Reviews | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, August 7th, 2020  

Jul 28, 2009 Live

John K. Samson is not a tall man. Of course, I suspect he’d be first one to tell you this. Leadman of The Weakerthans, he’s made a career out of singing songs about social outcasts and the geeks who love them. Embodying a strangely compelling reverse-Napoleon complex, he presents himself as a man completely secure in his…er…shortcomings. Taking The Weakerthans’ particular brand of honey-coated melancholy to the streets, this makes for the sort of show that only the cliché “warm and fuzzy” can properly describe. More

Jul 14, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Cracker's 1992 radio hit "Teen Angst (What the World Needs Now)" famously noted "What the world needs now/is another folk singer/like I need a hole in my head." For the last 17 years, with a few notable exceptions, I have tended to agree with that sentiment. But after a recent Monday night, following the charming, confident performance of Kristian Matsson (aka The Tallest Man on Earth), I find myself scouring websites and record bins for new folk. More

Jul 10, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Did you know that the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum & Exposition Park recently played host to a dance/rave event that was attended by 135,000 people over two days? What's shocking is that a show that big can go off with hardly anyone in the mainstream media picking up on it. The numbers for this two-day show nearly matched those for Coachella's three-day show this year, and there wasn't even a Paul McCartney on site. Dance and electronic music might not be as respected as other types of popular music, but as evidenced by this years Electric Daisy Carnival, electronic fans are devoted and legion. More

Jul 04, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

Since his heyday in the early '90s, Evan Dando and his Lemonheads have had somewhat of a rocky time. Reports of drug use and the collapse of the band in 1997 preceded an extended hiatus from music that threatened to end Dando's career. He came back, seemingly out of nowhere, in 2003 for the understated solo album, Baby I'm Bored, and then returned under the Lemonheads name in 2006, albeit with a completely retooled lineup. In June, The Lemonheads released Varshons, an album of cover songs recorded with yet another group of players, but still under the Lemonheads name. More

Jul 01, 2009 Live

After spending an indeterminate amount of time—minutes? hours?—reading text messages from the audience scrolling across the screen above the stage, the house lights at the Wiltern came down. Brooklyn-based quartet Grizzly Bear strolled out and took to an unusual formation onstage: Chris Taylor (bass, clarinet, flute, sax, etc.) to the far left, Ed Droste (vocals, guitar, autoharp) to his right, Daniel Rossen (vocals, guitar, keys) next over, and Christopher Bear (vocals, drums) to the far right. With the band in full array, each member markedly contributed to the intricate unfoldings that fashion the Grizzly Bear repertoire. More

Jun 29, 2009 Live

Thursday June 25th at seven p.m., I saw Michael Jackson on the corner of Santa Monica Blvd. across from the Troubadour. We didn’t exchange pleasantries. To be honest, clutching a withered “I love you” balloon, single tear streaking out of his left eye; he looked like he’d had a hard day. Even for an Amanda Palmer concert—a place where marauding punks, theater geeks, and other characters that would make my mother nervous, flock to with almost a religious fervor—it was weird. More

Jun 17, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

As the frontman for the only good band to come out of the grunge period still thriving, Eddie Vedder has both reaped the benefits and shouldered the blames for being the second-most recognizable face of grunge. Make what you will of the more recent output from his main gig, Vedder and his gang have enjoyed a longevity rarely seen by bands of their time, and they still enjoys a rabid following. Vedder is proving, however, with his one-man shows, that he is deserving of a class completely by himself, irrespective of his work with his main band and rivaling that of his idols, Neil Young and Pete Townshend. June 11th found Vedder gracing the stage at Upper Darby’s Tower Theater for the third night of his 14-date solo trek, his first since last summer’s jaunt. More

Jun 15, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

It says something that even two years after it was released, The National's Boxer still feels fresh. Same can be said for the 4-year-old tracks from Alligator, both of which were featured heavily in the quintet's recent stop in Philly. More

Jun 05, 2009 Live Web Exclusive

“I have a naïve request,” said Swedish troubadour Jens Lekman, looking down at group of adoring Los Angelinos after a years’ absence from the city. “You can record and take video all you want, but please don’t post it on the Internet. I want this to be special…just between you and me.” More