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The Qemists – Spirit in the System

January 8th, 2011

The Qemists - Spirit In The System

Broken Formula

The Qemists’ moniker is the Brighton trio’s attempt at clever branding of their unorthodox mix of diverse genres and sounds. It’s an apt description of the group’s drum ‘n’ bass and rock amalgamation. In truth, the overall formula works somehow, though that’s as far as Spirit in the System goes: a barely listenable mash of modern-day technology and traditional rock basics. Read more…

By Ann Coates Posted in Reviews

Jamie Lidell – Compass

December 13th, 2010

Jamie Lidell - Compass

A Heartfelt Attempt

Why soul singer Jamie Lidell is not the bigger sensation he ought to be is a mystery. He’s got the devilish good looks of contemporaries like Justin Timberlake, the suave-but-less-hip, vintage revival sound of Mayer Hawthorne, and perhaps one of the most heartfelt voices of late. Yet somehow he’s gone under the radar a bit more than he should. It’s a damn shame, too.

Read more…

By Ann Coates Posted in Reviews

Swedish House Mafia – Until One

October 26th, 2010

Swedish House Mafia - Until One

Mob Rules

Production supergroup Swedish House Mafia has skyrocketed to the top of the electronic/dance totem pole in such an unbelievable manner, it’s a shocker they’re not a household name yet. DJs/producers Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso combine their powers to form the Voltron of house music. While each individual member is known worldwide for his club-dominating remixes and original productions, Until One finally brings it all together in one of the most anticipated dance releases of the year. Read more…

By Ann Coates Posted in Reviews , , ,

Lovers – Dark Light

October 18th, 2010

Lovers - Dark Light

Love Hurts

Has the indie world missed the Lovers’ boat? Under the radar may be an understatement for Portland, Oregon’s synth-pop trio. That will no doubt change following their latest release Dark Light, a moving, heart-on-the-sleeve trek through singer Carolyn Berk’s personal journal. With Dark Light, Berk accomplishes something that few true grit songwriters do today successfully: turn genuine, introspective emotion to hummable pop. Read more…

By Ann Coates Posted in Reviews

Hybrid – Disappear Here

October 9th, 2010

Hybrid - Disappear Here

Live Robot Orchestra Club

The mature sounds of Hybrid’s Disappear Here are immediate. This is the sound of an experienced group that knows exactly what it’s doing. The vocal meshes of new member singer/songwriter Charlotte James and guest vocalist Tim Hutton intertwine ideally with hyper-programming care of Hybrid founders Mike Truman and Chris Healings. The melding of vocal and synth melodies is almost angelic, to the point where it seems that machines are doing the harmonizing. That is until you realize that Disappear Here is human. Read more…

By Ann Coates Posted in Reviews

Outside Lands 2010 August 14 – 15, 2010

September 15th, 2010

It’s no surprise why San Francisco’s landmark Outside Lands is quickly becoming one of the country’s premier music festivals. Though still leaps behind behemoths like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, it has a respected reputation in the eyes of American concertgoers. It’s not quite the global attraction as those bigger competitors, yet its ties to the city and authenticity make Outside Lands one of the more unique personalities in the festival circuit. It’s an ideal example of the much-preached, never-perfected “Think Global, Act Local” fundamental. Read more…

By Ann Coates Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews

Los Angeles’ The Echo Forced to Evacuate Due to Onstage Fire

August 6th, 2010

As Morrissey would famously claim, “Burn down the disco!”

Last night’s (Thursday, August 5) Proximal Records release party came to an abrupt halt when a stage light caught fire, forcing attendees at the tiny Echo venue to evacuate the show due to heavy smoke and safety concerns. Read more…

By Ann Coates Posted in News , ,

Crystal Castles – Crystal Castles II

July 26th, 2010

Crystal Castles - Crystal Castles

Round II

Electro noisemakers Crystal Castles surpassed any gimmicks thrown their way with their hipster-pleasing self-titled debut: the novelty of boy-girl duos, the camera-shy press photos, the ambiguity of a romance between the duo. Now, the hotly anticipated, confusingly self-titled follow-up pushes producer/multi-instrumentalist Ethan Kath and singer/screamer Alice Glass to newer grounds, higher highs, and Crystal Castles’ creative pinnacle to date. Read more…

By Ann Coates Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews

The Glitch Mob – Drink the Sea

May 25th, 2010

The Glitch Mob - Drink the Sea

Future Party Music

Undoubtedly one of the stronger debuts of the year, Drink the Sea introduces electronic trio The Glitch Mob, a collaborative effort from producers Ooah, Boreta, and edIT, to the music world—not just the dance/electronic community, but music fans as a whole. Yes, Drink the Sea is primarily an electronic album, but it’s diverse enough to break free from any preconceived genre restrictions. It’s a fine balance of smooth electronics, hipster hip-hop, big beat dance, and ballsy production. Read more…

By Ann Coates Posted in High Fidelity, Reviews