Reviews

10 Oct 2006 // 12:00 AM

Binge by Barrett Seaman

As "one male Ivy League junior" affirmed, "It's easier to go out and get fucked up and hook up than be sober and ask a girl on a date and get nothing for it".

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Kultur Shock: We Came to Take Your Jobs Away

Kultur Shock does rock music laced with punk attitude, Balkan folk riffs, and a really really good sense of humor.

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Maybe these performers do some fine stuff on their own albums, but this sampler isn't ideal.

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Heartless Bastards: All This Time

No sophomore slump here. In fact, the Heartless Bastards greatly improved upon their debut, Stairs and Elevators.

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Mindy Smith: Long Island Shores

Almost three years after her debut, it's finally Difficult Second Album time for Miss Mindy Smith

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Rumen and Angel Shopov: Soul of the Mahala

Soul of the Mahala sits between the conservatory and the ghetto. It's music from the wrong side of the tracks played with technical proficiency and respect.

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10 Oct 2006 // 12:00 AM

Guster: Ganging Up On the Sun

Pop music ain't easy, but damn can Guster make it look effortless.

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The Citizens: Post Cro-Magnon Drift

The Citizens haven't done it yet, but they're about to hit their strange stride.

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The Brass Kings: The Brass Kings

The Brass Kings conjure up a unique multicultural musical fusion, one that sounds like very little of what gets labeled "Americana". And thank goodness for that.

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Massiv in Mensch: Klang der Unterblichkeit

The so-called "darkravers" do their scary darkravey-like thing for six tracks on this iTunes-exclusive EP.

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Halifax: The Inevitablility of a Strange World

Never before in my years of being a music critic have I walked away from an album with not a single track to recommend. Congratulations Halifax: you're the first.

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9 Oct 2006 // 1:00 AM

The Bachelor: Rome

If "Prince" Lorenzo "P-Lo" Borghese really wants to find the love of his life, he'd be better off paying eHarmony $250 a year. But where would be the fun in that?

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9 Oct 2006 // 12:00 AM

The Girls (1968)

This is the sort of investigational piece that no filmmaker would dare to tackle today for fear of alienating the popular ticket-buying audience: young men and families.

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Tom Zé: Estudando o Pagode

When so few albums are either entertaining from start to finish or have anything of import to communicate, Tom Zé's smart and zany Estudando o Pagode offers the best of both worlds.

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Divas and Scholars by Philip Gossett

This book attempts to come to grips with the sometimes rather fraught intersection between the scholarly ideal and the practical exigencies of the stage.

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9 Oct 2006 // 12:00 AM

Pride of Baghdad

There is no cheap, theatrical melodrama or long, pseudo-Shakespearian deathbed monologues here, leaving us with no easy comforts and little else but the quick, unforgiving finality.

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Electronic: Get the Message: The Best of Electronic

Electronic may have only been a side-project of a supergroup, but for its brief life it provided some of the best dance-pop of the '90s.

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Bruce Springsteen: We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions

The song "American Land" is what would happen if Bruce and Shane MacGowan ran into each other and - you may want to sit down for this hypothesis - started drinking.

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Louis Armstrong: Live in 59 [DVD]

Armstrong’s smiling countenance is the perfect foil for his remarkable technical skills; his interaction with both audience and band is wonderfully disarming, making the music even more accessible.

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Robyn Hitchcock & the Venus 3: Olé! Tarantula

If you like catchy guitar pop with imaginative lyrics, Olé! Tarantula deserves a spot on your shelves.

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