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Jack on Fire: Jeffrey Lee Pierce, 1958–1996

He was as unlikely a candidate to don the mantle of rock and roll cliché as anyone; he was just a child's drawing of abject gloom, a stocky fireplug frame, dark, insomniac eyes skittering beneath the damp straw tangle of his anime-angular hair, an upside-down sorrow-mouth.

David Antrobus
SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

Epitaph

SAVE / IGNORE: Labels

4AD

Music

Stars: Set Yourself on Fire

There is nothing vague about the sweet ache running like candy stripes throughout the confectioner's swirl of their endearing electro chamber pop.

David Antrobus
Music

Low: The Great Destroyer

The Duluth trio have confounded us again, which is a good thing of course. Virtually absent on The Great Destroyer are the spare, minimalist daubs of intimate beauty with which they're so closely associated, and yet, nonetheless, it wades through a kind of dark, tumultuous resplendence all its own.

David Antrobus
Culture

Spawning Ground

In this ancient place of giant ferns and cedars, it seems the dead outnumber the living; the living fall away too quietly, too easily, taken away by stealth. There is tremendous natural beauty here, but its hold is tenuous, like moss clinging to rotting bark that will ultimately break and sink into the forest floor.

David Antrobus
Music

The Mountain Goats: We Shall All Be Healed

Mountain Goats have just added a further chapter in an ongoing saga of (micro) relationships examined against a backdrop of (macro) global concern, We Shall All Be Healed being the most explicit yet.

David Antrobus
Reviews

Low

David Antrobus
Music

The Stairs: Miraculous Happens

The great achievement of this record is its large heart, its mad ambition, its fusing of sheer gawky collective love with a potluck semblance of celebratory sound that still resonates long after the album ends.

David Antrobus
Music

The Weakerthans: Reconstruction Site

In a move pretty much guaranteed to bewilder Serious Young Hipsters everywhere, John K. Samson -- with his central Canadian band the Weakerthans -- has embarked on a relatively gentle (and literate) pop heading seemingly very much at odds with the metronomic, angular (and angry) discord of his former punk band, Propagandhi.

David Antrobus
Music

Starflyer 59: Old

David Antrobus
Music

Guided by Voices: Earthquake Glue

Steeped in big rock history, steadfastly tenacious, perversely, refreshingly uncool, Bob Pollard has written a fine collection of songs, for the most part, and his band, in their execution, have matched him every step of the way.

David Antrobus
Music

"Everyone I Know Goes Away in the End": A Tribute to Johnny Cash

Not a great lover or follower of country music -- hey, what could a bunch of twangy bejeweled cowpokes say to me, a snotty punk brat from Manchester, England, right?

David Antrobus
Music

Enon: Hocus Pocus

David Antrobus

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