Jan 01, 2006 Web Exclusive

Malcolm Middleton’s Top Ten Albums of 2005 More

Jan 01, 2006 Web Exclusive

Martin Trimble’s Top Nine Albums of 2005 More

Jan 01, 2006 Web Exclusive

Eugene Goreshte’s Top Ten Albums of 2005 More

Jan 01, 2006 Web Exclusive

Dead Heart Bloom is the product of ex-Phaser member, Boris Skalsky, who handles the majority of writing, performing, and recording duties for his new band. Stylistically, Skalsky’s music nearly runs the gamut, capable of sudden turns, from Sea Change-era Beck to Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys. More

Jan 01, 2006 Web Exclusive

Featuring former members of The Warlocks and Hovercraft, Los Angeles’ Xu Xu Fang pack a dark, noir-inspired sound that ranges from meditative—soothing vocal drones, ambient keyboards, tripped-out space guitars, and found sounds—to aggressive—dance numbers that would suggest a harder version of Garbage. Underneath it all looms an appreciation for the bold melodies of Ennio Morricone. More

Jan 01, 2006 Web Exclusive

Comprised of former Absinthe Blind and Maserati members, Champagne-Urbana, Illinois’ Headlights play dreamy, orchestral comfort music. They can also rock, in a beautiful guitar-effects way, and the gorgeous male/female harmonies lend the four tracks on their Enemies EP depth and warmth. More

Jan 01, 2006 Web Exclusive

Marked by long-stretching vocal harmonies and monk-like chanting, the music of Grizzly Bear is gentle and pastoral, employing a minimal environment of drums and the occasional banjo, augmented by subtle elements of electronica. What began as a home project for founder Edward Droste in his Brooklyn apartment, has since become a full-fledged band that tours the world. More

Jan 01, 2006 Web Exclusive

Hailing from Sheffield, England, The Long Blondes go on a first name basis only: Kate (lead vocals), Dorian (lead guitar), Emma (guitar and vox), Reenie (bass and vox), and Screech (drums). Mixing jagged guitars and a little dance with their arty garage rock, the Blondes resemble a mellower, female-fronted version of Franz Ferdinand and hark back to Britpop legends Elastica. More

Dec 02, 2005 Web Exclusive

In a scene during Margaret Brown’s ghostly, touching documentary Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt, former Townes manager John Lomax III talks about a small classified ad in a 1976 issue of Rolling Stone that gave an address for the singer-songwriter’s fan club. Although Townes never enjoyed strong album sales, Lomax recalls how several hundred responses to the ad arrived within a month, many of them containing emotionally wrought accounts from fans who had been healed by Townes’ music—some were saved from suicide, others were comforted by his songs after the loss of a loved one. “I just thought, my Lord, the whole world needs to hear this,” Lomax says of Townes’ music. More