Capsule Reviews > Music

Sunday, November 25 2007

A.A. Bondy: American Hearts

Sparse yet effective, powerful and poignant, American Hearts is a true singer-songwriter's record and is an apt barometer of Bondy's talent.

Various Artists: Blow Your Cool

For being a 20-track collection of previously unreleased psych-rock songs from 1969-1974, Blow Your Cool sounds remarkably bland.

Born Ruffians: Hummingbird

This quick three-song set from Born Ruffians shows off the bands off-center brand of indie pop.

Mike Farris: Salvation In Lights

As guitarist of Double Trouble, Stevie Ray Vaughn’s backing band, Mike Farris’ rock and roll credentials are fairly unimpeachable

Tuesday, November 20 2007

Tony Bennett: Snowfall

Snowfall is a lovely bit of crooning.

Merle Haggard: Hag’s Christmas

Hag's Christmas may be light on Christmas cheer, but it sure is pretty in its holiday loneliness.

Various Artists: Monster Ballads Xmas

Hair metal makes a Christmas-comeback on Monster Ballads Xmas, the latest disc in the Monster Ballads franchise, providing a fun, musically sound dose of hairsprayed holiday hijinx. Just keep your Aqua Net-ted locks away from your menorah or Yule log.

Various Artists: Christmas Break - A Relaxing Classical Mix

True to its title, this collection of easy listening pop-classics could be the soundtrack to your more sophisticated holiday dinner party.

Monday, November 19 2007

The Staple Singers: The 25th Day of December

A decade before "I'll Take You There", the Chicago soul family released this spiritual gem.

Ella Fitzgerald: Ella Fitzgerald’s Christmas

A legendary voice combined with legendary songs of yuletide glee.

Various Artists: Country Christmas

Well… This one'll put the kids to bed before Santa comes. And maybe Mom and Dad, too.

Various Artists: Stockings By the Fire

Stockings by the Fire is the Starbucks label's new holiday compilation and a sonic treat.

Sunday, November 18 2007

Corb Lund: Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!

Roots music at its finest. To the sound of a galloping stand-up bass, blasts of mariachi horns and insistent pedal steel, Corb Lund's lesson in cavalry history pulls no punches and takes no prisoners.

Various: Porque Este Océano es el Tuyo, es el Mío

This album, its mouthful of a title borrowed from Pablo Neruda, is a compilation of indie pop tracks from South and Central America.

Tandy: To a Friend/Did You Think I Was Gone?

This Tandy two-fer CD set reissues self-released albums from 2005 and 2006, revealing the night-and-day moods of songwriter Mike Ferrio.

Various artists: Little Darla Has a Treat for You

Another dumpload of quality pop and electro from Darla Records... can you believe they've done 25 of these?

Thursday, November 15 2007

David Shrigley: Worried Noodles

"It was easier not to make a record."

Spider: The Way to Bitter Lake

Spider, aka Jane Herships, breathes hushed meditations and delicate melodies on her debut album, but she's no shrinking violet. Her songs have a very tough, resilient core.

Booka Shade: Booka Shade DJ-Kicks

Another calm, assured and expertly curated set from Booka Shade.

Tori Sparks: Under This Yellow Sun

If you’re a fan of bluesy folk along the lines of Be Good Tanyas then please seek out Tori Sparks.

//Mixed media

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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