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Chaos theory

Health rescue rock from its riffage
Health are a rock band composed of four earnest and ambitious Los Angelinos.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  September 16, 2009


3 Inches of Blood | Here Waits Thy Doom

Rough Trade (2009)
An outsider would peer into the ridiculous world of 3 Inches of Blood — which is inhabited by orcs and advancing scimitar-wielding hordes — and giggle.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  September 02, 2009


Little Dragon | Machine Dreams

Peacefrog (2009)
Sometime in the not too distant future, we can finally put to rest the endless speculation regarding what machine music will sound like.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  August 25, 2009


Heat wave

Bat for Lashes, live at Paradise Rock Club, August 13, 2009
"It's so hot!" Bat for Lashes multi-instrumentalist frontwoman Natasha Khan was sweating it out between songs en route to her piano stage left. "So are you!" yelled a girl in the crowd.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  August 19, 2009


Review: Cobra Starship | Hot Mess

Fueled by Ramen/Decaydance (2009)
Are Cobra Starship's gleeful Day-Glo appropriations and their unbridled enthusiasm really indications of a disparity between intention and expression? Or is their crime simply the meta-mania of their fusion of '80s retro kitsch and '00s celebrity worship? Really, it's neither.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  August 03, 2009


Best Music Poll 2009: Anything goes

The underground: saved, salvaged, or savaged?
The underground: saved, salvaged, or savaged?
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  July 30, 2009


Long way to the top

The belated glory of Anvil
"I wanted longevity, even if it meant obscurity."
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  July 22, 2009


La Roux | La Roux

Polydor (2009)
Polydor (2009)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  July 22, 2009


Dinosaur Jr. | Farm

Jagjaguwar (2009)
The much ballyhoo'd resurrection of the original Dino lineup a few years ago — with bassist/crybaby Lou Barlow and laconic-to-the-point-of-sometimes-seeming-retarded-or-maybe-dead frontman J Mascis burying the axe — saw the faithful turn ecstatic at the dropping of '07's Beyond .
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  July 14, 2009

Gossip | Music For Men

Columbia (2009)
Working with master minimalist Rick Rubin, Gossip have lost more than the "The" from their name, as they've pared down their sound while amping up the pop and R&B-isms of their earlier work in this clear and earnest bid for the big kahuna.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  July 07, 2009


Major Lazer | Guns Don't Kill People . . . Lazers Do

Downtown (2009)
Producer-centric pop music of the last decade or three has, so the argument goes, made mainstream America's airwaves more diverse by pushing an inclusive mixtape æsthetic onto the great unwashed. So a fake-band album by Diplo and Switch, two of the more well-renowned DJ/producers around, should be gangbusters, right?
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 23, 2009


Cult classic

The Church need you to come to their party
"Everybody who knows anything about us knows that we completely transcended the '80s."
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 24, 2009


Mixed emotions

The beautiful mood swings of Camera Obscura
When at the end of the title track of her band's new My Maudlin Career (4AD) Camera Obscura vocalist/songwriter Tracyanne Campbell coos "I don't want to be sad again" over a bed of ethereally jaunty chamber pop, you'd be wise to take that with a grain of salt.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 18, 2009


Stop making sense

The precision mishmashes of the Fiery Furnaces
"Look, we just think that we, as a band, are very . . . interested. In things, in the world."
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 08, 2009


Leonard Cohen at the Wang Theatre

No way to say goodbye
Leonard Cohen at the Wang Theatre
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 01, 2009


They get ill

Five Philly rap essentials
Jocko Henderson, Lady B, Schoolly D, Jazzy Jeff, and The Roots
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  May 27, 2009


Goodbye nasty

Amanda Blank cleans up her act
Anyone even minimally versed in Ms. Blank's œuvre would chuckle at the idea of her trying to keep things clean. Emerging from Philly dirty-rap crew Spank Rock, Blank distinguished herself among a sea of rap dudes with her dizzying spitfire attack and willingness to get nasty in a manner that was both playful and intimidating.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  June 01, 2009


Soundtrack of her life

St. Vincent's latest album, Actor , goes deep
"I think that I secretly wish I was a filmmaker." Annie Clark may consider this some real hush-hush info, but even a cursory listen to Actor , her latest album (as St. Vincent), makes clear her cinematic aspirations.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  May 13, 2009


Beauty in the beast

Mastodon, live at the Boston House of Blues, May 7, 2009
My Zen moment with Mastodon hit at about the point where the maelstrom of "The Czar, pt. I: Usurper" receded only to be replaced with the falling-down-stairs drum battery and faux Southern-rock riff twang and intentional pick squeals of "The Czar, pt. II: Escape."
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  May 11, 2009


A real blast

Mogwai live at the Wilbur Theatre, May 1, 2009
The guttural rallying cry of an audience member on the other side of the mezzanine makes everyone laugh a bit, mostly because it peals out during one of Mogwai's gently arpeggiated intros.
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  May 05, 2009
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