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'Yahu!

Despite looks that scream novelty, the Jewish reggae rapper Matisyahu resonates for real with faithful audiences.


Music

Matt Carney
Jay-Z has rags-to-riches. Nas, urban poverty. Nearly every word Bob Marley sang, barbed with social criticism.
 
Thursday, August 11, 2011

Soundcheck: Klipspringer, 'The Trouble with Sebastian'

Sophomoric humor and guitar rock? Yes, please.


Music

Matt Carney
Norman’s Klipspringer might just be the most lyrically consistent band in the history of music in this state.
 
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Collections of Colonies of Bees — GIVING

Wisconsin instrumental post-rockers return to old form after their Volcano Choir collaboration with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon.


Indie

Matt Carney
Clocking in at just under half an hour, Milwaukee-based Collections of Colonies of Bees recorded a lyric-less gem in their latest offering, “Giving,” strong enough an effort to challenge the current incumbents Explosions in the Sky as our best post-rock build-up instrumental band.
 
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Small Sur — Tones

Doing more with less.


Indie

Matt Carney
Baltimore, Md. is so very rich with quality music right now. Bands like Beach House, Wye Oak and Animal Collective (AC relocated to NYC, but some of their first media coverage came from Baltimore City Paper) have established themselves as national-caliber indie acts with large-scale sounds to boot.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Jackie-O Motherf***er — Earth Sound System

Earth to Jackie-O: Do you read me? No? OK, then.


Folk

Matt Carney
Naming your band Jackie-O Motherfucker is the titling equivalent of purchasing a license to record whatever the hell music you want, as far as I and the Americana-experimentin’ Portland indie collective are concerned.
 
Friday, August 5, 2011

Black Canyon

Looking for some locally grown alt-country?


Music

Matt Carney
The subject of budding Okie videographer Nathan Poppe’s debut documentary, the foot-stomping Enid alt-country dudes in Black Canyon released their debut record “Battlefield Darlins” on Bandcamp.com last month, and — happy surprise! — they recruited Sherree Chamberlain to guest as the gal in this musical romance.
 
Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks — Mirror Traffic

Pavement legend still plenty feisty.


Indie

Matt Carney
So what happens when you pair a couple of 1990s indie legends, setting the one known for bizarro, folky hip-hop at the control panel, and the one who famously dissed Smashing Pumpkins and Stone Temple Pilots behind the microphone?
 
Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Soundcheck: The Okee Dokee Brothers

Award-winning 'kindie' singers to play eight metro library shows


Music

Matt Carney
Whether it’s playing bluegrass in homeless shelters or kids’ music in public libraries, Joe Mailander and Justin Lansing are going to do their darndest to get their audiences’ hands clapping and feet stomping.
 
Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Theophilus London — Timez Are Weird These Days

He’s a long way from the next Kanye.


Hip Hop/Rap

Matt Carney
Judging by the ads Warner Bros. Records is running on Pitchfork, the lack of coverage in more conventional rap and hip-hop media outlets, and hired-gun producer Dan Carey’s résumé (Hot Chip, M.I.A., La Roux), the juggernaut label is marketing Theophilus London’s debut LP, “Timez Are Weird These Days,” toward hipsters instead of a more conventional hip-hop audience.
 
Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Patti Smith — Outside Society

Can anyone but Patti Smith pen a gorgeous piano ballad out of the lyrics ‘pissing in a river’?


Rock

Matt Carney
Well, yeah — the song ends with tectonic plate-splitting crashes of pre-punk circa 1976.
 
Friday, July 22, 2011

Washed Out — Within and Without

Has a band's name ever better captured its sound?


Electronica

Matt Carney
Back in 2009, Ernest Greene recorded two of the year’s most widely praised EPs with cheap, airy synthesizers at his parents’ house in rural Georgia.
 
Monday, July 11, 2011
 
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