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Haunted by sound, Pile is rising

The five-year-old quartet Pile, among the brightest of Boston's bursting subterrane, makes waltz-time, feel-bad guitar music that is gothic in the non-eyeliner sense: angular songs express the sort of specific, primal anxieties that litter a liberal-arts

By JAY BREITLING  |  October 26, 2012
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Black Moth Super Rainbow | Cobra Juicy

Technology makes secrecy well-nigh impossible, so Black Moth Super Rainbow settle for employing it as a narrative device.
Rad Cult Records (2012)
By RYAN FOLEY  |  October 12, 2012
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Benjamin Gibbard | Former Lives

"It's been a basement of a year," Ben Gibbard sings over a perky two-chord strum on the saccharine "Oh, Woe." It's hard not to take him literally.
Barsuk Records (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  October 12, 2012
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Old 97's | Too Far To Care [15th Anniversary Edition]

What if the Beatles didn't have an audience? That's a crude way of putting the seminal talent of Old 97's vs. the size of their cult, a small swatch of rock fans not put off by Rhett Miller's extra-Texan twang and country fans who could stomach Philip Pe
Omnivore Records (2012)
By DAN WEISS  |  October 05, 2012
OTR: Tame Impala :: Lonerism

Tame Impala | Lonerism

Australia's Tame Impala make music as the Lester Bangs character describes it in Almost Famous : if and when their psychedelic rock and roll "chooses you," it begs for intimate consumption.
Modular Records (2012)
By ARIEL SHEARER  |  October 05, 2012
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XL

American Gothic was a subterranean shithole bar known for its existentially tortured clientele and extreme indifference to the minimum drinking age.
Excerpted from the novel by Michael  Atchison
By MICHAEL ATCHISON  |  August 17, 2012


Slash live HOB 8.2

Photos: Slash at the House of Blues

Slash performs live at the House of Blues on August 2, 2012.
August 2, 2012
By TIM BUGBEE  |  August 10, 2012
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Zach Jones gets all Smokey and Wonder-ous

Isn't Zach Jones a guitar player? And yet, on the brand-new Things Were Better , it would appear he doesn't play a single note.
Better and better
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 15, 2012
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A moving second record from Dark Hollow Bottling Company kicks off a busy summer

Talk about a band stepping up their game. Dark Hollow Bottling Company lead off a busy summer of releases this weekend by moving from being a pretty entertaining and fun string band to putting out a genuinely important second album in American Ghosts
A Dream preferred
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 08, 2012
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Fawn | Coastlines

Jaded girl-boy harmonies, gleeful three-chord riffs, healthy doses of punkish noise and emo melody: Coastlines , the debut LP from Detroit indie-pop quartet Fawn, feels like a charming souvenir from a musical era two decades in the rear-view.
Quite Scientific Records (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  June 08, 2012
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Mary Halverson's enchanted wood; Plus, Ben Powell's new CD

When guitarist Mary Halvorson began taking lessons with Joe Morris as an undergraduate at Wesleyan University, she was excited about the prospect of playing duos with one of her guitar heroes.
Wild things
By JON GARELICK  |  June 01, 2012


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Amy Allen travels to Neptune

There were a couple directions Amy Allen could have taken to follow up her 2010 pop-lovely debut EP, Honey, released just as she headed off to the big city for college.
Shooting for the stars
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 18, 2012
music APTBS

The quiet side of A Place To Bury Strangers

When you are surrounded with those jagged barbs of sheer bloody noise for the first time, do you run for the hills or continue to stick your head in the acid bath? It only takes a few seconds of luxuriating in the stinging audio hailstorm that is A Plac
Sonic bids
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 30, 2012
Band: Ceremony. Album: Zoo

Ceremony | Zoo

Ceremony aren't as intellectual or dryly hilarious as Wire and don't attempt a comparable stylistic variety, but the raucous Zoo is a fine tribute to Wire's heavier side, alternating between powerful, lumbering riffs and manic splatters of guitar nois
Matador (2012)
By GARRETT MARTIN  |  March 16, 2012
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The Shins | Port of Morrow

Meet the new Shins. Same as the old Shins? Kinda sorta.
Aural Apothecary/Columbia (2012)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  March 16, 2012
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Photos: James Mercer of the Shins at the MFA

James Mercer of the Shins performs at a WFNX Acoustic session at the Museum of Fine Arts on January 26, 2012.
Hosted by WFNX | January 26, 2012
By SAM LIANG  |  February 03, 2012


Album review: Be the Void

Dr. Dog | Be the Void

With Be the Void , their sonically raw sixth album, these Philly psych-pop oddballs have pulled a fussy, self-conscious about-face, indulging in their weirdest ideas in years.
Anti- (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  February 03, 2012
Cardinal - Off the Record

Cardinal | Hymns

After a nearly two-decade silence, chamber-pop duo Cardinal emerge from their near-mythic hibernation with the sleepy-eyed, Beatles-underwater gem "Northern Soul," which crawls out of the speakers as if to say, "Yeah, we've been gone since 1994 — but re
Fire Records (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  January 13, 2012
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Matt Shipman takes a Solitary Wander

Over Christmas, I found myself stuck in front of a PBS special that involved Celtic women and a whole lot of overblown syrupy nonsense.
Going it alone
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 06, 2012
Short Take: Janie Jones

Review: Janie Jones

Borrowing the name of a Clash song with which it has nothing in common, this generic riff on the Crazy Heart template by writer/director David M. Rosenthal ( Falling Up ) also cribs from Sofia Coppola's Somewhere .
A generic riff on the Crazy Heart template
By BRETT MICHEL  |  November 11, 2011
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Dave Mustaine's righteous path

Now sober, the ginger frontman is not only sharing a bill with Metallica, but the stage in an end-of-the-night jam to celebrate the Big Four, along with Slayer and Anthrax, and commemorating 30 years of pioneering thrash by playing select gigs around the
Tragic hero
By MICHAEL CHRISTOPHER  |  August 26, 2011


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Shaping noise into extreme metal with Sewer Goddess

Sewer Goddess are gritty, grimy, and unpleasant listening, but a growing legion of gluttons flock to the band's audial punishment.
The grimy underground
By IAN DUNCAN-BROWN  |  August 26, 2011
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Sun Araw | Ancient Romans

The hypnotic fifth LP by Sun Araw — the five-year-old solo project of Angelino Cameron Stallones — is a double-vinyl spiral through deep zones of neo-primitive psych-drone noise.
Sun Ark/Drag City (2011)
By LIZ PELLY  |  August 19, 2011
Various Artists - True Soul: Deep Sounds

Various Artists | True Soul: Deep Sounds from the Left of Stax

Soul hounds love deep, obscure shit — the deeper it is, the more obscure it is, the funkier it is, the more Southern it is, the better.
Now-Again (2011)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  July 15, 2011
Ernest Greene

Washed Out | Within and Without

Two summers ago, a number of glo-fi buzz bands surfed trendy chillwaves around the blogosphere, reaching mild popularity amongst fans of subtle, retro dance beats and laid-back vibes.
Sub Pop (2011)
By LIZ PELLY  |  July 15, 2011
'Past Life Martyred Saints' album from EMA

EMA | Past Life Martyred Saints

This hasn't been a bad year for music, but there haven't been a lot of songs that hit in such a way that there's a physical need to hear them again — immediately. But Past Life Martyred Saints, the solo debut from former Gowns frontlady Erika M. Anderse
Souterrain Transmissions (2011)
By RYAN STEWART  |  June 10, 2011


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Photos: Lady Lamb the Beekeeper performs at SXSW

Lady Lamb the Beekeeper performs live at the Swan Dive in Austin TX for SXSW on March 16, 2011.
Lady Lamb the Beekeeper | SXSW | Swan Dive, Austin TX | March 16, 2011
By JANICE CHECCHIO  |  March 18, 2011
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Holy Grail: 187-riff salute

Most metal bands have no difficulty in shredding, and shredding mightily.
Shredding along a tighter metal path
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 19, 2010
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Jackie Greene comes alive

It doesn't take much to prove that modern-day Americana owes more to the Grateful Dead than it ever wanted to admit — one listen to Wilco's two most recent albums ought to do the trick.
Guitarist breaks from the Dead
By BRETT MILANO  |  August 06, 2010
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Guitaristic

As guitar heroes go — even jazz guitar heroes — Ben Monder flies under the radar.
Ben Monder's unique space
By JON GARELICK  |  June 18, 2010