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How To Destroy Angels | Welcome Oblivion

Columbia (2013)
Whereas the monsters and ghosts of NIN songs can scream in your face and rip you to bits with their fangs, Welcome Oblivion tracks like techno-folk haunter "Ice Age" and the doom-pop jaunt "How Long?" make uncredited cameo appearances in your nightmares until you go insane and eat your own hands.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  March 13, 2013


Johnny Marr | The Messenger

Sire/ADA (2013)
Going solo is rarely a good decision. For every exception to the rule of who flourishes after unburdening themselves of the half-talents that have been holding them back — Justin Timberlake, for one — there are dozens of embarrassing Dee Dee Ramone rap albums that exist because Joey and Johnny Ramone weren't around to kibosh a terrible idea.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  February 25, 2013


What's F'n Next? Buke and Gase

Hudson, New York
Almost every person I've told about Buke and Gase assumes that they'll hate this band, which isn't their fault.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  January 29, 2013


Bleeding Rainbow | Yeah Right

Kanine Records (2013)
The only defect of the sort-of-but-not-really debut from Bleeding Rainbow (no longer called Reading Rainbow, possibly due to litigious ire festering under LeVar Burton's genial television persona) is that the Philly foursome merely hop off the launching point forged by Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, and a handful of others from the oft-exalted grunge era.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  January 23, 2013


10 things I wish I knew before I started playing in bands in Boston

We hear you just moved to "the Bean", and you're thinking about starting a real life rock-'n-roll band! Here's a bunch of bullshit you should know about.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  January 25, 2013


Blurring electronic-pop reality with Providence's Math the Band

Cellars by starlight
Around the age of 10 or 11, Kevin Steinhauser started having recurring dreams about supermarket shelves stocked with vintage keyboards.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  January 14, 2013


The Faint: Futurists look to the past

Although we are grateful for our lovely modern gizmos, the consequent deluge of culture and information has made it tricky to pinpoint precisely what makes a record "classic."
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  December 03, 2012


Dark Dark Dark | Who Needs Who

Supply and Demand
Back in 2010, the loosely Minneapolis-based quirk-folk jamboree Dark Dark Dark wrote songs that felt like they were about being outside (even if they weren't).
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  September 25, 2012


Amanda Palmer lets go of all restrictions

Million strong
Just when hemming and hawing about the future of money in music had grown dreadfully redundant, leave it to Amanda Palmer to resurrect the dead horse and prompt the American square community to ask, "What the fuck is Kickstarter, who the fuck is this frequently naked lady with painted-on eyebrows, and why did the Internet send her a million dollars to record an album?"
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  September 05, 2012

Backtalk: RiffTrax

Interview: The RiffTrax crew revisit another 'classic'

MST3K forever!
MST3K took its curtain call in 1999 after 10 years on cable, but the show's end ultimately liberated host Mike Nelson and the revolving cast of cinematic satirists.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  August 07, 2012


Brute-y pageant

As the World Turnbuckles Dept.  
When professional wrestling gets brought up in the mainstream media, it's almost always because something awful happened.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  August 01, 2012


Riding the wind with New England's gliding guru

Hang man
Jeffrey Bernard has been jumping off mountains and soaring wingtip-to-wingtip with eagles, hawks, and falcons for longer than many of you have been alive.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  July 25, 2012


The musical mysticism of Little War Twins

Folk explosion
Now that the phrase “folk” has been shopworn to shit by rock writers and publicists — slapped onto the barely related styles of so many myriad almost-rustics that saying a band plays “folk” is about as useful as saying they play “punk”— let’s just stop talking about “folk.”
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  July 24, 2012


Kinky Grappling Dept.

Hot Mess
Although we missed Monday Night Raw this week, the annual Drag Queen Jell-O Wrestling card at Machine doubly compensated for the dearth of pretend violence in our lives.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  July 11, 2012


Lynn, Lynn, City of Adult Swim

Venture capital
In an apartment-complex lobby with an ambiance I can only describe as medicinal, I counted 10 cartoon connoisseurs from far and wide fixated on a stripteaser.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  July 03, 2012


Future of the Left | The Plot Against Common Sense

Xtra Mile Recordings
Future of the Left frontman Andrew Falkous's anti-music piracy tirade on Myspace three years ago was far more convincing and a galaxy less stuffy and condescending than David Lowery's recent response to an NPR intern's essay about how she hardly ever buys CDs.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  July 03, 2012


Out: Saying goodbye to the rowdy ladies of Tijuana Sweetheart

Belles of the balls
Perhaps Metallica were onto something when they sang one of the stupidest lyrics ever, "My lifestyle determines my death-style."
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  June 05, 2012


Scott Lucas & The Married Men | Blood Half Moon

The End Records (2012)
The good ol' days of 1996 — the year Local H's "Bound for the Floor" played once every half hour on modern-rock radio — was a long-ass time ago.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  May 29, 2012


Out: An electronic séance with Hooray for Earth and Zambri at Great Scott

Home bass
We in Boston enjoy reminding others that Hooray for Earth originally formed here, so we can still call them a Boston band.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  May 23, 2012


Grass Widow | Internal Logic

HLR Records
There is stuff not to like about Internal Logic: a pair of instrumental interludes probably don't need to be there, and the drums aren't as gleefully chaotic as they were on 2010's Past Time.
By: BARRY THOMPSON  |  May 22, 2012
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