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Review: WFNX's Miracle on Tremont Street 2009

Passion Pit, Phoenix, and Spoon, live at the Orpheum Theatre, December 4, 2009
A quick, mildly sycophantic shout-out to the "powers that be" here in Phoenix -Land: This year's Miracle on Tremont Street was nothing short of a wicked pissah powerhouse bill. The grand old Orpheum creaked under the weight of a sold-out audience, and a pronounced feistiness prevailed .
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  December 08, 2009


Treat of Versailles

Phoenix please themselves — and you
It's been a good year: their relentlessly catchy Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix (V2) — whisked into the public ear this year atop Cadillacs via ad-ready singles like "1901" and "Lisztomania" — is about to cause some year-end listomania of its own. Since its release, they've been circling the globe playing to a steadily swelling audience.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  December 02, 2009


Julianna Barwick | Florine

Emusic (2009)
When someone describes an album as “hmmm, I dunno, sort of like Enya if she were from Brooklyn” — that person is not setting you up for success with said album.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  December 02, 2009


Sing your life

The Happiness Project speaks volumes
Charles Spearin's Happiness Project — to be performed this Friday at the Middle East Downstairs as part of a trio of Torontonian acts — was originally just that: a project.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  November 24, 2009


A band, a part

Devendra Banhart and the Grogs live at Berklee Performance Center, November 14, 2009
My lingering qualms with Devendra Banhart's new album have very little to do with its substance and more to do with its consistency, a quality that throughout What Will We Be? seems present only in its glaring absence.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  November 24, 2009


Heather Woods Broderick | From the Ground

Preservation (2009)
Let not the minimalist packaging of Heather Woods Broderick’s From the Ground mislead you into assuming it’s some sort of heady ambient work that you’ll get around to next time you’re cleaning — as happened to me.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  November 17, 2009


Do over

The Feelies pick up their legacy
I tried hard to be born earlier, but it didn't work. As a result, I've had to contend with an irritatingly positioned cultural blind spot (roughly 1976–1986) that currently occupies all that open space once filled with childhood memories.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  November 18, 2009


Faux fi

Tune-Yards don't need to make a big production out of it
A few years ago, before Merrill Garbus was touring the world as Tune-Yards (she spells it tUnE-yArDs — but we're going to pretend we didn't know that), she was deep into puppets. Following her studies at Smith, the Connecticut native relocated to Putney, Vermont, to join the Sandglass Theater company.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  November 16, 2009


Devendra Banhart | What Will We Be

Warner/Reprise (2009)
With the title of his latest album, this lovably polyglot erstwhile (and unwitting) “freak” folkie turned gallery darling and global lounge lizard asks a valid question. Indeed, what will we be this time?
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  November 10, 2009


Supersonic youth

Nothing’s gonna stop Deastro now
It’s been a rough couple of months for Randolph Chabot, a/k/a Deastro.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  November 10, 2009


Matias Aguayo | Ay Ay Ay

Kompakt (2009)
You know the old saying: you can lead a horse to dance music, but you can’t make it sign up for a Beatport account.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  November 03, 2009


Risqué management

The Hidden Cameras didn’t mean to turn you on
One of the worst things you can do as a person-who-writes-about-music is to ask an artist which of his songs is his favorite. For one thing, it makes you sound kind of dull. For another, you’re just gonna put the dude in a bad mood.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  October 28, 2009


The Very Best | Warm Heart of Africa

Green Owl (2009)
This proper full-length debut of the Very Best — a star-crossed collaboration of Malawian singer Esau Mwamwaya and London-based production duo Radioclit — should work better than it does.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  October 27, 2009


White Denim | Fits

Downtown (2009)
Even more than on last year’s auspicious digital-only Exposion , Austin’s White Denim stomp down the fine line between fertile versatility and iffy uncertainty. More often than not on Fits , this works out awesome.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  October 21, 2009


Lightning Bolt | Earthly Delights

Load (2009)
I’m not sure why people are so worried about the Hadron Collider, especially since Lightning Bolt have been tearing black holes in the fabric of Providence on a regular basis for the past 15 years.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  October 14, 2009


Re-taking a leak

Atlas Sound shines through on Logos
When last we left Bradford Cox of Deerhunter, it was November of 2008, and he was ready to put that year to bed. A couple of months earlier, an eager fan downloading one of Cox's many "virtual seven-inches" had sleuthed out a whole Mediafire folder full of goodies that Cox had posted but not protected.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  October 15, 2009


Just serious enough

Os Mutantes, live at the Somerville Theatre, October 4, 2009
Over the years, I’ve seen many an act try and fail to get folks up out of their seats at the Somerville. On Sunday night, all Os Mutantes had to do was play the opening notes of Jorge Ben’s “A Minha Menina” and we all spilled into the aisles like a flash flood.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  October 08, 2009


Out, loud

Might the world finally be ready for Gossip?
"Did I turn this into a big gay interview?" Given I've been folding my boyfriend's briefs throughout our conversation, I don't think Gossip's Beth Ditto has anything to worry about on that front.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  October 07, 2009


A Place To Bury Strangers | Exploding Head

Mute (2009)
When it comes to the resurgence of all things shoegaze, only one question remains: how literal do you want it?
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  April 13, 2011


On a roll

Hallelujah the Hills top themselves with Colonial Drones
When I go bowling with bands, it’s usually to extract them from their natural habitat and place them in a controlled environment for study. In the case of my recent bowling date with Hallelujah the Hills, though, my aim was true. I just wanted to bowl.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  September 22, 2009


Sad hits

Damon & Naomi look back to fare forward
The cover of Damon & Naomi: The Sub Pop Years is framed like a Polaroid, and the image itself — a bluish superimposition of Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang — reads like an unfinished double exposure on old film, the pair caught mid bloom.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  September 16, 2009

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