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  • Article

    Monstrous - Mother Nature's Slaves (Howler)

    "I'm rich and famous/With a million-dollar contract/But it's not around," Monstrous guitarist/singer Led Gethway brags disingenuously over the luscious, distorto-scour psych of "Rich & Famous." Too old to be Hanson's grunge-punk successors but less s...

    by Ray Cummings on September 7, 2006
  • Article

    The Mars Volta - Amputechture (Universal Motown Records Group)

    Gnawing your way through the latest Mars Volta record is always something of a chore at first. The band, anchored by instrumentalist/composer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and lyricist/vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala, turns out huge mind-fucks as songs, mixing ...

    by Brendan Joel Kelley on September 7, 2006
  • Article

    Gigantour - Mustaine salvo

    Trucks of the United Nations, you're on notice Dave Mustaine, guitarist/singer/czar of Megadeth, is calling you out. "I was watching TV and saw the trucks that said 'U.N.' on them and said, 'Man, you are so uncool, ineffective, anything,'" Mustaine...

    by Casey Lynch on September 7, 2006
  • Article

    Th' Legendary Shack Shakers - They'll shake yours

    Is Hank Williams III smoking crack, or are Th' Legendary Shack Shakers truly, as III suggests, "the best damn band in America"? We have no firsthand knowledge, as it turns out, of what Mr. Williams does when he's not making music, but we do know this...

    by Ed Masley on September 7, 2006
  • Article

    Van Morrison - A marvelous night

    Van Morrison first made a name for himself at the helm of The Angry Young Them, as an Irish Eric Burdon blowing harp and spitting out the blues with a gritty authority that said he'd kick your ass if he were any taller. The liner notes in that first ...

    by Ed Masley on September 7, 2006
  • Article

    James Brown - What the funk

    It's been 50 years since James Brown's first professional recording, "Please Please Please," became the first million-seller in one of American music's most inspiring careers. But while the yearning desperation of his early ballads proved the kid cou...

    by Ed Masley on September 7, 2006
  • Article

    Wayne "The Train" Hancock - Swinging and singing

    Wayne "The Train" Hancock likes to swing. Every night, he gathers up his three-piece barnstormers and travels the highways, serving up his mixture of hillbilly swing, rockabilly, and hardcore Hank Sr. honky-tonk, the sort of stuff that sends people t...

    by Henry Cabot Beck on September 7, 2006
  • Article

    Matisyahu - Making the world go 'round

    As with any hyped-up, talked-about newcomer on a monolithic mega-label like Sony, you have to ask yourself some good, hard questions about Matthew "Matisyahu" Miller. Specifically, will attendance at his live performance be for the music, or for the ...

    by Matthew Neff on September 7, 2006
  • Article

    Saturday Nights at Trax - Sail on

    When the old Sail Inn closed its doors late last year, Tempe scenesters shed plenty of collective tears as one of their favorite hangouts went kaput. Now the drinking den has been reborn as Trax, a "casual but trendy" nightspot with a posh interior, ...

    by Benjamin Leatherman on September 7, 2006
  • Article

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

    Thursday 7 Anderson's Fifth Estate: Area 51 with DJ Jeremy (goth, industrial) AZ 88: Mr. P-Body (synth pop, electro) Baja Tilly's: DJs Richy Rich and Big Latin (reggaeton, hip-hop) The Biz: DJ Robbie Rob (hip-hop, Top 40) Bunkhouse Lounge...

    on September 7, 2006
  • Article

    Got SHoD? - Name that doom

    It's not exactly like unraveling there's no Santa Claus, but it's not unlike it, either. When a friend tells you about a three-day festival of stoner rock and doom metal and mentions that the organizer is a guy by the name of Ancient Rob, your though...

    by Serene Dominic on August 31, 2006
  • Article

    X Marks the Spot - It's always a gamble

    Considering the haunted after-hours vibe he kept returning to on last year's critically acclaimed Forever Hasn't Happened Yet, it may seem strange to find John Doe reissuing the far more raucous For the Rest of Us, a little-heard EP from 1998, as For...

    by Ed Masley on August 31, 2006
  • Article

    Blazing Saddle - Where the girls are

    Corey Parks is like a bad-ass biker broad wielding a fierce four-string. The trashy, inked-up bassist has always struck an intimidating figure onstage, whether she was stomping around in shredded fishnets and cowboy boots in Die Hunns next to punk pa...

    by Niki D'Andrea on August 31, 2006
  • Article

    Primal Scream Kasabian - Riot City Blues (Columbia) Empire (RCA)

    Even when Primal Scream didn't match the creative heights reached by Screamadelica's rave-worthy bliss-outs or the electro-punk of XTRMNTR, they never lacked self-confidence. After all, they coaxed (and kept) My Bloody Valentine's reclusive Kevin Shi...

    by Annie Zaleski on August 31, 2006
  • Article

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

    Thursday 31 Anderson's Fifth Estate: Area 51 with DJ Jeremy (goth, industrial) Baja Tilly's: DJs Richy Rich and Big Latin (reggaeton, hip-hop) The Biz: DJ Red (hip-hop, dance) Bunkhouse Lounge: DJ Doom (dance) Cash Inn: DJ Kat (country) ...

    on August 31, 2006
  • Article

    Georgia Anne Muldrow - Olesi: Fragments of an Earth (Stones Throw)

    Olesi: Fragments of an Earth, completely produced and sung by Georgia Anne Muldrow, may be the most idiosyncratic soul album released this year. Most of the songs last less than three minutes, living up to the title's promise as "fragments" and rando...

    by Mosi Reeves on August 31, 2006
  • Article

    Spencer Dickinson - The Man Who Lives for Love (YepRoc)

    This is a collaboration between blues noise guitarist/singer Jon Spencer and Luther and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars, another band that knows a thing or two about laying down a primal blues squall. The legendary Jim Dickson produc...

    by j. poet on August 31, 2006
  • Article

    Tortoise - A Lazarus Taxon (Thrill Jockey)

    The cloaking of A Lazarus Taxon in immaculate, arty, black-and-white photographs of car accidents seems antithetical to this boxed set's methodically crafted contents: 15 years' worth of hard-to-track-down Tortoise droppings confined to three discs a...

    by Ray Cummings on August 31, 2006
  • Article

    The HorrorPops - Amsterdamnation

    No doubt about it, The HorrorPops are headed for Hades. Not because the fearsome foursome of Holland-born hipster hellcats committed any mass murders (that we know of), but simply because we're certain they've somehow sold their souls to Satan. How e...

    by Benjamin Leatherman on August 31, 2006
  • Article

    Mary J. Blige - All you need to know

    Is Mary J. Blige still the reigning queen of hip-hop soul? It was looking iffy a few years ago, when she released her lukewarm Love & Life, an awkward attempt to reconcile her usual gritty themes of abusive relationships and ghetto drama with an incr...

    by Michael Alan Goldberg on August 31, 2006
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