May 16, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

On the documentary DVD that’s packaged with this live CD, Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn comments: “This band was created in sort of the shadow of the Replacements.” Nothing wrong with that, given that The Replacements recorded an influential string of classic studio albums in the 1980s, but it makes The Hold Steady a dubious band to release a live album. More

May 15, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Silversun Pickups are experiencing the opposite of most bands that share a similar sound. That sound being a wall of distortion, static, and fuzz that is part shoegazer—and in the Silversun's case, part Smashing Pumpkins. Usually the first album is one big, long sound occasionally punctured by a recognizable riff. In contrast, the second album is defined by morsels of hints-at-pop hits—which in the Silversuns case ended up being full-blown smashes.  More

May 15, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

In 2007, The Mary Onettes (pronounced like marionettes) released their self-titled debut full-length, featuring a sound reminiscent of bands like The Cure and The Church, whose pop melodies wrapped in lush textures and ethereal backdrops were second to none. This first single from The Mary Onettes' upcoming sophomore full-length picks up right where the band left off. More

May 15, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

British singer/songwriter Polly Scattergood feels your pain. Your pain, and the pain of every young girl clutching a notebook filled with poetry. While it's difficult to doubt the sincerity of her convictions as they drip from every note and roll off every word of her affected shrill delivery, by the end of her eponymous debut you can't help but feel thankful puberty has long since come and gone. More

May 09, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The debut EP from these two teenage sisters from outside Stockholm, Sweden, is steeped largely in the folk traditions of artists such as Vashti Bunyan and Nick Drake. More

May 09, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

First appearing in 1968, Astral Weeks has become one of the most critically acclaimed records of all time. With Morrison’s indelible vocals, adventurous arrangements, and evocative lyrics, the album manages to encompass pop, rock, jazz, folk, blues, and even classical categorizations without being merely a pastiche of them all. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Morrison and Co. performed the record in its entirety. More

Defibulators

Corn Money

City Salvage

May 06, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

The Defibulators (not defibrillators) are from Brooklyn's mushrooming indie scene, but not the one you'd expect. The six-man, one-woman band mingles Bakersfield swing, honky tonk, rockabilly, bluegrass, Dixieland jazz, and punk into a boozy concoction worth swigging until last call. It makes a lick of sense that The Defibulators are releasing Corn Money on gag-cartoonist and illustrator Andy Friedman's metro-roots label City Salvage. More

May 05, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Los Angeles folk singer Mia Doi Todd has described her first instrumental music album as "a good way to start the day, though it's not just for the morning. It's music to listen to while cooking dinner or making a list of things to do or taking a long, deep breath, or for writing your first screenplay." Todd's description seems apt when listening to Morning Music. Influenced by customary Indian, West African, and Middle Eastern music, this seven-track, 44-minute suite drones along as pleasant background music. More

May 01, 2009 Music Web Exclusive

Not since Elvis Costello has any artist combined pop ferocity and magnetism with such challenging words. The standard rule is bitter and thoughtful = slow and delicate, but when artists escape that equation-when they recognize that smart people have blood in their veins too-they are justly hailed by their grateful minions in the press, like so: More