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Friday, April 4, 2008

Tonight @ the Cactus Club - 10:00 PM

Anticon Records is known almost exclusively for a certain sound—electronica-influenced, abstract hip-hop, often with an avant-garde edge—but one act on the label’s roster smashes this mold. Although they siphon certain aesthetics from hip-hop, Why? sticks mostly to tumultuous indie-pop and spry, Animal Collective . . .
Wednesday, April 2, 2008

How Vampire Weekend Channeled Africa Through New York

What is a young artist to make of a post-Giuliani, post-9/11 New York City? Some credit the former mayor’s strategic employment of the “broken window” philosophy in fighting urban crime and blight—along with a police force that, putting it kindly, ignored many of the subtleties of community relations—with helping the city to clean up its act. Many old haunts that once housed angst-ridden musicians are being developed into condominiums and shopping centers (it was, for example, recently announced that the former site of CBGB is being converted into a store for upscale men’s fashion designer John Varvatos). At the same time, the horrific events of 9/11 have created both a newfound sense of community among many New Yorkers and an intense preoccupation with all things safety-related. The grime, danger and sin historically associated with New York have seemingly been wiped off the cultural landscape of the city, creating a new atmosphere marked by a cleanliness that threatens to erase many aspects of the region’s checkered history.
Monday, March 31, 2008

Tonight @ the Borg Ward - 8:00 PM

Blessed with one of the best band names in the city, Milwaukee’s experimental bass-and-drum duo E=MC Hammer play an 8 p.m. show at the Borg Ward tonight. Their feedback-laden, ever-twisting sound nods to the math rock of June of 44, the post-hardcore of Black Eyes and the heavy post-rock of Pelican.
Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tonight @ the Rave - 8:00 PM

Ludo earned countless comparisons to Weezer with their 2004 self-titled debut, and with good reason: The album sounded like the record longtime Weezer fans wished Weezer still made; a smart, catchy power-pop record with ample Moog synthesizers. On their newest, album, You’re Awful, I Love You, the band . . .
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March 20, 2008

Even in his 40s, Stephen Malkmus is still as skinny as a teenager and as malleable as a Gumby doll. The former Pavement frontman possesses no discernable backbone: When he leans forward during a particularly impassioned solo, his head hangs nearly eye level with his guitar. Much of the weight that often results from settling down with a wife and a pair of kids never came to Malkmus; neither did the complacency that besets many musicians by middle age. Instead, Malkmus’ solo albums have pushed, often aggressively, against the Pavement template, and never more than on his latest disc, Real Emotional Trash . . .
Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lucky (Barsuk)

In 1996, Nada Surf got lucky with “Popular,” although the song was practically designed to relegate the band to one-hit-wonder status. By the end of the ‘90s, they seemed bound for oblivion, but it turned out that they were just regrouping. 2003’s Let Go was a quietly stunning . . .
Friday, March 7, 2008

Tonight @ Turner Hall Ballroom - 7:00 PM

Milwaukee’s hard-working (and fast working) alt-rock duo Fever Marlene have followed up their debut album with a New York-recorded follow-up, White China. Tonight at 7 p.m. the pair will return the Turner Hall Ballroom for another CD release party and they’ve brought along a high-profile opening band. The . . .
Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tonight @ the Rave - 5:00 PM

While the Warped Tour continues to expand, harboring bands across genres, the Taste of Chaos Tour, a newer creation from Warped Tour impresario Kevin Lyman, has kept its focus tight, inviting only bands on the harder end of the alternative rock and emo-core spectrum. Although this year’s tour, which . . .
Sunday, March 2, 2008

Tonight @ Turner Hall Ballroom - 8:00 pm

Maybe the Black Lips will use their 8 p.m. Turner Hall Ballroom appearance to put on a nice, orderly and workmanlike show—but it’s unlikely. The rowdy garage-rock group has developed a nasty reputation for their antics-filled live shows, which have included bodily excretions, nudity, man-on-man action and the . . .

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