Everyone's a Critic

Mess by Liars

Like most Liars’ music, Mess is anxiety-ridden, dissonant, frantic. The seventh album is their third to be made in Los Angeles since leaving Brooklyn. With the change in location comes a change in sound: the ...

Wiggin' out at Casbah...

...with Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

Similar to Stephen Malkmus’s old band, Pavement, there is a Replacements-like quality to the Jicks’ live sets. They can be the best band in the world on one night, and they can be the worst ...

What is the name of this funk-bound train? Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings!

Soul revue did indeed Give the People What They Want at House of Blues

A soul revue of eight airtight musicians travels through groovy songs showcasing two strutting backup singers. If the crowd is already gyrating with joy and anticipation when the lead singer arrives, her hands held high ...

Atlas by Real Estate

The instant “Had to Hear” begins, you welcome back the awaited jangle of Real Estate. The indie-pop band of the moment knows exactly what you expect of them and their third LP delivers. So much ...

Kraftwerk performs The Man-Machine in 3D

Although it was tempting, I decided that it was not worth the time, hassle, and money to see Kraftwerk play Coachella in 2008, since, frankly, they were the only band in the lineup that I ...

Dom Kennedy brings L.A. to Soma's main stage

Los Angeles–based hip-hop artist Dom Kennedy rocked the mic from the SOMA main stage during a sold-out show on his “Get Home Safely Tour.” Kennedy kicked the show off with “Lets Be Friends,” a jazzy ...

Jon Pardi's Write You a Song

It’s refreshing to see a young country artist write his own songs and wear a Stetson straw cowboy hat. With modern country singers opting for trucker hats and V-necks, sometimes a tight pair of Wranglers ...

Got the Bugg?

Teens Bugg out at Brit pop star's M-Theory instore

Jake Bugg has now joined the long list of greats to come from Nottingham — Robin Hood, Alvin Lee, and me. ;-D Bugg performed a short in-store acoustic performance at M theory in Mission Hills, ...

William Shatner's Ponder the Mystery

Let’s assume he’s serious. Simplifies matters. And unlike his previous, Seeking Major Tom, this one has no well-known originals to brain-sprain yourself over. He’s by turns polemic, stumbling, provocative, gravely. You need his grit, too, ...

Macaulay Culkin's Pizza Underground underwhelms Tijuana hipster dive

Macaulay Culkin’s Pizza Underground turned out be exactly what everyone had expected — an over-hyped, under-talented group of friends who got stoned and took an inside joke (which should have worn off with the weed) ...

Bishop delivers rock 'n' soul goods to Belly Up

A career retrospective of sorts, Elvin Bishop’s show at Belly Up Tavern was a reminder that Duane Allman and Dickey Betts had another Southern boy hot on their heels. Bishop’s intricate dual guitar harmonies (co-guitarist ...

Mogwai's Rave Tapes

What happens when a notable ’90s post-rock band gets in a head-on collision with a pile of synthesizers, you ask? The album Rave Tapes, by Scottish mainstays Mogwai. The first release by the group since ...

Sun Kil Moon's Benji

Recording as Sun Kil Moon, Mark Kozelek’s new album, Benji, walks a fine line between tear-jerk confessionals and R. Kelly–style stream-of-consciousness stories. The everyday recollections of “Ben’s My Friend” feel kind of like Kozelek’s own ...

Tacocat's NVM

Never heard Tacocat before. First impressions of “Bridge to Hawaii”: (1) I’m getting impatient with the song’s two resounding opening guitar chords, cringing at the prospect of overdramatized, underwritten music...is there going to be a ...

Carla Bley's Trios

Pianist/composer Carla Bley, 77 years old now, knows outrage and energy; her early masterwork Escalator Over the Hill ends with repetition infinite — or at least, until the needle punches through the lock groove at ...

The quasi-religious experience of Oneothrix Point Never

In a nondescript church with high ceilings, listeners assume a wide variety of positions; some sit cross-legged on the floor and some lie on their backs, some close their eyes and some stare catatonically. Other ...

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