On the Record

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Not just Beirut, but Gibraltar and Holland

Zach Condon's latest, No No No, travels the world in 29 minutes

A disclaimer: heightened anticipation gave this album, upon first listen, the sonic equivalent of rose-colored glasses. So what’s with the eagerness for Beirut’s first record in four years? Perhaps it’s tied to the first single, ...

Montage of Heck: The unnecessary recordings

Home recordings bring the larger-than-life Kurt Cobain back down to Earth

The documentary Montage of Heck does a great job of making Cobain look crazier than he seems to be in every interview on YouTube. So, only once one gets over the fact that this “album” ...

Silversun Pickups' electronic album

Better Nature smashing the wrong pumpkins

It’s been nine years since Silversun Pickups gained popularity with their guitar-layered single “Lazy Eye,” off of their debut record Carnavas. The band has drawn comparison to the Smashing Pumpkins, which is noticeable in their ...

Cold Beat strikes hot

...just a year after the SanFran band's strong debut, Cold Beat's back with Into the Air

After a strong showing with their debut LP Over Me last year, punk/electro-pop band Cold Beat is back with Into the Air. Already, the band seems in sync, a feat that could take more than ...

The allure of Joanna Newsom

Divers delivers a deeply woven celebration of life and death

Harpist, singer and composer Joanna Newsom is not everyone’s cup of tea. You may have to pause and look up a word just to glimpse her plane of thought. But that’s just part of Newsom's ...

Talk of claws, casseroles, confinement, and alcohol

Barrence Whitfield's back Under the Savage Sky

Won’t say the guy’s name, but he was a drug dealer with a name fitting that occupation. He held down an all-nighter DJ slot at the campus station, and I sat up with him once ...

Kyle's Smyle shines

Next-gen hip-hopper hits on his debut

There’s a new school in hip-hop — one heavy with live instrumentation and musical experimentation, containing the energy of gospel choirs and a glimmer of positivity unheard since the days of the Native Tongues posse. ...

Eagles of Death Metal and the seven-year itch

Hughes and Homme go Zipper Down

The Eagles of Death Metal has never been a band that cares much about being labeled irreverent. With tongues firmly wedged into their cheeks, Jesse Hughes (on vocals and guitar) and Queens of the Stone ...

Little change in the Dead Weather

Supergroup's latest still sounds like a Jack White project

The Dead Weather open up their third LP with "I Feel Love (Every Million Miles).” It’s a robotic but robust mixture of screeching vocals from Alison Mosshart (The Kills), and the repetitive rhythm from Jack ...

They invented punk rock

This Is the Sonics

Something burning this white hot, might out-vie language itself. For those joining us late, the Sonics started out in Tacoma, Washington, as teenagers. They invented punk rock — and anyone who doesn’t believe that can ...

How far is FKA Twigs willing to go?

If the British singer's latest, M3LL155X, is any indication, quite far

There’s good reason FKA Twigs commands a captive audience. The young British singer, songwriter, and dancer has been winning accolades since her debut, LP1. Her eye-popping music videos are often overtly sexual, without revealing anything, ...

Summer of Love — the gospel

Vanilla Fudge's Spirit of '67 injects new life into some classics

The rap is short! That’s a sop to you “rap-is-crap”-ers out there (God, so tedious). The rap is also funny and over after the first cut, so it’s out of the way quick. More urgent ...

Foals deliver London thunder on their latest

Oxford alt-rock act masters the slow build on What Went Down

Foals have long departed the skeletal, math-rock sound that filled their 2008 debut Antidotes. On their latest release, the Oxford natives show maturity and growth, as What Went Down displays their current state; an abundance ...

Miguel's provocative Wildheart might make you blush

The Grammy-winning R&B artist takes the stage at the Observatory on Tuesday, September 1

Warning: listening to Miguel’s Wildheart in mixed company might make you blush. On his third album, the R&B raconteur advances from 2012’s sultry, Grammy-winning “Adorn” to “the valley,” a triple-X homage to SoCal’s porn capital. ...

Dr. Dre is still in the game

Is Compton the comeback record of the year?

You may wonder, What does a 50-year-old millionaire have to write and rap about? On his first album in 16 years, Compton, Dr. Dre realizes youth is behind him and doesn’t try to portray himself ...

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