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Friday, April 22, 2011

April 21, 2011

Though swagger and outsized charisma never go out of style, lyrical prowess seems to have a shifting value in the rap world. It's strange, of course, considering that the MC has always been the focus
Monday, March 29, 2010

March 25, 2010

After a dozen years touring together, twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin’s stage banter has taken on the air of a Smothers Brothers routine, with each sister dryly playing the straight man during the other’s turn to talk. At their perform...
Tuesday, April 6, 2010

April 5, 2010

Wye Oak’s 2009 album The Knot is caked with textural detail, a homespun tapestry patterned piecemeal around strings, horns, melodicas and keyboards. Wye Oak’s live show isn't. The Baltimore indie-rock duo recognizes the impossibility of b...
Wednesday, March 24, 2010

March 23, 2010

It’s an oddly confrontational image, the vintage portrait of a Polo-clad, pretty young woman with an ambiguous, perhaps vacant stare and lavishly coiffed hair that adorns the cover of Vampire Weekend’s latest album, Contra. “It&rs...
08.10.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Were the seeds of a potential Animal Collective backlash sewn at the band's ambient Saturday evening Lollapalooza set? I like the band well enough, but I found the half hour I caught fairly insufferable. Other critics concur, even ones unabashed about their Animal Collective fandom. The Chicago Tribune called their set "heavy on repetitive beats and monotonous keyboard noodling. Wh...
08.10.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
My wrap up of 2009�s Lollapalooza festival is up. In a nutshell, I thought the  supporting headliners upstaged the curiously lackluster headliners, and that the festival had better luck with dance and electronic-leaning artists than it did alternative rock ones, but all in all, it was an excellent weekend. Some stray thoughts: * TV on the Radio was a revelation live. I hadn�t seen t...
08.07.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
Though they didn't upstage the headliner, last night's Lykke Li concert at the Turner Hall Ballroom benefited from a pair of nice openers: Esser and Miike Snow, two acts with far fuller live shows than their recordings suggest. Esser was the more disposable of the two, a British singer with Vanilla Ice's hair and Terry Hall's voice, which only further highlighted The Specials accents in ...
07.06.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
The challenge for Elvis Costello: Whether to spend his hour show playing his old hits or his ample recent material. The solution: Spend two hours playing both. Anybody hoping to hear a particular song at Costello�s super-sized set Sunday night at Summerfest�s M&I Classic Rock Stage probably walked away happy. Among the highlights: �Everyday I Write the Book,� �Clubland� �I Hope You�re Happy No...
07.02.2009 | | Posted at 12:00 AM
By Evan Rytlewski
So here's the thing about wedding disc jockeys: They're usually right. Much as the more discriminating members of the wedding party may loathe hearing ABBA's "Dancing Queen" or an Elvis mega-mix, wedding disc jockeys play these songs because they get the biggest response. So don't hound these DJs to play R. Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)" or that old Junior Senior jam you and your friends remember ...

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