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Latest Articles


Homegrown drone

Isis thrive out on the West Coast
Aaron Turner, frontman of the formerly Boston-based art-metal act Isis, is not easily swayed by the idea that nurture affects a developing entity more than nature. Isis, "Dulcinea" (mp3)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 13, 2007


The Autumn Defense

The Autumn Defense | Broadmoor
An amiable soft-rock duo comprising two members of Wilco, the Autumn Defense provide a refuge for alt-country traditionalists vexed by Wilco’s increasing artiness.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 12, 2007

The Cinematics

A Strange Education | TVT
Despite the title of their debut album, it’s unlikely that there was anything particularly strange about the Cinematics’ education.  
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 27, 2008


Stockholm calling

Peter Bjorn and John, El Perro del Mar, and Lo-Fi Fink lead the new Swedish invasion
In “Young Folks,” the hipster hit by the Stockholm-based indie-pop trio Peter Bjorn and John, Peter Morén boasts that “we don’t care about the young folks.”
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 03, 2007


The Broken West

I Can't Go On, I'll Go On | Merge
Flournoy doesn’t seem concerned with demonstrating his originality.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 26, 2007


Elvis Perkins

Ash Wednesday | XL
“I heard a sound when I was a child,” Elvis Perkins sings in “It’s Only Me,” a typically introspective folk-pop number from this debut album.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 20, 2007


The Apples in Stereo

New Magnetic Wonder | Simian/Yep Roc
Interviewing Robert Schneider is one of the toughest gigs in music journalism, and not because the guy’s anything but a perfect gentleman.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 13, 2007



Lifetime | Decaydance/Fueled by Ramen
After eight years of inactivity, this scrappy New Jersey band reunited in 2005, to the delight of the countless emo kids who’ve singled out Lifetime as a primary influence.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  February 06, 2007


The flying Scotsman

Paolo Nutini soars across the pond
“I don’t usually come across as all that interesting in interviews,” admits 20-year-old Paolo Nutini over the phone from a gig in Stockholm.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 29, 2007


John Mellencamp

Freedom's Road | Universal
John Mellencamp spent his last two studio albums in experimental mode, inviting Chuck D and India.Arie aboard 2001’s Cuttin’ Heads and digging into unvarnished country blues on ’03’s Trouble No More .
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 29, 2007


Bob Seger

Face the Promise | Capitol
“I will answer the wind,” Bob Seger sings in “Wait for Me,” a cut from his first new studio album in more than a decade.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 22, 2007


Of Montreal

Hissing Fauna, Are you the Destroyer? | Polyvinyl
Now that the Apples in Stereo are reunited and have a new album coming out next month, Of Montreal can no longer lay claim to the distinction of being the only Elephant 6 band of note to outlive the once-sprawling psych-pop collective’s sad demise.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 16, 2007


Ron Sexsmith

Time Being | Ironworks
Nobody ever says anything nice about this crafty Canadian crooner without also observing that he’s nowhere near as famous as he deserves to be. Ron Sexsmith, "All in Good Time" (Quick Time)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 11, 2007


Super freaks

Les Claypool keeps Primus up and runnning
Les Claypool, the 43-year-old bass-playing architect of Primus, is the kind of guy who went through a weird-teenager phase and then just never moved on.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  January 02, 2007


Bow Wow

The Price of Fame | Columbia
From its Illmatic -quoting cover to its boasts of “money stacks taller than the Empire State,” 2005’s Wanted was Bow Wow’s coming-of-age album, an opportunity for a youngster known to most listeners as a kiddie-pop novelty to prove himself a rapper worth considering alongside grown-up MCs.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  December 28, 2006


The OC Mix 6: Covering Our Tracks

Warner Bros.
Since part of the well-oiled genius of The OC is its blatant appropriation of familiar teen-soap source material, it makes sense that the hit Fox series’s latest mix CD collects covers of tunes most of the show’s viewers likely already know.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  December 19, 2006


Libby Johnson

Annabella | Wrong
Earlier this year, this New York–based folkie had a handful of her songs featured in the Julianne Moore flick Trust the Man .
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  December 11, 2006


Bound Stems

Appreciation Night | Flameshovel
This young Chicago act maintain the dedication to instrumental texture foregrounded by Windy City post-rock acts like Tortoise and the Sea and Cake. Bound Stems, "Excellent News, Colonel"  (mp3)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  December 04, 2006


Emo to the core

Kevin Devine, Tim Barry, and Stephen Brodsky
What’s the latest sign that emo has become a true part of the musical mainstream?
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  November 30, 2006



Let’s Build A Fire | Absolutely Kosher
James Baluyut honed his indie-rock chops playing guitar in his older brother Richard’s mid-’90s band Versus, an underrated outfit whose lean, sexy jangle would’ve been well served by the blogosphere’s sponsorship.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  November 28, 2006
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