Author Archive

Dead Fingers – Big Black Dog

July 23rd, 2014
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Dead Fingers Alive at Heart

Birmingham, Alabama married couple and songwriting duo Kate Taylor and Taylor Hollingsworth’s second album as Dead Fingers is a joyous romp through wide-open fields, barn dances and campfires. Seemingly stripped of any studio effects, Big Black Dog has a close, authentic feel that relies on the talents of its performers. They’ll sound just as good live as they do on the album.


By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews

Jack White – Lazaretto

July 8th, 2014
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Left Alone to His Own Devices

Jack White’s second solo album, Lazaretto, is upon us. It is not Blunderbuss, Part Two (The Reblundering?), and anyone expecting more of the same from Jack White in any context may have missed the point. Whether it was the steady, continuing evolution of The White Stripes, the dark and moody crunch of The Dead Weather, or the jam-ready rock of The Raconteurs, White changes things up at every turn. When left to his own devices, his sound becomes simultaneously more concentrated and more expansive. Despite taking authorial lead, he invites more collaboration in the form of guest artists and his two backing bands, The Buzzards and The Peacocks. He experiments, he stretches and he surprises, giving little care to style or genre boundaries. In another artist’s hands the variety accomplished on Blunderbuss would have felt unfocused and jarring. Instead, White found thematic continuity and made it exciting. So what of Lazaretto? Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews

La Roux, Live at Music Hall of Williamsburg

June 14th, 2014
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The ’70s and ’80s were alive and more than well in Brooklyn Wednesday night as the Music Hall of Williamsburg welcomed local heroes Midnight Magic and headliner La Roux. Both acts delivered intimate performance to 500 of their fans after their Governor’s Ball festival appearance last week. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,

Soundgarden: Superunknown, Live at Webster Hall

June 6th, 2014
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It may be hard to believe, but it’s been twenty years since Soundgarden’s breakthrough album, Superunknown, debuted. With five Top 20 singles — including the #1 “Black Hole Sun” — Superunknown brought worldwide acclaim to the most metal of the Seattle bands. To celebrate, Soundgarden is reissuing a remastered version of the album, as well as several deluxe-package versions, and performing the album in full. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,

The Roots, Live at the Public Theater

May 19th, 2014
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…and then you shoot your cousin is the prolific Roots’ eleventh album, coming quick on the heels of their 2013 collaboration with Elvis Costello, Wise Up Ghost, and their 2011 Grammy-winning album, Undun. Despite the short time between these releases, The Roots somehow manage to maintain the high bar they set for themselves with the thoughtful and thought-provoking cousin. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , ,

Lykke Li, Live at the Apollo Theater

May 17th, 2014
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Touring in support of her third album I Never Learn, Lykke Li and her five-piece band stopped by the historic Apollo Theater in New York. While Li has always had one foot in tender, sentimental balladry (“Possibility,” “Love Out of Lust,” “Unrequited Love”), I Never Learn is nine songs focused on heartbreak, and her restrained performance suited the tone of the work, even if it didn’t rock the house. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews

tUnE-yArDs – Nikki Nack

May 11th, 2014
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nikki nack Brings tUnE-yArDs Back

Though Nikki Nack is technically Merrill Garbus and Nate Brenner’s third album as tUnE-yArDs, some may view it as their sophomore release, as it follows their 2011 breakthrough w h o k i l l. That album graced the tops of many “Best of” lists, and while Nikki Nack doesn’t quite live up to w h o k i l l’s successes, it is a welcome addition to their continued sonic assault against the status quo. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews

Sweet Apple – The Golden Age of Glitter

April 12th, 2014
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Golden Sound, No Glitter

Sweet Apple is a supergroup that shrugs off any pretentions that moniker might suggest. On The Golden Age of Glitter, J Mascis (Dinosaur, Jr) joins Dave Sweetapple, Tim Parni, and John Petkovic (all of Cobra Verde and others) and featured guests Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) and Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices) for a relaxed collaboration among friends. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews , , ,

September Girls – Cursing the Sea

March 23rd, 2014
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September Girls’ Dark Storm

Two years after their formation, Dublin-based gloom rockers September Girls have released their debut, Cursing the Sea. A collection of uptempo, minor-key tracks, Sea keeps things short and to the point: most tracks are under three minutes. Just enough time to comfortably wallow without drowning. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews

Cymbals – The Age of Fracture

March 20th, 2014
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cymbals-the-age-of-fractureA Night Out at a So-So Party

London band Cymbals, purveyors of “downhome disco,” have let loose their sophomore album, The Age of Fracture. A mix of dance electronic, synth pop and ’80s sincerity, Fracture manages to incite a celebration however grounded in its own self-seriousness. Individual tracks waver between sweet success and drawn-out tediousness. Read more…

By Alyssa Fried Posted in Reviews