Hammock | Raising Your Voice…Trying to Stop an Echo (Darla)

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Saturday, 06 January 2007 15:19

hammockThe music's evocative, dreamy, meandering, picturesque.





The Cinematics | Break EP (TVT)

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Saturday, 06 January 2007 14:47

breakThey're Scottish, and they apparently grew up on New Wave music. True, it's easy to be hokey, but the Cinematics manage to show some serious musical chops while making largely lighthearted dance music.



Go! Motion | Kill the Love (s/r)

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Saturday, 06 January 2007 14:40

gomotionThe opening title track is an invitation to the next 11 songs and tells you all you need to know: catchy, high-energy, strong vocals, steady beat, solid harmonies.




Rob Crow | Living Well (Temporary Residence)

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Written by David Lichius Thursday, 04 January 2007 12:24

cd_robcrowTouted jokingly as "the best Pinback album that Pinback never made," Living Well certainly lives up to that qualifier on a technicality, but it also marks the best solo record that Crow has ever made.






Grizzly Bear | Yellow House (Warp)

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Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Saturday, 30 December 2006 05:04

cd_grizzlybearCredit not just the group songwriting on display here, but those painfully tight, communal harmonies that decorate each song. They're a bit too dark and desperate to garner the overly familiar Beach Boys comparisons—but they're just as effective.






The DFA Remixes: Chapter Two (Astralwerks)

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Written by Kate Estwing Saturday, 30 December 2006 04:42

cd_dfaThe DFA crew goes beyond gimmick with its second gathering of remixes.







Jay-Z | Kingdom Come (Roc-a-Fella)

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Written by Maria Kriszt Saturday, 30 December 2006 04:37

cd_jay-zThis is Jay-Z we're talking about. He's always kept it real, and he keeps on keepin' on with his new disc, Kingdom Come.






Shitake Monkey | Street Beef (Outlook)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Saturday, 30 December 2006 04:30

Despite jejune lyrics that clearly reflect Shitake Monkey's social statement (that being that contemporary pop is offensively effortless in its production), Street Beef is, indeed, a very finely tuned, imaginative album.



Not a Photograph: The Mission of Burma Story

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Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Saturday, 30 December 2006 04:04

dvd_mobWhether pulled from the archives or just a few years ago, the Burma performances are uniformly outstanding, revealing the true foundation of their legend: intense, unpredictable live shows.








Imogen Heap | Speaking for Herself

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Written by Preston Jones Thursday, 14 December 2006 03:09

ev_imogen_sm"I don't like lyrics that tell an obvious tale; I like things that tug your imagination in different places and forces you to create your own meanings for it."






Pablo | Half the Time (Curb Appeal)

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Written by Tyson Blanquart Friday, 08 December 2006 04:08

cd_pabloThe moods shift from gloomy to almost psychedelic to nearly joyous. But each feeling evoked has kind of a dark cast to it, as well. Perhaps it has something to do with the use of minor keys in a lot of the songs.






Various Artists | Butchering the Beatles: A Headbashing Tribute (Restless)

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Written by Jason Green Friday, 08 December 2006 04:02

cd_butcherbeatleIn what seems like a fairly obvious pairing, Damn Yankees Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw tackle the high harmonies on "Day Tripper," a song whose guitar riff was made for wank-ery, and Doug Aldritch (Whitesnake, Dio) definitely delivers.






Gaba Gavi | The Things We Want to Hear (Creative Life)

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Written by Tyson Blanquart Friday, 08 December 2006 02:59

cd_gavi"Right Where You Left Me" has almost an amateurish sound to it, but this somehow makes it more endearing. It's a lost-love song that's worthy of repeated playing. Gavi's voice runs across familiar territory here, but it shows his adeptness at handling this type of vocal: heartfelt, hurt, and wanting happiness.




Langhorne Slim | Engine EP (V2)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Monday, 04 December 2006 14:27

engineIf this EP is any indication, there should only be better things to come from Slim, a 26-year-old Pennsylvanian spawned from a time that no longer exists, pulling Dylan, moonshine, and sepia photos from under his dandy suit.




Four Letter Lie | Let Your Body Take Over (Victory)

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Written by Kevin Huelsmann Monday, 04 December 2006 14:16

cd_fourletterlieThe scream-heavy verses with choruses on their second album, Let Your Body Take Over, try to wring out some emotion, or at least empathy, from the listener. The problem is that they don't go anywhere.






Endwell | Homeland Insecurity (Victory)

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Written by Jason Green Monday, 04 December 2006 14:14

cd_endwellThe New York City fivesome have created a bizarre blend of virtually all things heavy, resulting in an album that is a breath of fresh air for metal fans and something that will likely send anyone else running to the hills.





The Damnwells | Air Stereo (Rounder)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Monday, 04 December 2006 14:10

cd_damnwellsAll this drama surely raises expectations, am I right? But, unfortunately, the wait doesn't seem to have been worth it.





The Burden Brothers | Mercy (Kirtland)

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Written by Chris Schott Monday, 04 December 2006 14:06

cd_burdenPolished and hidden behind gobs of eyeliner, the band seems to be hiding their age. Taz Bentley, drummer and ex-Reverend Horton Heat member, looks the worse, completely out of place, clinging to a rock and roll fantasy haunted by being youthful and energetic.





Bad Astronaut | Twelve Small Steps, One Giant Disappointment (Fat Wreck Chords)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Monday, 04 December 2006 14:03

cd_astronautThe resulting effort from Bad Astronaut is a solid album of straight-rocking tunes that get through to the listener with their honest approach.






Red Bull Presents Soap Box St. Louis: An Exclusive STL Mix

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Written by Toriano L. Porter Monday, 04 December 2006 13:59

Music icon Oliver Sain and funk bands the Real Thing and the Playboys usher in the CD with St. Louis-themed funk tunes "St. Louis Breakdown," "Do the Funky Robot," and "Bumpin' Bus Stop."



The Life and Times | The Magician EP (Stiff Slack)

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Written by David Lichius Monday, 04 December 2006 13:56

The Life and Times are still entrenched in deceptively mellow rock with plenty of spacey elements.



Triclops! | Cafeteria Brutalia (Sickroom)

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Written by Tyson Blanquart Monday, 04 December 2006 13:48

It feels epic in scale, even though its only five minutes long. And the twisted, carnival-like breakdown in the middle of the song must be what going crazy sounds like.



Brats on the Beat: Ramones for Kids (Go Kart)

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Written by Elizabeth Feldman Monday, 04 December 2006 13:42

cd_bratsI actually thought the CD player had gotten stuck and I had been listening to the same song repeating.






...And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead | So Divided (Interscope)

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Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 04 December 2006 13:37

cd_trailCall it a comeback album if you like, but Trail of Dead continues to dominate 12 years after their formation on their fifth LP, and in many ways shows new signs of growth.






Tenacious D | The Pick of Destiny (Sony)

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Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 04 December 2006 13:32

With Jack Black on vocals and Kyle Gass on guitar, the band takes down the Devil once again.



Joanna Newsom | Ys (Drag City)

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Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 04 December 2006 13:29

cd_newsomThe best part of Ys is the lasting effect. The more you listen, the more you uncover and appreciate her sophisticated lyrics.





Sarah McLachlan | Mirrorball: The Complete Concert (Nettwerk/Arista/Legacy)

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Written by Jason Green Monday, 04 December 2006 13:23

cd_sarahmacBy expanding to include McLachlan's complete setlist for the tour (recorded at the final two-night stand in Portland, Ore., in the spring of 1998), this collection gives a broader picture of McLachlan's career by dipping back to her 1989 debut Touch and its 1991 follow-up Solace, as well as enhancing the live feel by including more audience cheering and stage banter.




Home Recording Project | Home Recordings (File Thirteen)

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Written by Kevin Huelsmann Monday, 04 December 2006 13:16

cd_hrpThe songs sound like they're from some unknown past. You can never quite place it, though. There isn't a concrete tie to anything.





White Magic | Dat Rosa Mel Aribus (Drag City)

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Written by Joseph O'Fallon Monday, 04 December 2006 13:06

cd_whiteroseThis is the second album from the nu-folkers that back in 2004 put out Through the Sun Door, a collection of six wonderful songs including the pleasantly repetitious "One Note" and one of my favorite tracks of 2004, "Keeping the Wolves From the Door."





Gentleman Auction House | The Rules Were Handed Down (s/r)

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Written by Chris Schott Thursday, 30 November 2006 02:20

cd_gah_smWith two drummers, a flute, horns, keyboards, three guitars, just about every member supplying percussion and vocals, the sound the band produces easily becomes that of a small orchestra, sonically shattering those other quiet, more down-to-earth indie bands.



The Hold Steady | Born to Kick Your Ass

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Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Wednesday, 29 November 2006 16:00

holdsteadyFinn sets the energy level at every show, serving as the focal point for the band's maelstrom. In interviews, however, he and Kubler seem to trade personas. Finn comes across as laconic and easy-going, Kubler as giddy and talkative.



The Fields | Oversized Portions

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Written by Nick Peill Wednesday, 29 November 2006 08:37

band_fields_smAnglo-Icelandic electronic/indie quartet Fields came to America for a week of shows, video shoots, oversized meal portions, and drives along the Coast. We asked Nick Peill (vocals, guitar, keyboards) to keep track of the band's exploits. Following is his impression of the exploits of himself and bandmates Torunn Antonia (vocals, keyboards), Henry Spenner (drums, vocals), Mattie Derham (bass, keyboards, vocals), and Jamie Putnam (guitar). Fields' debut EP, 7 From the Village, came out this summer.



Kevin Devine | Put Your Ghost to Rest (Capitol)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Wednesday, 29 November 2006 04:17

cd_devineDevine bares his political teeth on "The Burning City Sweet," opening with "Forty million refugees with no place on this earth to call home" before revealing America's secret weapon: "Atlas had those shoulders/ we've got Ambien and Jamison's and blow."



The Always Already | The Always Already (s/r)

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Written by Laura Hamlett Wednesday, 29 November 2006 04:05

cd_alwaysalreadyIf the aim of an EP is to whet appetites for more, then this self-titled disc has certainly done its job, and more. I can't wait to catch the live show.



Steppin' Out With the Kooks

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Written by Laura Hamlett Wednesday, 29 November 2006 03:25

prof_kooks_smIt's always about a feeling, isn't it? If you feel something is not right, you don't do it. And if something feels right and someone puts a great idea forward, then you embrace it and you try and make it your own; you develop it. With the music side of things, we all write songs anyways, so we all know how a song works, 'cause we all know how a good song sounds and ways to reach it up a bit.



Gentleman Auction House | On the Block

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Written by Laura Hamlett Wednesday, 29 November 2006 02:54

prof_gah_sm"Personally, I think if you're a person that is driven to do something, it's often impossible to describe why. I just know that I wake up every day with my stomach nervous and my hands jittery. I can't turn off the drive to write songs and play music. Ridiculous as it may be, that's how it is."




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