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by Adrien Begrand

28 May 2015

In an age  where writers regularly churn out "content" at dizzying speeds, truly great music makes a writer slow down and take time to reflect.

For a variety of reasons, the need for a feature piece among them, I was going to review the new Lamb of God album this week. Never mind the fact that it doesn’t come out for another two months, or that the band’s American PR is only just starting to get the hype machine rolling; these days, I couldn’t care less about publishing a review before such absurd press announcements as an “album artwork unveiling” and “track listing unleashing”. Besides, no band should ever complain about getting press, especially if the review is positive, so why not hammer out a fun piece about a rare 2015 album that’s captured my attention?

Yeah, I like the new record, VII: Sturm Und Drang. Quite a lot, actually. Given the freedom I have with this weekly column, the urge to sit down and slap together a thousand words about why I enjoy VII: Sturm Und Drang so much is near impossible to resist. It’s the same for any music fan: when you hear great new music, you have to gush, you need to run out and tell people about it. Yet at the same time, as a writer there’s also something stupid, trite, and narcissistic lurking underneath that desire, too: the fleeting satisfaction of being first.

by Scott Juster

28 May 2015

With a year  having passed since the start of Mario Kart 8, it's time to look back on 12 months of roaring engines, hairpin turns, blue shells, and a whole lot of swearing.

One year ago I started what turned into a “season” of Mario Kart 8, complete with gameplay tweaks and paid downloadable content (DLC). It’s the first time I’ve played a Nintendo game that has bought into the “long-tail” content and add-on strategy that is so prevalent in the large publisher space. Instead of a capsule frozen in time, Mario Kart 8 got something similar to the season pass and map pack treatment. The question is: how did this work out?

by Brice Ezell

27 May 2015

The Mix Tapes'  "Just Don't Get It" exists at the intersection between Telecaster twang, Spoon-esque indie rock, and the music of the Beatles.

Drummer/vocalist Kitty Pause and guitarist/vocalist Skool-Ejekt helm a roots project called Hymn for Her. What a surprising—and delightful—turn of events, then, to see them pull a clever sonic 180 in the form of their new project the Mix Tapes, where they are joined by bassist/vocalist Reverend Rewind (of Go Man). The debut of the Mix Tapes, the modestly titled #1, finds the trio crafting tunes that bring together punk, vintage pop, and indie rock into one straightforward and catchy mold. For one such example, stream the number “Just Don’t Get It” below; the track is comprised of equal parts Spoon-esque rock and sing-alongable Beatles pop.

“Just Don’t Get It” is no mere mishmash, though. As far as the Mix Tapes’ rock chops are concerned, one need only read this anecdote from when AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson saw the group perform live: “He caught a show and told us that it was the most entertained he’d been since the Beatles died,” says Reverend Rewind, adding, “You do the math.”

by Brian Hoffstein

27 May 2015

With vibrant performances  by artists including St. Vincent and TV on the Radio, the first half of the bi-annual Boston Calling Festival brought additional excitement to Memorial Day weekend.
Photo: Marina and the Diamonds (by
Samara Vise)

Memorial Day Weekend kicked off in style at the Boston Calling Festival. The three-day event, set beneath the buildings surrounding City Hall Plaza, received strong performances from headliners Beck, My Morning Jacket, and the Pixies, with a well-rounded supporting cast that included Tame Impala, St. Vincent, and TV on the Radio.

by Brice Ezell

27 May 2015

In taking on  a tune by the great Sam Cooke, Amy Black dives into a joyous vocal performance and a goofy character to really "Bring It On Home".

Alabama’s famed Muscle Shoals has long been a goldmine for the recording of great music, particularly in the Americana, blues, and roots genres. For Amy Black, her ties to the town are more personal, as both of her parents were born there. In channeling both her own past with Muscle Shoals and her love for gospel, roots, and R&B, Black took to the town’s FAME Studios to record The Muscle Shoals Sessions, her third solo outing, drawing from legendary sources of inspiration such as Etta James, Mavis Staples, Wilson Pickett, and Aretha Franklin. Another key tribute on the album is a cover of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me”, the fun and goofy video of which you can view below.

In the press release for The Muscle Shoals Sessions, Black says, “Making this music has changed me as an artist. It’s altered my musical course and I’m so glad.” One viewing of “Bring It On Home to Me” and it’s easy to see that she’s right on the money.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

Blood and Thunder: Entering the Echo Chamber

// Sound Affects

"In an age where writers regularly churn out "content" at dizzying speeds, truly great music makes a writer slow down and take time to reflect.

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