Past Stories
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LOCALS ONLY: Mansions on the Moon

A mix between big electric drums being slammed together and chamber vocal harmonies taken from any M83 song, is the best way to describe “Full Moon”–the first track off of the LA-based electro-pop band Mansions on the Moo...


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Townes is The Band that Brings It On Home

Bringing out the Morrison within with their new album titled The Band EP, local indie rock group, Townes touches on a classic mid-to-late ’60s groove while still leaving room for uncharted territories with each song. The ...


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LOCALS ONLY: Echosmith

There are certain new bands we all fall in love with–and wish that everyone could here at least one song off the album at some point in their lifetime so that they too could understand what music should really sound…



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Locals Only: Broken Anchor’s ‘Fresh Lemonade’ is Very Sweet

Uplifting and played sort of like a giant orchestra, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter known as Broken Anchor released his latest album, Fresh Lemonade last week Sept. 17. And besides all the other great things that can b...


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LOCALS ONLY: Album Review

Sunset Pilgrims Sunset Pilgrims, an Inland Empire-based eight-piece soft-rock band, has successfully mashed together a little playful summer fun, some wistful and sweet lyrics and melodies and a lot of head-bobbing beats with ...


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THE POISON ARROWS First Class, And Forever (File Thirteen)   Featuring ex-members of Atombombpocketknife and Don Caballero, this Chicago band can sound just like you’d imagine a post-everything power trio should: vi...



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AKRON/FAMILY Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em FreeDead Oceans The latest from these music-Magellans has a heady agenda: Using song topographically to chart universes personal and cosmic. Like yesteryear’s mapmakers, wha...


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O+S O+S (Saddle Creek) O+S are the gauzy soundtrack to a wistful afternoon lost in nostalgia, or an ethereal balm on fixed-stare, post-breakup ponderings. Orenda Fink (Azure Ray, Art in Manila) has her inner-voice vocals multi...


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Arbouretum—Song of the Pearl (Thrill Jockey) There was a moment in the early ’70s when the idyllic pagan tropes of Brit-folk turned darker and heavier, and the Black Sabbaths of the world supplanted the Fairport Co...



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Elvis Perkins in Dearland—Elvis Perkins in Dearland (XL Recordings)  “I love you more in death than I ever could in life,” Elvis Perkins sings on “123 Goodbye” from his new record, and you&rs...


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Chris Darrow—Chris Darrow/Under My Own Disguise (Everloving Records) Chris Darrow’s name is footnote to a late-’60s/early ’70s, So-Cal psychedelic country scene that birthed the Byrds, Buffalo Springfie...


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The Marches—4 a.m. is the new midnight (Satellite Star) Aligning its sweeping musical tastes to “the times of iPod shuffle,” The Marches prove an identity truism—when your goal is to be about everything...



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Eleni Mandell—Artificial Fire (Zedtone) With every new record—Artificial Fire being her seventh—you want to shake your fist at the universe for relegating Silver Lake denizen Eleni Mandell to critical darling ...


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Sam Bisbee—Son of a Math Teacher (le Grand Magistery) The rock roster is bloated with songwriters like Sam Bisbee—regular guys with modest means and talent who somehow pull together their artistic ambitions and fin...


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Phosphorescent—To Willie (Dead Oceans)  Willie Nelson’s cachet would be safe even if he hadn’t penned so many bad-ass outlaw country classics, just smoked a lot of weed and forgot to pay his taxes. But m...



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Leathermouth—XO (Epitaph) Ahh, side projects—those usually subpar self-indulgences of successful musicians that somehow get released because, so record labels think, some star might just have the Midas touch (or at...


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Volcano Suns—The Bright Orange Years/All Night Lotus Party (Merge) If Boston cult-favorites Mission of Burma were overlooked in the ’80s, then here’s what it was like living in their modest shadow: despite se...


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Hooray For Earth—Hooray for Earth (Dopamine Records) You could call Hooray for Earth a synth-happy power-pop dance band. Or synth-centric post-punkers. Or a synth-addicted grunge act. Or emo kids with over-active synth g...



TOP 30 ALBUMS OF THE YEAR

Paul Rogers TOP 10 ALBUMS OF 2008     THE KOOKS: Konk (Astralwerks) Most charming of the recent wave of brisk Brit guitar acts, The Kooks offer endless melody, harmony and musicality without the angular, smarty-pants ...


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Fall Out Boy— Folie à Deux (Decaydance/Island) Fall Out Boy are embarrassingly over-adored (mostly by giddy teens) and criminally underrated (mostly by cynical grown-ups). Sure, they have an almost pathological se...


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The Rollo Treadway—The Rollo Treadway (Rollosounds) Borrowing their band name from a 1924 Buster Keaton film (The Navigator) and an album concept from what could’ve been the 1932 Lindbergh Kidnapping, it’s no...



CD-Reviews_

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The Stephane Wrembel Trio (with special guest David Grisman)—Gypsy Rumble (Amoeba Records) In the body of music, gypsy jazz is sort of a tickle in the gut; ever since the 1940s when the very literal gypsy Django Reinhardt pl...


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Ala Muerte—Santa Elena (Public Guilt Records) A haunting excursion into one artist’s dark vision and ultimate redemption, Santa Elena is entirely the work of Queens native Bianca Bibiloni. Her DIY laptop project bl...


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Mudvayne—The New Game (Epic) Fearsome Illinois foursome Mudvayne have always been hard to peg. Initially lumped-in with lumbering nü-metal when they broke through with their debut album, L.D. 50, in 2000, they&rsquo...



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Frontier Ruckus—The Orion Songbook (Quite Scientific) This debut from Michigan’s Matthew Milia doesn’t conjure the starry constellation as the title suggests, but a mostly-fictional Michigan town pronounced &...


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The Police—Certifiable (A&M/Best Buy) Considering the bickering that often went on in the studio between members of The Police, it’s a wonder they managed to put out five albums. Even more surprising was Sting&...


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Fall From GraceSifting Through the Wreckage(bodog)Equal parts mall punk and mainstream rawk, Seattle’s Fall From Grace are earnest and worthy—but not worth spending $17.99 on. Their generic name, clichéd albu...



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The Gonzo Tapes: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson(Shout Factory)Listening to somebody think is strictly for fetishists, and there are plenty of those left in Hunter S. Thompson’s wake. The godfather of gonzo jo...