Rosanne is Cash money

March 3, 2006 • 0
Rosanne Cash is Johnny Cash’s daughter, and for once she doesn’t want anyone to forget it. A talented performer who achieved success in spite of (rather than due to) her famous parentage, Ms. Cash has always been a confessional songwriter. But her latest effort, the searing “Black Cadillac,” makes her previous albums (even 1990’s stunning »

In ‘Pursuit’ of euphony

February 17, 2006 • 0
A full decade into their career, Belle & Sebastian are certainly among the geezers of indie rock, and they show no signs of letting up. “The Life Pursuit” is testament to this. By no means among the best of the year’s releases, the album nevertheless demonstrates exactly the exuberance and playfulness that has kept the »

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February 10, 2006 • 0
The album cover of Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan’s “Ballad of the Broken Seas” reveals the record’s plot. In what could be a missing scene from “True Romance,” Campbell fixes her hair before a mirror in a cheap motel while Lanegan half-reclines on the bed, reading a book. As semi-tragic lovers on the run, Campbell »

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January 20, 2006 • 0
With back to back iconic classics — 1988’s “Surfer Rosa” and 1989’s “Doolittle” — and three other renowned and critically acclaimed albums, The Pixies all but inspired a new wave of college rock. Almost as well-known as their indie legacy, which has ins`pired thousands of bands since (not least of which Nirvana), was the acrimony »

Ten brilliant albums from ’05 everyone should own

January 13, 2006 • 0
2005 was a banner year for both impressive debuts and vast improvements from good artists. Remember when you were the last person to hear about Arcade Fire last year? Don’t be that guy again. Check out the operatic indie pop, literary rock and swaggering rap that make up the top ten albums of the year. »

Talib enraptures, mos def

December 2, 2005 • 0
“I’m good! I’m Spiderman, niggas, what’s up?” Talib Kweli jokingly bragged in between songs at the Breed Love Odyssey Tour Tuesday night at Toad’s Place. “I’m Peter Parker, what’s up? Bruce Wayne. I got skills.” By the end of the Tuesday show at Toad’s Place, he and Mos Def certainly seemed, if not super-heroic, at »

Team exclaims elation

November 5, 2005 • 0
The Go! Team’s “Thunder, Lightning, Strike” opens, fittingly, with a bang. The echo of a faraway police siren on gritty city streets fades. Drumsticks click together six times, tap three quick beats on the drum, and then the song suddenly explodes at full force. A swell of trumpets blasts over the bass and drums as »

Animal flubs new venture

October 21, 2005 • 0
There is a fine line between accessibility (desirable) and conventionality (undesirable) in indie music. Sadly, Animal Collective must not have gotten the memo. “Feels” is certainly less unconventional than 2004’s critically acclaimed “Sung Tongs.” Unfortunately, it is also much less interesting. By couching its eccentricities in more traditional instrumentation, the band loses some of its »

Cartoonish ‘Mouse’ pioneers

October 14, 2005 • 0
If the rap world was ever lacking an ode to animation, that hole has officially been filled. DJ Danger Mouse (whose clever “Grey Album” drew national attention to the mash-up scene) and veteran underground rapper MF Doom have formed Danger Doom, and their “The Mouse and the Mask” is a brilliant concept album about cartoons. »

Broken innovates with fervor

October 8, 2005 • 2
Uniquely disarming, Broken Social Scene’s hazy daydream-rock proves again that Canadians write more beautiful music than Americans do. Their long-awaited self-titled third album is an honest, complexly constructed success. Aside from a few production missteps, each track brims with experimentation and emotion. Cemented in the band’s beautiful signature mix of melody and distortion and enhanced »

Freak-folk chieftain reaches a bit too far

September 23, 2005 • 0
On “Cripple Crow,” his fourth album, freak-folk frontman Devendra Banhart’s sound explodes beyond his trademark warbling vocals, loud guitar picking and subtle background accompaniment. These 22 songs display a surprising array of influences, drawn not only from ’70s American folk, but also southern rock, British folk-rock, even soul. And yet this expansiveness ultimately undermines the »

Sigur Ros soars to great heights

September 16, 2005 • 0
Had Sigur Ros’ new album “Takk …” been released in 1999, it would be considered a modern classic, a clear link between the shoe-gazing glory of My Bloody Valentine’s “Loveless” and the atmospheric indie pop of Broken Social Scene or The Arcade Fire. But way back then, the Icelandic Sigur Ros was just releasing its »