Capsule Reviews > Music

Thursday, May 24 2007

The Free Zen Society: Free Zen Society

These recordings started life in 2003 as a jam session between three Downtown free-jazz and Improv stalwarts—bassist William Parker, pianist Matthew Shipp and harpist Zeena

John Platania: Blues, Waltzes And Badland Borders

John Platania has worked with a lot of people ranging from Van Morrison to Natalie Merchant. His latest album is a strong, quality-filled instrumental-oriented project

Wednesday, May 23 2007

Bang! Bang!: The Dirt That Makes You Drown

"Goddam what I think we really need is love!"

Olvis: Bravado

When it works, the sheer excess of Bravado is impressive, even chest-rattling. Unfortunately, it doesn't work nearly as often as it could.

Minibar: Desert After Rain

With a sound less rambunctious than Old 97’s, vocalist Simon Petty fills these moody tunes with a likeable longing.

JT And The Clouds: The Citys Hot Yeah The Citys Hot

Touring with bands like The Be Good Tanyas and Jolie Holland has made JT & The Clouds come off like come rustic version of a Motown doo-wop group.

Omar Sosa and Greg Landau: DO

Collage music, but not quite the African-American/African concerto the blurb suggests.

Tuesday, May 22 2007

At Dusk: You Can Know Danger

Third album from the Portland post-punk trio puts serrated edges and lattice-like complexity onto jittery pop songs.

The Hard Lessons: Hard Lessons

Michigan garage band the Hard Lessons discover that sometimes it pays to acknowledge your heroes.

Various Artists: Off The Clock Vol. 1: Up And Coming Artists From Starbucks

If you're buying music at the same time as you buy your coffee, you deserve what you get.

The American Plague: God Bless The American Plague

The American Plague breaks out again with their sophomore effort, blending various genres of rock to create a unique sound and an impressive disc that clocks in at little over a half an hour and packs some seriously infectious tunes.

Worms: Worms

Artcore punk comes up from the Portland underground with a new sound made by worms.

Monday, May 21 2007

Miracle Fortress: Five Roses

Mixing Sigur Rós' dramatic scope with Brian Wilson's summery melodies, Miracle Fortress' debut is a thing of rare beauty.

The Shake: Kick It

With all they’ve got going for them, who wouldn’t want to kick it with The Shake?

Jeff Lorber: He Had a Hat

Pleasant’s not an inapt word for this one, which does give some indication of how prettily and maybe even exquisitely Lorber can play piano,

Various Artists: Late Night with Groove Junkies

Average mix album of funkified disco from the LA duo

Rara Avis: Shaktified EP 1

This guitarist and laptopper's download-only EP sounds dated and dippy.

Sunday, May 20 2007

E-Dro: From My Hood to Your Hood

Which sounds more titillating -- politics or a lap dance? Well, I'd normally go with "lap dance" but, in this case, I'll take politics all day long.

The Roadside Graves: No One Will Know Where Youve Been

The Roadside Graves's third album proves that you don't have to come from deep in the pines to play gut-wrenching folk 'n' country.

Joseph Jarman: As If It Were the Seasons

Three saxophones, flute, oboe, trumpet, and trombone blur into one terrifying mass during the piece's most gratifying moments.

//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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