirondack traditionalists preserving that region’s folk catalog, or perhaps the country-infused “Northern rock” of Greenwich’s Eastbound Jesus. Yet, ...

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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 ...