Reviews

8 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

Serena-Maneesh: Serena-Maneesh

People won't love Serena Maneesh for its melodies or lyrics, but rather the fact that it's the most confident debut to come out in a long time.

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Sir Douglas Quintet: Live from Austin, Texas

Doug Sahm died in 1999, but the 17 songs here reveal his charisma and considerable talents as a singer and guitar player.

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Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid: The Exchange Session Vol. 2

Who knew that free jazz's funkiest drumming and electronic music's warmest, most organic sounds were twins separated at birth?

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Jermiside & Brickbeats: The Red Giants

This is the tale of two men, a mic, and a turntable -- a classic story of emcee meets DJ, DJ makes tight beat, emcee displays mad skills. Jermiside & Brickbeats do more than tell the story -- they live it.

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Blanket Music: The Love/Love Translation

Well-meaning double record from Portland quartet recalls Belle and Sebastian and fails to shine through its lo-fi film.

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The Jaco Pastorius Big Band: The Word Is Out!

The tragically shortened career of bass guitar maestro and jazz composer Pastorius included a start at something resembling big band: the Word of Mouth big band. The best parts of the second CD to revive this idea are very good, but other portions suggest he never got far enough ahead to create a basis for this sort of revival to build on.

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7 Jun 2006 // 1:00 AM

This kind of writing is frustrating for a reader who is looking for at least a little substance within their $2.99 purchase.

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7 Jun 2006 // 1:00 AM

Architecture in Helsinki

Ditching the prom for more esoteric delights.

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Hostile Takeover: How Big Money and Corruption Conquered Our Government—and How We Take It Back b

In Hostile Takeover, Sirota points the finger at Corporate America and a bevy of politicians from both parties who are at best, unable to prevent gross corporate profiteering and at worst, lining their pockets with gifts and big campaign donations at citizens' expense.

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Josh Wink: Profound Sounds Volume 3

A DJ mix that's heavy on technology and studio time, but which eventually makes it to the dancefloor.

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The Robot Ate Me: Good World

The Robot Ate Me's 2005 release, Carousel Waltz, was safe, catchy, and easy to like; their latest, Good World, makes no such pretences.

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Katharine Whalen: Dirty Little Secret

Former Squirrel Nut Zipper takes some risks abandoning her jazz chanteuse modus operandi.

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7 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

John Ralston: Needle Bed

John Ralston obviously loves power pop and melodies, so what could be better than combining the two for a truly stellar debut album? Fans of everyone from Eliott Smith to XTC would be wise to remember the name.

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Tengir-Too: Music of Central Asia, Volume 1: Mountain Music of Kyrgyzstan

The nomadic Kyrgyz music of the mountains becomes a new nomadic sound in the emporium of world music.

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7 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

Ministry: Rio Grande Blood

Like cheap rot-gut, Al Jourgensen gets nastier with age. This is a no-holds-barred rant, both lyrically and musically, targeting the man they call Dubya.

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Taylor Eigsti: Lucky to Be Me

Taylor Eigsti deserves attention; he's a passionate pianist of apparently large jazz potential.

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7 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

The Weepies: Say I Am You

Please don't weep for the Weepies. Deb Talan and Steve Tannen might not tear the roof off with their sweet folk/pop, but you'd be a fool not to see what they are able to deliver.

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	The Mae Shi: Lock the Skull, Load the Gun [DVD]

LA spazz punkers show off film school/animation skills in 30-video set, but if you want to see the Mae Shi in action, you're better off buying show tickets.

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6 Jun 2006 // 1:00 AM

The Disappointment Artist by Jonathan Lethem

As the Eggerses and Safran Foers of the literary hype machine take childlike pranksterdom and surreal folk tales to often dazzling, uncharted heights, Lethem writes from a less ambitious but no less affecting point, imbuing well-worn genres with an almost paralyzing intimacy.

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6 Jun 2006 // 12:00 AM

The Omen (2006)

By the time poor Kate visits a shrink who embodies all the institutional and moral restrictions she faces daily, you're wanting everyone to jump off rooftops, preferably with nooses.

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