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Thursday, Oct 25, 2012
For me, what distinguishes DIIV from their peers on Captured Tracks is that despite having internalized every note of the Cure's Disintegration (either on purpose or by osmosis), the band is anything but backward-looking.

I cannot stop listening to DIIV’s Oshin. At all. The album is on an endless loop at my home. My wife is about to throw out our stereo system. Either that, or she is about to throw me out. If she does the latter, I can only hope that she’ll allow me to take my DIIV record to the local Best Western. Given that she’s tired of listening to it, I’m quite sure she’ll do that.


I heard about DIIV when they made a tiny splash back in June 2012, right when Oshin was released. Despite gobbling up much of the assorted goodness that Captured Tracks, the band’s label, has released, I didn’t immediately purchase the record or listen to it online. Then, in September 2012, I went to see Wild Nothing at Washington, DC’s Rock and Roll Hotel. DIIV and Blonds opened. All three bands were great, but DIIV had me at “Past Lives”. They completed me.


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Monday, Oct 22, 2012

Hidden Orchestra prefer to let the music speak for itself. Suffice to say, they’re an electronic jazz collective based in Edinburgh, and the follow up to their critcally acclaimed Night Moves is even less relaint on vocals. As the double A-side for their new album Archipelago indicates, however, their music is likely to leave discerning listeners speechless too. Also see the great interview Hidden Orchestra in Plain Sight.





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Monday, Aug 27, 2012
Warranting renewed attention following the release of remastered material by this early '90s alt-rock trio last month, the heartbreak and heartache expressed by this acoustic breakup ballad are universal.

After a period of somewhat taking Sugar for granted, the recent remastered editions of its albums have been a forceful reminder of how stunning Bob Mould’s post-Hüsker Dü band is to me. Though he lacked Grant Hart as a songwriting foil, Mould’s laser-hot focus in his Sugar work never makes me want for someone to come in and help pick up the slack. Sugar’s 1992 debut Copper Blue has always been a favorite, and ever since the deluxe edition hit it’s been receiving considerable renewed attention via my iPod.


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Friday, Aug 10, 2012
iamiamiwhoami's debut album has been quietly under the radar, but this daring electronic record has a beating heart at its core, and single "play" may very well be one of the best songs to be released all year ...

When we previously looked at the new material coming out of Jonna Lee’s iamamiwhoami project, we found that her synth side project had evolved from experimental film whodunnit into something much more succinct, poppy, and remarkably catchy. “Goods” was the final track off of Kin, iamamiwhoami’s first official album, and it was funky, emotive, and really, really fun. We called it “The Most Inexplicable Song of the Summer Candidate You’re Ever Gonna Hear”, and even now, that statement still stands.


Yet diving deeper into Kin reveals just how well constructed and multifaceted this project is. After several listens, the whole thing begins to feel like the best Bjork album that Bjork never made: sonically daring without sacrificing song structure or emotive impact. The songs are very good and the corresponding film for the disc (feature wild choreographed numbers with a bunch of mop/Wookie creatures) is a miniature epic in its own right; but at the end of the day, there is one other track that stands out strongly from the rest.


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Wednesday, Aug 8, 2012
But of all the ways J. has ever been there when I needed him, nothing comes close to the song he wrote for me: “Over It” from 2009’s Farm.

J. Mascis is my best friend. Sometimes he’ll come over and sit across the table from me and we’ll discuss politics—ok, I will—he’ll just sit there brooding the way he does. Yes, the number five best guitar player of all time according to Spin will retort with a cold ambivalent stare while I unload my woes over a pint. When that’s finished we’ll grab our skateboards and go out—um—thrashing. When that gets old we hop into my convertible and cruise around town, everything captured in slow motion frames from the spinning wheel wells to my belly-aching laughter at something J. must have muttered between frowns. We’re stylized, he and I through the perspectives of everyone looking on and the over-driven guitars reverberating off brick walls of the city.


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