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Review: Amanda Blank | I Love You

Downtown (2009)
Like many a party person before her, Philly-based electro-rap filly Amanda Blank wants you to know that she has a sensitive side.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 11, 2009

Review: Robert Pollard | Elephant Jokes

Guided By Voices Inc. (2009)
Pollard doesn't care whether you listen to his music. The entire world could be rendered deaf and he'd still put out a half-dozen albums a year, driven by a need to express the twisted melodies and schizophasic lyrics that clutter his brain.
By: MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  August 10, 2009


Review: Buffy Sainte-Marie | Running for the Drum

Appleseed (2009)
Recent live appearances by Buffy Sainte-Marie show her, once again, setting herself apart from early colleagues like Joan Baez and Judy Collins.
By: GUSTAVO TURNER  |  August 10, 2009


Review: Fresh Daily | The Gorgeous Killer in Crimes of Passion

High Water Music (2009)
Despite yielding at least half of contemporary hip-hop's subterranean and major-label kingpins, the New York underground is often overlooked when it comes time to dole out props.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 10, 2009


Review: Cobra Starship | Hot Mess

Fueled by Ramen/Decaydance (2009)
Are Cobra Starship's gleeful Day-Glo appropriations and their unbridled enthusiasm really indications of a disparity between intention and expression? Or is their crime simply the meta-mania of their fusion of '80s retro kitsch and '00s celebrity worship? Really, it's neither.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  August 03, 2009


Review: Howling Bells | Radio Wars

Independiente/Nettwerk (2009)
Australian dream-rock dudes (and dudette) toured North America earlier this year with Coldplay — and like Chris Martin's not-so-merry men, Howling Bells on their sophomore album attempt to dress up what might otherwise be a clutch of dour, namby-pamby white-person ditties with all manner of spicy studio-side textures.
By: MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 03, 2009


Review: Pissed Jeans | King of Jeans

Sub Pop (2009)
Billy Joel told us that the future of Allentown was bleak, but he could never have predicted that out of the decaying Pennsylvania steel mills and a crumbling economy, a sound as ugly and exciting as Pissed Jeans would emerge.
By: MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  August 03, 2009


Review: Rite Hook | A.ssume D.amage

Leedz Edutainment (2009)
If it came out that Rite Hook had mysteriously suffocated his baby sister 15 years ago, his fans wouldn't likely be surprised. The Worcester-Boston MC is the kind of dude who tattoos himself, recreationally chokes on half-gram "gaggers," inseminates despicable local groupies, and writes about said activities when he wakes up in the morning.  
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  August 03, 2009

Matt Wilson Quartet_thumb

Review: Matt Wilson Quartet | That’s Gonna Leave A Mark

Palmetto (2009)
Whatever else is going on in jazz — fractured meters, indie-pop fusions — it's always good to hear a couple of horns burning through the changes over swing cymbals and a hard-walking bass groove.
By: JON GARELICK  |  August 03, 2009


Review: Speech Debelle | Speech Therapy

Big Dada (2009)
It's unfortunate that there's a glass ceiling in the US market for British hip-hop — but for the lovely, clipped London accent that gives truth to Speech Debelle's delivery, this release would be huge stateside.
By: GUSTAVO TURNER  |  August 03, 2009


Cage | Depart From Me

Def Jux (2009)
Despite abandoning his former vagrant persona, shedding about 100 pounds, ascending to a realm of alt-culture status in which he can screw hundreds of tatted Lower East Side crotch rockets, and becoming the subject of a movie developed by Shia LaBeouf, Cage remains a seriously afflicted sick fuck.
By: CHRIS FARAONE  |  July 28, 2009


Elvis Presley | From Elvis in Memphis

Elvis Presley temporarily avoided the obvious (and, one could argue, tragic) destiny of a washed-up parody with The '68 Comeback Special , a TV show that lifted the retaining wall of nodding yes men and lucrative movie contracts to reveal a mythic force continuing to pulse.
By: ZETH LUNDY  |  July 28, 2009


Various Artists | Comfusões

Out/Here (2009)
The Portuguese pun on this compilation's title suggests both "confusions" and "with fusions."
By: GUSTAVO TURNER  |  July 29, 2009


Father Murphy | ... And He Told Us To Turn to the Sun

Aagoo (2009)
Harking back to an America where one's own lonely voice was the only radio and a BBQ meant a spit in the middle of the desert, Torino's Father Murphy hide detuned industrial textures within stripped-down, spacy folk instrumentation, like a man in a black hat picking up a bullet-riddled guitar with which to serenade his captives.
By: DEVIN KING  |  July 29, 2009


Jeremy Udden | Plainville

Fresh Sound New Talent (2009)
Saxophonist and composer Udden (formerly of NEC and the Either/Orchestra) here dives deeper into the jazz-pop connections he began to explore in his 2006 debut as a leader, Torchsongs .
By: JON GARELICK  |  July 29, 2009


Yacht | See Mystery Lights

DFA (2009)
One reason DFA is the label of records people want at their party is because the folks there have a sense of humor — be it James Murphy's prolonged deadpan hipster-papa martyrdom, the Juan Maclean's unconcealed boner for shitty piano pre-sets, or the smile-while-you-dance extravagance of Hercules and Love Affair.
By: MICHAEL BRODEUR  |  July 29, 2009


La Roux | La Roux

Polydor (2009)
Polydor (2009)
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  July 22, 2009


Magnolia Electric Co. | Josephine

Secretly Canadian (2009)
Even though it arose in part from tragedy, Josephine , the latest from Jason Molina and his band Magnolia Electric Co., may be one of Molina's lightest releases.
By: RYAN STEWART  |  July 22, 2009


Sax Ruins | Yawiquo

Ipecac (2009)
After a quarter-century of punishing, hyper-rhythmic acrobatics, drummer Tatsuya Yoshida has taken a sharp detour.
By: MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  July 22, 2009


George Thorogood | The Dirty Dozen

Capitol (2009)
Before you press PLAY, you know what you're going to get on The Dirty Dozen : music to drink lots of beer by.
By: JEFF TAMARKIN  |  July 22, 2009
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