Archive for September, 2004

The Beta Band – Heroes to Zeros

September 30th, 2004

Heroes Who Retire Too Early

In recording Heroes to Zeros, The Beta Band has accomplished something quite rare – they have created an album with which they are satisfied. Perhaps it is simply because this time around, the notorious self-deprecators are their own producers. Whatever the reason, the result is an album that is more structured, accessible, and aggressive than their previous releases. It also enjoys a finer balance of the band’s instrumentation and their affinity for electronic compliments. Ironically, after creating a sound that they are happy with, the Scottish foursome has called it quits, declaring Heroes to be their final album. Read more…

By Ari Levitch Posted in Reviews

Ben Harper & The Blind Boys Of Alabama – There Will Be A Light

September 29th, 2004

Harper & The Boys Shine Bright

It’s been three years since their original partnership at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in Louisiana, but Ben Harper and The Blind Boys of Alabama have finally brought their stage chemistry to the studio for a full length collaborative effort entitled There Will Be A Light. Harper has always included gospel themes on his genre-hopping albums and has also appeared on two previous Blind Boys tracks, but TWBAL is the talented guitarist’s first purely gospel effort. Harper completely prepared the project, enlisting the longtime gospel favorites to share the singing duties while his own band, The Innocent Criminals, provided all the music. Read more…

By Ryan Lewis Posted in Reviews

The Shins – Chutes Too Narrow

September 29th, 2004

Narrow Chutes Yield Good Tunes

CAUTIONARY NOTE: Exposure to this album will cause involuntary toe tapping and head nodding. That right folks, The Shins’ sophomore album, Chutes Too Narrow, will get you moving. The first track, “Kissing the Lipless,” opens with James Mercer’s soft vocals over sleepy guitars, but then it explodes into a rockin’ good time that will make you want to dust off you dancing shoes and strap ‘em on for the remainder of the album. Though the latter half lets up slightly, any loss of quality can only be measured against the exceptional nature of the first half. Read more…

By Ari Levitch Posted in Reviews

Dave Blood Memorial Unites Milkmen

September 28th, 2004

The original members of the Dead Milkmen will reunite this November in Philadelphia in memory of bassist Dave Blood, who committed suicide last March. The proceeds will go to an unnamed charity. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in News

Spector Indicted in Murder Case

September 27th, 2004

Legendary record producer Phil Spector was officially charged with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson today. Spector, free on one million dollars bail, maintains Clarkson committed suicide. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in News

Ratatat – Ratatat

September 27th, 2004

Laptops and Guitars

If Iron Maiden were to record their next album on a Game Boy, this might be what it would sound like. Ratatat, the duo of laptop-masher Evan Mast and fret-noodler Mike Stroud, have come together to make a self-titled album combining the best parts of instrumental hip-hop, guitar rock, and electronica.
Read more…

By Steve Mangione Posted in Reviews

The Melvins & Lustmord – Pigs of the Roman Empire

September 26th, 2004

Romulus & Remus?

Some empires are vast and expansive gobbling up all in their wake. The once dominant Roman Empire was not all that different from today’s super-corporations. Everything possible was acquired assimilated and united under the same prominent flag. The same cannot be said of the ever flourishing Melvins and their recent union with Graeme Revell collaborator/SPK member/ambient composer Lustmord Pigs of the Roman Empire. The results, although creepily impressive, do not quite gel in the peanut butter and jelly way one might hope.
Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews ,

The Dillinger Escape Plan – Miss Machine

September 21st, 2004

Escape From The Ordinary

With a name like Dillinger Escape Plan, you sort of expect a different, almost unconventionally sounding band. But there’s your token obscure band, and then there’s Dillinger Escape Plan’s Miss Machine – a chaotic rollercoaster ride through an amalgamation of musical styles. The end result leaves the listener startled and perhaps a bit overwhelmed at the sheer velocity and intensity of the music, but ultimately and most importantly, somehow leaves the listener wanting more. Read more…

By Taylor Whipple Posted in Reviews

Neurosis – The Eye of Every Storm

September 21st, 2004

Rock You Like a Hurricane

You lie in the snow / Cold but not dead / Stare into the sun / Long since its last heat. These lines begin “Burn,” the first track from Neurosis’s newest offering The Eye of Every Storm. A faint thunderclap can be heard behind guitarist / vocalist Steve Von Till’s first few words – and the storm has begun. Read more…

By Steve Mangione Posted in Reviews

Green Day Debuts Political Rock Opera

September 20th, 2004

Last Thursday, a few thousand Los Angeles fans saw the debut of Green Day’s album, nay, rock opera, American Idiot. The band performed the hour-long set with an extended band and two “costumed women.” The album is the coming-of-age story of a character named Jesus of Suburbia in modern-day America, according to Billy Joe Armstrong. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in News