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Album Reviews
Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010

The Forever Endeavor

Some bands simply evolve more than others. Over six years and three albums, The Mighty Short Bus has come barreling out of Madison, touring the Midwest as one of the city’s hardest-working DIY groups while consistently redefining its sound...
Album Reviews
Monday, July 26, 2010

Couldn’t Stand the Weather—Legacy Edition (Epic/Legacy)

It’s been two decades since Stevie Ray Vaughan, a swaggering blues revivalist with a thick and recognizable style, played his final concert at Alpine Valley on Aug. 26, 1990. He then jumped into a helicopter that crashed minutes after takeoff and killed everyone onboard...
Album Reviews
Monday, July 19, 2010

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Steamhammer/SPV)

Irish rockers The Answer enjoyed recent success in the United States with a retro, Led Zeppelin sound. Now, The Answer’s fellow countrymen in Glyder hope American listeners are craving more throwback rock. Glyder proudly worships at the altar of Thin Lizzy—and, in fact, made its public debut in 2004 at...
Album Reviews
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Draw Down the Moon (Cleopatra Records)

Ronnie James Dio spawned countless imitators—musically, vocally and lyrically. And if imitation is, indeed, the sincerest form of flattery, then Pittsburgh’s Icarus Witch—a veteran under-the-radar metal band that opened for the Dio-fronted Heaven & Hell last year—may have unwittingly released one of the finest...
Album Reviews
Monday, June 7, 2010

Assassination in the Hashish Cathedral (Hikikomori Records)

William Kopecky may have relocated from Racine to France, but as one-half of the duo Haiku Funeral, he arguably makes the most sinister-sounding music ever linked to Wisconsin. Sure, his work in Yeti Rain, Far Corner, Snarling Adjective Convention and the eponymous trio Kopecky has always been dark, but the...
Album Reviews
Monday, May 31, 2010

Snap Your Fingers & Stomp Your Feet (Slightly Charred Records)

Madison-based singer/songwriter/guitarist Sean Michael Dargan takes his time releasing albums, but they tend to be worth the wait. His crisp Snap Your Fingers & Stomp Your Feet arrives five years after The Big Picture (which, incidentally, came eight years after his eponymous second album). More raucous than...
Album Reviews
Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Dawn (Magna Carta Records)

The 12th studio album from Celtic rockers Tempest opens with the multinational band’s first-ever single: a “Celtodelic” cover of the Grass Roots’ 1967 hit “Let’s Live for Today.” The upbeat reworking sets the tone for Another Dawn, an album notable for its positive vibes...
Album Reviews
Monday, April 12, 2010

Falling Through Rainbows (Unicorn Digital)

A man out of time, Canada’s Rick Miller has composed, produced, performed and recorded since the early ’80s. But his fourth solo CD, Falling Through Rainbows, confirms that his real musical influences come from the ’70s. Featuring a fuzzy unicorn on its cover (which looks a tad too much like My Little Pony), this album takes plenty of inspiration...
Books
Monday, April 12, 2010

(Omnibus Press), by Brian Southall

As the original home of The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Radiohead, Britain’s EMI Records boasts a rich musical history. But away from the recording studio, the label has been a mess for at least the past two decades...
Album Reviews
Monday, April 5, 2010

Love Is Gone (Roadrunner Records)

Delivering on its title, Dommin’s Love Is Gone plays like a soundtrack for brokenhearted goths. Consider the leadoff track, in which fragile lead vocalist, guitarist and band namesake Kristofer Dommin sings, “My heart in your hands/Closing your grip/I’m so afraid that you’ll leave me cold” over a doomy claustrophobic...