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Stories by Matthew Craig Burke

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. ...

Weyes Blood's spiritual wake-up call

You may squirm with A Front Row Seat to Earth, but you will be rewarded

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 ...

The unpredictable Mild High Club

This year's Skiptracing is groovy psychedelia, with an indie sound that is soulful yet silly.

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 ...

What is a bass player?

Rodrigo y Gabriela slay Belly Up flamenco style

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 ...

Radiohead: Dialed in at the Shrine

The English quintet sends 6300 fans into frenzy

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 ...

Savages turn Observatory into a cauldron of punk-metal

British band riding a mighty, high wave behind this year's Adore Life

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 ...

Buckethead — mad scientist of electric guitar

Worshippers wore buckets on their heads, played along on air guitars

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

Monolith of Phobos builds on '70s psychedelia

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 ...

Impossible Kid worth the wait

Aesop Rock's latest parallels an old-school rap record

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 ...

The sloppy seduction of Parquet Courts

With Human Performance the atrocity continues...

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 ...

Black Mountain rock

The Vancouver quintet's spacey, colorful tones mess with your head...

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 ...

Yeasayer's latest like abstract art

Amen & Goodbye's an "experimental pop" success

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 ...

Steven Wilson's back with 4 1/2

The "king of prog" drops a B-sides record that bests most proper releases

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 ...

If you adore Savages, you might adore this

...otherwise, Adore Life pales in comparison to 2013's Silence Yourself

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 ...

Emotional Mugger makes for an unsettling, riveting experience

Ty Segall's latest takes you for a ride on the Big Dipper at Belmont Park

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 ...

Bowie's Blackstar closes the curtain

An entrancing final act for the constant chameleon

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, ...

Ty Segall and the Muggers accost Belly Up

In keeping with the new record's title, Emotional Mugger was seen in Solana Beach

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 ...

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 ...

These are "Salad Days" for Mac DeMarco

Indie hit crowd surfs at Observatory North park

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Another One by Mac DeMarco

Indie hit's mini-LP burbles with drowning keys

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, ...

Tame Impala's new Currents

Australian psych-rockers squeeze fresh juice from synths

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. ...

Sufjan Stevens on a neon platter

Indie-folkie spellbinds a crowded Copley Hall

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 ...

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