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Stories by Matthew Craig Burke

Jim James — tackling violence and hatred with love and peace

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. ...

November 18, 2016
Weyes Blood's spiritual wake-up call

Weyes Blood has created the perfect storm with Front Row Seat to Earth — a tropical storm, as there is a warmth coming from this harsh forecast that tears your guts out. Dancing piano leads ...

October 14, 2016
The unpredictable Mild High Club

Skiptracing is a whiff of clear ’60s air, breathed out by Mild High Club. Their style is groovy psychedelia, with an indie sound that is soulful yet silly. The title and opening track peals with ...

August 26, 2016
What is a bass player?

On night one of two evenings of sold-out shows consisting of four musicians comprising two bands, the Belly Up became a stage for dynamic duos. Warming up the crowd was the Irish acoustic guitar-and-drum bundle ...

August 19, 2016
Radiohead: Dialed in at the Shrine

Shrine Auditorium has a gorgeous personality, a haunting elegance that paired well with Radiohead’s bipolar extravagance, as the English quintet performing 24 intimate songs to a sold-out crowd of 6300. The night looked like a ...

August 11, 2016
Savages turn Observatory into a cauldron of punk-metal

What to say about Savages…these are some badass ladies. The English quartet is known for their fierce and eerie delivery. Atmospheric guitar feedback, constant rumbling of bass and drums, topped off by Jehnny Beth’s maniacal ...

July 30, 2016
Buckethead — mad scientist of electric guitar

Without a live band, Buckethead kept the packed Music Box of hardcore fans salivating over his axe handling. A souped-up guitar capable of making you breakfast and doing the dishes, buzzed, ripped, soared, and dominated ...

Claypool + Lennon = Delirium

The quirky darkness off Les Claypool (Primus) blended with the experimental flair of Sean Lennon creates the mind-altering experience of the Claypool Lennon Delirium — it sounds as if the Beatles and Pink Floyd had ...

June 24, 2016
Impossible Kid worth the wait

The Impossible Kid hits harder than any other Aesop Rock record. The rapper adds to his vocabulary palate with the usual flow of intelligent well-executed rhymes, blowing any mainstream rapper out of the water. None ...

June 10, 2016
The sloppy seduction of Parquet Courts

There is something awful and intriguing about Parquet Courts — they’re awful in the best way possible. They charm you with sloppy guitars, lazy vocals, and nonsensical lyrics, which drape the bands discography, and on ...

April 30, 2016
Black Mountain rock

The Casbah is one of the few places in San Diego where you can pee next to rock stars and hang out with the band backstage, aka, the sidewalk. Vancouver band Black Mountain began their ...

April 30, 2016
Yeasayer's latest like abstract art

Pink Floyd, is that you? “Daughters of Cain” eases you in to Yeasayer’s latest, with influences from Dark Side of the Moon. The echoing vocal harmonies and atmospheric gentleness morph into the jangling gypsy spirit ...

April 15, 2016
Steven Wilson's back with 4 1/2

With over 30 years of relativity, Steven Wilson has become a household name in Progressive Rock world. Quality over quantity is irrelevant when it comes to this UK native because he offers both. Most known ...

April 1, 2016
If you adore Savages, you might adore this

The sophomore album from London quartet Savages is a dark, powerful, estrogen-infused punk-rock experience. Opener “The Answer” sets the tone — “If you don’t love me, don’t love anybody.” As Jehnny Beth’s ghostly vocals trample ...

February 12, 2016
Emotional Mugger makes for an unsettling, riveting experience

Emotional Mugger paints a picture of menacing clowns thrashing about in semi-trucks, a possible musical score to the demolition-derby video game Twisted Metal. Ty Segall inhabits a new persona on each record, and his latest ...

January 29, 2016
Bowie's Blackstar closes the curtain

Ever so strange and always unique is David Bowie. After 26 genre-jumping albums spanning over nearly 50 years, the constant chameleon released his 27th and final album, Blackstar, which landed on his birthday, January 10, ...

January 15, 2016
Ty Segall and the Muggers accost Belly Up

Ty Segall and the Muggers absolutely defiled the elegant Belly Up stage with a robotic sludge-rock display of psychedelia that they vomited into the crowd, causing a transfixed batch of humans to go haywire. Witnessing ...

January 15, 2016
Silversun Pickups' electronic album

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 ...

November 13, 2015
These are "Salad Days" for Mac DeMarco

Dipping down from the forgotten land of Canada, Mac DeMarco and his corky bandmates made an appearance at the Observatory North Park in support of DeMarco’s delightful “mini LP” Another One. Crowd-surfing, child-like banter, and ...

October 30, 2015
Little change in the Dead Weather

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 ...

October 2, 2015
Foals deliver London thunder on their latest

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 ...

September 4, 2015
Dr. Dre is still in the game

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 ...

August 21, 2015
Another One by Mac DeMarco

Short and sweet is Mac Demarco’s Another One. Recorded in his New York apartment, you feel at home with melodic songwriting and romantic forget-me-nots. The eight-song “mini-LP” owns the typical joyful quirkiness of its predecessors, ...

July 31, 2015
Tame Impala's new Currents

Back with John Lennon-esque vocals and dreamy, psychedelic overtones, Tame Impala returns with their third LP, Currents. The Australian natives have a knack for creating music that is both retro and remarkably modern and relevant. ...

July 17, 2015
Sufjan Stevens on a neon platter

Sufjan Stevens made a rare appearance in San Diego in support of his seventh studio album, Carrie & Lowell. Playing the Copley Symphony Hall, a gothic-revival-style theater downtown, Stevens captivated the audience during his generous ...

June 12, 2015
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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