A Hiss of Spring, A Chug of Fuzz Rock

Make no mistake, though; the audience was not entirely pleased with the new work, with some historians pointing toward the primitivism of the dancers and others focusing on the music’s dissonance, for which the listeners were not prepared. more »

Apr 17, 2014 in Record Reviews

Early (Still Weird) Residents, Recent (Still Weird) Residents

In today’s information glut, where over-sharing is an official thing, one wonders where the notion of mystery has gone. The musical group that has always welcomed mystery—possibly more than any other—is The Residents... more »

Apr 10, 2014 by in Record Reviews

Problematic Protomartyr, Hats Off to Le Q

This new collection shines the light on a particularly fruitful period of his in the early ’60s, jam-packing onto four CDs eight full-length albums and a 4-song EP originally released on the labels Mercury, Impulse! and Roulette. more »

Apr 3, 2014 by in Record Reviews

Take A Number And Run

Once upon a time, baseball used to be America’s favorite pastime, and for The Baseball Project, which features a who’s who litany of ’80s alternative rock heros, the game that Abner Doubleday did not actually invent is still a source of inspiration. more »

Mar 27, 2014 by in Record Reviews

Cult Classic, Gentle Amble

Despite these issues, this writer welcomes any opportunity to introduce newcomers to the strange and unique world of Family Fodder, a culture mash-up of highbrow and lowbrow aims fueled by an unfettered, entertaining cleverness. more »

Mar 20, 2014 by in Record Reviews

Too Many Cooks, Cybernetic Eccentricities

With a different editing philosophy, this writer is convinced that the album could have been more memorable, but as it stands, it’s a muddled vision, perhaps with too many cooks in the kitchen. more »

Mar 13, 2014 by in Record Reviews

Winter Survival, Father-and-Son Improv Exploration

However, serendipity is not pure chance and disorder; the people involved must have the skills necessary to facilitate the situation, along with the wisdom or intuition to recognize something special when it happens. more »

Mar 6, 2014 by in Record Reviews

New Local Release Mini-Roundup

Fans of doom metal may find Red Necklace ( and its self-titled debut album on Failed Recordings/Inherent Records, available on cassette and as a digital download, to be up their alley. more »

Feb 27, 2014 in Record Reviews

Heavy Riffage, Passionate Good Posture

Perhaps the most striking thing about the Danish instrumental guitar/bass/drums trio Papir is that it sounds so damn positive, in the indie rock world where being brooding and conflicted can often seem de rigueur. more »

Feb 20, 2014 by in Record Reviews

Real Housewives of South London. And John Fogerty

This writer’s only complaint is regarding the vocals, which are a bit disinterested and mechanical; this is certainly a purposeful stylistic choice, but by far, the singing is the least interesting part of the band. more »

Feb 14, 2014 by in Record Reviews

Get WITH! It or Dream On

Even with a relatively small catalog, it makes this writer’s British indie-pop shortlist (alongside the aforementioned, plus The Field Mice, Saint Etienne and Belle and Sebastian), so why is this music so enduring? more »

Feb 6, 2014 by in Record Reviews

Yes and No, Clangs and Warbles

Yes has always dabbled in pop since the beginning, and the debut album is an often overlooked gem in the catalog, benefiting from Bill Bruford’s distinctive, charged drumming style. more »

Jan 30, 2014 in Record Reviews

Halo and Hancock

However, as the overwhelmingly bountiful 34-CD set at hand demonstrates, many of Hancock’s innovations were yet to come, with his unimpeachable technical ability combining with a willingness to explore new technology and merge jazz with other genres. more »

Jan 16, 2014 in Record Reviews

Is English Over—and Is There Peace on Venus?

Sollenberger wanders in a daze with glassy-eyed, disorienting singing and echoing flute passages that work, strangely enough, over the hefty rock juggernaut. more »

Jan 9, 2014 by in Record Reviews

Review: Chan, Evans, Blancarte, Walter and Alvin Lucier

An experimental composer may create a set of rules and parameters like a scientist and then allow the piece—essentially the results of an experiment—to unfurl. So, does this produce awesomeness or random-sounding garbage? more »

Jan 2, 2014 by in Record Reviews

Back Again for the First Time

Paik goes back in time for the best of the rest. Top Ten Reissues and Archival Collections more »

Dec 26, 2013 by in Record Reviews

Ones You Should Have Bought This Year

Go ahead, call it cheating, call it a conflict of interest, whatever. Objectivity has limited purpose in music criticism, and if this writer is going to be absolutely honest with you and himself... more »

Dec 26, 2013 by in Record Reviews

Review: Dark Rides and David Dominique

These ideas are evoked when listening to Somerville, Mass. composer David Dominique’s album Ritual, which offers intricately carved arrangements and compositions that inspire fiery performances from his ensemble. more »

Dec 19, 2013 by in Record Reviews

Review: Claire Chase and Omar Souleyman

Wenu Wenu is energizing, maddening, somewhat hilarious and bewildering, all simultaneously; some parts might remind you of an annoying insect buzzing in your ear, while other parts lift you up with its dizzying momentum. more »

Dec 12, 2013 by in Record Reviews

Review: Bryan and the Haggards and Form A Log

Roughly a century ago, traditional American music blazed divergent forks, eventually solidifying into what we know as country music and jazz and ending up on opposite sides of the radio dial. more »

Dec 5, 2013 by in Record Reviews

Review: The Handsome Family and The Necks

Listening to the superb latest album Wilderness by the New Mexico outfit The Handsome Family makes this writer realize that, generally, we have some pretty low expectations for lyricists in popular music, which is too bad. more »

Nov 28, 2013 by in Record Reviews

Review: Melt-Banana and Ashley Eriksson

They mingle with an indie D.I.Y. homemade pop aesthetic that is simultaneously elegant and thrifty, unashamed to use cheap keyboard sounds among more refined string and euphonium flourishes. more »

Nov 21, 2013 by in Record Reviews (1 Comments)

Review: Neko Case and Staer

For the last half-century, most music artists generally aren’t allowed (in the nebulous, unspoken sense) to simply concentrate on one thing. more »

Nov 14, 2013 by in Record Reviews

Review: Cellular Chaos and Joanna Gruesome

With Moss’ ultra-distorted fuzz bass and Walter’s precise, electro-shock-damaged buzzsaw guitar licks, the quartet frantically detonates in unison with a mind-weld tightness, demonstrating that the crazed aural dance is choreographed. more »

Nov 7, 2013 by in Record Reviews

Review: Lena Hughes and Gorguts

Now, Colored Sands is the outfit’s first studio album in twelve years, with founder and front man Luc Lemay joined by drummer John Longstreth and two members of Dysrhythmia—guitarist Kevin Hufnagel and bassist Colin Marston. more »

Oct 31, 2013 by in Record Reviews

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