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Thursday, June 19 2014

NRBQ: Brass Tacks

The reconstituted smarty-pants rock band, in the studio, still wonderful, still weird and tuneful and a delight.


Miniature Tigers: Cruel Runnings

On their fourth album, it seems like Miniature Tigers are heading towards the rest of the power- and synth-pop crowd and away from the niche they carved for themselves early on.


Eyedress: Hearing Colors

Eyedress’ first born Hearing Colors offers a pretty persuasive invitation for living life after dark.


The Flaming Lips: 7 Skies H3

7 Skies H3, like the majority of The Flaming Lips albums, ‘beats to its own drum’.


Wednesday, June 18 2014

Horse Meat Disco: Horse Meat Disco IV

Who knows what kind of soul-searching the Horse Meat Disco guys did during their hiatus, but whatever they did, it worked: Horse Meat Disco IV is disco at its very finest.


Mike Cooper: Trout Steel, Places I Know / The Machine Gun Co.

Paradise of Bachelors offers reissues of Cooper's early '70s albums and reveals a time in which the ever-shifting, ever-experimental musician was at his creative peak.


Hank Williams: The Garden Spot Programs, 1950

Recorded live in the same Nashville studio where Williams made his records, these tracks separate the singer’s mournful vocals just enough from their backing to echo the eerie, unmoored loneliness of the lyrics.


Wovenhand: Refractory Obdurate

Wovenhand's central sound remains, but it's expressed through something heavier and, if not more manic, maybe a little broader.


Dan Weiss: Fourteen

A jazz drummer creates elaborate compositional structures that pulse with rhythm, yes, but also generate thrills through arrangement, layering, and the sheer power of sound.


Hidden Cameras: Age

A melancholy estrangement from previous work, suggesting a kind of collapse.


Tuesday, June 17 2014

The Antlers: Familiars

Familiars is perhaps the Antlers’ most affirmative release, but it's also their most complex to date, filled with moments of profundity and reflection.


R.E.M.: Complete Rarities - Warner Bros. 1988-2011

R.E.M. finally follow up Dead Letter Office with the orphaned Warner Bros. tracks. Prepared to be overwhelmed.


Lower: Seek Warmer Climes

There is room for growth on Seek Warmer Climes, but Copenhagen's Lower still presents itself here as an exciting and volatile act on its debut.


House of Hats: This Love

With cross-cutting vocal harmonies and menacing purity, This Love is a cohesive statement by a band that is a welcomed voice in a genre of acoustic clutter.


The Whigs: Modern Creation

This is the kind of record, if not to take in the car with you, then to listen to on a Friday afternoon, knocking back a few beers after a long week’s worth of work.


Monday, June 16 2014

Lana Del Rey: Ultraviolence

Occasionally uninspired lyrical content aside, Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence is a beautiful argument for her relevance and her potential longevity.


R.E.M.: Complete Rarities - I.R.S. 1982-1987

The legendary band allocates the oddities of their underdog years, shining a light on the scrappier side of R.E.M.


Sumo Cyco: Lost in Cyco City

Lost in Cyco City, aside from a theatrical and cheesy intro to opening track "The Ugly" is basically an album that is mostly killer, with little filler.


Marc Ribot Trio: Live at the Village Vanguard

The "downtown" guitarist works at the white-hot center of the jazz tradition in this swinging, out, tender, essential live recording from the jazz basement of legend.


Thee Oh Sees: Drop

Thee Oh Sees made a studio album. It's different in the right way.


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