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JONATHAN DONALDSON

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Julian Lynch | Terra

Underwater Peoples (2011)
Although experimentation in music nowadays is certainly in vogue, there aren't many records that will straddle the line between commercial plausibility and healthy art-for-art's-sake like Julian Lynch's Terra.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  May 06, 2011

Shawn Fogel and Neutral Uke Hotel

Neutral Uke Hotel strum gaily over the sea

Flight from the hater brigade
Shawn Fogel of Golden Bloom knows that his latest stage act is a formula for potential enormous suckitude. Take one of indie rock's sacred cows — Neutral Milk Hotel's 1999 album In the Aeroplane over the Sea — and play the whole thing, straight through, on ukuleles. Then have the audacity to call it Neutral Uke Hotel.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  April 13, 2011

the cold allure of Toro y Moi

Cold allure of Toro y Moi

Wave lengths
Listening to the music of Toro y Moi, one can almost hear the years of juvenile tape swapping, the late-night DJ conversations, and even the city-kid confidence and swagger that it must take to put music this fresh — this good — on the map.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  April 12, 2011

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Ron Sexsmith faces his doubts

Stepping out of the shadows
Shhhh. There's a middle-aged English music legend sleeping in the shadows. Look a little bit closer and you might see the outline of his fedora and iconic Buddy Holly glasses. I'm not going to say his name, but he's just one of the members of rock's royalty who frequently lauds Toronto-based songwriter Ron Sexsmith.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  March 24, 2011

Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins is a icon worthy of the Brattle

Fifty sense
Clocking more than 100 shows per year for multiple decades now, Henry Rollins is a clean-living, world-traveling, rapid fireball of neurosis. At 50, the former Black Flag frontman has become less of a punk-rock pundit and more of a genuinely funny orator at large.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  March 09, 2011

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Mitch Easter brings his old-school Pro-Tools

Studio affects
Could some of rock's greatest albums possibly be produced in somebody's home studio, a by-product of the Garage Band generation? Underground-rock producer/nerd Mitch Easter doesn't think so.  
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  February 16, 2011



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Sweden's Radio Dept. create musical graffiti

Art for pop's sake
Growing up in the small Swedish town of Björntorp, Johan Duncanson didn't have bright explosions of spray paint on underpasses to remind him that art could exist outside the lines of commercialism. Instead, music, movies, and comic books provided the language he could jump into.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  February 02, 2011

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Fitz and the Tantrums blow up the soul party

With a rebel yell
On a recent performance on Daryl's House , a monthly webcast starring Daryl Hall and his featured musical friends, new Los Angeles soul combo Fitz and the Tantrums got to kick it old school with the '80s master of rock and soul.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  January 18, 2011

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Justin Townes Earle fights the family tree

No country for young men
No one wants to stand in the shadow of his famous family.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  December 14, 2010

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The historical strum of Bert Jansch

Folk lure
There was a time not too long ago when British folk-music titan Bert Jansch would have been remembered mostly as a footnote in pimple-faced Led Zeppelin mythology.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  December 10, 2010

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The boy with The Thorn in his side

On the record with Jesse Gallagher and Biff Rose
This could be a fairy tale.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  November 23, 2010



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Stereolab | Not Music

Drag City (2010)
Despite making their online announcement of an indefinite hiatus last year, Stereolab haven't exactly been sitting on their keyboards.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  November 22, 2010

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The Autumn Defense carve a niche beyond Wilco

Seasonal fortitude
The South isn't really what comes to mind when we think of candy-sweet pop music. But according to the Autumn Defense's Pat Sansone, maybe it should be.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  November 02, 2010

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Wyatt, Atzmon, Stephen | For the Ghosts Within

Domino (2010)
Enough has been written about Robert Wyatt's voice that there's no need to elaborate on his genius.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  November 02, 2010

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Sword and tailor

Warp Riders brings a new concept to metal
The concept of the rock opera strikes fear into the hearts of many — and rightly so. Yet heavy metal since Zeppelin has always been friendly to hobbity tales of mirth and mayhem.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  October 13, 2010

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Belle and Sebastian | Write About Love

Matador (2010)
As the obviousness of Write About Love 's title implies (it could have been called Play and Sing! ), Belle & Sebastian are looking to get back to basics with their first album since 2005's tremendous The Life Pursuit .
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  October 12, 2010



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Deerhunter | Halcyon Digest

4AD (2010)
The only reason Halcyon Digest doesn't get a perfect four stars is that absolute classic isn't Deerhunter's style.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  September 28, 2010

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Teenage Fanclub are back on the scene

Beyond the shadows of Glasgow
Teenage Fanclub singer/guitarist Norman Blake has finally left the unlikely European pop-music center of Glasgow that he helped build.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  September 21, 2010

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Broken Social Scene shake up convention

Experimental wisdom
Prior to the popularity of Animal Collective, indie-rock fans long denied any genetic relationship to the types of bands ( i.e. , the Grateful Dead) you had to see live to get the "real" experience.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  September 13, 2010

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Br1ght Pr1mate step up their game, boy

Monkey shines
Br1ght Pr1mate aren't sure what you're going to think of them. (And you'll have your chance when they come to the Middle East this Saturday.)
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  August 31, 2010

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Review: Fitz and the Tantrums | Pickin' Up the Pieces

Dangerbird (2010)
The Achilles' heel of so many bands who try and go for that big vocal sound is that they can't really sing.
By: JONATHAN DONALDSON  |  August 31, 2010


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