Stone Age rockers return beautifully

April 15, 2005
A long way back, in the protean years of indie rock, circa 1985, there was a ragtag band from a sleepy Massachusetts locale. Dinosaur Jr. played a major role in shaping the sound of what would later become known as “alternative rock” during the 1990s, influencing small-time basement four-trackers and radio rock gods alike. Yet »

Psychedelic Dead Meadow comes alive

February 25, 2005
Sandwiched on the Matador roster between indie rock heavyweights like Interpol, Mogwai and Yo La Tengo, it is easy to understand why Dead Meadow received disappointingly little attention for their previous album, the strong “Shivering King and Others,” released in 2003. But on the bright side, they carry less baggage and are burdened by fewer »

Smells like box set: Nirvana rocks on

January 14, 2005
I picked up “With the Lights Out” at a sterile suburban retail chain, the kind of place where the youths of Aberdeen, Washington would go to buy their Sammy Hagar and KISS LPs, the rural locale where the Nirvana saga began. And yet the band’s long-awaited box set, which has magically appeared after seven years »

Punk’s not dead (or is it?): From Black Flag to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs

October 29, 2004
The term “indie rock” has unfortunately come to represent a rather bland and compact, though well-composed, style of music. The shining melodies of the Shins and the reserved vocals of the Walkmen are two in-favor examples of the genre’s characteristically moderately-retro pop. Gone is the cynicism, the aggression, the wildness and the trashiness that once »