Album of the Week

Date

Live and Direct Volume 13

Live and Direct Volume 13 is here! We've collected 17 of the best live performances from the past year for Live and Direct Volume 13. Featuring tracks from local acts including Colonizing the...

Gimme Some

Everyone has his or her guilty musical pleasure. Often it’s an absurdly popular song or singer with mass audience appeal which makes them far too obvious a choice for you, the discerning listener. At...

Rockpango

As the United States' demographic changes so goes our cultural baseline. In the 1970’s rock was dominated by southern California vibes and Southern swamp boogie. There was one band, Santana, which...

Scandalous

What is it that consumes young men’s thoughts? If, perchance, you’ve forgotten pick up a copy of Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybear’s sophomore release. Ah, yes, now you remember. Living up to its...

Blessed

Lucinda Williams’ voice is a rugged, well-worn, vulnerable thing, transparent to the point of revealing a depth of emotion that evades many singers. Likewise, her songs aren’t conventionally pretty...

Collapse Into Now

R.E.M.’s 2008 release, Accelerate, lived up to its name as the band jettisoned softer ballads to jet through a collection of succinct blazing rockers. In comparison Collapse Into Now is a reflection...

Fixin' To Die

Throughout his career Garret Dutton, aka, G. Love has played at the shallow end of the pool of roots music. He’s splashed elements of blues and folk into his music from time to time albeit with hip-...

100 Lovers

Every cinematic adventure deserves an overture, in this case strings, delicate as butterflies that pair up with tentative piano chords that grow more assured as the song progresses. Rhythmic acoustic...

The People's Key

The People’s Key, Bright Eyes 7th studio album, is a science fiction inspired opus that contemplates creation, the expanding universe, time travel, and alien enslavement of the human race. Conor...

Mondo Amore

What would you expect from a musician who cites as her greatest influences New Jersey’s Shark River during a rain storm and the dark, surreal films of David Lynch? And what would you expect from this...

Kiss Each Other Clean

Some artists are content to make a template of their first successful album, repurposing their original burst of creativity to lessening degrees of satisfaction. Not so with Sam Beam, the iconoclast...

Bright Examples

Sarah Lee Guthrie...

The Lady Killer

Audacious, sly, witty, the music of Cee Lo Green is immensely entertaining, beautifully produced and delivered with such aplomb that I marvel that Green hasn’t attained superstar status long before...

Living Proof

If you’re looking for a template for growing older, not just gracefully, but with power and dignity, take a good listen to Buddy Guy’s Living Proof. The man isn’t afraid of the numbers that stack up...

Contra

After all the hype of their first release it was inevitable that Vampire Weekend would experience blow-back from some critics. The brainy four-man band who met as students at Columbia University...

The Suburbs

The much maligned “suburbs” get a new appraisal thanks to Arcade Fire. Instead of rejecting the trappings of tract neighborhoods, the band offers a complex examination of how the boundaries, values,...

Sound of Sunshine

Life becomes dearer when one is confronted with serious illness. Big picture ideals fade to background while something as simple as sunshine on water, a sleeping child, or a lover’s smell comes into...

So Runs the World Away

As Josh Ritter christened his career and set sail in search of his musical horizon many well-wishers nodded in approval at the one they deemed a new savior of the art of folk music. As Ritter’s...

Sinners and Saints

Raul Malo is speaking, or more appropriately, singing his mind. As the front man for The Mavericks, a member of Los Super Seven, a collaborator with dozens of artists and commander of a successful...

Write About Love

The Scottish band Belle and Sebastian have been producing great pop music for 15 years but only in the last several years have they begun to build an American audience beyond a small cult fan base....

Fields

Subtlety isn’t an adjective often used to describe pop music yet it is at the heart of Junip’s debut album Fields. Guitarist/singer Jose Gonzales, drummer Elias Araya, and keyboardist Tobias...

The Grand Theater Volume 1

The Old 97s built their career as one of alt-country’s most consistently smart, down-to-earth, energetic bands. Fans flocked to their shows and bought their recordings expecting to reveal in a mix of...

You Are Not Alone

When fellow Chicagoan Jeff Tweedy signed on to produce Mavis Staples’s gospel record, he offered Wilco’s loft studio and asked for one of her father’s guitars. You Are Not Alone opens with the sweet...

The Orchard

Ra Ra Riot balances brainy ideas with energetic pop melodies and lush string arrangements, but that isn’t the only balancing act they’ve pulled off. Wes Miles formed the band in 2006 at Syracuse...

Junky Star

Life is hard. Some days feel like a tough ride on a bucking horse that has had it with people getting on its back. Other days string together indistinguishable from one another, creating desolate...

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