Pastels/Tenniscoats

Two Sunsets

Domino/Geographic

Sep 21, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

During the 2000s, The Pastels cultured a lasting connection with the avant-garde pop community of Japan. Thus, the Scottish duo's long-gestating collaboration with the Tokyo pop duo, Tenniscoats is somewhat predictable. Saya and Ueno Takashi play their instruments like they're pattering rain on a grassy knoll or butterflies hovering above flowers. More

Sep 18, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

In the liner notes to their eponymous debut album, Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero make the point that "A lot of people, when describing our sound, say we play flamenco. We don't. We blend a lot of styles into our playing, but this area of music is not one of them." In the three years since the release of Rodrigo y Gabriela, the Mexican duo has become one of the most exciting live acts on the circuit thanks to fluid, rapid-fire guitar play and stylistic experimentation. More

Sep 17, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

In 2000, Blur released The Best of Blur, an 18-song set that represented the band's '90s peak, with all the hits included. Midlife, released in conjunction with the band's U.K. reunion concerts, totals 25 tracks and avoids some of the hits that were represented on The Best of Blur ("There's No Other Way," "Country House," "Charmless Man," "End of a Century"). But forgiving these omissions, Midlife is a stellar compilation. Excitingly, 1993's "Popscene" is included, despite its being left off the 2000 comp. More

Sep 17, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Two Robert Glaspers come to groove. The first is immaculately attired, metropolitan to the shine on his shoes, and primped to perfection. The other is more at ease in casual vines, a myriad clash of styles that creates its own comfortable fashion. That both Robert Glaspers are at the top of their game is a boon for those of us who dig him in every guise. More

Sep 16, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

If there’s one great failing to Quentin Tarantino’s film soundtracks, it’s that they remind me just how boring my life really is. Extraneous orchestral swells? Unexpected juxtaposition of classic rock and symphonic scores? Obscure foreign language ditties? Why, it’s enough to make a girl want to seek revenge against the man who left her for dead on her wedding day, take a classic car for a blood-soaked joyride, or—in the case of his latest epic Inglourious Basterds—go a’ Nazi killing. You know, just for the hell of it. More

Sep 14, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The Clean is a band whose members have no sense of time. It can take them years, and sometimes even the better part of a decade, to release a new album—their first full-length didn't arrive until 1990, a full 12 years after forming in New Zealand—and their records pay little credence to the era that spawned them. Their organ-laced, ramshackle early pop singles were like little else from the punk period, and their latest, Mister Pop, is similarly divorced from modern indie-rock, suggesting an alternate reality where The Feelies and Galaxie 500 never broke up.  More

Sep 11, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

"Manic depression's a frustrated mess" goes the infamous Jimi Hendrix lyric, and Memphis garage rocker Jay Lindsey, aka Jay Reatard, can certainly relate. The mania of his music belies the morose depression evinced in the lyrics throughout Watch Me Fall, his desperate pleas subverting the heady instrumental rush. Whether he's matter-of-factly intoning, "All is lost, there is no hope" on the frantic fist-pumping opener "It Ain't Gonna Save Me," or confessing "I always play the fool," on the byzantine synth surge of "I'm Watching You," it's as though the music was recorded during an amphetamine binge, and the lyrics were scrawled during the subsequent crash. More

Polvo

In Prism

Merge

Sep 10, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

A beacon of vitality in the over-cerebral math rock scene of the '90s, Polvo ostensibly broke up in 1997 after releasing the polarizing, Eastern-tinged Shapes, a maddeningly ambitious record distantly removed from the avant-garde dissonance of their early discography. They've re-emerged with In Prism, and as far as unheralded reunions go, this one's a smashing success. It's a sprawling, psychedelic masterwork, rife with knotty tangles of discordance and serpentine riffs. More

Sep 09, 2009 Music Issue #27 Summer 2009 - Jarvis Cocker

Don't let the cumbersome album title or the pictographic clown-butterfly intermezzos fool you. Danish trio Mew is surely grandiose, but still a few concept albums shy of bat-shit crazy. In fact, No More Stories is fairly tame in comparison to 2005's labyrinthine and gloomy song suite, And the Glass Handed Kites. Where Kites stockpiled instrumentation, No More Stories cuts the fat and makes do with the group's new orientation (bassist Johan Wohlert left the band to concentrate on fatherhood). More