In the bustling, sprawling world of music
— really, any medium — there will always be worthwhile artists who go
generally overlooked. Though they have achieved some underground fame,
The Lawrence Arms are one of those bands that deserves better.
“Feel the Chill,” the first song on Blitzen Trapper’s latest, 2013’s succinctly titled VII, finds the Portland, Ore., outfit in new territory — it sounds like Kid Rock doing Mellow Gold-era
Beck covers, its funky beats, harmonica flourishes and Southern-fried
guitar lines almost enough to inspire dance-floor movement.
The cover of Grieves’ fourth full-length album, Winter & the Wolves,
features the Seattle-based rapper standing in a wintery landscape, his
black-clad frame engulfed by snow and ice. He’s holding a pickaxe, as if
ready to take on whatever challenge might come his way. It’s a curious
cover art choice in a Hip Hop world often bound by conformity.
Supergroups are problematic in that egos
and talent levels tend to cancel each other out, and musical
combinations that sound good in theory often implode in the execution
phase. The other musical construct that can be fraught with its own
particular series of pitfalls is the
musician-carrying-on-the-family-name scenario. Royal Southern Brotherhood would seem to
be flying in the face of a boatload of potential negatives as their
lineup reflects both situations.
Dawes is back! Why? I’m sure there are
legitimate reasons for their tour, but I’m going to wager that it’s
mostly just because they love Cincinnati so much. (Oh, and they're backing tourmate Conor Oberst during his headlining set.)
Potty Mouth features four ladies who call Northampton, Mass.,
home, which makes sense — the band’s full-length debut, last year’s Hell Bent,
sounds like it hails from the same place that spawned Dinosaur Jr.,
with noisy, interlocking guitars evoking a distinctly early-’90s vibe.
Matt Pryor maintains a creative pace that
would give the most hyperactive Type A personality an inferiority
complex. The vocalist/guitarist started off in the Ska/Punk band Secret
Decoder Ring two decades ago. When that band dissolved in 1995, he
formed The Get Up Kids with the Pope brothers and Jim Suptic from fellow
Kansas City locals Kingpin.
How best to describe the lush danceable
laptop Hip Pop/Indie Rock of French Horn Rebellion? If you’re known by
the company you keep, the Milwaukee-raised/Brooklyn-based duo is rubbing
elbows with the right kind of people, including Savoir Adore, Nini Fabi
(HAERTS), Ghost Beach, MGMT and a veritable who’s who within the
Has it really been nearly a quarter
century since Alice in Chains broke Seattle’s mainstream Grunge seal
with “Man in the Box”? A lot has changed since that bluesy, metalized
wail dominated Rock radio, the most obvious being the 2002 death of
singer Layne Staley, whose drug issues long hampered the band’s
Girls Guns and Glory is an unusual entity
in this day and age, a fairly normal band that rides the rail of the
early Country music influences found in Rock & Roll. Still, they are
modern in their sensibilities and are not a part of the current retro
trend in roots music.
Goodness gracious, I can’t seem to stop listening to Ellie Goulding. The day-glow princess released her second album, Halcyon,
more than a year ago. It quickly became an obsession for tons of Synth
Pop and Dance music fans — and plenty of less synth-obsessed music