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Capsule Reviews

Sunday, February 25 2007

Kim Barlow: Champ

Singer-songwriter Kim Barlow’s latest album continues her strong collection with a gorgeous body of songs.


Kendra Shank: A Spirit Free

Kendra Shank doesn’t sing Abbey Lincoln’s songs as much as Shank inhabits them.


Azrael: Act III: Self + Act IV: Goat

Yes, kids, these dudes are cult, or kvlt if you prefer, right down to the typically grim (AKA "poorly lit") album cover and unreadable band logo.


My Brightest Diamond: Disappear

My Brightest Diamond's iTunes-only Disappear EP functions as a holdover between her two albums.


Good Shoes: The Photos on My Wall EP

Good Shoes' Britpop has the smacky, slapping rhythm of 1970s punk.


On the Wealth of Nations: Books That Changed the World by P. J. ORourke

Humorist P.J. O'Rourke livens things up in a new book on economic pioneer Adam Smith.


Thursday, February 22 2007

San Saba County: Its Not the Fall That Hurts

Where Austin-based San Saba County's 2004 debut had its roots firmly planted in the alt-country soil of the Lone Star State, their follow-up proves to be a lot like the Texas desert.


The Art of Losing by Keith Dixon

A deceptive The Art of Losing morphs from caper to moral fable.


Contriva: Separate Chambers

All lightly strummed guitar, clear, airy organ notes, and an ambiance that manages to be sparse without ever feeling empty, the new effort from Berlin


The Kouga Ninja Scrolls by Futaro Yamada

Secret warfare, mystical powers, political turmoil and two ancient, feuding ninja families: it's no wonder that Futaro Yamada's classic Japanese novel still endures.


Various Artists: Afrikya Volume 1

This album was co-compiled by a chef and a DJ. The chef’s name is Marcus Samuelsson, and Afrikya Volume 1 is a companion to his


Charles Addams: A Cartoonists Life by Linda H. Davis

Charles Addams' cartoons are fascinating, but not his life.


M. Ward and Ladyhawk: Magic Trick / Soap

Oddly enough, Southern Comfort and The Fader have partnered to issue a series of limited 7-inches. The initial release feature’s M. Ward on the


Unexpect: In a Flesh Aquarium

The more and more ambitious that today’s progressive rock gets, the more bands tend to forget two key characteristics that made such ‘70s prog


Wednesday, February 21 2007

Tia Fuller: Healing Space

Now here's something to get excited about: a young flutist and saxophonist with a knack for enchanting compositions and a passion to inspire listeners.


The Exploding Hearts: Shattered

A necessary, bittersweet compilation from the gone-too-soon power pop/punk kings of Portland.


The Heights: Bad News

On this five-song EP, British band the Heights inject a blunt, beefed-up, American sensibility to the indie rock animal created by the Libertines and Arctic Monkeys. Too bad the band are a year or two behind the curve.


Sam Cooke and the Soul Stirrers: Specialty Profiles

These 14 tracks Sam Cooke recorded as lead singer with the Soul Stirrers preceded the great tenor’s forays into the pop arena, but the bulk


Faux Pas: Entropy Begins At Home

Electronic beats begin from down under and circle the globe, gaining speed with Melbourne maestro Faux Pas's first full length album.


Tuesday, February 20 2007

Various Artists: Freshly Composted Vol. 2

Started in Munich, Germany 13 years ago by Michael Reinboth, Compost Records quickly developed into what superstar DJ Gilles Peterson described as "the most consistent and forward thinking record label of continental Europe".


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