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Johnny Marr – Playland

October 25th, 2014
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Not So Playful Playland

What made Johnny Marr so great during his tenure with The Smiths was his ability to service the song rather than his own personal interests as a guitar player. This usually meant complementing Morrissey’s dark lyrics and flexible baritone; however, within that he still managed to carve out his own sound—playfulness and lightness with the guitar that has yet to be equaled. Now, the jangle-pop guitar god is back with his second album in two years, Playland. Read more…

By Phoebe Fico Posted in Reviews

Thurston Moore – The Best Day

October 25th, 2014
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Not Just an Homage

The Best Day is an obvious Thurston Moore record: It’s got the lengthy deliberations over spiraling, intricate and often atonal guitar riffs and the dissonant chord changes that we’ve come to welcome since he and Sonic Youth first started showing us this world more than 30 years ago. It’s also pretty much a divorce record, but we’ll get to that later. Read more…

By Aaron Vehling Posted in Reviews , , ,

Mary Lambert – Heart On My Sleeve

October 25th, 2014
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Full Speed Ahead

You’d know her voice if you heard Macklemore’s song, “Same Love.”  Mary Lambert has gone from publishing a book of poetry to being featured on one of the biggest singles in the past year.  Now she’s releasing her first album and showing us who she really is. Read more…

By Stefanie Martinez Posted in Reviews

Slipknot – .5: The Gray Chapter

October 25th, 2014
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I push my fingers into my EAAARS

The late 1990s and early 2000s were a turbulent era – one that saw the emergence and inexplicable widespread popularity of certain strains of American heavy metal. It was a strange milieu, with bands like Deftones, Korn and Limp Bizkit leading the nu-metal charge, and other acts like Mudvayne, Powerman 5000, Sevendust and Coal Chamber making hay while the sun shone. It’s hard to talk about this era without mentioning Slipknot – the only non-Wu-Tang Clan masked nine-piece to ever really hit it big in American music. Hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, Slipknot have outlasted many of their contemporaries, and despite some recent turmoil, have come together to release .5: The Gray Chapter, the band’s fifth full-length album. Read more…

By David Sano Posted in Reviews

CMJ Day Four Part Two – Samantha Crain & First Aid Kit

October 25th, 2014
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The place was entirely packed (including the balcony!) last night at the Hammerstein Ballroom on 34th street. Why? Because Samantha Crain and First Aid Kit was there performing for the CMJ that was presented by Live Nation.

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By Megan Hatfield Posted in Reviews , ,

CMJ Day Four Part One – Adult Jazz

October 25th, 2014
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CMJ brought Adult Jazz to the Rough Trade for an afternoon of trippy, electronic, instrumental music.
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By Megan Hatfield Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews ,

New Build – Pour It On

October 25th, 2014
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Just Can’t Get Enough

New Build is an electronic music side project consisting of two-fifths of London dance-punk outfit/LCD protégés Hot Chip, namely guitarist and vocalist Al Doyle and percussionist Felix Martin. Their sophomore release, 2014’s Pour It On showcases remnants of the glistening, upbeat danceability that scored Doyle and Martin’s principal group a coveted spot on James Murphy’s DFA Records, along with a solid following. However, the album is primarily anchored in the bleak yet fleetingly catchy dirges of early 80’s proto-synth pop of groups like The Human League, Kraftwerk and Can. Read more…

By Conor Fagan Posted in Reviews ,

Moon Block Party at Pomona Fairplex

October 25th, 2014
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As Fall creeps in slowly and the feel of summer still trying to hold on tight, Moon Block Party called the Pomona Fairplex home over the weekend as one of the last “summer” music festivals of the year. With three years under their belt, it was more than an intimate party for art and music lovers alike, but a celebration of an event that has carried itself with open arms to all within the Southern California DIY community. Remnants of their sister festival, Desert Daze, accented itself throughout the grounds with make-shift moon art instillations and bungalow type teepees for fans to hide in as the sun beat down on concert-goers. What was beautiful to say the least was the presence of such a variety between the nineteen bands featured. Read more…

By Marisa Rose Ficara Posted in Reviews, Show Reviews , , , , ,

Lo-Pan – Colossus

October 24th, 2014
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90s Heavy Rock Throwback

Labeled often as stoner rock, heavy rock band Lo-Pan has a unique high steppin’ tune in its unusual doom presence, something that has a groove but can also be blasted on the road while going a million miles to nowhere. Read more…

By Birdie Garcia Posted in Reviews

The Pop Group – We Are Time/Cabinet of Curiosities

October 24th, 2014
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She is Beyond Post and Punk

British post-punk legends the Pop Group have re-released their compilation record We Are Time alongside a collection of rare live tracks and alternative mixes entitled Cabinet of Curiosities. Post-punk is going through an exciting revival right now, with bands coming from all over the world taking their influence from early new wave sounds from the late 1970’s and early ’80s. To accompany this swarm of new bands jumping on the post-punk wave, bands from the early days are getting in on the fun. Read more…

By Laura Ansill Posted in Reviews