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Best of Boston 2009


Latest Articles


Wilco | Wilco (The Album)

Nonesuch (2009)
The cover photo of a camel wearing a party hat on a terrace is a clue: after nearly a decade of fighting Jeff Tweedy and Wilco have lightened up.
By RYAN STEWART  |  May 19, 2009

The Big Hurt: Brand new Dio; same old Yoko; auguries of Creed

Music news in brief
In the process of writing last week's column about hidden Satanic messages in pop music, I listened to a bunch of shit backward and discovered that the track "Poker Face" by Lady Gaga is much, much better that way.
By DAVID THORPE  |  May 12, 2009

Covers uncovered

The Bad Plus plus a singer
The Bad Plus plus a singer
By JON GARELICK  |  March 09, 2009

Review: The Bad Plus's For All I Care

Heads Up (2009)
On each of their previous albums, the Bad Plus let it be known they owed as much to classic rock and pop as to prog jazz.
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  January 27, 2009

Okay, I’m Biased

Looking forward to a summer of Jerks, Phantoms, and Tules
Is our local music scene actually better because so little national and international talent comes here?
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 18, 2008

Billy Bragg

Mr. Love and Justice | Anti-
There is no irony in the title of Billy Bragg’s first album in six years.
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  May 06, 2008

Indie gets the blues

The Gossip, the Black Keys, and the Kills
White rockers generally come by the blues one of two ways.
By MATT ASHARE  |  April 23, 2008

Hitting Bottom

Brown Bird return on the spring winds with an aching beauty
Lamb may insist he’s an everyman — “My heart is valve and ventricle and flesh” — but this Brown Bird truly soars.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  April 16, 2008

Always a bridesmaid

But Kathleen Edwards steps forward on her third album
Asking for Flowers is the slickest album yet from Kathleen Edwards — the Canadian alt-country songwriter frequently heralded as the next Lucinda Williams — and her most raw.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  March 19, 2008

Rock-and-roll heart

Stephen Malkmus gets Jicky with it
Stephen Malkmus: expert Scrabble player, The Wire enthusiast, husband, father, indie-rock demigod.
By WILL SPITZ  |  March 18, 2008

Push all the livid out

Cambiata side project Daro go more alt-country than alt-rock
Just when you thought it was safe to slag all those pesky young people with a reputation for laziness, here comes Sean Morin.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  February 06, 2008

The spirit of giving

Stone soup's time of need
While Stone Soup may be one of New England’s most acclaimed and enjoyable venues for the acoustic music set, that doesn’t mean it’s easy for them to make financial ends meet.
By BOB GULLA  |  January 02, 2008

Guest lists 2007

Phoenix and WFNX staffers submit their ten best albums of the year
Phoenix and WFNX staffers submit their ten best albums of the year
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  December 21, 2007

The top 20 local albums of 2007

Here’s to the cream of a very impressive crop
Whatever you may think of Portland’s live-music scene nowadays — I’d argue it’s improving.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  December 19, 2007

Sending in the clowns

Deer Tick’s whiskey-guzzling theater
It sounds like John McCauley hasn’t had a sip of water in months.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  October 31, 2007

Donovan Frankenreiter

Recycled Recipes | Lost Highway
Lost HighwaySurfer-turned-musician Donovan Frankenreiter has a sandy beard, a warm old soul voice, and a sonic signature planted firmly in the 1970s.
By WERNER TRIESCHMANN  |  September 05, 2007

Portland scene report: August 31, 2007

Sibilance starts now
How disappointing is it that Wilco tunes are in all of those VW commercials on NESN during the Sox games?

DJ clearinghouse

"Blentcasts" from the "People's Mix Click Collective"
Of course, with such a hefty herd of MP3s, separating the sheep from the goats can be a Herculean endeavor.
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  August 20, 2007

Anat, Elvis, and Jenny

Looking ahead to Newport Jazz and Folk, and to Jenny Scheinman
In the wake of a single solo album on her own label in 2005, Anat Cohen is suddenly everywhere.
By JON GARELICK  |  July 30, 2007

Boston music news: August 3, 2007

Notes on the Racketeers, Dreamers Wanted, and Who Shot Hollywood
When Dana Stewart left the Amazing Royal Crowns, he decided that with his next group he wanted “something more authentic.”
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  July 30, 2007

Pure genius

Some indie labels embrace the new technology
Amid all the hysteria about Internet music downloading, major labels are still trying to hold on to a paradigm that no longer exists.
By BRUCE COHEN  |  June 25, 2007

At home with home

Sara Cox arrives at domesticity with Crowded Is the New Lonely
Women may dominate the pop charts from time to time, but in the annals of acknowledged rock/pop greatness, they are few in number.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 30, 2007

Moustache men

Cosades return, Tusks bared
Can you believe them, or are they mocking everything you believe about the music that you love?
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  May 23, 2007

On the Racks: May 15, 2007

New discs by Dunger, Dolores, Rufus, Wilco, and Linkin Park
Don’t feel bad if you find yourself thinking of Tio Bitar as the sophomore album by the Swedish neo-psychedelic band Dungen.
By MATT ASHARE  |  May 15, 2007

Evolution rock

Jeff Tweedy takes Wilco to the next level
For the past 11 years, Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy has been trying to carve his band’s image into the Mount Rushmore of Great American Rock.
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  May 08, 2007

Readers' picks 2007: Arts and Entertainment

Best bar, best gallery, best jukebox, best happy hour, and more
SPACE Gallery, Dock Fore, the White Heart, and more.
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  April 27, 2007

The Autumn Defense

The Autumn Defense | Broadmoor
An amiable soft-rock duo comprising two members of Wilco, the Autumn Defense provide a refuge for alt-country traditionalists vexed by Wilco’s increasing artiness.
By MIKAEL WOOD  |  March 12, 2007

American classic

Charlie Louvin returns
How old-school is Country Music Hall of Famer Charlie Louvin?
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  March 06, 2007

Boston music news: February 23, 2007

Notes on Session Americana and Dispatch's "Zimbabwe Sessions"
“The band started out as a kind of a lark,” says Ry Cavanaugh, singer/guitarist/ringleader of Session Americana.
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  February 20, 2007

Shades of Grey

Roy Davis debuts with a ramshackle warmth
We know at least two things after Roy Davis’s January 4 Big Easy CD-release show: he’s got good taste — and a brass pair of balls.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  January 11, 2007

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