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Love second-wave emo but can’t make it to New York this weekend for either of Texas Is the Reason’s sold-out reunion shows at Irving Plaza?   Saosin, "Seven Years"  (mp3)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  November 20, 2006


Robert Pollard

Normal Happiness | Merge
Only a fool would’ve taken Guided by Voices’ 2004 break-up as a reason to believe we’d heard the last from frontman Robert Pollard, a Budweiser-slugging former grade-school teacher who’s never met a three-chord hook he didn’t like. Robert Pollard, "Supernatural Car Lover"
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  November 13, 2006


Geek squad

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  |  November 09, 2006



No Shame | Atlantic
What are this hard-touring Hawaiian trio unashamed of? Pepper, "Too Much"  (video) Pepper, "No Control"  (video)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  November 07, 2006


...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead

So Divided | Interscope
These Austin-based noise-rock scoundrels have never met a fake-classical fillip they couldn’t find room for in a song.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 30, 2006



Evan Dando speaks from the roof
Evan Dando lives in a high-rise apartment building in Lower Manhattan whose rooftop patio affords an intimate view of the sprawling construction site where the World Trade Center once stood. The Lemonheads, "No Backbone" (mp3)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 23, 2006


Amos Lee

Supply And Demand | Blue Note
Philadelphia-based folk-soul crooner Lee favors the sort of acoustic adult-contemporary settings that soundtrack Starbucks outlets nationwide.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 24, 2006


Ima Robot

Monument To The Masses | Virgin
With the Killers gone arena-roots and the Bravery recording with Pearl Jam/Springsteen producer Brendan O’Brien, somebody’s gotta keep the dance-rock-circa-2004 flame alive.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 17, 2006


Lindsey Buckingham

Under The Skin | Reprise
Much of the critical reaction to the first solo album by Lindsey Buckingham in more than a decade has been prompted by the sense that Under the Skin could’ve been made by one of today’s overabundant indie-folk acts.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 10, 2006


Mammoth metal

Mastodon and Lamb of God define a genre
The big story in heavy music right now is mammal metal, a blood-and-guts strain of post-thrash brutality lorded over at the moment by Lamb of God and Mastodon, two loud-and-proud Southern bands with new major-label discs out.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 03, 2006


Watson Twins

Southern Manners |  
The Watson Twins are Chandra and Leigh, two Kentucky-raised, LA-based sisters who’ve spent the past year doing a heck of a job singing back-up in Rilo Kiley frontwoman Jenny Lewis’s country-pop solo act.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  October 02, 2006


Freedom songs

The sonic growth of the Mars Volta
The Mars Volta’s new Amputechture (Universal) is the first album the Los Angeles–based prog-punk ensemble have made that doesn’t have a unifying story line.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 26, 2006


Wolf Eyes

Human Animals | Sub
In 2004, these Michigan-based noise terrorists got as close to the indie-rock mainstream as any of their niche-market peers when Sub Pop unleashed Burned Mind , Wolf Eyes’ 869th release, on the unsuspecting ears of Iron and Wine fans throughout North America.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 26, 2006



Damaged | Merge
Lambchop are the band playing in the bar of Nashville’s nicest hotel as the world collapses around them. Lambchop, “Paperback Bible”  
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 18, 2006



Empire | RCA
Last week the second CD by this English dance-rock act debuted atop the British albums chart, and Kasabian’s notoriously loudmouthed members weren’t exactly gracious about it. Kasabian,"Empire"  (windows media) Kasabian, "Me Plus One"  (windows media)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 11, 2006


Man Man: Six Demon Bag

Ace Fu
As the blogosphere’s embrace of recent releases by DeVotchka, Beirut, and Gogol Bordello demonstrates, the American indie scene is experiencing an unlikely craze for Eastern European Gypsy music. Man Man, "Van Helsing Boombox"   (mp3)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  September 05, 2006


G. Love

Lemonade | Brushfire/Universal
When in 1994 G. Love emerged as a rapping white-boy Boston transplant from Philadelphia’s old-school blues scene, the temptation was to write him off as a one-shot, “Cold Beverage” curio — a left-field indulgence of the alt-rock era. G Love, "Rhyme for the Summer Time" (mp3) G Love, "Blues Music" (mp3)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 15, 2006


The Format

Dog Problems | The Vanity Label/Nettwerk
This Arizona-based power-pop combo had a terrific alt-rock radio hit a few years ago called “The First Single,” a self-consciously exuberant mini-anthem that proved they had a sense of humor to go along with their sense of hook. "The Compromise," (MP3 via Myspace)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 08, 2006


The Living End

State of Emergency | Adeline/EastWest
A tight little Australian trio who began life as a rockabilly group but now play high-octane pop punk, the Living End might be the perfect act for Rocket from the Crypt fans bumming over that band’s break-up late last year.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 01, 2006


Sweet alienation

Soul Asylum restake their claim
On stage June 26 at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York’s Times Square, Soul Asylum frontman Dave Pirner looked as if he’d just crawled out of a time capsule that had been sealed in the early ’90s. Ripped jeans, scarecrow hair, white hightops — you remember the look. Soul Asylum, "Stand Up and Be Strong" (mp3)
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  August 05, 2006
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