On the Record

Big can't go small

A new French opera album from Jonas Kaufmann

Jonas Kaufmann is one of my favorite tenors on the current world stage when it comes to the dramatic tenor repertoire. He has just released a new album of French opera arias. Some of it ...

Depeche Mode — bleeding black hearts upon their sleeves

English alt-rock band gets in the Spirit of the times

In a world that seems to be crumbling, where the bad guys have won and are beginning to remake the planet to fit their greedy agendas, art has become more valuable than ever. With their ...

Minus the Bear, minus the freshness

Seattle indie act's Voids is void a new formula

Let’s make this clear: “indie rock” is a sterile phrase. And whether you want to use it to refer to lo-fi Sonic Youth-offshoot noise bands, ’80s revival — “Hey, look we use synths!” — bands, ...

H.P. Lovecraft churned out fiends

Fungi From Yuggoth and Other Poems read by William E. Hart

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) lived whenever possible in Providence, Rhode Island (although a short-lived marriage dragged him scraping and screeching to NYC for a jaunt). He grated through poverty, obscurity, frustration, nursing his personal obsessions ...

Alison Krauss's woeful Windy City

...your grandma will probably love it

There exists a battle in the arts: the duality of the pure and the commodity; the passion and the product. This, certainly, is no different with records. There are ingenious albums, those that have the ...

Ryan Adams writes freely on Prisoner

The singer/songwriter's latest takes on heartache with '80s guitar cheese

We’ve seen a variety of outfits from singer/songwriter Ryan Adams throughout his expansive career. Never shy of being experimental, if you are able to get past the dismay of his Taylor Swift cover album, we ...

Don't sleep on Iron Reagan

Crossover Ministry's a political pizza party

Dropping two weeks after the inauguration of Donald Trump, crossover thrashers Iron Reagan’s new record, Crossover Ministry, couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. Eschewing the typical pizza-party fare of many crossover bands (with ...

Tour Italy with Keith Jarrett

Multi-disc Multitude of Angels offers the piano mans final solo tour

“Over the Rainbow” would be the last piece he’d play in public for a few years. As he remarks in his liner notes, he was already sick when he did these concerts. He didn’t know ...

Childish Gambino gets funked up

Actor Donald Glover's rapping alter-ego finds his groove

These days, Donald Glover is known more for his acting (in the critically-acclaimed FX series Atlanta, and before that, Community) than his musical endeavors as alter-ego Childish Gambino. But he’s about to even the score ...

Strange Storm out of Brooklyn

The Darrin James Band's latest is blues-rock tempered to our times

Strange Storm, the third album from the Brooklyn-based Darrin James Band, is truth-telling of the bitterest sort, ten tracks naming the slights we do each other, intended and otherwise. Following suit, Darrin James, principle songwriter ...

Miranda Lambert needs two discs to bear The Weight of These Wings

Country singer's latest trades studio sheen for first-take rawness

“Break-up record” is too reductive to describe Miranda Lambert’s The Weight of These Wings, but it’s a start. Though the country artist’s heart aches plenty in her first music after last year’s split from Blake ...

Peter Doherty and the sickness of celebrity

Libertines/Babyshambles singer gets contemplative on solo effort, Hamburg Demonstrations

Peter Doherty’s Hamburg Demonstrations shows us that there is beauty in our imperfections. His second solo acoustic album brings with it folky vibes and a refreshing confessional tone. These songs show us a side of ...

Bruno Mars's immersion into the culture emulated

Dance-pop artist's 24K Magic is catchy but cliché

Bruno Mars embraces a lavish lifestyle on his newest release, 24K Magic. The album, with sounds from ’70s funk to ’90s hip-hop, contains synthesizers, sensuality, and sexism. Even when the tempo drops, this album retains ...

Collecting Belinda Carlisle

Belinda was back on track and could walk the walk and strut the strut to the songs that count

Belinda Carlisle will forever be associated with the ’80s, but that's not her fault. After hitting the ground running with the Go-Go’s, some thought Carlisle'd be barefoot minus her band. Tis true that some of ...

Jim James — tackling violence and hatred with love and peace

The My Morning Jacket frontman's latest is Eternally Even

Jim James is up to his usual tricks on his second solo album, Eternally Even, and it’s just what humanity needs. The My Morning Jacket frontman looks to heal the world through his latest collection. ...

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