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Capsule Reviews

Tuesday, August 29 2006

Lovejoy: England Made Me EP

A faded fin de siècle sunniness sustained by a wall of spangled keyboard hum and series of ascending chords and notes that wash over you in waves.


The Vasco Era: Miles EP

Australian blues-rock band treads worn ground, showing some promise but never really delivering anything of lasting interest.


Sneaky Thieves: Accident(s)

Consisting of two sets of brothers from Seattle, Sneaky Thieves commence this album with a quasi-hymnal instrumental aptly titled “Elegy”. At times eerie, the group


Das Bierbeben: Alles Fallt

Allien on downers for a session of ego preaching.


Monday, August 28 2006

Chris Berry & Panjea: Dancemakers

Dancemakers attempts an uplifting mishmash of hip-hop beats and groovy vibes over a world-music pastiche. It fails spectacularly.


Panda & Angel: Panda & Angel

Panda & Angel, a soft-core band from Seattle, don’t quite know what to do with their guitars on their self-titled debut EP. Alternating between


The Matchheads: Backtracks 1980-1982 / The Matchheads Present The Mohawks, Lucky Strikes, The Gasser

The Matchheads were a punk rock band in the early ‘80s that are known only to a handful of people in San Francisco. But that


Aeon Grey: Primate Curriculum

Despite mixed results, this Iowa-based emcee is strong on ideas and concepts.


[The] Caseworker: When I Was a Young King

Dreamy but attention getting, [The] Caseworker is compromised of Conor Jonathan, Eimer Devlin, Will Waghorn, and Monte Vallier. And this quartet, led primarily by Jonathan


Friday, August 25 2006

Raydar Ellis: Late Pass

What would you do if your label gave you a wake up call to deliver your album before you were finished? Raydar Ellis shows you how to deliver the goods.


Sean Smith, Adam Snider and Matt Baldwin: Berkeley Guitar 2006

The Imaginational Anthem series that started by unearthing folk blues legends now focuses on upcoming West Coast stars in the Takoma finger-picking tradition.


Hezikiah Jones: Hezekiah Says Youre A-OK

A disturbingly nice record that is just so simple you suspect that there may be more to it than meets the eye.


The Eastern Stars: July 5, 1961

The Eastern Stars pick up where people like Beck and Low left off at some point in their careers. Led by Kaia Wong and Rob


The Haywards: Side One/One Side

David Enright, GD Mills, Jason Clohecy, and Lisa Walker are the Haywards, creating very barren pop that brings to mind Spoon in some respects, especially


Thursday, August 24 2006

Roisin Murphy: Ruby Blue

Why is this CD, the debut solo effort from UK group Moloko’s singer, essential? For one, it's one of the best examples of production shaping but not overwhelming the artist’s vision.


Planningtorock: Have It All

You want to know whether or not this album is any good, and, believe me, I want to be able to tell you. But we’


Sumo: The Danceband

The Danceband is the sound of a bunch of Swedes making Latin music... and it works.


The Jolenes: Get It To Go

Ah, where would the world be without bubble gum pop? Would the USSR have dissolved if bubble gum pop never existed? Think about it. In


Underground Orchestra: Active Ingredient

Jazz-fusion mush that is just ordinary.


Wednesday, August 23 2006

James Figurine: Mistake Mistake Mistake Mistake

Jimmy Tamborello, aka Dntel, takes Figurines techno-pop, the more laptop-lo-fi and intricate sensibilities of his Postal Service and minimal house-inspiration from a German trip to


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