The strange thing about nostalgia is the surprise factor involved. For example, you can account for a certain song you listened to when you were dating a certain person to dredge up certain memories, but sometimes revisiting albums from the past barely stirs a passing thought. And then there's the stuff for which you can't even account - for...  Read more

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At this point it’s pretty much conventional wisdom that cloud systems like Apple’s much-hyped iCloud are the future of mobile music. It does sound pretty much like a music geek’s greatest fantasy – on-the-go access to your entire library via a pocket-sized device you carry everywhere anyway. The stellar Audiogalaxy app isn’t exactly a cloud...  Read more
The mix tape is by nature an intimate and personal undertaking. It’s not just a matter of tossing together a lot of your favorite songs; you have to think about order of presentation, chemistry between the various songs and artists, even the amount of space between tracks. Whether you’re making a mix for a friend, a lover or just for your own...  Read more
BOAT! Sorry, I didn't mean to yell. Well, actually, why not? This Seattle band has been kicking around on the far margins of the indie pop realm for five years now, during which time they've recorded four albums, all to little fanfare. Then again, it's possible that they've already blown their chance for wider recognition and that a little bit of...  Read more
In January 2005, when Apple began shipping GarageBand, yet another new era of home recording was born. While previous software-based digital audio workstations (DAWs) such as the industry standard Pro Tools made it reasonably affordable for home recording enthusiasts to record entire albums on their laptops, GarageBand made it cheap and easy for...  Read more
Once you’ve learned that West Coast duo Blue Sky Black Death has its roots in hip-hop backing tracks, the appeal of their music makes a lot more sense. Even though NOIR is not strictly a hip-hop album, the hazy yet precise production and understated, infectious beats would be the envy of many an up-and-coming DJ. It’s a heady, multi-layered style...  Read more
From the beginning, we knew these guys would be great. In 2003, Brooklynites TV on the Radio were a mere trio of like-minded music nerds, mining the early '80s post-punk sound, just like every other band from New York during that era. Still, that year's debut EP, Young Liars, revealed a distinct voice within that bloggishly hip zeitgeist. Despite...  Read more
When people think of musical genres most likely to be vehicles for biting sociopolitical commentary, Contemporary Cajun probably ranks somewhere between surf rock and nü-polka. But when you’ve witnessed an endless stream of horrors and frustrations like the ones that have been thrown at coastal Louisiana in the past decade, even the most...  Read more
Are The Strokes legends? They were quickly inaugurated as the ill-defined “saviors of rock” back in the beginning of the last decade, but these days that looks more like a symptom of needing to inaugurate something. The ‘90s trailed off into the widest mainstream reception pop-rap had ever seen, naturally the rockist elites were left tugging at...  Read more
You don’t have to be a baseball fanatic to dig The Baseball Project, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. The alt-rock supergroup, composed of Peter Buck (REM), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, The Minus Five), Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate, Miracle 3) and Linda Pitmon (Miracle 3), packs their latest installation with enough obscure references to...  Read more
Swedish indie pop singer Lykke Li's 2008 debut, Youth Novels, suggested the bedroom formulations of a retiring wallflower of a girl. Synthpop at their foundation, her songs felt like lonely laptop creations wedded to lyrics cut-and-pasted from a blog diary. That isn't to say the music was in any way amateurish or half-cooked. Youth Novels is a...  Read more

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