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Album Reviews
Monday, Sept. 29, 2008

Pancho and the Kid

  The second solo album from Chris Barron sounds nothing like his old band, the Spin Doctors-which is reason enough to give Pancho and the Kid a spin. But more importantly, the dozen songs reflect the image of a much more thoughtful singer/songwriter than the one who penned "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong."That maturity is no doubt the result of Barron's full recovery from a paralyzed vocal cord, which back in 1999 left him...
Album Reviews
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008

Building An Empire (InsideOut Music/SPV)

  Nicolas Chapel, a one-Frenchman band, lands somewhere between the progressive rock of Porcupine Tree and the alternative metal of Tool on Building An Empire, released under the moniker Demians. By adding color and depth to ambient electronica, he manages to sum up Demians' entire sound on the 16-minute track "Sand."
Album Reviews
Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2008

Songs from Shows (Uvulittle Records)

The liner notes for Songs from Shows, a collection of musical pieces from Chicago performance artist Jenny Magnus, credit such instruments as leather gloves, a Kleenex box, a manual typewriter, a barrel rolling down the hall and a busted organ . . .
Album Reviews
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008

Nest of Storms (Crimsonic)

Racinebassist William Kopecky may be spending time in France these days, but he left behind Nest of Storms, the second release from Yeti Rain, a dark and ambient duo that Kopecky formed with wind-synthesizer wiz Roger Ebner. At times almost orchestral in nature . . .
Music Feature
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008
Almost seven years ago to the date, on Sept. 14, 2001, The Flower Kings, now arguably one of the world's leading progressive-rock bands, played what just might rank among Shank Hall's most memorable and cathartic shows.
Music Feature
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2008
Almost seven years ago to the date, on Sept. 14, 2001, The Flower Kings, now arguably one of the world's leading progressive-rock bands, played what just might rank among Shank Hall's most memorable and cathartic shows. "I remember that gig, and I remember those days vividly," says guitarist, vocalist and head Flower King Roine Stolt, when reminded that the Swedish band was on a rare U.S. tour as the tragedy of 9/11 unfolded. The Flower Kings opened their penultimate show of that tour with "Last Minute On Earth," the lead track from . . .
Album Reviews
Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008

Sunshine Lies (Shout! Factory)

By now, you would think Matthew Sweet's sell-by date would be long passed, that his brand of '90s power pop would have gone sour. Yet here he is, 22 years after his first solo album with one of the strongest discs of his career. Self-described as "power-pop-folk-rock-psychedelic-melodic-singer-songwriter-type . . .
Local Music
Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008
Mike Mangione wanted out of his comfort zone. That's why he left Milwaukee-his home for almost four years now-and spent two weeks in early 2007 living in a hotel in Lexington, Ky. At nearby Shangri-la Productions, he recorded Tenebrae, a stirring, brutally personal and critically acclaimed record that takes emotional cues from such albums as Peter Gabriel's Us and Bob Dylan's Time Out of Mind.
Album Reviews
Monday, Aug. 4, 2008

The Premonition (Century Media)

Do you still thrill to ’80s-era Whitesnake, Dio, Queensryche and Iron Maiden? Then Firewind should slot neatly into your head-banging collection. What this Greek powerhouse lacks in originality, it makes up for with a commitment to keeping melodic hard rock and heavy metal alive in an increasingly disparate . . .
Album Reviews
Tuesday, July 15, 2008

She (Metal Mind Productions)

She—a lavish two-CD set written by veteran British progressive rocker Clive Nolan and based on H. Rider Haggard’s 1887 Victorian-adventure novel of the same name—fits practically every definition of “rock opera.” The majestic, large-scale story of a white African queen who made herself immortal by . . .

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