Tegan and Sara’s seventh full-length, last year’s Heartthrob,
is a sleek, synth-driven affair rife with the twins’ interweaving
vocals and enough hooks to power a dozen less-accomplished albums. It
represents the culmination of an evolution that has seen the
raven-haired Canadians move from Lilith Fair-nurtured, Indie Folk
upstarts to masters of perpetually heartsick Pop Rock.
Seven years ago, six like-minded
residents of Greensboro, N.C., assembled around the concept of wanting
to channel their classic Rock & Roll influences into an acoustic
Folk/Jazz/Soul stompathon. The sextet christened its newly minted
aggregation Holy Ghost Tent Revival.
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas' latest release, the EP Demons, is perhaps the
group’s most impactful effort yet, seamlessly blending classic Soul,
slanted AltRock and dark and shadowy gypsy/cabaret sounds into an aural
mélange that suggests a supergroup starring Janelle Monáe, Dap-Kings, ZZ
Ward and Gogol Bordello.
Ace guitarist Robben Ford has always had
the chops. The California native has a resume that includes five Grammy
Award nominations, as well as music made with a list of artists ranging
from George Harrison, Miles Davis and Phil Lesh to Joni Mitchell, Bonnie
Raitt and Susan Tedeschi.
Nickel Creek is back. The Bluegrass-y trio first arrived in
1993 and quickly became a well-loved band. In 2007, they embarked on their “Farewell (For
Now)” tour. Now, they’ve teamed up once again for
the release of A Dotted Line.
Joe Casey is agitated. The frontman and
chief word slinger for Detroit’s Protomartyr opens the quartet’s second
full-length record, the stellar Under Color of Official Right,
with this recurring statement: “There’s just a clack in the brain now.”
One of the finest bands to emerge from
the Dayton, Ohio, music scene over the last 15 years, Lab Partners
continue to carry on Gem City’s reputation as a hot-bed for Indie Rock.
The band also has direct ties to some of the artists who helped bring
international attention to the city’s music in the first place.
There is a fair amount of evidence that
Jam/Psych bands are primarily interested in mindless noodling on a
musical bridge to nowhere, Electronic bands are satisfied to
“unce-unce-unce” on varying themes with no discernible point and Prog
bands have a tendency to disappear up their own asses with Classical
suites and Middle Earth imagery. Papadosio understands all of those
stereotypical paradigms and assiduously avoids falling prey to any of them.
Given his raspy delivery, spare acoustic
guitar accompaniment, erudite wordplay and numerous Tom Waits videos
posted on his Tumblr page, it’s easy to draw a line between Seattle
singer/songwriter Noah Gundersen and the world’s most famous boho
troubadour. Too easy, perhaps.
Sidewalk Chalk's just-released second album, Leaves, opens with a live clip in which frontdude/rapper Rico Sisney and frontlady/singer Maggie Vagle ask a crowd to shout out the Hip Hop crew's name on the count of three. It's a fitting intro, for this Chicago octet is, first and foremost, interested in interaction, about stirring minds and moving asses.
On the final night of last year’s
MidPoint Music Festival extravaganza, an old man dropped into The
Drinkery to grab a beer, catch his breath and absorb a few minutes of
Sol Cat’s soulful Psych/Dance/Pop, which had reminded him at least a
little of Walk the Moon’s similarly adrenalized output. He’d expected an
out-of-town show to be sparsely attended, which would theoretically
allow him a seat at the bar and a chance to recharge for the remainder
of the night.