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Brown Bird | Fits of Reason
Supply & Demand (2013)
Brown Bird, a boundary-pushing Americana duo from Rhode Island, make music that touches upon that can't-put-my-finger-on-it amalgamation of past and future sounds.
| March 18, 2013
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds | Push The Sky Away
Bad Seed Ltd. (2013)
Much like the similarly low-key The Boatman's Call , Cave's highly anticipated 15th album with the Bad Seeds manages the puzzling feat of making a great band seem inconsequential, if not entirely absent.
| February 20, 2013
Scott Walker | Bish Bosch
Scott Walker's late-period about-face is one of the strangest in the annals of pop music.
| November 27, 2012
Bill Withers | The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums
Bill Withers has always been the down-to-earth, odd-man-out of the '70s soul brothers: he's the one who came bearing a lunch box on the cover of his relaxed 1971 debut, Just as I Am .
| October 31, 2012
R.E.M. | Document [25th Anniversary Edition]
Capitol/I.R.S. Records (2012)
Fans of R.E.M. enjoy arguing over which album was the band's true shark-jump, but 1987's Document was inarguably the end of a groundbreaking era.
| September 19, 2012
Richard Hawley | Standing at the Sky's Edge
Richard Hawley's seventh studio album opens with "She Brings the Sunlight," a clouds-parting, hippy-dippy drone explosion that plays like "Tomorrow Never Knows" caught in the echo of a football stadium.
| September 04, 2012
Bob Mould | Silver Age
Now that he's getting love as a godfather figure from both sides of the indie/mainstream divide (see No Age and Foo Fighters, for starters), Bob Mould is again playing like he has something to prove — or at least an iconography to maintain.
| August 28, 2012
Ry Cooder | Election Special
Ry Cooder's spur-of-the-moment (or is it heat-of-the-moment?) political album opens like any good political album should, with a rollicking blues song told from the point of view of Mitt Romney's dog.
| August 14, 2012
Antibalas | Antibalas
As its simple title would suggest, the fifth album from the Brooklyn Afrobeat torchbearers gets back to basics.
| August 13, 2012
Blur | 21
Best Britpop band? That’s a question of taste — though if your answer is Oasis, you’re probably wrong, and if your answer is Blur, you’re probably right.
| July 24, 2012
Micachu & The Shapes | Never
Rough Trade (2012)
Like her stylistic sista Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, Micachu's Mica Levi makes pixelated, abstract anti-pop that sounds like marionettes jamming in an aluminum factory.
| July 17, 2012
Grasscut | Unearth
Ninja Tune (2012)
Grasscut are ascension music: each measure another layer of melody, each minute another swell in forward momentum.
| July 10, 2012
Fiona Apple | The Idler Wheel is wiser than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords will serve you more than Ropes will ever do
Long delays between albums, equally long album titles, uncompromising artistic vision, the is-Joni-Mitchell-is-not-Joni-Mitchell question, and that "Criminal" video.
| June 19, 2012
David Bowie | The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars [40th Anniversary Edition]
Bowie's greatest album? Depends on the day. Canonically, however, this is and will always be a BFD: an archetype of alternative commercial rock, the primo platter of the so-called glam era; and arguably the best record ever made about apocalypse, interplanetary lust, singer-songwriter role playing, and rock-and-roll-as-alien-outsider stuff.
| June 05, 2012
Sun Kil Moon | Among the Leaves
Caldo Verde (2012)
The first thing you'll notice about Mark Kozelek's fifth LP as Sun Kil Moon are song titles that would give Morrissey a boner.
| May 22, 2012
The Figgs | The Day Gravity Stopped
These days Mike Gent, Pete Donnelly, and Pete Hayes are involved in enough extracurricular activities (Graham Parker, NRBQ, countless side/session-men gigs) that you could hardly blame them if they closed their two decades-plus Figgs chapter.
| May 15, 2012
Billy Bragg + Wilco | Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions
In 1998, and again in 2000, English singer-songwriter Billy Bragg teamed up with Wilco— not yet on their post-Americana trip — to put unreleased Woody Guthrie lyrics to music.
| May 01, 2012
Rufus Wainwright | Out Of The Game
Out of the Game is being billed as the most "pop" album of Rufus Wainwright's career, which is to say that it dismisses many of his trademark classical and/or stagey affinities.
| April 24, 2012
The Dandy Warhols | This Machine
The End (2012)
The title of the Dandy Warhols' eighth record may be a Woody Guthrie allusion, but don't fret — the closest the Portland, Oregon, band get to politics here is a cover of Merle Travis's "16 Tons."
| April 17, 2012
Quakers | Quakers
Stones Throw (2012)
No, this isn't the theological rap supergroup you've been pining for.
| April 10, 2012
"A Discussion on Money in Politics"
@ University of Southern Maine - Portland
@ Portsmouth Book and Bar
Naked Shakespeare Ensemble: "Shakespeare in Concert"
@ Bowdoin College Chapel
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