Recent Articles

Picks of the Week

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The force is strong for Jeff Tweedy and co.

Wilco

Wilco fans were treated to the group releasing their ninth album for free online. Star Wars is the most experimental LP the veteran band has offered since A Ghost Is Born – from the spiky, distressed guitars of opening instrumental “EKG” to the stunningly hazy fugue state conjured by closer “Magnetized.” –Michelle Solomon

 

CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Beloved British space rockers make an unexpected return.

Flying Saucer Attack

Flying Saucer Attack frontman David Pearce goes it alone on Instrumentals 2015, the first FSA release in 15 years – and a stunning collection of abstract sonic sketches. These impressionistic instrumentals smolder, shimmer and occasionally howl. They drift between pastoral twang, blurred prismatic thrum, keening feedback-drenched drone and hazy smears of soft-focus sound. –Andee Connors

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Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

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Psychedelic rock mastermind ventures into electronica.

Tame Impala

Tame Impala (aka Aussie Kevin Parker) perfected lilting, hypnotic, Beatles-esque psychedelia on his first two albums. With Currents, he reinvents himself. Guitars are all but abandoned for keyboards, DJ-style looping and filter trickery. There’s even R&B crooning, evoking great genre-smashers from Beck to Daft Punk. It’s a strong contender for album of the year. –Party Ben

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Americana tunesmith hits his stride.

Billy Shaddox

Billy Shaddox’s I Melt, I Howl revives “Golden Coast,” a decade-old chestnut from his prior project Billy Midnight. But the weight of paying his dues is intensely palpable this time around when Shaddox sings, “Somewhere it seems/ I lost my dreams/ Or it might be/ That they were all taken away.” Stellar guitar solos abound. –Eric Shea

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Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

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Oakland metal trio melts their own faces.

High On Fire album art

High On Fire gets countlessly compared to Motörhead, Celtic Frost, Slayer, etc. But their 2015 masterwork Luminiferous will change all this. From Matt Pike’s relentless fretboard wizardry to the band’s well-oiled rhythm section chugging throughout, Luminiferous is so godhead that from now on, other (worthy) bands will be compared to High On Fire. –Eric Shea

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

Taylor Negron lives on with UnCabaret Presents.

taylornegronIn the wake of his untimely death earlier this year, ‘90s alt-comedy showcase UnCabaret has released a compilation of beloved comedian’s Negron’s finest sets and “UnCabaret moments.” Tales include bumming cigarettes to Jude Law and Heath Ledger at an Oscar party, adventures with his childhood pet monkey and discovering a cult for models. –Kelly Anneken

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Music Monday: Weekly Curator Picks

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Grateful Dead apple falls further from the tree.

Midnight_NorthWith Scarlet Skies, Grahame Lesh (son of Phil) and Midnight North eschew expected jam-rock trappings for a more disciplined and soulful stew of modern Americana. Singer Elliott Peck comes out swinging like a tougher Nicki Bluhm on “Phoenix Motel” while the Lesh-led “Turn Around” plays like a more rocking Delaney & Bonnie. –Eric Shea

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CURATOR’S DISCOVERY

The return of the world’s only avian death metal crew!

HatebeakWith lead vocals by Waldo, a 21-year-old African grey parrot, and featuring members of Pig Destroyer, another (less literally) animal minded combo; Hatebeak’s Number Of The Beak is a brutal barrage of furiously fowl, metallic crush. The group grinds out pulverizing thrashers like “Beak Of Putrefaction” and “Hellbent For Feathers!” –Andee Connors

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