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Stories by Alfred Howard

Now you know: Dirty Sirens

The Dirty Sirens are rock ’n’ roll’s fallen angels amplified.

Soul Fires just getting warmed up

In a way, the Fire Eaters are the next generation of San Diego soul and acid jazz.

Gary Clark Jr.'s Blak and Blu

Blak and Blu, the debut full-length from Gary Clark Jr., has an aggravated hive of buzz about it. With premier slots at music festivals and a well-received EP, Clark has the weight on his shoulders ...

The Bunny Was Fine

How Bunny Gang was born and how well they’re doing.

Now You Know: New Kinetics

The New Kinetics record with John Vanderslice.

Smashing Pumpkins' Oceania

On “Quasar,” the first song off of the new Smashing Pumpkins album, the band comes out of the gate with teeth bare. There is ferocity in the drums and a fire in the guitars that ...

Here, by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros deliver their second album, Here, with a gentle treatment of spiritual and festive cult-folk. Their debut, Up From Below, struck gold from the deep-blue nowhere. It was an unexpected ...

Sweet Heart Sweet Light, by Spiritualized

With their seventh studio album, Spiritualized continue their legacy of ecstatic mourning, something divine and destructive, chaotic and focused. The album begins with lush string arrangements and then takes a sharp shift to lead single ...

The Shins' Port of Morrow

This is a new Shins, not the band that gave us the delicious acoustic-pop of Chutes to Narrow and Oh Inverted World. Nor the band that released Wincing the Night Away five years ago. The ...

Arrow, by Heartless Bastards

For most of my adult life I have worked at record stores. One can only listen to the Beatles so many times (though I'm testing that statement everyday). So, with whim on my side I'll ...

Dr. Dog Fills the Void at Belly Up

Philadelphia-based psychedelic-rock band Dr. Dog took the stage at Belly Up in support of its sixth studio album, Be the Void. The band hit with the sold-out crowd by kicking off the show with "Lonesome," ...

The Great Escape Artist, by Jane's Addiction

Jane's Addiction walked away from music at the top of their game. In the late '80s and early '90s, they brought art back to rock 'n' roll with two studio albums that had the poetry ...

Lou Reed and Metallica's Lulu Is a Lulu

Lou Reed and Metallica's collaboration is a head on collision between two trains and the casualties are the ears of the listeners. The first words uttered on Lulu ("I would cut my legs and tits ...

Inspired Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey at the Loft — This Ain't Your Daddy's Jazz

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, a quartet from Tulsa, Oklahoma, brought their unique brand of open-minded musicianship to the Loft at UCSD. Touring in support of Race Riot Suite, the quartet added a five-piece horn section, ...

Wilco's The Whole Love

“I been young, I been old/I been hurt and consoled/Heart of cold, heart of gold/so I'm told” — “Dawned on Me” The opening line of “Dawned on Me” summarizes Wilco's eighth studio album, on which ...

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