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by Adrien Begrand

28 May 2015

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 Sloane Spencer

27 May 2015


Phlecia and Josh Sullivan are Year of October, creatively and personally (as husband and wife) joined together. Originally from Kentucky, the band has been in Nashville for a few years, touring regionally and self-recording and self-producing their two albums thus far. Year of October is outside of our circle within Nashville; I actually discovered them through Bandcamp.

by Ian King

26 May 2015


“Folding corners into perfect shapes / Went forlorn in a vapor of Elysian escapes”

That’s how these lines to “She Takes Me” read in the liner notes of lowercase’s Kill the Lights, at least. Coming out of the singer’s mouth, that second bit resembles something more like “when forlorn pings make hell each escape.” Not a full minute into the album, and already results diverge from intent. It won’t be the last discrepancy between the lyric sheet and the words that are actually sung—that is, if they even come out as words at all.

by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger

22 May 2015


Mendelsohn: One more spin on the Pink Floyd space shuttle, Klinger. Are you ready? This will be the last go around. As much as I love this band, as large as they loom in my rock psyche, there aren’t too many other albums in their repertoire that I think merit extended examination: maybe Animals, maybe Meddle, maybe even their late-game return with Division Bell. This week will mark the fourth Pink Floyd record we’ve discussed—at number 207 is Wish You Were Here.

Klinger: And given my ambivalence toward Pink Floyd, I’m of two minds as to how to react to this announcement. Part of me wants to thank you, and yet another part of me wants to make you listen to The Final Cut just for making me go through all this so many times.

by Adrien Begrand

21 May 2015


By early 1985, charity singles were all the rage. Band-Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, helmed by Bob Geldof of the Boomtown Rats, became an instant classic at the end of 1984, with its bevy of UK and Irish pop stars propelling the song to the top of charts worldwide.

Written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie on 20 January 1985, recorded the next day, and released in early March, “We Are the World” might not have been as superbly crafted a song as “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, but its American star power was staggering, the likes of which pop music will never see again on record. True to form, its sales were astronomical, well in excess of 20 million worldwide. Even Canada got into the action that spring, with the quaint, syrupy “Tears Are Not Enough” (which became that country’s top-selling single of 1985), followed Latin American supergroup single “Cantaré, cantarás”.

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