Nov 13, 2009 Music Issue #28 Fall 2009 - Monsters of Folk

These New England mad scientists have spent much of their time creating tribal, creepy soundscapes that defy description, at times bringing to mind contemporary post-rock meandering, early industrial, late psychedelia, or soundtrack music. The music is injected with a palpable tension. Call it sexual, existential, spiritual—no matter, there is a real unease and darkness that permeates their work. They ride it like a wave. More

Nov 12, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Indie kids beware—your heroes just got co-opted. While hardly a cohesive gathering, from Death Cab For Cutie doing what they do best (channeling youthful melancholy), to Lykke Li's unexpected gravitas, it would be difficult to ask for a better group of ambassadors. More

AC/DC

Backtracks

Columbia

Nov 11, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

One would think there would be a limited market for a box set like Backtracks. Collecting two discs of rarities (one studio, one live) and a DVD of promotional clips, marketed as an add-on to 2005's exhaustive double DVD set, Family Jewels, the box is mostly perfunctory. The live disc is unnecessary. The promotional video clips are mildly interesting, in a you'll-only-ever-watch-them-once kind of way. Even the studio rarities are just a handful tracks taken mostly from Australian-only LPs or singles, serving as somewhat of a disappointment for anyone hoping for a vault-clearing extravaganza. More

Nov 10, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

After the revolutionary OK Computer and Kid A/Amnesiac, Radiohead took a step sideways with Hail to the Thief. The band had refined its sound, and its particular brand of adventurous electronic/organic push/pull. More

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

Cymbals Eat Guitars make charmingly sloppy rock out of the indie hotbed of Staten Island, New York. At times, vocalist Johnny Ferocious channels Stephen Malkmus ("Cold Spring"), but the band sounds something more like mid-career Modest Mouse or Bright Eyes, creating lots of space to explore and following what would be small touches for another band for a minute or two. More

Nov 06, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Know Better Learn Faster, the sophomore LP from Thao With The Get Down Stay Down, begins with the lively chant of "If this is how you want it, OK, OK" with clapping behind it. It's a perfect intro to this break-up record: a warning to watch out because what's coming next is not going to be pretty. More

Nov 04, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The companion piece to Kid A, Radiohead's Amnesiac is much more than a selection of outtakes or B-sides. Without the single-mindedness of Kid AAmnesiac shows more range, both in terms of emotion and sound. More

Nov 03, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Capitol gives Radiohead the reissue treatment on Kid A, Amnesiac, and Hail to the Thief, which should come as no surprise given the band's stature and the current state of the music industry. There's no question that this is a money grab, but whether it's one that benefits the consumer depends on what they've found in the vaults to bolster albums that most people already own and don't have much to gain from remastering or remixing. More

Nov 02, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Seven years after So Tough, and nearly a decade into their career, Saint Etienne released 2000's Sound of Water—a timeless synthesis of their acid house, electronic, and pop influences. While So Tough’s recent reissue sparkled with the wit and candor of a youth spent frolicking to 1960s Britpop, Sound of Water is a quieter affair—a master class in aging with grace.  More