Archive for March, 2006

MC Lars – The Graduate

March 31st, 2006

Esotericism & the Frat Boy Mindset

Caucasian MCs have a hard road contending skills of Eminem and the longevity of The Beastie Boys for street credibility. Lacking either earns dismissal as some clown (i.e. ICP, MC Chris) or a biting wannabe. MC Lars is not far from this scenario. His latest, The Graduate, is a display of the usual frat boy mentality which plagues all white rappers while actually having things to say. He may never win a rap battle against Eminem or Mike D. but he’s not all bad, either. Read more…

By Matthew Kiel Posted in Reviews

Tortoise & Bonnie “Prince” Billy – The Brave and the Bold

March 31st, 2006

Remakes, Reinventions & Reinterpretations

It’s always pleasant to imagine two musical giants teaming up and changing the world together. Unfortunately, history has been both horrible (i.e. Dylan & The Dead) and brilliant (i.e. Billy Bragg & Wilco’s Mermaid Avenue) for this idea. Tortoise & Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s all covers album, The Brave and the Bold plays like a conversation piece for elitist music lovers everywhere. This is mainly because of the song selection. Read more…

By Matthew Kiel Posted in Reviews

Pearls and Brass – The Indian Tower

March 30th, 2006

She Wore a Brass Necklace

On their self-titled debut, Pearls and Brass established their particular brand of bluesy stoner rock, carving out their own tiny niche. The album was tight, concise and full of originality, hinting on great things to come. Their potential is not only realized, but also exceeded in their sophomore release The Indian Tower. Read more…

By Steve Mangione Posted in Reviews

The Hellacoptors – Rock & Roll is Dead

March 29th, 2006

Hella Yeah!

Despite what the title of their new album might suggest, the Scandinavian rock revival is in full swing and The Hellacopters from Sweden are at the head of the pack. Rock & Roll is Dead is bubbling over with vintage rock sensibility, producing a timeless gem of anthemic tunes. Read more…

By Steve Mangione Posted in Reviews

South by Southwest 2006 Photo Gallery

March 29th, 2006

After four days of unbelievable music, South by Southwest 2006 provided a lifetime worth of memorable images. Here’s a few choice shots for your viewing pleasure. From Hank III to Tina Dico, Austin had something to offer every music fan imaginable. Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Features

Madonna – Confessions On A Dance Floor

March 29th, 2006

More Dancing, Less Confessing

Madonna is good. She doesn’t always produce the best music, but she certainly demands attention in every possible way. Confessions on a Dance Floor marks her musical return to a genre most of today’s pop listeners are unfamiliar with – Disco. Read more…

By Kate Dunphy Posted in Reviews

Goldfrapp – Supernature

March 28th, 2006

Natural Disaster

A popular argument against mash-ups is that they neither use nor create anything new under the sun. An easy “in” for musicians and producers of questionable skill, they are the hammy results of matched existing rhythms and chord progressions. Where Goldfrapp once made original music like “Train” and “Strict Machine” that became fodder for these bootlegs, their third album Supernature eliminates the middleman. Read more…

By Adam Blyweiss Posted in Reviews

The Subways – Young For Eternity

March 27th, 2006

Riding the Rails of Sexy Fun

The Subways Young For Eternity prompts some immediate comparisons to Nirvana-invoking garage group The Vines. The songs utilize a nice variety of styles. 60s folk rock (”Mary”), thrash punk (”Holiday”) and acoustic pop (”No Goodbyes”) are only a few of the genres present on this album similar to either Vines full length. There’s even comparable references to the sun: “I know that you will be the one / who leads me right into the sun” (The Subways) and “I want to get free / I want to get free / ride into the sun” (The Vines). In spite of the similarities one quality helps push this trio past merely derivative results. Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Reviews

mxdwn Picks of South by Southwest 2006

March 27th, 2006

With literally thousands of bands playing at this year’s South by Southwest it would be somewhat unfair to award a “Best of South by Southwest.” A team of writers could spend every moment running from show to show nonstop and still miss some of the best Austin has to offer. Nonetheless, the army of music witnessed still merits accolades and glowing praise. So here we will break down mxdwn’s Picks of South by Southwest, one for each day of shows and then one for our overall pick of the whole conference. Read more…

By Raymond Flotat Posted in Features

A Weekend at the Greek/Jack Johnson and Friends DVD Review

March 26th, 2006

Jack Johnson’s debut DVD, A Weekend at the Greek/Jack Johnson and Friends, includes two discs of two concerts and countless interviews and stolen moments. A Weekend at the Greek (disc 1) was filmed on August 19th and 20th at Berkeley’s Greek Theatre during the In Between Dreams Tour, and Live in Japan (disc 2) was shot in August 2004 during the On and On Tour. While both films center around live concerts, the show at the Greek takes the form of a documentary, while montages of scenes captured in Japan compliment the second film. Read more…

By Jeanette Honig Posted in Features