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Monday, November 10 2014

Mavis Staples: New York - 4 November 2014

Age has slowed her a bit, but at 75, the gospel great delivers


Friday, November 7 2014

Dean Blunt: Black Metal

Musical chameleon continues to defy easy classification with his latest, the misleadingly titled Black Metal.


Annie Lennox: Nostalgia

Listening to her latest album and hearing the delightfully brassy version of Duke Ellington's "Mood Indigo”, it's hard not to wish she'd done an entire recording of gritty blues covers.


Gruff Rhys: American Interior

American Interior certainly sounds like the most ambitious Rhys project since he belonged in a bigger band.


Oozing Wound: Earth Suck

Oozing Wound are bigger and badder on their sophomore effort, Earth Suck, which definitely has a spot among the best metal of 2014.


Lisa LeBlanc: Highways, Heartaches and Time Well Wasted EP

LeBlanc's brand of music has been dubbed by publicity as being "folk-trash", and that’s a fairly apt descriptor, but her style owes quite a bit to bluegrass and just as much to the frenetic energy of punk rock.


Nicholas Payton: Numbers

A kind of concept album that places a void at the center of black American music, a void for you to fill.


Thursday, November 6 2014

Ani DiFranco: Allergic to Water

Allergic to Water, Ani DiFranco's 18th album, lacks the political engagement and sharply hewn wit that distinguished her earlier work.


Grouper: Ruins

It’s as if she took a previous Grouper album and stripped everything away, down to the bones, down to dust.


Lagwagon: Hang

Nine years after the band's last full-length, Lagwagon returns with Hang, another impressively complex and yet tuneful turn from a band that has long been one of the most surprising punk acts working.


James Yorkston: The Cellardyke Recording and Wassailing Society

The veteran Scottish folksinger teams up with KT Tunstall and Hot Chip, yet remains his own singularly talented man.


Paul Collins: Feel the Noise

While it’s nowhere near innovative, Feel the Noise is still a fun time for those who want to come along for the ride.


Millie Jackson: On the Soul Country Side

Jackson’s a major talent who doesn’t always get her due because she often performs blue. That was and is her trademark, but there is little of that here.


Wednesday, November 5 2014

Clark: Clark

“Music is like sculpture. It’s like trying to capture a moment of ultimate momentum, and distill it forever. An invincible, sealed capsule of sound.” -- Clark, August 2014


Tony Allen: Film of Life

As Tony Allen and Afrobeat continue to influence the music world at large, the master drummer lets the music world at large continue to influence him.


Cold War Kids: Hold My Home

Upbeat performances and pop-rock confidence can't hide a severe lack of creativity on the Californian band's fifth album.


John Coltrane: Offering: Live at Temple University

This set, performed just nine months before Coltrane's death, shows both the impressive openness of his late-era band and the limitations of its sound.


Spencer Burton: Don’t Let the World See Your Love

Don’t Let the World See Your Love may have a bitter undertone, but it goes down fairly sweet.


Midge Ure: Fragile

Midge Ure deserves respect for his illustrious musical history. This pleasant '80s throwback shows he can still make decent music, even if his voice these days disappointingly lets him down.


Tuesday, November 4 2014

Bob Dylan: The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11

This massive set works as an outlier in Dylan's Bootleg Series. It lets us see Dylan exploring his relationship with music.


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