Friday, May 18, 2012

we've moved

this blog went through some different phases, but we've moved on.  You can find me now over at tumblr:


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

So welcome back. We took last week off and are returning with a change in format, narrowing our focus. You'll now be able to read about the week's best/most notable releases in greater detail, and can explore the endless other releases on your own time. Suggestions, comments, etc are welcomed and will be responded to. Thanks for reading, listen to new good music!

New Releases 11.1.2011

Black Milk & Danny Brown _ Black & Brown EP (hip-hop)

Detroit duo Black Milk and Danny Brown prove that Detroit has more to offer than Eminem, GM cars, and $1,000 houses on their debut disc. From the stuttering guitar and bass of "Sound Check" through the self titled closer the beats are unique. Live drums meet eerie samples and stuttering rhythms to give the record a gritty feel.

"Wake Up," "Loosie" and "Zap" set the tone with Brown's unique, dirty flow over classically flowing beats and are all outstanding tracks. "Jordan VIII, " and "Dada"move to more a more adventurous sound with interludes "Dark Sunshine" and "Wtf" ensuring the weird quota is met.

The closing title track is a return to the traditional hip-hop format where they're at their most effective. A promising EP from a promising duo from one of the most depressing places in the country and a must listen for bored hip-hop fans.

Key Tracks: "Wake Up," "Loosie," "Zap," "Black & Brown."

The Decemberists _ Long Live The King EP (indie/folk)(1.5/4.0)
Long Live the King finds Portland indie kings looking to do something beyond their standard sound, which is admirable. While the band undoubtedly has the right intentions with this EP, the songwriting pales in comparison to their early work.

The opener "E. Watson" feels weak and uninspired, relying too heavily on an understated acoustic guitar to propel the song forward. "Forgone" is an excellent track with crystal clear pedal steel swooning over a crisp electric guitar line. "Burying Davy" is a somewhat awkward attempt at the dark prairie ballad and might be the least successful track of the short record.

"I 4 U & U 4 Me" finds the band back in their sweet spot playing bright, upbeat folk perfect for a day in the sun. "Row Jimmy" moves back into unfamiliar territory for the band with elements of classic bluegrass although the results are better than could be expected. Colin Meloy's nasal nerd-croon is carefully accented and drawn back when needed, but even this isn't enough to make this EP a worthwhile buy, or even inclusion on our internet radio playlists.

Key Tracks: "Forgone," "I 4 U & U 4 Me."

Friday, October 21, 2011

____________New Releases 10.18.2011

Big Pete _ Choice Cuts

Dutch blues master makes his American debut. Recommended for fans of the genre.

Bjork _ Biophilia

Icelandic legend’s latest is as pretty and weird as possible.

Brantley Gilbert _ Modern day Prodigal Son

Ridiculous muscle country.

Chris Isaak _ Beyond The Sun

Isaak pays tribute to the legendary Sun Records.

Class Actress _ Rapproacher

Brooklyn duo play quality synth pop. See “Bienvenue,” “Keep You.”

Cradle of Filth _ Evermore Darkly

Extreme metal.

Everlast _ Songs of the Ungrateful Living

Dark, raspy, folk/rap from an original white rapper.

Freestyle Fellowship _ Promise

Interesting, experimental hip hop from LA collective.

Gauntlet Hair _ Gauntlet Hair

Chicago indie rockers mix sub-bass and electro drums with trebly guitar for an interesting whole.

I Break Horses _ Hearts

Swedish duo play understated synth pop.

James Blake _ Enough Thunder EP

UK Hipster hero features Bon Iver but might just be too boring for the big time..

Jane’s Addiction _ The Great Escape Artist

Alt heroes enlist Dave Sitek on their first new set since 2003’s Strays.

John Cale _ Extra Playful EP

21-minutes of art-rock from Velvet underground co-founder.

June Tabor & Oyseterband _ ragged Kingdom

Classical folk from English legends.

**Kitty, Daisy, & Lewis _ Smoking in Heaven

UK trio play fresh, eclectic 60’s tinged rock’n’roll.

Lalah Hathaway _ Where It All Begins

Critically adored R&B from ‘The First Daughter of Soul.’

M83 _ Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

French electropop act play huge, upbeat indie rock.

Montgomery Genry _ Rebels on the Run

Cringe-worthy country pop would have anyone in their right mind on the run and hiding.

**My Brightest Diamond _ All Things Will Unwind

Inventive pop combining elements of chamber music, opera and cabaret from NYC singer/songwriter. See “Reaching Through to the Other Side,” “Escape Routes,” “High Low Middle.”

Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds _ Self Titled

Oasis leader aims to outshine Liam on his solo debut.

Patrick Stump _ Soul Punk

Former emo-king’s attempt at R&B is a bit confusing but has decent moments. See “Spotlight,” “The I in Lie,” “Run Dry.”

Real Estate _ Days

NJ/BK blog kings play their brand of sleepy pop/rock. See “Out of Tune.”

Shelby Lynne _ Revelation Road

Grammy winning Virginia songstress plays pretty roots-pop.

T-Bone Burnett _ Presents The Speaking Clock Revue _ Live From The Beacon Theatre

Great American producer welcomes a list of legends for an energetic collection of great live music.

The Kentucky Headhunters _ Dixie Lullabies

Authentic country rock. Recommended for fans of the genre.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

_______________New Releases 10.11.11
Bjork _ Biophilia
Bjork's music is as intense, beautiful, and fiercely creative as ever.
Electric 6 _ Heartbeats and Brainwaves
Prolific Detroit based garage-electro act are obviously having fun on their 8th studio effort. See "The Intergalactic Version."
Erasure _ Tomorrow's World
Brit synth-pop duo sound the same as always, but now their sound is hip again.
Five Finger Death Punch _ American Capitalist
Tongue-in-cheek LA metal act mix hardcore and nu-metal with mixed results.
**Joe Henry _ Reverie
Accomplished producer shows off on this atmospheric, largely acoustic set.
Joe Jonas _ Fastlife
Even the slickest, most expensive beats money can buy can't save this confused disaster of a solo effort.
Marketa Irglova _ Anar
The female half of The Swell Season has an incredibly mature sound for a 23-year-old on her solo debut.
Modeselektor _ Monkeytown
Berlin IDM group features Thom Yorke and others on their latest set of trippy electro.
Peter Gabriel _ New Blood
Legend is as innovative and dramatic as ever on his latest.
**Rachel Yamagata _ Chesapeake
Singer/pianist plays warm, intelligent pop on her third solo album.
Radiohead _ Tkol Rmx 1234567
Complete collection of previously unreleased remixes finds Radiohead at their weirdest.
Rich Robinson _ Through A Crooked Sun
Black Crowe plays standard blues-pop.
Ryan Adams _ Ashes & Fire
From overacheiver to underacheiver, Mr Mandy Moore adds to his musical legacy with this set of intricate folk.
The Parlor Mob _ Dogs
NJ alt-rockers sound like one part Jack White, one part The Academy Is.
Wednesday 13 _ Calling All Corpses
Snarling, theatrical hard-rock
White Williow _ Terminal Twilight
Norwegian art-rockers continue their trend towards darker, more guitar-driven tunes.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

_________________New Releases 10.4.2011

Carolyn Wonderland _ Peace Meal

Authentic blues via Austin.

David Crowder Band _ Oh For Joy

Bizarre Christmas/electronic album.

Dessa _ Castor, The Twin

MN spoken-word artist follows up the critically lauded A Badly Broken Code with more electro/spoken word.

DJ Shadow _ Less You Know The Better
Shadow suffers from ADD on his latest, skipping frequently between hip-hop, hard-rock, and trip-hop elements.

Feist _ Metals

Indie-queen Leslie Feist’s latest effort is less focused and cheery than her previous two albums.

George Benson _ Guitar Man

American guitar legend plays smooth Jazz.

Hank Williams Sr _ The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams

Godfather of country music’s never realized tracks done by Dylan, Jack White, Merle Haggard, Lucinda Williams, Nora Jones, etc..

Indigo Girls _ Beauty Queen Sister

Stripped down adult rock.

Jack’s Mannequin _ People & Things

Emo-darling’s latest is the final of a three-part series. Piano-based power-pop.

La Dispute _ Wildlife

Concept album from MI post-hardcore act.

LIGHTS _ Siberia

Canadian electropop star’s standard tracks benefit from creative production. RIYL Owl City.

Mayday Parade _ Mayday Parade

Smooth emopunk from Tallahassee rock with sincerity but may lack dignity.

Mayer Hawthorne _ How Do You Do

Bookish LA producer's white-boy R&B/soul sounds more like the real thing than ever before.

Merle Haggard _ Working In Tennessee

American legend charms with his upbeat blend of outlaw country and honky tonk.

MGMT _ LateNightTales

Motely crew of artists offer up takes of MGMT tracks.

MISFITS _ Devils Rain

Highly anticipated record from goth-punk royalty is their first in over a decade.


NOLA prog-rockers have found their sweet spot. See “Tell Your Heart Heads Up,” “All Or Nothing,”


New Found Glory _ Radiosurgery

The most nasal emo-punk rockers of all are still making new music for 13-year-olds.

Nicola Roberts _ Cinerella’s Eyes

Cutting edge electropop from Girls Aloud singer.

Patrick O’Hearn _ Transitions

Haunting new-age on the 12th effort from West Coast fixture.

Radical Face _ The Family Tree: The Roots

Poorly named effort of forgettable indie folk from 24-year-old FLA native Ben Cooper

Style P _ Master of Ceremonies

The LOX rapper does what's expected on his latest; big beats, a-list guest spots, and gritty wordplay.

**Sarah Jaffe _ The Way Sound Leaves A Room

Pleasant, inventive art-folk from Denton TX beauty. RIYL early Feist.

The Sheepdogs _ Learn & Burn

Rollingstone Cover contest winners make up for the lame picture with great rock tunes.

Tony Bennett _ Duets II

Showtune legend features the biggest names in music on his latest set of wry Jazz.

Transit _ Listen & Forgive

Boston emo-act play hooky, nasal rock’n’roll.

Wayne Static _ Pighammer

Static X leader branches out on his own with more industrial/metal.

**We Were Promised Jetpacks _ In the Pit of the Stomach

Scottish indie-rockers play with a harder edge and increased focus on their sophomore effort.

Zola Jesus _ Conatus

Eclectic, cool electropop from Russian-American singer/songwriter.

Zucchero _ Chocabeck

Italian rock legend plays pretty acoustic and ballads on his latest.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

_________________New Releases 9.27.2011
**9th Wonder _ The Wonder Years
Known for his seamless sampling, 9th doesn't disappoint on his first official album featuring a who's who of backpack rap. See "Enjoy," "Hearing the Melody," "No Pretending."
Allstar Weekend _ All the Way
Silly electropop courtesy of Disney.
Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa _ Don't Explain
Scorching blues set, highly recommended for fans of the genre.
Bill Frisell _ All We Are Saying
Legendary guitarist offers up his gorgeous instrumental takes on Beatles classics.
Blink 182 _ Neighborhoods
Former pop-punk kings return with (somewhat) adult material, too bad Tom Delonge still sings like he's mid-puberty.
Carolina Liar _ Wild Blessed Freedom
TV darlings play slippery smooth pop rock.
Chickenfoot _ Chickenfoot III
Sammy Hagar and Co rock sans inspiration.
Daryl Hall _ Laughing Down Crying
Great pop tunes, mildly stuck in the '80's.
Dum Dum Girls _ Only In Dreams
Critically acclaimed LA noise rockers play standard rock'n'roll on their sophomore LP.
Everclear _ Return to Santa Monica
Troubled pop heroes play their biggest hits and toss in a few hit/miss covers for good measure.
Evidence _ Cats & Dogs
Dilated Peoples star steps out on his own with solid results.
Harold Budd _ In the Mist
Veteran avant-garde American composer plays a minimalist, experimental set.
J Cole _ Cole World: Sideline Story
Up and coming NC rapper proves he's better than 96% of his peers in the mainstream. See "Lights Please," "Nobody's Perfect."
Johnny Winter _ Roots
American blues legend features some impressive guests on his latest set of classic blues.
John Scofield _ A Moment's Peace
Aptly named effort from American Jazz guitar virtuoso.
Josh Rouse & The Long Vacations _ Josh Rouse & The Long Vacations
American singer adds Spanish instrumentation and new life to his laid back folk.
Kasabian _ Velociraptor
English rockers are weirder than ever on their latest.
Mastodon _ The Hunter
Badass Atlanta prog-metal.
Maylene & The Sons of Disaster
Impressive, country-tinged hard-rock, by far the genre's best in recent memory.
**Phonte _ Charity Starts at Home
Gritty, intelligent rap from one of the most underrated rappers ever.
Steven Wilson _ Grace For Drowning
Porcupine Tree leader plays lazy folk on his second solo release.
The Bangles _ Sweetheart of the Sun
80's heroes haven't changed a beat.
Van Hunt _ What Were You Hoping For?
Bizarre experimental soul/rock/R&B from LA.
Warbringer _ Worlds Torn Asunder
LA thrash metal.
Wilco _ The Whole Love
Indie gods play fun, upbeat folk/rock on their latest. See "Dawned On Me," "Born Alone," "Capitol City."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

___________New Releases 9.20.2011

Ben Rector _ Something Like This

Sappy pop from Nashville singer/songwriter.

Boots Electric _ Honkey Kong

Eagles of Death Metal co-founder and QOTSA member plays hard-rocking electro. Not to be mistaken for The Apathy album of the same name.

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah _ Hysterical

BK/Philly indie rockers have seen a steady decrease in the quality of their records since their self-released 2005 debut.

Ed Sheeran _ +

British youngster already has a massive hit off this record across the pond with his playful folk/pop.

Emily O'Halloran _ Morphine & Cupcakes

Raspy voiced singer plays stylish, smokey alt/country.

Gavin Degraw _ Sweeter

We suspect the person who beat him up recently on the Lower East Side may have heard this album. Not that beating people up is okay, but this music is absolutely horrible.

Ivy _ All Hours

Fun, funky pop set from NYC trio on their first record in six years. See "Fascinated," "Suspicious," "World Without You."

Jayhawks _ Mockingbird Time

Minnesota indie stalwarts show off great songwriting on their 8th studio album. See "She Walks In So Many Ways."

Jens Lekman _ An Argument With Myself

Fun Swedish guitar/electropop. May be too adventurous for the American ear.

Katie Herzig _ The Waking Sleep

Adventurous pop on this sophomore effort from critically acclaimed Nashville singer/songwriter.

Leslie West _ Unusual Suspects

Longtime American guitarist shows off fat tone, quick fingers for a big guy.

**Lisa Hannigan _ Passenger

Irish songbird charms with her unique brand of infectious, intimate pop. RIYL Feist.

**Megafaun _ Megafaun

Avant-garde NC rockers spew huge waves of atmospheric indie.

Miguel Migs _ Outside the Skyline

Forward thinking, soul-influenced dance music from CA dj.

Never Shout Never _ Time Travel

Confused post-emo act from Joplin, MI are at their best playing pop.

Opeth _ Heritage

Swedish progressive heavy metal act appeal to a very specific audience.

Pat MethenyRichmond Fontaine _ The High Country

Moody Portland alt/country

Superheavy _ Superheavy

Surprisingly decent superstar group featuring Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, Damian Marley and A.R. Rahman.

Thrice _ Major/Minor

Naturally we love The Illusion of Safety and had high hopes for this that were crushed in the first song and repeatedly defecated on track after lame track.

Tony Bennett _ Duets II

Legendary American crooner shares the stage with some big names.

Tori Amos _ Night of Hunters

The queen of angst is all grown up.

Veronica Falls _ Veronica Falls

Overrated dreary indie via the UK.

Will Dailey & The Rivals _ Will Dailey

Nauseatingly sappy pop from Boston golden boy. If you're tempted to get this, get Ed Sheeran's record instead.

Z-Ro _ Meth

Underrated Houston rapper rhymes about drugs but his melodic flow gives tired material a fresh sound.