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Capsule Reviews

Thursday, February 22 2007

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".


Fern Knight: Music for Witches and Alchemists

Fern Knight play a vibrant British-influenced folk that sounds like all their clocks stopped dead some time between 1972, when Scottish singer Shelagh McDonald became an


Various Artists: Om: Chilled

San Francisco-based Om Records has released a lot of quality downtempo electronica and chillout house music over the years, especially on its “Mushroom Jazz” and “


Dredg: Live at the Fillmore

As far as live albums go, it’s fairly rare for a release to reach the status of a How the West Was Won or


Various Artists: The Ultimate Stupido Sampler (Before the Next One)

Helsinki’s Stupido is an independent pop label with a roster of bands who perform in English and Finnish. On this sampler we get to


Four Letter Lie: Let Your Body Take Over

Four Letter Lie are intent on making sure that you know they are hardcore “emo”. How else to explain the Alexisonfire-by-numbers effort of “Full Tilt


A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now by Peter Wood

"New Anger" traced to those '60s liberals in A Bee in the Mouth.


Monday, February 19 2007

Cheeseburger: Cheeseburger

Cheeseburger's one of the more aptly-named bands out there right now.


Jan Jelinek: Tierbeobachtungen

More atmospheric complexity from Jan Jelinek


Geir Jenssen: Cho Oyu 8201m

Geir Jenssen, who also goes under the name of Biosphere, lives in a town in northern Norway and assembles soundscapes. The noises he uses in


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