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  • Article

    All Smiles - Ten Readings of a Warning (Dangerbird Records)

    Jim Fairchild explores modest arrangements on his debut as All Smiles, finding mostly memorable hooks in airy, acoustic guitar-driven folk pop. Ten Readings of a Warning is Fairchild's solo outing; his former gig as a guitarist for West Coast psych-p...

    by Dominic Umile on May 10, 2007
  • Article

    Priestbird - In Your Time (Kemado)

    If you believe in reincarnation as torture, then imagine all the A&R people who, in past lives, signed nothing but copycat bands and reality show winners, returning to this world only to be demoted to the publicity department, being handed a headscra...

    by Serene Dominic on May 10, 2007
  • Article

    The Silver Daggers - Keep your hands inside the vehicle

    The Los Angeles coeds in Silver Daggers bring the apocalyptic no-wave party ruckus, and then some: They're a viciously exuberant counterpoint to like-minded labelmates Coughs. On the quintet's latest adrenalized outing New High and Ord, on Load f...

    by Ray Cummings on May 10, 2007
  • Article

    RJD2 - Generic slide

    RJD2's The Third Hand is the kind of alternative hip-hop record that raises the question: When does a particular artist stop being alternative anything and start to step outside the confines of a single genre? What's even more impressive is that RJD2...

    by Ed Masley on May 10, 2007
  • Article

    The Love Me Nots - In Black and White (Atomic A Go Go)

    Remember when it felt as if any band with loud guitars whose singer didn't make you think of Creed was being lumped in with the Vines as part of some ambiguous post-Strokes garage revival? This is what that music would've sounded like if it was real ...

    by Ed Masley on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Jana Hunter - There's No Home (Gnomonsong)

    If "now" were the mid- to late 1960s, Jana Hunter's There's No Home would likely be released on the legendary ESP-Disk label. It was one of the most uncompromising American labels ever, and the New Weird America/Free Folk scene with which Hunter is i...

    by Mark Keresman on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Nine Inch Nails - Year Zero (Interscope/Nothing Records)

    Leave it to Trent Reznor, a musician who probably doesn't need to hype his art at this point, to trump every other viral marketer with the Internet-heavy promotional campaign for Year Zero. (It's a concept record; think the Big Brother mentality of G...

    by Annie Zaleski on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Beyond Compare - There is something new under the (Silver)sun

    By now, you'd think Silversun Pickups frontman Brian Aubert would be ready to slap the next critic he catches comparing the shimmering splendor of Silversun Pickups' fuzz-a-delic breakthrough Carnavas to Smashing Pumpkins. There's clearly more to ...

    by Ed Masley on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Tayo - Fabriclive.32 (Fabric)

    With a hard mash of breaks, dubstep, and anything else that buzzes and beckons asses to the dance floor, Tayo's Fabriclive.32 mix packs consistent, convulsive shudders. The South London producer spotlights his neighbors when a handful of dubstep VIPs...

    by Dominic Umile on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Hip-Hop Love Connection - Bachelors in a row, it's you they would be dating/ So evaluate their pitches and calculate your rating

    Introducing tonight's bachelors in no particular order: One is a don in the Puerto Rican Costa Nostra. The second is a rap star who likes to call himself The Snowman. Our final bachelor is proud of his resemblance to his daddy and always rolls with c...

    by Chris Parker on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Swati - Small Gods (Bluhammock)

    Swati, a thirtysomething lesbian from Manhattan, is a powerful singer/songwriter, but her amazing guitar technique is winning her as many critical raves as her songs. Her 12-string guitar has been restrung as an 8-string with doubled B and high E str...

    by j. poet on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Spinal Tapped - In which our heroine observes a Sabbath

    "Heeey maaan, you got a cigarette for me?" The question comes from a tall, skinny, glassy-eyed kid in a Megadeth T-shirt, and it's directed at my friend Chazz, who could easily be his father. Chazz asks the kid if he's gonna buy him a beer. "Ye...

    by Niki D'Andrea on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Cheb Nacim - Algerian Rai (Arc Music)

    Rai (pronounced "rye") is the name given to the popular music that dominates Algeria's streets and nightclubs and that is present among immigrant communities throughout America. In its original form, rai was a simple folk music made with improvised l...

    by Ernest Barteldes on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Panthers - The Trick (Vice)

    Surfing the retro-rock revival wave isn't a bad thing if you've got balance, and Brooklyn-based Panthers have it. The power rock quartet's found the perfect median between melodic stoner rock, fast-paced punk, and '70s metal here. Tracks like "Uncert...

    by Niki D'Andrea on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Junior Brown - Leave your emo on the doorstep

    Musicians who invent stuff are way cool. There's Boston's Tom Scholz, who developed the hugely popular Rockman headphone amplifier; New Orleans soul-punker Quintron and his bizarro, light-activated Drum Buddy; and, of course, Junior Brown, who, two d...

    by Michael Alan Goldberg on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Lucinda Williams - Haunt got that swing

    The most powerful introduction to Lucinda Williams' new record, West, comes not from the languid, repetitive opener "Are You Alright?" but from the liner-note inscription by her poet father, Miller Williams: "You do not know what wars are going on d...

    by Nate Cavalieri on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Nailed it

    Apparently, breaking up helped Black Rebel Motorcyle Club more than it hurt. After losing drummer Nick Jago, remaining members Peter Hayes and Robert Been took an abrupt, well-received detour into acoustic-based folk on 2005's Howl, which soon led to...

    by Saby Reyes-Kulkarni on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Ozomatli - Fries with that shake

    Reflecting the urban polyglot of its Los Angeles home, Ozomatli purveys a Latin dance party fueled by horns and covering a seamless expanse of hip-hop, jazz, rock, funk, and salsa. The vibrant sound is impressive live, and the band won a Grammy for i...

    by Chris Parker on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Bright Eyes - But you knew that already

    Bright Eyes' latest effort, Cassadaga, takes its name from a psychic community. The first voice you hear as the orchestra makes like "Revolution 9" is a clairvoyant going on about centers of energy, and there are references to cleansing and communing...

    by Ed Masley on May 3, 2007
  • Article

    Club Reventon - Latin very much alive

    The piatas and Patrn will be poppin' as the yearly case of Cinco de Mayo fever grips the Valley this weekend, with an eff-load of fetes and fiestas planned for Saturday, May 5 (peep our guide for proof). We've planned out our whole day, wey, and it...

    by Benjamin Leatherman on May 3, 2007
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