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  • Article

    Puffy AmiYumi - Splurge . . . (Tofu)

    "We ain't no Harajuku Girls/We just straight-up rock 'n' roll," Puffy AmiYumi sings on "Call Me What You Like," the opening track from their eighth studio album. The song primarily expresses the female Japanese duo's desire to be taken seriously as "...

    by Michael Alan Goldberg on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    Kraak & Smaak - Boogie Angst (Quango)

    You could do a lot worse than to listen to this trio of DJ/producers from Holland all summer. After a string of sought-after 12-inch singles on London's Jalapeno Records, Kraak & Smaak (the name is a Dutch saying, not a drug reference) makes its U.S....

    by Toph One on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    John Lee Hooker Jr. - Cold As Ice (Telarc)

    As a teenager, John Lee Hooker Jr. was a featured player in John Lee Sr.'s road show, and then spent the next 20 years fighting the demons of drugs, drink, divorce, and jail. Given his troubled past, you might expect Junior's music to be even more da...

    by j. poet on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    India.Arie - Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship (Universal/Motown)

    India.Arie has always sounded a little too much like the musical equivalent of Oprah. The singer-songwriter's music (best exemplified by her debut, Acoustic Soul) has always centered on overly positive, Afrocentric songs that embrace love, life and t...

    by Keith Gribbins on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    Tom Petty - Highway Companion (American)

    The first time Tom Petty decided to cut a solo record with Jeff Lynne of ELO producing, it ended up being his biggest collection of pop hits since Damn the Torpedoes. While there's not much chance that Highway Companion will do what Full Moon Fever d...

    by Ed Masley on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    Anthony Hamilton - Art and soul

    Anthony Hamilton hasn't had an easy time of it. His first release was shelved when Uptown Records hit the skids. And then, after proving himself a critical darling with sales to match on MCA, he signed to Soulife, which went out of business just in t...

    by Ed Masley on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    Pete Yorn - Easy, Ryder

    Second only to the fabled Sports Illustrated cover jinx is the curse of Winona Ryder, whereby most musicians who date the actress Dave Pirner, Adam Duritz, Evan Dando, etc. subsequently watch their careers crumble. Perhaps Jersey singer-songwrite...

    by Michael Alan Goldberg on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    MxPx - Anatomically correct

    Of all the labels to be unfairly saddled with, the oxymoronic "Christian punk" tag has dogged this Pacific Northwest trio for more than a decade. Sure, these fine, not-so-young lads don't spew expletives like hardcore legends Black Flag, nor do they ...

    by Darryl Smyers on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    Social Distortion - Settling for Ness

    When Social Distortion first started cranking out punkabilly anthems like "Mommy's Little Monster" in the early '80s, punk hadn't yet pogo'd into the realm of pop-culture pretentiousness something Social D front man Mike Ness addresses on the band'...

    by Niki D'Andrea on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    Caleb Engstrom - Mellow Middle American

    Caleb Engstrom is old enough for you to buy him a drink, but young enough for you to still feel guilty about it. This 21-year-old Iowa City boy is living the dream. He dropped out of the University of Iowa (but don't worry, kiddies, he says he'll pro...

    by C. Murphy Hebert on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    Batucada - Nobody's bizness but theirs

    The turntable scene here in the PHX seems pretty fucking fickle sometimes, as DJs repeatedly relocate their record-spinning gigs from club to club or pull the plug on them entirely faster than they can send out notices on MySpace. In the past yea...

    by Benjamin Leatherman on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    Seven Nights of DJs and Dancing - Who's spinning what, where and when

    Thursday 27 Acme Roadhouse: College Night with DJ J. Alan (Top 40) Anderson's Fifth Estate: Area 51 with DJ Jeremy (goth, industrial) Baja Tilly's: DJs Richy Rich and Big Latin (reggaeton, hip-hop) The Bunkhouse: DJ Doom (dance) Camus: KU...

    on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    Top 10 selling CDs at Zia Record Exchange, 2510 West Thunderbird Road - Chart-busters for the week

    1. The Format, Dog Problems (Nettwerk Records) 2. Rise Against, Sufferer and the Witness (Geffen Records) 3. Thom Yorke, The Eraser (XL Recordings) 4. Hinder, Extreme Behavior (Umvd Labels) 5. Panic! At the Disco, A Fever You Can't Sweat ...

    on July 27, 2006
  • Article

    Country Inroads - Getting all their Johnsons in a row

    Sometimes, with music, you're lucky enough to be present to watch the first time that a collaboration among artists becomes greater than the sum of its parts. That happened to me recently when I saw the first four-piece practice of a country band tha...

    by Brendan Joel Kelley on July 20, 2006
  • Article

    And the Beast Goes On . . . - Layers of Slayer

    On August 8, thrash metal legends Slayer will unleash Christ Illusion, a blistering, brutal atom bomb of an album that some critics are calling the band's heaviest audio assault since the cataclysmic 1986 classic Reign in Blood. The record is also Sl...

    by Niki D'Andrea on July 20, 2006
  • Article

    Baked on the Beach - Crystal dude persuasion

    Singer/guitarist Nathan "Naybob" Shineywater and singer/Rhodes pianist Rachael "Raybob" Hughes form the core of anodyne groovers Brightblack Morning Light, whose new, self-titled Matador Records debut fuses the spaced-out shoegazer-gospel of Spiritua...

    by Michael Alan Goldberg on July 20, 2006
  • Article

    For Love of Country - Dancing in the swoonlight

    Like Donny Osmond, South Carolina singer-songwriter Edwin McCain is a little bit country, and a little bit rock 'n' roll. He's a whole lot of heartthrob, too, penning some of the most poetic tunes ever to make the women in the trailer parks swoon. Ov...

    by Niki D'Andrea on July 20, 2006
  • Article

    Reignited - How the Walnuts survived a raging house fire, two comas, and a near fatal rollover and documented it

    It's laughable how many Valley bands still insist on using a "rising from the ashes like a phoenix" analogy in their bios when all they've struggled with is the climate change from the living room to the garage to the gig. But in the case of the Waln...

    by Serene Dominic on July 20, 2006
  • Article

    Eyes Set to Kill - When Silence Is Broken The Night Is Torn (self-released) Transude (self-released)

    Who ever thought of having vocal harmonies in heavy metal? Well, System of a Down, Evanescence, and Lacuna Coil, for starters, but the debut CD from Eyes Set to Kill proves that you don't have to be innovative to be sonically savvy. The core of ESTK ...

    by Niki D'Andrea on July 20, 2006
  • Article

    Die Kranken Katzchen - Transude (self-released)

    Twenty-one-year-old Patch, the sole member and producer of Die Kranken Katzchen ("The Sick Kitten"), files herself under "Industrial/Goth/Techno" on her MySpace page, and has also likened herself to "a female Nine Inch Nails." But the atmospheric com...

    by Niki D'Andrea on July 20, 2006
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