Music

What’s Up With Eric Church’s Mouth?

What’s Up With Eric Church’s Mouth?
Eric Church Caught In the Act: Live (EMI) When Eric Church is especially pleased with himself, with some outrageous line he’s sung or some monster riff his band has played, he has a special stage mannerism. He snaps his head away from the microphone and opens his mouth wide, a cavern of whiskey-soaked...
July 2nd, 2013 | Music | Read More

Hospital Ships Create Instant Lost Treasures

Hospital Ships Create Instant Lost Treasures
Hospital Ships Destruction In Yr Soul (Graveface) There are great records that sort of surprise you, going ignored any time you scroll through iTunes looking for something to play. In most of our lives, these albums’ only hope of seeing the light of day lies in randomly popping up on shuffle or...
June 25th, 2013 | Music | Read More

Fighting Vainly the Old Ennui

Fighting Vainly the Old Ennui
Carmen Villain Sleeper (Smalltown Supersound) I am almost sure I bought this album in 1991. While not as high-pitched as Bikini Kill, nor as atonal as Sonic Youth, nor as pop as L7, and certainly not as pretty as Lush, and maybe not as sleepy as Mazzy Star, there is yet an undeniable 1990s quality to...
June 18th, 2013 | Music | Read More

Blake Shelton’s Packing Heat!

Blake Shelton’s Packing Heat!
The last song on Blake Shelton’s new album Based On a True Story (Warner Bros.) is penned by second generation singer-songwriter Thomas Rhett, who has already written for Jason Aldean, Lee Brice, Florida Georgia Line and others. It’s called “Grandaddy’s Gun,” and it becomes a kind of metonymy...
June 11th, 2013 | Music | Read More

Of Teeth, Nails, and Other Things That Fall Out

Of Teeth, Nails, and Other Things That Fall Out
Billy Bragg Tooth & Nail (Essential) Billy Bragg has always been better at compartmentalizing than his reputation as a political songwriter might suggest. This isn’t to say his political work from the late 1970s isn’t iconic; it’s just that his songs about sex, love, romance, and marriage...
May 14th, 2013 | Music | Read More

Adios Adrenaline; Hello Ambient Guitar Arpeggios

Adios Adrenaline; Hello Ambient Guitar Arpeggios
Audio Adrenaline Kings & Queens (Fair Trade Services) One thing that happens from time to time is fratricide. I don’t mean this literally. But it’s basically fact that the Ramones and Sex Pistols came along and made Robert Plant and Jimmy Page seem like dinosaurs, and we’ve all...
April 30th, 2013 | Music | Read More

Music For a Plague And/Or Spring

Music For a Plague And/Or Spring
Ellen Allien LISm (Bpitch Control) I have been reading Albert Camus’s The Plague for the fourth or fifth time. It is one of my all-time favorite books and, given my tendency to slip into a funk in the springtime, on the short-list of books I pick up when I am wallowing in the mire of depression. Let...
April 16th, 2013 | Music | Read More

Album Review: “The Best of the Howling Hex”

Album Review: “The Best of the Howling Hex”
The Howling Hex The Best of the Howling Hex (Drag City) I take my son to kindergarten each morning in a twelve-year-old, salvage-titled CR-V that, incidentally, is missing a muffler. It is a noisy fifteen-minute drive. As if to add insult to injury, the stereo only comes out of one of the speakers. Occasionally,...
April 2nd, 2013 | Music | Read More

Keep Houseguests Off Balance With Cuneiform Records

Keep Houseguests Off Balance With Cuneiform Records
If you were to picture the stereotype of a music industry executive sitting in his plush office plotting how to promote a smooth, catchy act who will appeal widely and inoffensively to a large swath of the properly calibrated target demographic, and then go to the opposite of whatever spectrum that is,...
March 26th, 2013 | Music | Read More

The Ambience of War and Peace

The Ambience of War and Peace
Apparat Krieg und Frieden (Music for Theatre) Mute Apparat’s new album sounds like a soundtrack. And so it is, for a stage production of Krieg und Frieden, or as most English speakers know it, Tolstoy’s War and Peace. After scoring the production, Apparat, whose real name is Sascha Ring, decided...
March 12th, 2013 | Music | Read More