Saturday 26 Jul
CD reviews

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0

SXSW: Karkwa/Geographer/Abigail Washburn

French language, swooning and pseudo-banjo

By Stephen Carradini March 18th, 2011

Next door to The Buffalo Lounge was the M for/pour Montreal party, where Polaris Prize winner Karkwa (pictured) was playing. I stepped in and caught most of their set, which sounded like a French-speaking version of Arcade Fire's "The Suburbs" if that album wasn't so sad. The stately and important feel was there, as well as the vital energy missing from the previously mentioned album. Karkwa's whirling, complex soundscapes were anchored by guitar and pounding piano and augmented by two drummers, making for a very full, enveloping sound.

After grabbing some dinner and doing a quick interview, I hustled over to Geographer's set. They only played for twenty minutes and flipped the breaker three times with their songs, but it was incredible anyway. The lead singer's lithe, gorgeous voice propelled the tunes and set the audience to swooning. He played guitar and keyboards, while the other two guys held down cello/electronics and drum duties. Their swirling, easy set rode the line between dreamy and direct, finding an easy-going space in the middle. It's a sound that washes over you, and it was well-done. I just wish the venue had better electrical work, so we wouldn't have missed any seconds of their set due to power loss.

Leaving Sixth Street for the first time for the entire festival, I kicked it on out to Antone's to watch banjoist Abigail Washburn at my girlfriend's recommendation. Although she didn't play her banjo much (what's the use of being a celebrated banjoist if you don't play the thing?), she sang well and was incredibly enthusiastic about her band, her songs, her instruments and her new album. She excitedly explained that "City of Refuge" was "less folky" than material she formerly recorded, as she co-wrote it with more indie-minded musicians. (Drat.) Nevertheless, the set was enjoyable, if not what I expected.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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