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  • Article

    Can the perfect pop song be calculated?

    A few years ago, a psychology lecturer at a British college came up with the formula for the "perfect" mood-lifting pop song. Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic posited a certain equation involving pitch, positive lyrics, and serotonin levels that, when twe...

    by Jason Ferguson on May 29, 2008
  • Cowboy Junkies

    Article

    Cowboy Junkies

    On the one hand, you can look at the nagging tendency of veteran Canadian acts to hover at cult-level popularity in the U.S. as a bad thing. On the other hand, a group like Cowboy Junkies has arguably benefitted from not getting huge. Certainly, the ...

    by Saby Reyes-Kulkarni on May 29, 2008
  • Robert Smith seeks a cure for what ails him

    Article

    Robert Smith seeks a cure for what ails him

    Young bands -- New York's Rapture, most notably and successfully -- cite Robert Smith's London outfit The Cure as a holy source, a development nobody apart from the Cure's planet of black-clad fans might have guessed. The Cure sold records, claiming ...

    by James Hunter on May 29, 2008
  • Discotropolis

    Article

    Discotropolis

    The beatmeisters of United Groove might be dusting off plenty of '70s kitsch for their retro dance party Discotropolis, but chances are, you won't hear any KC and the Sunshine Band or Bee Gees hits pumping out of the multi-megawatt sound system of AR...

    by Benjamin Leatherman on May 29, 2008
  • Noise Boy journeys across the desert to hear Hanne Hukkelberg

    Article

    Noise Boy journeys across the desert to hear Hanne Hukkelberg

    It's 4:30 on a windy Friday afternoon, and I've driven nearly 400 miles across the desert to see a musician no one I know has ever heard of. Norwegian artist Hanne Hukkelberg is performing the final gig on her first-ever U.S. tour at Hollywood's H...

    by Steve Jansen on May 29, 2008
  • Sammy Hagar's gone country with Kenny Chesney and LeAnn Rimes

    Article

    Sammy Hagar's gone country with Kenny Chesney and LeAnn Rimes

    If you haven't kept up with Sammy Hagar since his rockin' "I Can't Drive 55" days, you might find yourself alternately shocked, horrified, and amused by Hagar's recent plunge into country music. Then again, the public had more or less the same reacti...

    by Saby Reyes-Kulkarni on May 29, 2008
  • Tour de farce: the corporate-sponsored tours we donít want to buy tickets to

    Article

    Tour de farce: the corporate-sponsored tours we dont want to buy tickets to

    Few American cities have suffered a corporate dicking as thoroughly as Phoenix, what with every one of its stadiums bearing names like U.S. Airways Center, Chase Field, Wells Fargo Arena, Jobing.com Arena, and, though a little outside city limits, o...

    by Cole Haddon on May 29, 2008
  • Article

    The Freaks Come Out at Night: Calabrese @ PHiX Gallery, Wednesday, October 31

    Check out a slideshow of Calabrese's performance. Photos and review by Benjamin Leatherman Better than: Finding a razor blade in your mini-Snickers. Over the past 30 days or so, most of the Western world has been busying itself in celebration of ...

    @ Up on the Sun by Niki D'Andrea on November 2, 2007 @ 2:36 pm
  • Article

    Cabaret on Crack: March Fourth Marching Band @ Alice Cooper'stown, Saturday, October 27

    By Niki D'Andrea Photos by Luke Holwerda Better than: That one time, at band camp. See a slideshow of the March Fourth Marching Band. Five things that truly blow my mind (in descending order): 5. Plexiglass. 4. Why the plural of "fax" isn't "fu...

    @ Up on the Sun by Niki D'Andrea on October 28, 2007 @ 4:04 pm
  • Booze Pig swaggers out of the Swizzle Inn

    Article

    Booze Pig swaggers out of the Swizzle Inn

    It's a Tuesday, and I'm on my way home. "Frustrated" is an understatement. Sometimes you leave work happy and content, and other times you want to set the world on fire. The sky is raining fire today, so I decide to meet my friend D up at the Swizzle...

    by C.M. Redding on May 22, 2008
  • Article

    Seven nights of DJs and dancing

    THURSDAY 22 Bar Smith: Peppermint Lounge with DJs Brazilia, & Mara (various) Blooze Bar: DJ El Dedo (rockabilly) Bobby C's: Willy B. (old-school R&B) Bunkhouse: DJ Doom (dance) Club Forbidden: Lips Thursdays with DJ Domenica, DJ Hill, ...

    on May 22, 2008
  • Sting vs. Elvis Costello in a race to betray their punk roots

    Article

    Sting vs. Elvis Costello in a race to betray their punk roots

    There is a portion of Police and Elvis Costello devotees who have single-mindedly followed both artists' careers through three decades, tenaciously collecting each cherished release and carefully housing them in clear vinyl slipcases. There's also...

    by Serene Dominic on May 22, 2008
  • MiniKiss is better than no KISS at all

    Article

    MiniKiss is better than no KISS at all

    Never in my life have I wanted to throw Gene Simmons over my shoulder so badly. Or change his nappy wig. It's not the real Gene Simmons in question here -- this is actually "mini Gene" from MiniKiss, a group of KISS-lovin' Lilliputians who're payi...

    by Niki D'Andrea on May 22, 2008
  • Megadeth ends this yearís Gigantour in Mesa

    Article

    Megadeth ends this years Gigantour in Mesa

    With Ozzfest now firmly entrenched as a cultural institution (read: over-bloated corporate circus), Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine must have suspected that he could fill a different niche and compete on his own terms with Gigantour when he launched th...

    by Saby Reyes-Kulkarni on May 22, 2008
  • Tomcat Courtney - Downsville Blues
 (Blue Witch)

    Article

    Tomcat Courtney - Downsville Blues (Blue Witch)

    Not to get all "purist," but it's no secret that blues -- along with its bastard child, rock 'n' roll -- has been "gentrified" to within an inch of its life. (Cripes, songs by the Who and the Clash are being used to sell cars.) There are hundreds of ...

    by Mark Keresman on May 22, 2008
  • M83 - Saturdays = Youth
 (Mute)

    Article

    M83 - Saturdays = Youth (Mute)

    The sun-bleached cover photo for Saturdays = Youth shows how much this band is consumed by nostalgia. M83's Anthony Gonzalez combines synths, treated guitar washes, and '80s drum sounds ("We Own the Sky" and "Graveyard Girl") on M83's fifth album, as...

    by Dominic Umile on May 22, 2008
  • She & Him - Volume One
 (Merge Records)

    Article

    She & Him - Volume One (Merge Records)

    With the possible exception of the three people who look back fondly on Bruce Willis' recording career, we're well acquainted with the eardrum damage that can occur when actors live out their rock-star fantasies. But don't shy away from She & Him's d...

    by Michael Roberts on May 22, 2008
  • Neva Dinova

    Article

    Neva Dinova

    The jaunty, strummed rhythm of "Squirrels" counters the sentiment at its center; frontman Jake Bellows notices a squirrel doing "backflips for change, for a lady who vacuums her heartache away," before the brokenhearted singer confesses, "I just keep...

    by Chris Parker on May 22, 2008
  • Margot & the Nuclear So and So's

    Article

    Margot & the Nuclear So and So's

    From the music to their name, there's an unmistakable precociousness at play with Margot & the Nuclear So & So's -- perhaps not surprising given the moniker was inspired by The Royal Tenenbaums. Certainly don't hold it against singer/guitarist Richar...

    by Chris Parker on May 22, 2008
  • The Kills

    Article

    The Kills

    To hear them tell it, photogenic Kills principals Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince were lost before they found each other -- ambitious outsiders trapped in standard-issue punk bands. Drawn together like bullied drama-club kids, Mosshart (a Floridian f...

    by Kenneth Partridge on May 22, 2008
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