Capsule Reviews

Friday, May 11 2007

Blue Line Highway: Life In A Minor Key

Rooted in folk yet with subtle pop overtones.


Thursday, May 10 2007

Domestic Violence: Poems by Eavan Boland

Much of Boland's fifth volume of poems, is explicitly about Ireland -- its quiet domestic scenes tinged with malice, its relatively recent experience of modernity, its daffodil-filled springs, its ghosts.


Wednesday, May 9 2007

Efterklang: Under Giant Trees

Gorgeous, minimal orchestral compositions from this sophisticated Danish group of musicians


Rob da Bank and Chris Coco: Listen Again

The hosts of BBC Radio's "The Blue Room" offer up a two-disc set of their favorite music. It's like getting a few great mixed CDs from your friend with the incredible record collection up the block.


Burbuja: Burbuja

A distant aural cousin to the scenes in the garden at the start of Blue Velvet.


The Lapdancers: The Ghost of Alcohol and Song

The album has remarkable pep and energy, even if the ballad-heavy last third drags a little.


Porter Block: Suburban Sprawl

These two can craft some well-rounded and refined pop songs but is so mired in this realm that it almost lulls one to sleep.


The White Cascade by Gary Krist

White Cascade details drama of deadly 1910 railroad disaster.


Florian Ross: Big Fish and Small Pond

Extremely attractive piano trio not unduly engrossed in its own inventions.


Tuesday, May 8 2007

Magic Bullets: A Child but in Life Yet a Doctor in Love

From the same line of poppy post-punk as Cold Watr Kids and Voxtrot.


Mise En Abyme: Do You Hear the Hum

Mise En Abyme, an arty electro-rock band from Portland, exist in the small band realm -- this is their third album, but they're making no great play for accessibility.


Static of the Gods: Cycles Follow Signs

Static of the Gods is a fairly run-of-the-mill power pop band with a vocalist that occasionally evokes Gwen Stefani, but is more comfortable mimicking post-Matrix Liz Phair.


Cynthia G. Mason: Quitters Claim

Smart and pretty, but without the variety to really say much.


Travis Mitchell Band: Forget Whats Wrong

The Travis Mitchell Band intertwines classic rock and Texas country on a debut full of potential. And there "Ain't nothin' Nashville about that".


Sunday, May 6 2007

Xbxrx: Wars

Riff, time change, riff, time change, three-second drum solo, time change, riffriffriffriffriff, end.


Linda Draper: Keepsake

A cozy, charming, and cerebral set from a gifted storyteller.


Rope, Inc.: Songs Of Love & War

A seamless collection of not-quite-electronica, rather abstract, ambient, and interesting songs.


Emmure: Goodbye to the Gallows

...And hello to the slaughterhouse!


Mel Davis: Its About Time!

The inlay notes that Mel Davis endorses Hammond B-3 organs; he likes playing a lot of notes on the keyboard. The opener/title track is


Thursday, May 3 2007

Ral Partha Vogelbacher: Shrill Falcons

The San Francisco band have come into their own, abandoning tongue-in-cheek fantasy in favour of a more sombre and mature approach.


//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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