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Feist – The Reminder

May 14th, 2008


You’ve Been Feisted

That familiar tune leaps out of the iPod commercial and through the TV screen, “1234,” forcing a sing- a-long to the staccato horns. It’s so infectious in fact that many have been prompted to pick up a copy of Feist’s solo album The Reminder while in line for a latte at their local Starbucks. Unfortunately, like several impulse buys, the purchaser might be surprised with the product. The hype Feist has received would make one think she was the second coming. She isn’t and the album in question has just three striking tracks worth downloading. Otherwise, The Reminder will likely age into the ordinary. Read more…

By M. Burns Posted in Reviews

Heterogene – am-pm

April 17th, 2008


Futzing from Dusk ’til Dawn

Hailing from Sinatra’s hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey must make any fledgling band keenly aware of legacy. Heterogene have interpreted this mission to mean they should create progressive grandiosity. Recent album AM-PM attempts to examine an entire day via a Heterogene soundtrack. The indie outfit began recording the album with Mighty Mighty Bosstones’ producer John Seymour, but eventually took the reins in hand to produce themselves. It appears they may have tinkered too long in the studio (a year), resulting in a bloated and distracted 20-track affair. Read more…

By M. Burns Posted in Reviews

Personality Crisis Averted

April 8th, 2008

The New York Dolls were a pebble on the pond of Rock n’ Roll that caused a ripple that would influence punk, post punk and ‘80s hair metal. Yet the Dolls received only blighted praise and tragedy with fleeting riches and fame. Since their 2004 reunion and recent comeback album One Day It Will Please Us to Remember Even This, the notorious and legendary band have finally been able to take a victory lap, culminating in a tour stop at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood on March 7th. An appreciative “Rodney on the Roq” audience wouldn’t have it any other way and came to celebrate the groundbreaking artists. In attendance were many hard worn musicians, fans and even reclusive actor Keanu Reeves. Read more…

By M. Burns Posted in Editorials

Hawley’s Corner

February 25th, 2008

A night out at the legendary Troubadour on December 13, 2007 showcased one of the year’s best albums most Americans have never heard of–Lady’s Bridge by alternative rockabilly artist Richard Hawley. Extolled by critics in the UK, the latest album by the Sheffield native proves what adult contemporary music could be if it were actually good. Read more…

By M. Burns Posted in Editorials

KRISTEENYOUNG – The Orphans

January 12th, 2008


They’ll Take It From Here Now

The old saying that one can judge a person by the company they keep seems to be true in the case of KRISTEENYOUNG. A woman who has sung duets with David Bowie and Brian Molko and opened for Frank Black and Morrissey is probably the best-known secret to the populace. Achieving accolades from legends while being ignored by the music industry hasn’t hindered the subversive stride of Ms. Young. KRISTEENYOUNG, the band, is an indie two-piece that includes keyboardist and vocalist Kristeen Young, the individual, and drummer “Baby” Jeff White. Read more…

By M. Burns Posted in Reviews

Modest Mouse – We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

January 11th, 2008


The Mouse That Roared

The cultural center of intelligent rock has shifted yet again, now to the city of Portland, Oregon where Modest Mouse are leading the crop of pantheon musicians. Once relegated to college radio, the indie rock band broke through to the mainstream with 2004 single “Float On.” They struck gold again with a number one debut on Billboard’s Top 200 with 2007 album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank. Read more…

By M. Burns Posted in Reviews

At the Temple of the Son and Heir

November 27th, 2007

Dressed in a military khaki uniform complete with dog tags, 14-year old reggae prodigy Javaughn had the honor of his short life to open for Stephen Marley on the Oct. 4th concert at the Temple Bar. Soldiering in service of Marley, Javaughn performed a three-song showcase in front of a hardcore reggae fan base. The young lad exhibited the stage presence of a seasoned veteran, reminiscent of Jackson Five era Michael Jackson in his raw ability to marvel and work the crowd. Singing “Rich Quick Mentality,” a song in the vein of 60s pop reggae, and socially conscience new single “Santa Claus,” the Jamaican singer appears to have a bright future. Javaughn still has years to mature his voice, but it is clear his time spent performing in front of an enthusiastic audience is not ephemeral. Read more…

By M. Burns Posted in Editorials

The Shins – Wincing the Night Away

October 9th, 2007


Surely You’ve Heard Of Them

The Shins delivered on the promise of scenester hype with their latest release Wincing the Night Away. A modern day Beach Boys with fecund vocal harmonies and sleek production, the Shins have carried the torch of 60s guitar pop with some of the most melodic, wistful and intricate songs Donovan could hope for. Read more…

By M. Burns Posted in Reviews

The Killers – Sam’s Town

September 24th, 2007


Class of 2004

The Killers are masterful writers of pop songs. That is, popular in the true sense of the word. The degree of crossover appeal that surrounded debut album Hot Fuss, not only for the sheer implausibility of an alternative band selling so many mechanical units, but for the knowledge that “Somebody Told Me” and “Mr. Brightside” were heard at every conceivable type of store, bar and nightclub for the better part of two years cements this fact. Read more…

By M. Burns Posted in Reviews

Mew – And the Glass Handed Kites

September 21st, 2007


Space Pop Invaders From Denmark

A clap of drum thunder initiates a storm of vignettes, not so much songs, in the free flowing movement of And the Glass Handed Kites . Danish progressive indie rockers Mew strike the delicate balance between being experimental yet palatable. Art rock of this nature can often come across as pretentious and bizarre for the sake of being so. In this case, free flowing doesn’t mean free form. Read more…

By M. Burns Posted in Reviews