Of Note

Current Swell rocks folk

Music journos have called Current Swell Vancouver Island’s answer to surf rock. Originally a backyard party band from Canada, they gelled into something (give or take a few personnel changes) and then gained an audience ...

Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil sounds down home

To criticize the progressive whitening of the blues, a trend that may have gotten jump-started during the electrified 1970s, would be pointless. African-American origins notwithstanding, blues audiences have shifted away from those roots, as have ...

Doyle Bramhall II music is a train that runs right on time

The job of any Texas blues-rock guitarist is to rise above all other such Texas guitarists that came before him or her and, good lordy, that deck is stacked. The Lone Star State has given ...

SoKo mines her psychic backyard

The two SoKos: first, there’s a dream-pop side where sensory input is reduced to a simple trickle of fragile chords and a voice that sounds as if filtered through layers of gauze, or, the darker ...

Two saxophones and a drummer — that’s Moon Hooch

Two saxophones and a drummer — that’s Moon Hooch from Brooklyn. Michael Wilbur, one of the sax players, calls the Reader from a tour stop in Pennsylvania. “We’re looking forward to getting out west,” he ...

Honeyblood is juicy rock for women

Credit to whoever at Fat Cat Records saw through the lo-fi veneer of Honeyblood’s self-made release and heard the songcrafting for what it was: money. Honeyblood wasn’t actually trying to be scuzzy. One mic and ...

Happy Fangs' first record could be its best

If you asked me to make a top ten list of my favorite bands of the year thus far, this San Francisco–based garage band would be somewhere near the top. Happy Fangs’ first full-length CD ...

Happiness is Taking Back Sunday

You remember your first high school crush, yes? Who doesn’t recall that queasy over-the-falls feeling that percolated in the back of your head like some form of madness? Well, as a band, that’s where Taking ...

Mac Sabbath does Black Sabbath McDonald’s style

Not a fan of Black Sabbath? Not to worry. That line is long and includes everyone from the religious right to certain members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who made the heavy-metal ...

The Stone Foxes find their own way in

“I killed Robert Johnson with strychnine.” It’s a clever first-person accounting of the vaunted blues man’s death at the hands of a cuckold who slipped the singer a bad bottle of whiskey on the sly ...

Kate Voegele, like a female Bon Jovi

Let us count the many ways that “Hallelujah” has been covered over the years. A throng of dissimilar artists have taken a shot at that magnum opus, including Tim Buckley, Il Divo, John Bon Jovi, ...

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