Mark Olson Sings the Salvation Blues

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Written by Jason Green Monday, 20 August 2007 11:22

The former Jayhawks singer/songwriter crafts his first true solo album.



The Foundry Field Recordings | Fallout Stations EP (Emergency Umbrella)

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Written by Alex Hodschayan Friday, 10 August 2007 08:24

cd_foundryMore energetic then most of their material, "Transistor Kids" has something for everyone, with a resonance to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside while the drums in the background rage on like battle drums.





Cary Brothers | Driven

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Written by Laura Hamlett Friday, 10 August 2007 08:20


Music is like crack. I need it. I have to do it. If I had a choice, I would have chosen something more stable. Its fun and it's crazy and I'm enjoying the hell out of it now, but in terms of ultimately having a family or some kind of stability, it's a very difficult thing to balance when you want to have a normal life.



Marc Broussard | Blue Eyed Soul From the Bayou

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Written by Amy Burger Friday, 10 August 2007 03:35

live_broussard_smBroussard's singing voice bears a striking resemblance to his idol, Stevie Wonder, but as he steps onto the small stage in Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, he looks more like your average college fraternity guy than a soul legend, clad in baggy jeans, an untucked, button-down oxford and a tweed cap, with a soft beard and soft blue eyes.




Digitalism | Idealism (Astralwerks)

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Written by Mike Tangaro Tuesday, 31 July 2007 13:57

cd_digitalismCreatively titled "Zdarlight" is a beat-heavy track sure to get your head bumping, with frequent beat changes and a punchy guitar adding to the synth frenzy.






The Cape May | Glass Mountain Road (Flemish Eye)

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Written by Mike Tangaro Tuesday, 31 July 2007 13:54

cd_capemayCalgary's The Cape May's sophomore album, Glass Mountain Roads, has a lot in common with a fresh box of warm, soft donuts.






Kurt Hagardorn | Ten Singles (Bladen County)

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Written by Mike Tangaro Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:15

cd_hagardornHagardorn took his time, recording over a six-year span only when he knew he had a great song.






Man in Gray | I Can't Sleep Unless I Hear You Breathing (Serious Business)

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Written by James Nokes Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:05

Man in Gray, boasting high-volume, pop-structured sounds encased in a crunchy shell of volume and confusion debuts with I Can't Sleep Unless I Hear You Breathing, a polyamorous union of soul, British folk, and hardcore punk.



Romantica | America (2024)

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Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:03

cd_romanticaSuch a record better at least evoke the search for the American dream, love and loss in the heartland, the feel of traveling on vast, open stretches of highway, the hope of an immigrant searching for a better life, etc.





The Rats and People | City of Passersby (s/r)

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Written by Brian Potts Saturday, 28 July 2007 11:01

Sayles and Co. have obviously never heard of the phrase "verse, chorus, verse, chorus." Rarely in their songs do parts repeat more than once.



The Go | Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride (Cass)

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Written by Joseph O'Fallon Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:59

cd_goThe Go should be recognized as more than the band Jack White played with in the '90s.






Rhett Miller | On Stage at World Café Live (Decca Vision)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:57

rhettBacking band the Believers don't even make an appearance until the 13th track. What this means, then, is 11 solo acoustic songs, one with a bonus female co-lead, followed by four absolutely captivating and rocking tunes. Kind of an uneven choice for a live DVD.







Duncan Sheik | On Stage at World Café Live (Decca Vision)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:54

sheikWith a full band for most of the 12 songs, Sheik and his players deliver a short evening's worth of pleasant if not quite passionate performances.







Two Loons for Tea | Nine Lucid Dreams (Sarathan)

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Written by Glen Elkins Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:53

cd_twoloonsNine Lucid Dreams, sounds like it escaped 1997 and somehow found its way into this century.






Kate Voegele | Don't Look Away (MySpace)

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Written by Katie Herring Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:50

cd_voegeleShe is oozing with potential and my prediction is that her next album is going to kick Don't Look Away's ass, after she gets a little bit more life experience and a little bit more love and loss under her belt.





Bat for Lashes | Fur and Gold (The Echo Label)

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Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:44

cd_batforlashesAs you draw closer to the source, you hear that it's some kind of lush, strange music with a female singer. You're captivated, even at this distance.




Angel and the Love Mongers | The Humanist Queen (Disgraceland)

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Written by James Nokes Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:40

lovemongerStrange and surprising, the sophomore release from Angel and the Love Mongers, The Humanist Queen, despite its peculiar titling manages to capture a catchy mish-mash of Depche Mode-like vocals and a sound reminiscent of The Cure, Morrissey, and Pulp.




Bodies of Water | Eyes Will Pop & Ears Will Blink (Thousand Tongues)

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Written by Mike Tangaro Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:38

cd_bodiesEach song changes direction without notice. Vocals flutter in and out of the mix, trumpets flare and then disappear into quiet, and drums pounce vibrantly before settling into a soothing beat.





The Gang Font feat. Interloper (Thirsty Ear)

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Written by Jason Green Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:35

cd_gang-fontThis is heavily intricate, wildly experimental instrumental jazz that rocks with punk-like abandon.






Butane Variations (Achord Recordings)

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Written by Kevin Renick Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:27

cd_butaneThis six-piece psych-tinged Americana ensemble, headed by songwriters Phil Weinrobe and John-Paul Norpoth, just seems to know something other bands don't. Or maybe they care more.





Chris and Thomas | Land of Sea (Defend Music Inc.)

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Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Saturday, 28 July 2007 10:19

cd_christhomasThey sing as one, allowing for a constant, delicate interplay between the two. The result is often folk music at its most enchanting.





G. Love & Special Sauce | The Sweet Sound of Summer

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Written by Amy Burger Sunday, 22 July 2007 17:00


To describe the band's one-of-a-kind sound, Dutton coined the term "hip-hop blues." This is a pretty accurate description for a guy who sounds like a cross between De la Soul and John Lee Hooker.


Avagami | Metagami (Lens)

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Written by Glen Elkins Thursday, 19 July 2007 07:17

The two Chicago natives met on Craigslist and seek to "push the pop envelope" by including "improvisational techniques into a song structure,"



Fionn Regan | The End of History (Lost Highway)

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Written by Glen Elkins Thursday, 19 July 2007 07:07

cd_fionnreganIn "Be Good or Be Gone," Regan embraces the best things about the singer/songwriter genre, creating a sincere, honest depiction of a man and his songs.






Jefferson Airplane | Sweeping Up the Spotlight, Live at the Fillmore East, 1969 (Legacy)

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Written by Amy Burger Wednesday, 18 July 2007 08:25

jefferson-airplaneThe album is a celebration of one of the greatest American rock bands playing at one of the greatest venues in America.


Driver Side Impact | The Very Air We Breathe (Victory)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Tuesday, 17 July 2007 09:03

cd_driverGirls and boys, your prayers for yet another emo-goth-punk band of black-haired, pierced-lipped lads to feverishly adore and befriend on MySpace have been answered.





Tesla | Real to Reel (Tesla Electric Co. Rec.)

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Written by Jim Campbell Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:28

teslaNot only is the energy notably lacking on each track, the production quality of the entire album falls flat. It fails to pop, sizzle, or even appear interesting.



Jeff Buckley | So Real: Songs From Jeff Buckley (Sony)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:25

sorealbuckleyFor a "greatest hits" of sorts, it doesn't showcase Buckley's talents. Instead, it goes for the obvious appeal. The tracks chosen for this collection show Buckley's most commercial and instantly appealing side, the side that I grew to dislike over the years.


Circus Diablo | Circus Diablo (Koch)

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Written by Jim Campbell Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:23

circusdiabloI was hoping "Commercial Break" would be interesting, full of eerie rhythms and non-sequitur lyrics, but once again the song seemed to ramble on with no point or meaning.



Great Lakes Myth Society | Compass Rose Bouquet (Quack!Media)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:20

greatlakesmythThat afternoon, I ejected the CD I intended to review first and popped in the sophomore effort from Great Lakes Myth Society. "OK, indie band I've never heard of," I thought to myself, "wow me."



Spoon | Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)

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Written by Pete Timmermann Wednesday, 11 July 2007 04:19

gagagagagaAmong indie bands, Spoon's CD structure often feels the most like Top 40 bands, insofar as their CDs tend to have two or three really good songs, and then a lot of filler.



The Teeth | You're My Lover Now (Park the Van)

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Written by Mike Tangaro Monday, 09 July 2007 15:06

cd_teethIf imitation is the best form of flattery, consider The Kinks flattered after a spin of You're My Lover Now.






Jake Mann | Daytime Ghost (Crossbill)

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Written by Mike Tangaro Monday, 09 July 2007 15:01

cd_jakemannMann's strength lies in his ability to add subtle flourishes to the tired singer/songwriter formula, but with his experimentation, he is prone to make a few mistakes.




Prefab Sprout | Blinded With Science

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Written by Laura Hamlett Monday, 09 July 2007 14:14


I never realized Thomas Dolby had produced Steve McQueen. Back then, I didn't care whose name was affixed to which release; all that mattered was the sound, the band, the way it made me feel.


The Blue Method | Kill the Music Vol. II

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Written by Amy Burger Monday, 09 July 2007 14:07



tbmcdcoverIf you're not a fan of horns, this album may not be for you, as it is saturated with them. If you are a fan of them, as I am, it will quite literally blow you away.






Rasputina | Oh Perilous World (Filthy Bonnet)

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Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 02 July 2007 09:17

cd_rasputinaLike the White Stripes' Icky Thump, Oh Perilous World finds Rasputina staying true to its fans and prior work, with fewer turnoffs to the less experimental fan.






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