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Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006 01:00 am

Scabrous boogies, sad-sack serenades, and weird-even-by-his-standards curios

Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards, Tom Waits’ three-disc, 54-track tour de force, is more than a cleverly titled collection of outtakes, rarities, and oddball covers. It’s more than...
Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2006 03:38 am

Swan Lake takes music to new heights of idiocy

In the booklet accompanying Swan Lake’s debut is the following epigraph: “Beast Moans is a testament to friendship, eternal and otherwise.” The sentiment is sweet but more than a lit...
Thursday, Dec. 14, 2006 03:53 pm

Joanna NewsomÂ’s sophomore effort shows off her narrative powers

The cover art for Joanna Newsom’s sophomore album, Ys (pronounced ees) depicts the folk chanteuse as a Renaissance peasant with a sickle in one hand and a portrait of a butterfly in the other. T...
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006 11:08 am

Isobel Campbell may sound a bit fey, but thatÂ’s OK

Hot on the heels of Ballad of the Broken Seas, Isobel Campbell’s album of duets with Mark Lanegan, Milkwhite Sheets finds the Glaswegian cellist/chanteuse all by her lonesome again, with mixed r...
Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2006 02:32 pm

RapperÂ’s new Kingdom Come doesn't feel like a comeback

It’s difficult to muster up the nerve to throw stones at a guy like Jay-Z. Ever running the rap game, he released a chain of hits, rarely missing a link and never staying off the charts for long...
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006 04:14 am

Gob Iron, Farrar and ParkerÂ’s new side project, explores the great beyond

Death, unlike taxes, is the great equalizer. From the mewling preemie in the neonate ward to former President Gerald Ford, from the lowly fruit fly to the august giant tortoise, from the pope to the D...
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2006 12:38 am

Sample TrolleyvoxÂ’s power pop and The Memory BandÂ’s eclectic folk

Untitled Document If you like your power pop sweet and shiny and more than a little bit silly, the Trolleyvox is the band for you. The Philadelphia-based quartet, whose ranks hav...
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006 09:31 am

Amy Annelle and the Places sing of escape

Amy Annelle, the singer, songwriter, and sole permanent member of the Places, traffics in narcotic dream-folk cut with aleatoric noise. Sometimes alone, sometimes accompanied by a revolving cast of mu...
Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2006 08:23 pm

John Legend impresses while Gwen Stefani yodels

SINGLES ONLY We’ve stood at the edge of commercial crap with Gwen Stefani before, but with her new single, “Wind It Up,” we have fallen off the cliff. Not only does the Hollaback Gir...
Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006 01:28 pm

Akron/Family is back with more of the same.

On its second full-length, Akron/Family delivers more of the transcendentalist free folk that’s made the band famous, or at least famous among all of the right people. Ex-Swan Michael Gira loved...

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