Music

The Ants | Ideabreaker (Sick Room)

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Written by Jason Neubauer Saturday, 30 June 2007 07:15

cd_antsIt's like a rock fishing lure. You hear something in the music of the Ants that draws you in, and then once you're among it, you realize it isn't what you thought. Yet you can't let go. Subtle subversives crafting pieces of melodic and principled commentary, the Ants speak softly but carry big ideas with their third full-length release, Ideabreaker.

 

 

 

 

The Polyphonic Spree | The Fragile Army (TVT)

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Written by Gabe Bullard Saturday, 30 June 2007 07:08

cd_polyOn The Fragile Army, the still 20-plus-member Polyphonic Spree take occasional steps away from sounding like a glee club conducted by Wayne Coyne. The songs (or "sections," as the band calls them) get sadder and angrier than those on previous albums, and the instrumentation varies beyond drums, guitar, and chorus.

 

 

 

   

The White Stripes | Icky Thump (Warner Bros/WEA)

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Written by Andrew Scavotto Thursday, 28 June 2007 06:11

ickythump2This may be the heaviest White Stripes album ever, and it showcases Meg's uncanny ability to understand Jack and drive the songs.

 

 

Air Supply | The Best of Air Supply: Ones That You Love

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Written by Jim Campbell Monday, 25 June 2007 09:01

cd_airsupply I completely forgot how "edgy"—by Air Supply standards, anyway—some of their songs came off.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Coles Whalen | Nothing Is Too Much (Iconic)

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Written by Raymee Holshauser Monday, 25 June 2007 08:56

cd_whalenWith songs that dispense raw emotion, Whalen proves that she is a seasoned performer with the chops to hold her own.

 

 

 

 

 

Signal to Noise | Kodiak (Eyeball)

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Written by David Lichius Monday, 25 June 2007 08:50

cd_signalnoiseResembling Static Prevails-era Jimmy Eat World and early day Sparta, Signal to Noise tunes are poppy with catchy hooks and choruses akimbo.

 

 

 

 

   

Tenderhooks | Vidalia (Rock Snob)

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Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 25 June 2007 08:45

cd_tenderhooksHis voice is mixed upfront, which means you can't ignore it. Some may wish to; Winstrom is likely gonna be an acquired taste, as there's playfulness and tension in equal measure in his tart delivery.

 

 

 

 

 

The Actual | In Stitches (Soft Drive)

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Written by Jason Green Monday, 25 June 2007 08:37

cd_actualThe Actual's singer/guitarist Max Bernstein's pedigree also invites curiosity: his mother is famed screenwriter and director Nora Ephron, and his father is Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein.

 

 

 

 

   

The Conformists | Three Hundred (54 40 or Fight)

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Written by David Lichius Monday, 25 June 2007 08:29

cd_conformistsBelleville, Ill.'s the Conformists are the closest thing the boundless St. Louis area has to Shellac.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various Artists | Transformers: The Movie Original Motion Picture Soundtrack 20th Anniv. Ed.

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Written by Jason Green Monday, 25 June 2007 08:21

cd_transformersBoth "The Touch" and its companion piece "Dare" feature Stan Bush's wailing vocals—think Sammy Hagar and Journey's Steve Perry smooshed together—over anthemic, fist-pump-inducing hair metal that will give any child of the '80s the same warm fuzzies as blasting "Pour Some Sugar on Me" out of a redneck bar jukebox.

 

 

 

   

Sea Wolf | Get to the River Before It Runs too Low (Dangerbird)

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Written by Glen Elkins Monday, 25 June 2007 08:13

cd_seawolfChurch's pained delivery, coupled with somber organ, requires a double take to make sure the copy of Fevers and Mirrors you had in high school didn't accidentally slip into your stereo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tunng | Comments of the Inner Chorus (Full Time Hobby)

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Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 25 June 2007 08:01

cd_tunngIt takes a certain creative willfulness to not only sustain the unusual sound palette here, but to make the resulting compositions melodically fresh and emotionally satisfying.

 

 

 

 

   

Tuatara | East of the Sun (Fast Horse)

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Written by Jason Green Monday, 25 June 2007 07:55

cd_tuataraIn lieu of instrumentals, each of East's 15 tracks features a guest vocalist, 10 singers in total.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seven Storey Mountain | At the Poles (Thick)

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Written by David Lichius Monday, 25 June 2007 07:47

cd_sevenstoreyYou will hard-pressed to find a meat-and-potatoes post-punk disc that is as solidly enjoyable as this.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Elizabeth Cook | Balls (31 Tigers)

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Written by Raymee Holshauser Monday, 25 June 2007 07:33

cd_elizcookFrom simple, pure composition to stripped-down, easy lyrics, Balls is a country-roots album for purists.

 

 

 

 

 

Emily Weedon & Delta | All Out in the Open (s/r)

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Written by Raymee Holshauser Monday, 25 June 2007 07:29

Wheedon offers up five songs that paint a picture of a life fully lived—heartache, joy and all.

 

   

Bob Frank and John Murry | World Without End (Closer Recording Studios)

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Written by James Nokes Monday, 25 June 2007 02:47

cd_murryWorld Without End is an unforgivingly remorseless stitchwork of murder ballads that unlike the somber, sometimes repentant Murder Ballads of Nick Cave, are just, well, creepy.

 

 

 

 

 

Serena Ryder | If Your Memory Serves You Well (EMI)

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Written by Paul John Little Monday, 25 June 2007 02:42

cd_serena"Morning Dew" retains much of its easy swagger courtesy of a slick, uptempo swamp-rock arrangement and a throat-rending vocal that finds Ryder channeling Melissa Etheridge with uncanny accuracy in the song's final stretch.

 

 

 

   

Art Brut | It's a Bit Complicated (Downtown)

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Written by Mikey Goralnik Friday, 22 June 2007 03:47

cd_art-brutThe high marks I've given this record are really a testament to the music. While Argos seems to have regressed a tad in his writing and delivery, guitarist Ian Catskilkin has moved well beyond the power chords, and catchy yet undemanding fretwork of Bang Bang for guitar stylings that are a bit more complicated.

 

 

 

 

Cat-A-Tac | Past Lies and Former Lives (Needlepoint)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 18 June 2007 13:50

cd_catatacTennant and McTurnan share guitar and vocal duties, creating the swirling, '90s-style distorted guitar of self-professed influence My Bloody Valentine.

 

 

 

 

   

Numero 015 | Eccentric Soul: The Prix Label (The Numero Group)

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Written by Sam Levy Monday, 18 June 2007 13:41

cd_numero15Nobody in Columbus remembers them, but for two minutes and forty seconds they become amazingly familiar. It's unpolished, but it's from the soil, and the soul. And it's wonderful.

 

 

 

 

 

Pelican | City of Echoes (Hydrahead)

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Written by David Lichius Monday, 11 June 2007 14:36

cd_pelicanFor a rock fan, there are certain bands' names you don't want to hear mentioned alongside "pop" in the same paragraph, let alone the same sentence.

 

 

 

 

   

All Smiles | Ten Readings of a Warning (Dangerbird)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 11 June 2007 14:28

cd_allsmilesUnlike Sumday by Grandaddy, Ten Readings of a Warning never found me reaching for the "skip" button. The songs are that good.

 

 

 

 

 

Kalli | While the City Sleeps (One Little Indian)

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Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 11 June 2007 14:20

cd_kalliKalli is genuinely self-aware, and, like most of us, living by the age-old ethos of "Hope springs eternal," even though disappointment and lowered expectations tend to be the norm.

 

 

 

 

   

Waking Ashland | The Well (Immortal)

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Written by Jason Green Monday, 11 June 2007 14:15

cd_wakingUpon further listens, little details begin to bubble up to the surface: catchy melodies start to stick in your head, clever turns of phrase jump out of the lyrics, and subtle musical touches start to emerge from the mix.

 

 

 

 

Shellac | Excellent Italian Greyhound (Touch and Go)

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Written by David Lichius Monday, 11 June 2007 13:55

cd_shellacWith this long of a layoff, it is important to stress that Excellent Italian Greyhound is a Shellac record. There are no big surprises to be found inside.

 

 

 

 

 

   

Utah Carol | Rodeo Queen (Stomping Ground)

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Written by Kevin Renick Monday, 04 June 2007 15:10

cd_utahThis is one of the few records I've ever heard that would sound great in any situation. Driving in your car. Playing it in the background at a small dinner party. Curled up at night with your headphones on.

 

 

 

 

 

Sage Francis | Human the Death Dance (Epitaph/Strange Famous)

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Written by Chris Schott Monday, 04 June 2007 15:05

cd_sageThe songs vary in style, giving artistic dignity to the track producer while allowing Sage to share the spotlight, giving credit where credit is due—a selfless rapper, imagine that.

 

 

 

 

   

Young Kannon the Great | Get Familiar Vol.1 (Sound Mind Ent.)

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Written by Maria Kriszt Monday, 04 June 2007 14:59

He's definitely in touch with the streets on this one; this could be the new gangsta anthem.

 

 

Johnny and the Moon | Johnny and the Moon (Kill Devil Hills)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Monday, 04 June 2007 14:56

cd_johnnymoonLike the kindergartner who refuses to quietly return the instruments to the box at the end of class time, the album ends with someone giving one last impulsive jingling of the wind chimes.

 

 

 

 

   

The Brokedowns | New Brains for Everyone (Thick)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Saturday, 02 June 2007 06:18

cd_brokedownsMost of the songs are so short ("Who Stabbed Sean Spencer" is only a minute and 21 noisy, head-bobbing seconds long), you'll likely forgive the monotonous vocal range.

 

 

 

 

 

Witch's Hat | Real Mastery

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Written by Bob McMahon Saturday, 02 June 2007 06:11

prof_witch_smThere's some stuff stayed basically the same; there's some stuff that got major overhauls; one song got entirely re-recorded ["Space Baby"]. We went back and just made it sound a lot better. It's a more representative product.

 

 

 

 

   

The National | Boxer (Beggars Banquet)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Saturday, 02 June 2007 05:58

cd_nationalSmall observations, self-deprecating moments (Can I get a minute of not being nervous and not thinking of my dick"), and bits of conversation fill out the rest of the lyrics, lending credence to the National's more repetitive choruses, and adding a mystery that abolishes any semblance of tedium.

 

 

 

 

 

Creeping Weeds | We Are All Part of a Dream You're Having (Hot Horse!)

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Written by Rebecca Reardon Wednesday, 30 May 2007 08:55

cd_creepingFrom the first note of the catchy guitar riff of "Eternity Is a Long Time," it will remind you why you like indie music so gosh-darned much. Jangly guitars! Plaintive lyrics!

 

 

 

 

   

Parts & Labor | Mapmaker (Jagjaguwar/Brah)

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Written by Chris Schott Wednesday, 30 May 2007 08:46

cd_parts_laborWhile bands like Battles and Dungen are still being innovative and, more importantly, interesting, Parts & Labor have run out of ideas, becoming repetitive throughout the execution of Mapmaker.

 

 

 

 

 

Skeletons and the Kings of All Cities | Lucas (Ghostly Int'l.)

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Written by Kevin Renick Wednesday, 30 May 2007 08:40

cd_skeletonsSummoning a sort of ghostly, late-night vibe, Mehlan arranges these tracks like a witch at her cauldron, stirring and stirring the bubbling brew in hopes of conjuring magickal forces.

 

 

 

 

   

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