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Another Shade of J: An Interview with J Mascis

With Another Shade of Why, the famed Dinosaur Jr. guitarist makes his most Dinosaur Jr.-sounding solo disc to date, and sits down with PopMatters to discuss vocal exercises, "English folky bands", and his tips for those just about to try skiing ...

Music

Cage the Elephant: Thank You, Happy Birthday

Squirmy Kentucky boys get wild on their second album, which, while far from perfect, wipes the floor with their retrospectively weak-sounding debut.

Music

By Whatever Means Necessary: Brendan Benson Goes Undercover

The songwriter talks pseudonyms, the status of the Raconteurs and maybe not needing to write a song about your first child right away.

Music

Tyvek: Nothing Fits

Detroit garage-punk trio tears it up on sophomore album, leaving little in its wake, but not quite standing out from today's indie rock wallpaper.

Music

The Dirtbombs: Party Store

Tightly wound sort-of-a-cover-band the Dirtbombs destroy the floodgates for a career best – and four weeks in, make a case for 2011's top album.

Music

Modern Skirts: Gramahawk

Third album by Athens indie outfit resists the "experimental third" tag, with the arty and pop influences meeting in the middle.

Music

I Was a King: Old Friends

On the follow up to its overlooked 2009 album, I Was a King decide to put off ruling in favor of whipping up competent but lazy ear candy.

Music

Social Distortion: Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes

Seven years was worth the wait for this remarkably consistent collection of bittersweet country-punk as only Social Distortion can do it.

Music

Gangrene: Gutter Water

West Coast-born rapper and producer team up to get down for some strictly business hip-hop. And it's ugly, if too convinced of its own repulsiveness.

Music

Mushroomhead: Beautiful Stories for Ugly Children

More than a decade in, Mushroomhead continue to stall in the "has potential" file. Not doom metal, nor death metal Just scrap metal.

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Readymade

Music

Ray Charles: Rare Genius

As respectfully as possible, Concord excavates ten unreleased tracks from Ray Charles -- including a Johnny Cash collaboration.

Music

Steve Wynn and Miracle 3: Northern Aggression

Slightly oddball indie vet hoards all the good riffs for himself on latest non-baseball-themed album with backing band Miracle 3.

Music

One Thing You Can't Hide: The Softer Side of John Lennon

John Lennon the rebel. John Lennon the activist. John Lennon the dreamer. John Lennon... the Lite Rock God? You bet.

Alex Bahler
Music

Black Francis: The Golem Rock Album

The prince of weirdness edits his gargantuan soundtrack to a German silent film to be simply monstrous. However, this monster inspires more of a shrug than a scream.

Music

Motorifik: Secret Things

Roundly enjoyable yet bluntly derivative, this Manchester duo could do with a bit more distillation of their influences. If they can craft an identity, they might be on to something.

Music

Liz Phair: Funstyle

Breaking out from the more structured (ok, downright rigid) pop of her past two albums, Liz Phair raps, chants, and bites back on her best effort since the '90s.

Music

Positive Armor: KT Tunstall Returns, Suited Up for Tour

KT Tunstall is back with album number three, its title inspired by a dream, Where the Wild Things Are, and discusses why she thought it would be a cool idea to dress up like a dead rock star on Halloween this year ...

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Rocket Science

Music

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger: Acoustic Sessions

Sean Lennon partners with girlfriend on this acoustic project, with frustrating moments of greatness peppering largely average results.

Music

Simian Mobile Disco: Is Fixed

A relentlessly engaging assault on the dancefloor, this mix CD promotes Simian Mobile Disco's current gig doing NYC's Fixed parties. This just in: Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry is still cooler than you'll ever be.

Music

Hesta Prynn: Can We Go Wrong

Northern Stater makes a subdued transition from the streets to the clubs on solo EP, with fewer words and more hooks.

Music

Shit Robot: From the Cradle to the Rave

Flawed and forgettable, this DFA cohort's debut is almost saved by the vocal stylings of his Hot Chip and LCD Soundsystem friends.

Music

Bad Religion: The Dissent of Man

Pressing on with renewed muscle, Bad Religion return to rattle heads, but don't call it a comeback.

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