Yalies scupt the art major to their wishes

February 25, 2005
During this midterm season, English majors are writing papers on Beckett, history majors are trying to catch up on 600 pages of reading and psychology majors are memorizing experiments for tests. But instead of sitting in the library, art majors in the sculpture concentration are working on something different in their studios: projects that range »

The Leons get their own sound (sort of)

February 25, 2005
Three out of the four members in Kings of Leon are brothers who grew up on the road with their traveling evangelical father (the other Leon is a cousin). But this is no Sunday school music, with lyrics like “C-nts watch their bodies, no room for make up” (“Taper Jean Girl”). Not to say vulgarity »

Ben Lee is a happy, indie, cute kid

February 11, 2005
“They play Good Charlotte on the radio, and that’s the way I like it/ I hear Beyonce on the radio, and that’s the way I like it/ They don’t play me on the radio, and that’s the way I like it,” Ben Lee playfully sings on his new album, “Awake Is the New Sleep.” Though »

10-song ‘EP’ is eccentric but solid

February 4, 2005
It’s no easy task to make music that excites people because it sounds so new and original. Not only have the Fiery Furnaces succeeded in making exciting music, but it’s genuinely good music too, with the tendency to intertwine storytelling, addictive melodies and inventive instrumentation — synthesizers, toy pianos, distorted guitars, drum machines and chaotic »

Two new Bright Eyes albums glitter

January 28, 2005
Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst is so indie. Homegrown in Omaha, Neb., he loyally sticks to the small record company he helped establish when he was 13 years old. He says things like, “If there’s anyone who cares about music as an art form, now’s the time to make a change. There will be no »

The best mix tape ever?

January 21, 2005
When you think of the type of music that gets played on the radio, the thought is usually accompanied by images of super-glossed arena rock stars, Hummer-driving rappers who survive gang shootings, or at least cleavage-popping, ubiquitous actress-turned-pop-stars. After all, Clear Channel, the ultimate evil media conglomerate, owns an ultimately evil amount of the nation’s »

The ten very best albums of 2004

January 14, 2005
10. The Fiery Furnaces “Blueberry Boat” A completely original album, “Boat” manages to be both intensely bizarre and spectacularly fun. But it is mostly a rollicking experience that should be duly noted as one of the bravest albums of 2004. The music is nothing less than exuberant bluster, and — though sometimes difficult to digest »

Irish vets conquer rock n’ roll (again)

December 3, 2004
It doesn’t take much to know U2 has a new album out. With Apple commercials, a very un-Apple black and red special-edition iPod, an abrasively rollicking single (“Vertigo”) and the struggle for world peace going for them, the band from Dublin is back. “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb,” their 11th studio release, is a »

On stage and on the page, Dylan is a-changin’

November 19, 2004
In 1964, Bob Dylan sang “Come gather ’round people / Wherever you roam” and people listened. Forty years later they’re still flocking: It took mere hours for his Harvard concert this Sunday, Nov. 21 to sell out. For the show, the Boston Fire Department will allow the Gordon Athletic Center, which usually only fits 1,500 »

Stars make hip-hop ‘Handsome’

November 12, 2004
“Hip-hop is what you would call the bastard child of a lot of different forms of music.” So says DJ Jazzy Jay on the song “Rock and Roll (Could Never Hip Hop Like This) Part 2,” the best hip-hop track on the CD “White People,” by Handsome Boy Modeling School. Offered by one of the »

‘Rain’ still rocks, even with about 50 songs

November 5, 2004
A lot of double albums, reissues, and bonus CDs are made up of only old material that isn’t worth rehashing. If something wasn’t good enough to make the cut the first time around, why should it be released in special packaging, and at a high price? The new Pavement double album, a deluxe reissue of »