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Wednesday, March 5 2003

Throwing Muses: self-titled

Hersh fans will have plenty of new material to salivate over. Only time will tell whether Throwing Muses is indeed the final swan song.

Various Artists: We’re a Happy Family: A Tribute to the Ramones

One of the hallmarks of the Ramones’ long and storied career was their unquestioned consistency. The leather jackets and jeans, the mop-top ‘dos, and of

Various Artists: Respond II

Post 9/11 pronouncements on the death of irony may have been grossly exaggerated. In spite of a scare (because of a scare?), those urbane and always

Supergrass: Life on Other Planets

Not the recycled refrain of Oasis. Not the edgy ambition of Radiohead. Not the moody shoe-gaze of Blur. Not the epic glam of Spacehog. Somewhere,

Pas/Cal: The Handbag Memoirs

The Handbag Memoirs, a six-song EP-sized slice of indiepop fun, comes from a somewhat unlikely source, a Detroit area band named Pas/Cal. While most

The Microphones: Mount Eerie

If you are the kind of person who can’t see the forest through the trees, you are not going to enjoy the Microphones’ latest

Mark Knopfler: The Ragpicker’s Dream

When Paul Simon penned the classic opening line “the Mississippi Delta is shining like a National guitar”, he captured the essence of his personal journey

Idlewild: The Remote Part

Idlewild don’t just want to be a good little indie band. They want to be huge, and their latest CD, The Remote Part, is an unabashed attempt at serious mass popularity.

Tim Easton: Break Your Mother’s Heart

Tim Easton is the sort of singer-songwriter who, if he is fortunate enough, has a long and hard road ahead of him. Like most alt-country

Devendra Banhart: Oh Me Oh My ... The Way the Day Goes by the Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Love

He wasn’t, if you believe the press release, really going to release this record at all. The story goes that teenaged Devendra Banhart was

Antipop Consortium: Antipop Consortium vs. Matthew Shipp

Antipop Consortium is not just any rap group. Rappers Priest, Beans, and M. Sayyid (only Beans and Priest appear on this album) eschew gansta rap,

Martha Wainwright

Martha Wainwright has an impressive, even intimidating, pedigree: daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, and younger sister of art-pop wunderkind Rufus Wainwright, he


Just one day after I saw the Ladytron concert, I experienced its antithesis. A jaunt upstate to visit a friend found me sitting in a

Daniel Johnston + Calvin Johnson

It was an indie rock fan’s wet dream come to life. A true clash of the titans as cult heroes Daniel Johnston and Calvin

The Bigger Lovers + The Damnwells

The use of the term “pop” to refer to carefully constructed, harmony-laden guitar rock in the mode of Cheap Trick has always seemed strange to

Devendra Banhart + Entrance

Devendra Banhart Entrance Do you remember the first time you heard the blues? Was it a life-changing experience? I remember the first time I heard

Unfortunately, It Was Paradise: Selected Poems by Mahmoud Darwish

[Mahmoud Darwish] is a force, undoubtedly the most popular and powerful poet of the Middle East.

Set This House in Order by Matt Ruff

The sometime first-person narrator is really just one of dozens of personalities literally shacking up in the head of the protagonist.

The New Southern Gentleman by Jim Booth

[It] takes the cultural confusion, the anachronism that is the New South and with tongue firmly in cheek, describes the region's dwindling pseudo-aristocratic heritage.

Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power by Gerald Posner

Gordy wasn't running a record company; he was running a factory.

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