Andrew Bird Looks to the Future and the Past on a Pair of Recent Albums
Published 9/26/2012 at 11:48 a.m. 0 comments
Over the last couple of years, Bird has been trying out a new facet of his sound—one that, while still technically dazzling and lyrically challenging, allow some breathing room. This year’s Break It Yourself is his most relaxed, raw collection ...
Adventurous Jazz Trio the Bad Plus Keeps Evolving, Onstage and in the Studio
Published 9/19/2012 at 10:33 a.m. 0 comments
For more than a decade, the Bad Plus has been delighting and confounding audiences with its off-kilter brand of jazz.
Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand Intertwine Talents for Beach House’s Unique Dream-Pop
Published 9/12/2012 at 1:22 p.m. 0 comments
Bloom, Beach House’s fourth full-length, is their most elegant and subtly eclectic, but all of the Baltimore duo’s essential ingredients are firmly intact: sky-wide layers of rippling, arpeggiated guitar reverb, oceanic mists of organ, the pitter-patter of bone-dry drum machines, ...
Nick Zammuto Keeps Making Startling Music After the Books Break Up
Published 9/5/2012 at 9:53 a.m. 0 comments
There are many words in Nick Zammuto’s dense, challenging music, but you may not find yourself crooning along.
Dan Deacon Explores America on His New Album
Published 8/29/2012 at 9:37 a.m. 0 comments
While he may have trouble mustering optimism for the country’s political future, there is plenty about America that Deacon does love. That’s evident from his gorgeous new record, America. The album is at turns fierce and pretty, a meandering symphony ...
The Milk Carton Kids Take Folk to New Highs and Lows
Published 8/22/2012 at 11:18 a.m. 0 comments
There are two things you might notice when you hear the folk duo Milk Carton Kids. The first is that they play a very quiet and restrained kind of folk, deliberate, precise, genteel, and even polite. The second thing you ...
Neil Hamburger Revels in Being America’s Least Funny “#1 Funnyman”
Published 8/15/2012 at 10:54 a.m. 0 comments
Hamburger’s live performances, often held up as an example of so-called anti-comedy, consist largely of ex-wife jokes, flailing one-liners, and foul-spirited Q&A gags that walk a line between conscious hackery and transcendence.
Comedian Todd Barry Is Having a Moment
Published 8/15/2012 at 10:47 a.m. 0 comments
Barry was once something of a cult comedian, but after spots in TV shows like Flight of the Conchords and movies like Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler, and regular appearances playing himself on Louis C.K.’s Louie, Barry has become, if not ...
Dirty Projectors Get Back to Basics on 'Swing Lo Magellan'
Published 8/8/2012 at 11:00 a.m. 0 comments
Dave Longstreth has never written “songs” in the traditional sense. His music is fractured and messy, the sonic equivalent of pointillistic visual art. When you analyze the nuts and bolts up close, Longstreth’s sonic experiments look like random, disconnected colors. ...
Seeing the World in a Different Way With New York Rock Collective Guardian Alien
Published 8/1/2012 at 11:30 a.m. 0 comments
Guardian Alien's debut album, See the World Given to a One Love Entity, released this month on Thrill Jockey, is a gigantic effort, one long 40-minute composition featuring hyperkinetic drumming, synthesizer, guitars, incantatory vocals, bass, and shahi baaja, a kind ...
Cannibal Corpse Still Reigns as the Undisputed Champ of American Death Metal
Published 7/25/2012 at 11:15 a.m. 0 comments
The early Cannibal Corpse catalog—songs like “Bloody Chunks” and “Skull Full of Maggots”—throbs with the same juvenile prurience that animates Evil Dead II and classic EC Comics. The best Cannibal Corpse songs are an unholy commingling of genuine dread, sonic ...
Blitzen Trapper Tames Its Experimental Tendencies Into Low-Key Folk-Rock
Published 7/18/2012 at 12:07 p.m. 0 comments
Over the course of six albums, Blitzen Trapper’s style has been gradually streamlined. Eric Earley’s shambling experimental and psychedelic tendencies have been sharpened and focused, with a more direct emotional connection. The touchstones on American Goldwing are mid-period Wilco, Neil ...
Baltimore's Future Islands Find Inspiration For Their Latest Album 'On the Water'
Published 7/11/2012 at 11:36 a.m. 0 comments
Future Islands is something like a postpunk band that plays keyboards instead of guitars, bassist William Cashion says. Someone once described them as “Joe Cocker singing for New Order. It’s kind of an easy description,” he says.
Folk-Pop Newcomer Sarah Jarosz Mixes the Traditional With the Postmodern
Published 7/3/2012 at 5:00 p.m. 0 comments
It’s hard to admire Sarah Jarosz without remarking on her age. Just 21, the Americana singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has released two accomplished records and earned praise from critics and fellow musicians alike.
Cincinnati's Foxy Shazam Take '70s Rock to Church
Published 6/27/2012 at 11:16 a.m. 0 comments
From the gutter opera “The Streets” to the hippy-dippy folk-rock of “Forever Together,” or the gospel-tinged Southern rock of “Freedom” to the ELO-inspired “Holy Touch,” The Church of Rock and Roll is an unashamed, passionate blare of smartly dumb pop-rock.