Oct 02, 2007 Web Exclusive

The June release of Boxer (Beggars Banquet), The National’s fourth LP, was met with the same universal critical praise that met its predecessor Alligator. One of the strongest records of 2007 so far, Boxer could be the soundtrack to walking home from the bar alone after last call. More

Oct 02, 2007 Web Exclusive

In 2004, West Indian Girl was two fellows: bassist Fran Ten and vocalist/guitarist Robert James, who worked out of a studio in downtown Los Angeles. In 2007, West Indian Girl is a six-person collective with the inclusion of vocalist Mariqueen Maandig, drummer Mark Lewis, and keyboardists Nathan Van Hala and Amy White. More

Oct 02, 2007 Web Exclusive

For their third album, Teenager, Dublin’s The Thrills chose a different approach from their past efforts. More

Oct 02, 2007 Web Exclusive

The Swedish duo of Oscar Simonsson and Magnus Zingmark, professionally known as Koop, have done a great job of adapting—and in the process, owning—music from parts of the world other than where they hail from. More

Oct 01, 2007 Web Exclusive

Amid the heaps of visual flash and sonic flair displayed by British musicians over the years, Miki Berenyi’s cherry-red mane and featherweight falsetto remain unforgettable. More

Oct 01, 2007 Fall 2007 - Beirut

“I'm under the impression that it isn't nearly as eclectic as it could have been if we had included the Arabic song, the Yiddish song, the other Portuguese song, and another song..." Devendra Banhart pauses as he searches his mental rolodex for the Native American tribe whose language he adopted for another of the songs that was left off his fifth full-length release, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. Sitting backstage at the Rio Theater in Santa Cruz, CA, Banhart acknowledges no grand design in the sprawling mix of Spanish folk variants, acoustic ballads, '50s pop, and hairy rockers that compose his latest opus. Add in a little French and Portuguese, and you have an album that reflects the citizen of the world status Banhart has cultivated through years of travels. He has little concern that the album won't communicate with English-only speakers. More

Oct 01, 2007 Fall 2007 - Beirut

He was a kid from New Mexico living in New York, playing Balkan music under the moniker of a Middle Eastern city. And when you heard his music, it all made sense. But for Zach Condon, the days before the release of Beirut’s 2006 debut album Gulag Orkestar were the beginning of an unimaginable transformation, one where in the span of a few weeks, he would go from being an anonymous kid who was trying to put together a band and maintain his day job to headlining shows in New York City’s hottest rock clubs. More

Oct 01, 2007 Fall 2007 - Beirut

Artists are often a nostalgic lot. From Paul McCartney dreaming of just one more gig at the Cavern Club in Liverpool to Neil Young returning to the Canadian prairie of his youth for inspiration, the places that formed you as an individual have the ability to awaken feelings long lost through the business of life. The saying goes that “you can’t go home again,” but sometimes going home can fuel great art. With Cease to Begin, Band of Horses goes home. More

Aug 02, 2007 Web Exclusive

Initially starting as a foursome in their teens, Manic Street Preachers (vocalist/guitarist James Dean Bradfield, drummer Sean Moore, lyricist/bassist Nicky Wire, and rhythm guitarist Richey James Edwards) have been functioning as a trio since the unexplained disappearance of Edwards in 1995. More