Reviews

6 Sep 2006 // 12:00 AM

JPP: Artology

Artology is not radically different from JPP's earlier releases, but the group is, as always, reliably excellent.

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Cairo Gang, The: The Cairo Gang

Don't look now, but there's a gang from Cairo on the loose. Well, they're really from Chicago, and they bring with them a sound that falls somewhere between Wilco and the Velvet Underground if they wore beads.

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cephas and wiggins: Shoulder to Shoulder

Melodic Virginian blues in the old style, broadened in repertoire, but everything personal, nothing routine.

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Nethers: In Fields We Will Lie

DC's Carlsonics find true calling in freak folk reveries and dark rural pop

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5 Sep 2006 // 6:00 AM

Malachi Constant: Pride

Direct from Minnesota come Malachi Constant, a group that has continued to evolve over the course of its three albums and eight years as a

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Orbit Service: Songs of Eta Carinae

Songs of Eta Carinae tempers a large helping of dark psychedelia with enough catharsis to keep it from becoming tedious.

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Label comp for the Portland, Oregon indie imprint Paisley Pop collects 24 songs from 24 artists I've never heard of.

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Various Artists: DJ Deep presents City 2 City Vol. II

The task of mixing a quintessential journey through American house genres falls to... a Frenchman?

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5 Sep 2006 // 12:00 AM

Urban Nightmares by Steve Macek

Macek dissects with profound disappointment and regret the effects of victim blaming, repressive law enforcement policies, and scapegoating of urban residents by conservative pundits, politicians, news media, and popular culture.

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DJ Krush: Stepping Stones: The Self-Remixed Best

At his best, Krush is one of the foremost producers of instrumental hip-hop in the world.

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5 Sep 2006 // 12:00 AM

Hem: Funnel Cloud

A Funnel Cloud may have touched down in Hem's world, but you'll walk away from this new work with the impression that all is well, or that it at least will be soon.

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5 Sep 2006 // 12:00 AM

The Best of The Awful Truth

There are seeds of Moore's burgeoning, more focused agendas to be found here, and one gets the sense he only needed to break free of the instant gratification of television and return to long-form storytelling to be as incisive as his films show he could be.

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5 Sep 2006 // 12:00 AM

Million Dollar Listing

All you really need to know about Million Dollar Listing is that it's brought to you by the same people who conceived Showbiz Moms & Dads and Showdog Moms & Dads.

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Graphic Classics: Edgar Allan Poe

Sometimes when adapting another's work, particularly one so well known and loved as Poe, one tends to err on the side of caution and reverence.

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5 Sep 2006 // 12:00 AM

Bob Dylan: Modern Times

Modern Times is being universally acclaimed as a work of genius, but trying to differentiate between a solid album from an undeniable master and an undeniable masterpiece is getting into Clintonian semantics.

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Laguna Beach: The Complete Second Season

Cracks never form in the sun-drenched, attractive suburban universe that MTV creates out of Laguna Beach.

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The Art Ensemble of Chicago: Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City

Whichever way you look at it, this is a landmark release in the nearly 40-year career of Chicago’s most important home-grown avant-jazzers.

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5 Sep 2006 // 12:00 AM

Bombadil: Bombadil

Bombadil is nothing earth-shattering, but it's a very happy way to spend 20 minutes of your time.

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The Coral Sea: Volcano and Heart

Volcano and Heart is a bit of a guilty pleasure. It's not going to win many awards for innovation, but the band's attractive, atmospheric compositions have their own charm.

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Various Artists: The Best Mashups In The World Ever Are From San Francisco 2

Call me a mash-up snob, but I just don’t have time to listen to freshmen from Arizona State screwing Tapes n’ Tapes together with … with, whoever. Jim Croce. (Actually, that would be great. Bad example.)

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Culture Belongs to the Alien in 'Spirits of Xanadu'

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"The symbols that the artifact in Spirits of Xanadu uses are esoteric -- at least for the average Western gamer. It is Chinese culture reflected back at us through the lens of alien understanding.

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