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Capsule Reviews

Thursday, January 4 2007

Monopoly by Philip E. Orbanes

Orbanes' passion for the game and devotion to its legendary status shines forth from every word and every page.


Various Artists: Paz e Futebol

Upon seeing the cover of the new compilation CD by Jazzanova, Paz e Futebol, listeners might assume that the album is just a ploy to


Wednesday, January 3 2007

David Grumel: Bearivage

Written in both Iceland and his native France, musician David Grumel’s debut explores a musical palette that runs with the colours of cool jazz,


Daylights for the Birds: Trouble Everywhere

The seductive songs on Trouble Everywhere are closer to stargazing than any “indie shoegazing”.  Comparable to Camera Obscura, on their debut Daylight’s for


Swan Island: The Centre Will Hold

Double guitar'd girl punk from the Pacific NW... Sleater-Kinney is gone, but the Auteurs/Delta 5/Lora Logic lineage continues.


Tara Jane ONeil: In Circles

The latest album from Portland native Tara Jane O’Neil is barren, sparse, and quite precious. From the lullaby instrumental “Primer”, the musician moves into


Tuesday, January 2 2007

Various Artists: Fuzzy-Felt Folk

From instrumental themes of 1960s British kiddie shows to charming little ditties about elves and trolls, this loopy, endearing collection has been lovingly assembled by


Holy Shit: Stranded at Two Harbors

With a crackling collection of shambolic pop, Holy Shit prove as endearingly sophomoric as their name.


Sister Hazel: Absolutely

If you yearn for a return to the sensitive-guys-with-guitars movement of the late '90s, Absolutely is your ticket home.


Rafael Toral: Space

Portuguese electronic composer (and Rhys Chatham collaborator) Rafael Toral ponders the unpredictability of synthesized sound and the emptiness of deep space in three extended pieces.


The Old Way: A Story of the First People by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

The dominance of modern technological life is driving more than animal species to extinction. And imbecilic notions of superiority are not restricted to western nations.


Monday, January 1 2007

The Antiques: Nicknames and Natives

The Antiques are the musically serene country cousins of the raunchy Americana-fuelled folk-rock sound brought to the indie stage by bands like My Morning Jacket and the Kings of Leon.


Benjy Ferree: Leaving The Nest

Benjy Ferree has a style so fun that you can help but crack a grin. It’s terribly fabulous, criminally infectious, and so frickin’ simple


The DTs: Nice n Ruff

All the right elements, but without the proper mix this party seems a bit forced.


Rhapsody of Fire: Triumph or Agony

It's all so silly, but just admit it, you secretly kind of dig it.


Pathfinders: A Global History of Exploration by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto

Fernandez-Armesto's lively mind, pithy phrasing, and stunningly thorough and diverse knowledge are a constant pleasure.


Thursday, December 21 2006

The Aquarium: The Aquarium

All told, these 11 instrumental and vocal cuts form the type of innovative album that restores your faith in independent music.


Giant Squid: Metridium Fields

Both the sum of and a twist on their influences, Giant Squid brings the bombast.


Caroline Vinciguerra: Bored and Gorgeous

Before picking up a guitar last year and heading into Blacklodge Studios, Caroline Vinciguerra was a down-on-her-luck actress whose on-screen highlight came in 1993 when she


Wednesday 13: Fang Bang

Some welcome shock rock that doesn't take itself too seriously.


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