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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Crossing Dragon Bridge (Blue Rose Records)

The title of Crossing Dragon Bridge was inspired by the landmark that Steve Wynn regularly traversed during a recent three-week stay in Ljubljana, Slovenia, where the founder of ’80s alternative-rock pioneers The Dream Syndicate recorded his first solo album since 2001.
Monday, May 12, 2008

Wolves and Wishes (Anticon)

Dosh is a prodigiously talented pianist and multi-instrumentalist who crosses many borders with his music. His latest album, featuring violinist Andrew Bird, blends Terry Riley minimalism with rock on “Don’t Wait for the Needle to Drop,” rolling African rhythms with Krautrock on “Bury the Ghost” and generally goes . . .
Monday, May 12, 2008

Deluxe Reissues (Twin/Tone/Ryko/Rhino)

OK, so The Replacements hung around for an album too long (maybe even two albums), but their arc is the stuff of legend with good reason. Gather ’round, children, and you will hear stories of the early ’80s, when “alternative” music was still called “college radio” and good old punk rock was still relevant. Well, kinda . . .
04.29.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Here�s how The Roots� latest album could have sounded: Yes, that song, �Birthday Girl,� featuring Fall Out Boy�s Patrick Stump, was actually intended to be their latest album�s first single. Wisely, it was cut from the album all together. But here�s a song that did make Rising Down's cut: I�d love to be a fly in the wall during the marketing sessions for this album...
Monday, April 28, 2008

The Chicago Project (Central Control)

Full speed ahead! That’s the rate at which alto saxophonist and Chicago native Matana Roberts and her extraordinary band push forward into uncharted sonic terrain. It’s not like we haven’t heard post-bop and free jazz in the same molds that Roberts, bassist Josh Abrams, drummer Frank Rosaly and Tortoise guitarist Jeff Parker
Friday, April 18, 2008

Mooney Tunes and Maynard Melodies (Moo-Town)

Veteran Milwaukee folkie Jym Mooney isn't singing about Warner Brothers cartoons on his latest CD, as its title and artwork might imply. Instead, he has collected 14 songs about his family. It doesn't get much folkier than that, and Mooney has a way of welcoming a listener to his clan, even as that welcome includes a 19 . . .
Friday, April 18, 2008

SVN FNGRS (Cooking Vinyl)

Pixies frontman Black Francis has produced another short CD in the white heat of sweat and inspiration. SVN FNGRS was written and recorded in six days with Francis (guitar, vocals, harmonica) accompanied only by a drummer and bassist. Much of it is melodic alternative rock driven by ringing guitars, though tangents are audible. With its slippery, sliding chords and barked vocals, “The Seus” suggests the Gang of Four
Friday, April 18, 2008

Hernando (Songs of The South)

The North Mississippi Allstars’ roots are deep in the Robert Johnson American blues catalog, as shown in the group’s 2000 debut, Shake Hands With Shorty. The band earned a formidable reputation for its live performances while touring in supporting roles and at festivals. They fit a niche between other blues rockers like the Black Keys and jammers like Dave Matthews Band. Tours also led to collaborations with artists such as R.L. Burnside, Robert Randolph and Medeski, Martin & Wood, so it’s not surprising that the band’s music has evolved and changed with each release. Their last album, 2005’s Electric Blue Watermelon, a collection of mostly upbeat tracks, earned them a Grammy nomination.
04.15.2008 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Anyone looking for new music couldn�t go wrong with any of these three killer albums: Black Francis � Svn Fngrs For Frank Black�s second album under his old Pixies-era nom de plume, he finally gets it right. Between its aggressive quirkiness and the shameless Kim Deal surrogate cooing backing vocals, Black�s last disc, Bluefinger, felt forced, but on this seven-track mini-album, th...
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Majaz (Randana)

The three Palestinian brothers of Le Trio Joubran are heirs to a family history of music associated with the oud, the ancient instrument at the root of the lute and the guitar. Their latest album is brooding and meditative, yet propulsive and rhythmic, as three sets of hands work the strings in harmony. Most of the melodies . . .

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