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

Jul 02, 2007 Web Exclusive

Few lyricists today weave a story as intricate and involving as Will Sheff, lead singer and songwriter (not to mention sole constant member) of Okkervil River. More

Jul 02, 2007 Web Exclusive

It takes roughly 2,200 people to fill the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, and a full house would just about satisfy Jason Falkner’s modest commercial ambitions, if he ever gets the chance to play there. More

Jul 02, 2007 Web Exclusive

The titles of Ulrich Schnauss’ three albums: 2001’s Far Away Trains Passing By, 2003’s A Strangely Isolated Place, and 2007’s Goodbye, make it seem as if the German-born producer is a very melancholy individual. More

Jul 02, 2007 Web Exclusive

“If you think the world of pop is difficult in terms of finding your voice, well, in opera it’s practically impossible!” So says Rufus Wainwright about his recently penned opera, Prima Donna. More

Jul 02, 2007 Web Exclusive

With My Ion Truss, Lawrence, Kansas’ Minus Story have left behind their trademark “Wall of Crap” home recording approach. Assisted by producer John Congleton, whose credits include Modest Mouse, Explosions in the Sky, and many more, the band entered the studio to emerge with their purest, most dynamic recording to date. More