Latest Blog Posts

by Ian Mathers

8 Jan 2010

The music webzine Stylus Magazine may have shut its doors back in November 2007, but there’s nothing like the end of a decade to bring music critics out of the woodwork. So now, as a one-off reunion, there’s the Stylus Decade, a relatively massive undertaking that all this week is posting (most of) the old staff’s top 100 albums and singles of the 00s as well as a new essay each day.

I’ll gladly admit bias (I wrote for Stylus from 2003 until it closed, and wrote several blurbs for the Stylus Decade), but I can honestly say I haven’t been this excited about a piece of online music criticism in a while. Stylus never attained the readership of a PopMatters or a Pitchfork, but we had a loyal, often rabidly hostile following of readers. The spark that set the Stylus Decade in motion was people on the massive I Love Music forums pining to hear what we had to say about the decade just past. We were never exactly the least contentious website around, so in addition to some great writing our lists out to spur some discussion among people who love lists. Enjoy!

by Jennifer Cooke

8 Jan 2010

San Diego singer-songwriter John Meeks is, by all accounts, a real quiet and unassuming kind of guy. So it was probably fitting that his newest song, “Been Down by Love”, crept casually into my inbox through a friend, and I didn’t look up again until I realized I’d hit repeat about 15 times. Meeks runs in some pretty esteemed circles (Black Heart Procession’s Pall Jenkins and the Album Leaf’s Jimmy LaValle both contribute with production and bass, respectively), and with heavy hitters like that in his corner, you know the guy’s got the sauce. His sound puts me in mind of Whiskeytown’s classic “Strangers Almanac”, Uncle Tupelo, and the solo work of Old 97s’ Murry Hammond. But at the same time, “Been Down by Love” could have fit in perfectly on Doves’ superb offering from earlier this year, Kingdom of Rust. Like Ryan Adams with humility.

Meeks has a full-length album currently in production, but for now I subsist on the four songs available through all the usual outlets (iTunes, Amazon, etc.).  There’s also a pretty cool video for “Been Down by Love” that was shot out in the California desert around Pioneertown, set of many a Western movie and TV show. Gene Autry would approve.

by Tyler Gould

8 Jan 2010

Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would listen to a little Animal Collective and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. The new video for “Brothersport” is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.

by Tyler Gould

7 Jan 2010

End Times
(12 Major Chords)
Releasing: 19 January

That lovely little number a short while ago brings a whole album along with it later this month, for better or for worse. “In My Younger Days” is available to download below in the universally loved .M4A file format.

01 The Beginning
02 Gone Man
03 In My Younger Days
04 Mansions of Los Feliz
05 A Line in the Dirt
06 End Times
07 Apple Trees
08 Paradise Blues
09 Nowadays
10 Unhinged
11 High and Lonesome
12 I Need a Mother
13 Little Bird
14 On My Feet

by Allison Taich

7 Jan 2010

James Mercer of The Shins and Danger Mouse have joined forces to create a new group, Broken Bells. Their self-titled album is due out on Columbia on 9 March 2010. The album’s first single, “The High Road”, is now available on the official site as well as iTunes and

Broken Bells - The High Road

//Mixed media

Con Brio: The Best New Live Band in America?

// Notes from the Road

"There’s a preciousness to McCarter and the rest of the mostly young band. You want to freeze the moment, to make sure they are taking it all in too. Because it’s going to change.

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