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Sunday, December 10th, 2023  

Album Reviews

Live in Bakersfield, August 21, 1970

The Doors
Live in Bakersfield, August 21, 1970

Dec 08, 2023 Web Exclusive

If the last Doors live release, Live at the Matrix 1967, represented the band at its nascent best, Live in Bakersfield from just three-and-a-half years later documents in some ways an entirely different band.

Life is Infinite

Wings of Desire
Life is Infinite

Dec 07, 2023 Web Exclusive

Wings of Desire are a new UK duo from former members of alt rock group INHEAVEN, which finds them trading their previous project’s moodier soundscapes for cathartic anthems. At their best, bandmates James Taylor and Chloe Little tap into something elemental, writing narratives for life’s beauty and tragedy.


Liza Anne

Dec 06, 2023 Web Exclusive

If you’re not on your feet and dancing by the time Utopian’s opening track, “Cheerleader,” has been playing for 60 seconds, you might need to check your pulse: there’s every chance you might be dead.

Classic Interviews

Of Montreal

Of Montreal
Dirty Minds and Super Freaks

Sep 02, 2008 of Montreal

“Everybody involved is so emotionally invested in Of Montreal that it’s become like a cult,” says Kevin Barnes, Of Montreal’s master of ceremonies. He’s assessing not only the status of his band in the public eye—due to mount with the release of the band’s exceptional new album, Skeletal Lamping, to be promoted on tour with a “show to end all shows”—but the drive among its members and in the extended family that makes all their DIY dreams come true.

Comic Book Reviews

Home to Stay!: The Complete Ray Bradbury EC Stories

Home to Stay!: The Complete Ray Bradbury EC Stories

May 02, 2023 Web Exclusive

In 1952 EC publisher Bill Gaines received a hilarious letter from Ray Bradbury gently requesting $50 in payment for the rights to his two stories “The Rocket Man” and “Kaleidoscope.”

Book Reviews

TransElectric: My Life as a Cosmic Rock Star

Cidny Bullens
TransElectric: My Life as a Cosmic Rock Star

Nov 27, 2023

TransElectric is an introspective and self-reflective memoir, a beacon for all of those who struggle, who might not feel at home with who they are.


Beth Orton on “Weather Alive”

Beth Orton on “Weather Alive”

Dec 06, 2023 Issue #71 - Weyes Blood and Black Belt Eagle Scout

Before Weather Alive, Beth Orton’s eighth studio album, the critically acclaimed singer/songwriter—who has three decades of releasing music in her rearview—was thinking, “It probably was time to gracefully bow out.”

Sun June’s Laura Colwell on “Bad Dream Jaguar” and Navigating Change

Sun June’s Laura Colwell on “Bad Dream Jaguar” and Navigating Change

Dec 04, 2023 Web Exclusive

Three albums in and Sun June’s star shows no signs of fading. Their latest album, Bad Dream Jaguar (on Run for Cover), adds in additional elements in the form of brass, woodwinds, and pedal steel. But though the instrumentation has broadened, the album maintains a mirage-like sheen across its dozen tracks.

Pleased to meet you

Wings of Desire on Their Formation and Early Singles

Dec 08, 2023 Issue #71 - Weyes Blood and Black Belt Eagle Scout

For the rising British indie outfit Wings of Desire, creation is a process of rebirth and reinvention. The band itself was born from the wreckage of another, with bandmates James Taylor and Chloe Little first beginning their creative partnership with their time in the band INHEAVEN.


Under the Radar’s Top 100 Albums of 2022 Part 1

Dec 23, 2022

Are things back to normal in 2022? They are, aren’t they? Well not quite. In the past year we eased out of the pandemic, but COVID-19 is still around and still deadly to some (just look at what’s happening in China, now that their long national lockdown has lifted). The pandemic door has been left ajar, rather than fully closed. We put the chaos for the Trump administration in the rearview only for us to relive it via the very necessary January 6th Commission and the specter of the former president running again in 2024 (if he’s not barred from doing so or even in jail). And while Biden’s administration has been fairly steady and helped lead the Democrats to an unexpectedly strong showing in the midterm elections, over in the UK chaos has reigned with no less than three different prime ministers in one year (Liz Truss being the shortest serving prime ministers in British history), the death of the Queen, strikes across the country, and a recent poll having a majority of Brits admitting that Brexit was a mistake.

Those of us who grew up during the tale end of the Cold War and the beginning of perestroika have not been totally surprised that Russia has become a major adversary to the West again in the last decade, but it was still shocking when Russian President Vladimir Putin followed through with his threats to invade Ukraine. On top of the terrible toll on the Ukrainian people and its extraordinary President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the war has destabilized financial markets worldwide and helped lead to massive inflation, with all this talk from financial experts of a possible recession next year seemingly willing such a thing into existence.

After the last few years of the pandemic and all the political upheaval worldwide, the massive right and left divisions in this country and in others, it leaves one wondering if the events of every single year felt this monumental to our younger selves and to our ancestors. Certainly there have been other eras of even greater turmoil (World War II, the 1960s), but will things ever feel truly normal again?

Musicians continued to find their footing in 2022, with live shows and festivals pretty much back to normal and free of major COVID restrictions. Still, many musicians were finding it more expensive than ever to tour this year, in large part because of inflation, but also because of the unfair financial cuts some venues were taking of merchandise sales. With it being hard for indie artists to make much money from streaming or record sales in recent years, this year touring also became a less reliable source of income, with bands such as Animal Collective cancelling whole tours because they knew they’d lose money. 2022 also saw a slew of albums written and recorded during the pandemic, with some lyrics betraying their lockdown inspiration. Ben Gibbard, for example, sang about missing strangers on Death Cab For Cutie’s return-to-form, Asphalt Meadows, a lyric likely written at a time when interacting with strangers could prove deadly.

Asphalt Meadows lands at #12 on Under the Radar’s Top 100 Albums of 2022 list. Prior to June 2021, we had never even heard of the band that made it to #1 on our list, so meteoric was their rise. The rest of the list is filled with some familiar faces to be sure, but some other debut albums are peppered throughout our Top 100. To arrive at such a list, 23 of our writers and editors (including myself and my co-publisher/wife Wendy Redfern) submitted ballots of their 45 favorite albums of 2022, listed in order of preference from first to last. They were submitted via a Google Sheets spreadsheet that helped tabulate the eventual list. An album had to be picked by at least three or four writers to make the list (19 of our writers had our #1 album on their list and it was the clear winner of the vote, getting 100 more points than our #2). Then we worked out the Top 94 albums and held a separate vote to determine which albums should round out the bottom six, with our writers deciding between 21 albums that could make the bottom of the list. Some albums that almost made the list include (in no particular order) ones by GIFT, Tomberlin, Crack Cloud, Broken Bells, Skullcrusher, Sam Prekop and John McEntire, Just Mustard, Florence + The Machine, Warpaint, Cheekface, The Weeknd, Maggie Rogers, Craig Finn, The Orielles, and My Idea. Consider those honorable mentions.

As the next year dawns, I’ve already heard some January to March albums that will surely make our Top 100 Albums of 2023 list. It’s already shaping up to be another great year for new music. But it’s been exhausting living through history, so can 2023 please just be a boring year?

Live reviews

iamyank @ Rich Mix, London, UK, December 1, 2023

iamyank @ Rich Mix, London, UK, December 1, 2023

Dec 08, 2023 By Alex Taylor

The fifth Electronica: Vision Of Sound event was headlined by Hungary’s iamyank and Under the Radar were there to witness it.