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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Black City

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Matthew Dear has been, from the beginning, Ghostly International's most ambitious artist, the Ann Arbor-originated label's franchise player. Since 1999's "Hands up for Detroit" debut single, he's remained restless and hungry, pushing the production envelope into techno, house, electro-pop, art-rock and singer-songwriter territories. Dear has turned out music under his...

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The Orchard

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 12:00 AM

It's not totally fair to call the Syracuse-based chamber-pop group Ra Ra Riot a junior Arcade Fire. For one thing, there are only five people in Ra Ra Riot. For another, they don't aim quite as big as the way more popular Canadian collective. And that's often a good thing....

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Sugar

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Dead Confederate rose from the ashes of the jam-oriented Red Belly Band on their 2008 debut, Wrecking Ball, where they pursued a sweltering neo-psych throb in songs that stretched into extended, distortion-drenched vamps that bared traces of the Allman Brothers' jammy theatrics. Some of that old thud is evident on...

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Tomorrow Morning

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 12:00 AM

It's harder to write happy than unhappy. That's the problem with the final album in Eels' trilogy about dissolution, heartbreak and redemption that was released over the past 14 months. Misanthropic frontman Mark Oliver Everett, who's built his entire career around dispirited paeans, simply isn't equipped for the task. Most...

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Warp Riders

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Austin metal band the Sword has always had great riffs, but the execution was usually more about passion, not precision. Until now. On Sword's third album, the band tightens its game. The most immediate change involves frontman J.D. Cronise, who has learned how to sing. Warp Riders is a sci-fi...

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Dark Night of the Soul

Posted By on Wed, Aug 25, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Whether it's a long-shelved work like Smile or an album that a label refuses to release like Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, audiences often romanticize records that take a while to reach their ears. As silly as that can be, it's understandable: In an age when music feels increasingly disposable, albums held...

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pop 'n' sprawl

Curd and Thompson mete out an EP that merits deep headphone listening

Posted By on Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 12:00 AM

A collaboration between the Pop Project guitarist and Suburban Sprawl mainman Zach Curd and Johnny Headband leader and Electric Six sideman Keith Thompson? File this under "Sounds Like These Guys Know What the Fuck They're Doing." In fact, the three jams here are an economical testament to the pop chops...

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5 Track EP

Posted By on Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Between the two white South African rappers who make up Die Antwoord, there are maybe a dozen words you'll be able to make out on their debut record. Half of their rhymes are in English, but good luck figuring out what Ninja (who sports a Vanilla Ice haircut) and Yo-Landi...

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God Willin’ & the Creek Don’t Rise

Posted By on Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 12:00 AM

Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne gives his backing band equal billing on his fourth album, God Willin' & the Creek Don't Rise, his first without collaborator Ethan Johns. And the Pariah Dogs earn the honor in the extended instrumental introduction of "Repo Man," which they fill with glowing, moody textures. They build...

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Catching a Tiger

Posted By on Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 12:00 AM

It's tough to figure out where Lissie Maurus' heart and sound lie. Is this singer-songwriter an Illinois-bred Midwesterner or a transplanted Californian? Is the DIY folk-pop on last year's debut EP her thing, or is it the grandiose pop on her first full-length? Unlike the sultry folk stance Lissie displayed...

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