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

More Articles - Reviews

Kristian Hoffman - Fop
Kristian Hoffman drew on his decades of experience in the music industry to produce Fop, a huge, sprawling album, strong of drum and guitar but embroidered in silk and velvet. With Fop Hoffman looks to his forebears (there's a little Pet Sounds and Sgt. Pepper in there) and takes seventeen tracks to explore his own musical time and the cohorts he'...  Read more
Various Artists - I Love Techno 2010
I like a lot of kinds of electronica, but dance techno qua dance techno tends to leave me cold. Still, this comp, put together by techno stalwart Steve Aoki, came highly recommended by the folks at Aquarius Records, so I thought I’d give it a shot. And having listened to it, I can say...yeah, I still don’t like techno. Gtronic’s “Sucker Punch (...  Read more
Coherence is sometimes an overvalued commodity, musically speaking. Sure, it’s great when an album maintains an overarching theme or vision, but it can be just as exciting to dig into a group that’s still poking around their parameters and trying to find what works. That’s pretty much the case with Altar Eagle, an Oklahoma-based husband-and-wife...  Read more
Cee-Lo Green - The Lady Killer
Cee-Lo Green has stepped back into the spotlight with The Lady Killer, his first solo album in six years. Most of us know him best as the voice of Gnarls Barkley, the electro-soul duo behind "Crazy," one of the very best songs of the aughts. Long before he teamed with Danger Mouse (né Brian Burton), Green was a member of conscious hip-hop outfit...  Read more
It’s fitting that something as inconsequential as an awards-show bombing lit the creative fires under Kanye West’s feet. A notoriously fragile figure, it led to a self-imposed exile from the spotlight, which only made his shattering reentry “Power” that much more cinematic. The song, an explosion of red-hot ardor, sounded like a summation of...  Read more
Even the strongest proponent of cover albums would have to admit that re-imagining a classic in its entirety is tricky terrain. Cling too closely to the original and you risk redundancy. Go too far afield and the project comes off like a gimmicky novelty act. Although indie rock semi-supergroup Ruby Isle’s take on Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for...  Read more
In the official bio for NYC indie rockers Les Savy Fav, they claim to be "among the godfathers of the independent rock music scene." And, in certain ways, they're right. Founded in 1995 at design school in Rhode Island, the French-sounding quintet (lay-sah-vee-fahv) are as American as Hüsker Dü, bridging the gap between '80s and hardcore and '00s...  Read more
I was just out of my teenage years when I was first introduced to the music of Carolyn Berk and her project Lovers, and the songs on her debut Starlit Sunken Ship seemed tailor-made for those formative years of yearning and contemplation and frequent silence and the chafing between the child and adult selves. But like a teenager itself, the music...  Read more
Various Artists - The World is a Monster
The World Is a Monster is a compilation of Columbia records post-war hillbilly and honky tonk. The tracklist eschews hitmakers for lesser-known artists — and in doing so, demonstrates fairly clearly why the lesser-knowns were lesser known. With one or two exceptions, nobody here comes anywhere near the consistent genius of Columbia’s biggest...  Read more
Gold Panda - Lucky Shiner
Gold Panda first burst onto the scene last year with “Quitter’s Raga,” a garbled, torn-at-the-seams bedroom composition that grabbed attention from the world for its otherworldly nature and uniquely visceral nature. Since then we learned Gold Panda is actually Derwin Panda, London-based producer extraordinaire, too weird to be lumped into the...  Read more

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