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Poptone

June 27th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Poptone

Poptone

While Bauhaus has enjoyed the cult following that comes with being seen as goth figureheads and Love and Rockets the spoils that go along with a Top 10 hit (“So Alive”), despite having what has become a fixture of alternative club nights the world over (“Go!”), Tones on Tail has never enjoyed the degree of notoriety as the bands that preceded and followed it. Formed …

Introducing… Rays

May 5th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | 1 Comment »

Introducing… Rays

Rays

Oakland, California’s Rays are a fairly typical indie band. They look the part, play the part, run around with other bands who do the same, and get loads of redundant comparisons to the Flying Nun and C-86 jangle pop that undoubtedly clogs their record collections. But it’s the way the quartet—Eva Hannan on bass, Troy Hewitt on guitar, Stanley Martinez on guitar, and Alexa Pantalone …

Boss Hog

April 4th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Boss Hog

Boss Hog

It’s been 17 years since Boss Hog put out a record, and although a lot has changed during that time, you might not know it by listening to the new album. Named after a strain of cicada that also only reappears every 17 years, Brood X (In the Red Records) doesn’t sound like the work of a band that’s been lying dormant for nearly two …

The Feelies

February 27th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

The Feelies

The Feelies

When I last spoke to Feelies guitarist and singer Glenn Mercer and percussionist Dave Weckerman nearly eight years ago, the New Jersey band had just reconvened after a 17-year hiatus. Aside from a gig at the now defunct All Tomorrow’s Parties playing their 1976 debut, Crazy Rhythms, in its entirety, the group had few concrete plans, although they did intend to make a new …

Staff Picks of 2016: Stephen Slaybaugh

January 19th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Staff Picks of 2016: Stephen Slaybaugh

I’ve already mentioned the many things that made 2016 one of the worst years in a long time—and I didn’t even mention the Cleveland Indians losing the World Series. If you’re like me, music has always been a salvation. One can either lose oneself in visceral energy or somehow ease one’s one pain by listening to similar sentiments expressed in song. I certainly did plenty …

Staff Picks of 2016: Josie Rubio

January 17th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | 1 Comment »

Staff Picks of 2016: Josie Rubio

Some people may be tired of hearing about how terrible 2016 was, but I don’t really care. It was not only bad on a global level; for me, it started with cancer and a major surgery, ended with cancer and chemo, and was punctuated by two pet deaths and some illnesses along the way. Thankfully, there were many musical highlights as bright spots. Of course, …

Staff Picks of 2016: Dorian S. Ham

January 16th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Staff Picks of 2016: Dorian S. Ham

Did any music come out this year? It feels like the year was spent in a hole of existential dread and that listening to music was something that slid through the cracks. Thankfully that wasn’t always the case, and here are some records that eased the pain of screaming into the void.

Top 12 Albums

12. RJD2, Dame Fortune (RJ’s Electrical Connections)
It’s been more …

Staff Picks of 2016: Kevin J. Elliott

January 13th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Staff Picks of 2016: Kevin J. Elliott

Top 10 Albums

10. The Lemon Twigs, Do Hollywood (4AD)
If you know where to look, there has never been a drought of the fanciful, orchestrated, power pop of bands like 10cc and ELO. Sure, there are the Flaming Lips and Of Montreal, but go further and you’ll find Foxygen and now the Lemon Twigs, the latter being a brotherly duo actually mentored and recorded …

Staff Picks of 2016: Richard Sanford

January 12th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Staff Picks of 2016: Richard Sanford

Top 10 Albums

10. Miranda Lambert, Weight of These Wings (RCA Records)
In a field with lots of competition, this was the mainstream country record that dug its hooks in me the deepest this year. Songs about dreams of escape and the consolation of fantasy (as well as when those things come up short), along with the dangers of routine and habit—all strapped to the …

Staff Picks of 2016: Matt Slaybaugh

January 11th, 2017  |  by  |  published in Features | Leave A Comment »

Staff Picks of 2016: Matt Slaybaugh

Top 10 of 2016

10. David Bowie, Blackstar (Columbia Records)
What a way to end the story. The timing was incredible in and of itself, but the fact that Bowie recorded his best work in at least 35 years, one of his boldest adventures, makes Blackstar an achievement that might never be matched.

9. Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book (self-released)
It was May in Ohio, …