Reviews > Music
	Pearls Before Swine: The Complete ESP-Disk Recordings

This new compilation pairs up the legendary psych-folk band Pearls Before Swine's fascinating debut, and its somber and inferior sequel.

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	Leela James: A Change Is Gonna Come

Leela James' small frame packs a punch as big as her hair, and her potential is palpable. Despite aiming at the old stars, though, she remains frustratingly stuck in today's well-worn orbits.

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	Goldspot: Tally of the Yes Men

What do you get when Pop East meets Pop West? Unsurprisingly, a highly-melodic affair of the heart.

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	Forty5south: We’re Country So We Can

I don't say this very often, but: Turn around and run the other way.

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4 Aug 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Federation X: Rally Day

Exactly who is Dirty Bill and why doesn't he seem to give a damn?"

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	Aretha Franklin: Jazz Moods: Round Midnight

Classic jazz, classic Aretha. Need anything more be said?"

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	Duke Ellington: The Essential

While even a dilettante such as myself could easily catalog a number of omissions, it wouldn't really serve any purpose -- this set covers the necessary bases in as fleet-footed a fashion as possible.

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4 Aug 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Cassidy: I’m a Hustla

He is a very good thug rapper who wants to do something more ambitious, but can't figure out exactly how to do this. At least not yet.

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	Absentee: Donkey Stock EP

Absentee's lead singer often sounds emotionally absent from the excellent folky backing music, giving the idea that he should be absent altogether.

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3 Aug 2005 // 11:00 PM

	ZZZZ: Palm Reader

It's obvious from the get-go that ZZZZ is kind of nuts, in the best of ways. Unfortunately, it takes a bit more than that to produce a great listen.

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3 Aug 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Tiki Tiki Bamboooos: Where Is Your Secret Spot?

Just as the tiki of the '50s was based on faux-tropicalia, this Japanese export create a fake island fantasy in their music.

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	Some Water and Sun: All My Friends Have to Go

The album could be described as a number of things, including downtempo microhouse, futuristic J-pop R&B, or glitchy primary color trip-hop, but none of these imaginative labels could come close to fully explaining it.

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	The Saltshakers: A Beautiful Mess

The Saltshakers try to tap into the long tradition of beautiful losers that hail from the Midwest. Ironically, they need a bit more polish to sound gloriously dilapidated.

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	Nickel Creek: Why Should the Fire Die?

The newgrass wunderkinds make a strong bid for pop stardom without sacrificing too much of their purity.

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3 Aug 2005 // 11:00 PM

	The Most Serene Republic: Underwater Cinematographer

The first Arts & Crafts signing without a member of Broken Social Scene delivers an intriguing debut album with influences worn conspicuously on its sleeve. However, it also includes some stunningly unpredictable moments.

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3 Aug 2005 // 11:00 PM

This noisy New York trio offers up another blast of funky, blues-inflected instrumental rock, evoking hazy shades of '70s FM gold.

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	The Clumsy Lovers: Smart Kid

We're running out of time, but this roots album has enough summer left to get some play, be it in Ireland or Dublin, Alabama.

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	Neal Casal: Return in Kind

Casal covers an eclectic array of artists with a few slight misses but more sure things by Doug Sahm and the Faces.

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2 Aug 2005 // 11:00 PM

	The Willowz: Talk in Circles

Young garage rockers have the goods, but could use a lesson in brevity.

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2 Aug 2005 // 11:00 PM

	Väsen: Keyed Up

The virtuosic Swedish trio really shines when playing together as if of one mind.

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Country Fried Rock: Drivin' N' Cryin' to Be Inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame

// Sound Affects

""If Drivin' N' Cryin' sounded as good in the '80s as we do now, we could have been as big as Cinderella." -- Kevn Kinney

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