Dave Douglas Turns His Trumpet to the Hymnal on 'Be Still'
Published 10/3/2012 at 10:20 a.m. 0 comments
The restless trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Dave Douglas does not make music for lazy listeners. Since 1993, Douglas has released around three dozen recordings under his own name, and has appeared on many more than that as a sideman. About ...
Animal Collective Throws in the Kitchen Sink on the Experimental 'Centipede Hz'
Published 9/12/2012 at 12:47 p.m. 0 comments
Animal Collective embraces messiness and abrasion on its ninth studio album: playing live instruments together in a room for the first time in nearly a decade, downplaying feathery loops and pillowy textures in favor raw muscle and eardrum-busting mayhem.
Lost and Found: You Can't Go Wrong With Can's New Leftovers Collection
Published 8/22/2012 at 10:36 a.m. 0 comments
Can's new three-disc set, The Lost Tapes, includes previously unreleased material recorded between 1969 and 1978 and traces the band’s gradual development from eggheaded garage band to prog-reggae experimentalists and, finally, a proto-ambient ensemble.
Technical Ecstasy: What Counts as Brutal in 2012?
Published 8/1/2012 at 11:24 a.m. 0 comments
What used to come off as a nearly unimaginable extremity—the sort of forbidding musical brutality that Dying Fetus has made its specialty—now can seem almost quaint.
Liars Continue Their Unpredictable Career Path With the Digital-Pop Surprise 'WIXIW'
Published 7/11/2012 at 5:39 p.m. 0 comments
In 2012, pop radio sounds like an airbrushed, Auto-Tuned wasteland, and nobody in their right mind knows what the hell “alt-rock” means anymore. But a number of Pitchfork-approved, taste-making experimentalists have emerged in the past decade—chief among them Brooklyn trio ...
Johnny Lydon Finds New Perspectives on the First Public Image Ltd Album in 20 Years
Published 6/20/2012 at 11:50 a.m. 0 comments
Lydon was perhaps the greatest angry young man ever, twisting with cynicism and contempt, raging against the machine. But at 56, he’s long past his angry-young-man years, and repositions his shtick effectively as a babbling old man.
Sacramento Trio Death Grips Goes Mainstream (Sort of) With 'The Money Store'
Published 5/30/2012 at 11:02 a.m. 0 comments
Both Exmilitary and The Money Store have offered reviewers a seemingly unlimited supply of influences and reference points to chart, analyze, and argue about: noise rock, Public Enemy, industrial dance, dubstep, Suicidal Tendencies, Gang Gang Dance, Def Jux, Dalek, even ...
Christian Mistress and High on Fire Reclaim the No-B.S. Spirit of Classic Heavy Metal
Published 4/11/2012 at 10:54 a.m. 0 comments
On its sixth album, High on Fire further entrenches its position as the American version of Motörhead, not least because singer/guitarist Matt Pike sounds more than ever like Motörhead main man Lemmy Kilmister. (And also because the initial response to ...
Nite Jewel Escapes the Genre Ghettos of Electronic Music With 'One Second of Love'
Published 3/14/2012 at 9:56 a.m. 0 comments
On One Second of Love, her third full-length and first on Secretly Canadian, Ramona Gonzalez has finally secured an appropriately widescreen sound to match her biggest, funkiest, darkest, most eclectic ideas.
Leonard Cohen Revisits Familiar Themes on 'Old ideas'
Published 2/15/2012 at 12:05 p.m. 0 comments
The old-age album is fast becoming a genre of its own, and it is fascinating to see how these icons who have shaped our culture confront old age.
Newly Discovered Music by Folk Icon Karen Dalton Does Little to Dispel Her Mystery
Published 1/25/2012 at 10:33 a.m. 0 comments
Reportedly recorded in 1966 in a Colorado cabin (with electricity but no running water), the recordings were warm-ups for a gig, and thus never intended to be released as an official album. As such, they have a charming lo-fi quality ...
Rocket From the Tombs: 'The Day the Earth Met the Rocket From the Tombs'
Published 1/4/2012 at 11:47 a.m. 0 comments
By the usual pop-music standards, Cleveland’s Rocket From the Tombs barely even counted as a band during its first incarnation, from 1974 to 1975. The group never officially released any music at all, never recorded anything beyond a handful of ...
Best of 2011: Music
Published 12/28/2011 at 12:00 p.m. 0 comments
Our critics pick the best albums of the year.
Kate Bush: '50 Words for Snow'
Published 12/14/2011 at 10:42 a.m. 0 comments
It may be true, as one British critic sniffed, that Bush no longer knows how to write pop songs. More to the point, I’d say that the 53-year-old singer no longer cares.
The Beach Boys: 'The Smile Sessions'
Published 11/30/2011 at 11:14 a.m. 0 comments
Capitol’s new restoration of Smile finally offers what rock geeks had only dared dream: a flatly definitive version of what should have ended up being the American Sgt. Pepper.