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."




Boyskout | Another Life (Three Ring)

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Written by Joe O'Fallon Sunday, 26 November 2006 15:16

cd_boyskout_smAfter the amazing "When You're Not Around," Boyskout tackles "The Model" from Kraftwerk's album The Man-Machine, to good result. Boyskout manages to stay true to the song's original instrumentation, while at the same time bringing it up to date by decreasing the role of Kraftwerk's synthesizer.



Berry Get Therapy

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Written by Brian McClelland Friday, 24 November 2006 16:00

prof_berry_sm"Marriage dealt with a crumbling relationship and all of the depression, resignation, and quiet hope that consumes you in that situation. Most of the writing on Empathy is coming out of [singer/guitarist Joey Lemon's] first year of a Masters in Counseling program."



Aspen It Is | Release Me From the Weights of Gravity! (Piermont)

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Written by Jason Green Sunday, 19 November 2006 09:45

Rarely do albums come more generic and underwhelming than this New Jersey group's debut.



Cold War Kids | Robbers and Cowards (Downtown)

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Written by Kaylen Hoffman Sunday, 19 November 2006 09:38

Some of their music is reminiscent of the soundtrack from O Brother Where Art Thou?: there's a more rootsy substance lurking behind the Strokes-esque lyrics and Jeff Buckley-like wailings.



PJ Harvey The Peel Sessions (1991-2004)

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Sunday, 12 November 2006 17:00

pjHarvey had some 60 songs to choose from and the collection is fairly balanced, offering listeners a chance to hear her perform live versions of album and unreleased cuts as well as the classic "Wang Dang Doodle."



The Decemberists | Setting the Stage

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Written by Jeremy Goldmeier Saturday, 11 November 2006 08:55

decemberistssmallIf Colin Meloy serves as the director, playwright, and lead performer of the Portland, Ore.-based Decemberists' jolly troupe, then the crack team of instrumentalists that backs him up must be the criminally underappreciated group of techies.



Isis: In the Absence of Truth (Ipecac)

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Written by David Lichius Saturday, 11 November 2006 08:45

With a sprawling nature in both length and sound, Isis has created a bridge between those who wouldn't touch anything metal and those who would avoid any record that sniffs of indie.



Justin Beckler | Oh! My Troubled Mind (s/r)

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Written by Chris Schott Saturday, 11 November 2006 08:27

Almost gospel in nature, the songs are quite uplifting. Also, if you're into this kind of thing, a hint of spiritual desperation and a yearn for direction seems to live in Beckler's words. But for those who have had this cup of tea before, Beckler is only skin deep.



My Morning Jacket | Okonokos (ATO)

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Written by Dave Jasmon Saturday, 11 November 2006 08:18

Not coincidentally, my research determined that "Okonokos" is representative of a Hawaiian word for an unusually docile species of a bear with a growl that's so soothing, it lulls intruders and/or prey into a meditative, almost trans-like, state.



Botch | Unifying Themes Redux (Hydra Head)

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Written by David Lichius Saturday, 11 November 2006 08:07

Unifying Themes Redux provides 17 tracks that highlight a young Botch on its path of becoming one of the most influential post-hardcore/metal bands of recent memory.



Voxtrot | Your Biggest Fan (Playlouder)

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Written by Joe O'Fallon Friday, 10 November 2006 03:14

The EP demonstrates a sophisticated sound and also exposes lyrical weaknesses.



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