Jason Gubbels

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Review: Bassekou Kouyate and Ngoni Ba Shred Without Guitars on ‘Ba Power’

Bassekou Kouyaté’s band is Ngoni Ba, which translates roughly as "The Big Ngoni," a pretty terrific description of what Kouyaté’s selling, if you know what…
By: Jason Gubbels / May 11, 2015

Review: Built to Spill Enter the Rock-Will-Never-Die Stage on ‘Untethered Moon’

Even in those bygone days when guitar wranglers prowled all-ages clubs, Doug Martsch’s method seemed messianic: six strings exploring the sublime. Nominally indie after nearly…
By: Jason Gubbels / April 22, 2015

Review: J. Cole Goes DIY on the Reflective ‘2014 Forest Hills Drive’

"No singles." So decreed J. Cole in mid-November, when word first came of his December surprise. And detractors might nod to themselves, "Mission accomplished." Zero…
By: Jason Gubbels / December 9, 2014

Review: Foo Fighters’ ‘Sonic Highways’ Is the Missing Link Between Dio And Big Star

These are weird times for alt-rock lifers. During a recent week-long residency on Late Show with David Letterman, the Foo Fighters hauled Zac Brown onstage…
By: Jason Gubbels / November 11, 2014

On Handjobs and Hopelessness: The Lovesick Zeal of Jenny Lewis’ ‘The Voyager’

"I've been wearin' all black/ Since the day it started." That's how Jenny Lewis opens The Voyager, even though her third solo album features the…
By: Jason Gubbels / July 28, 2014

Parquet Courts Are Inscrutably Awesome on ‘Sunbathing Animal’ (Which Does Not Sound Like Pavement)

Parquet Courts are tough lads to nail down. There are geographical inconsistencies at play: Denton, Texas-based band makes good in Brooklyn. There's lyrical obscurantism masking…
By: Jason Gubbels / June 2, 2014

Unsung Guitar Heroes Wussy Nail Rust-Belt Americana on ‘Attica!’

Over the last decade, Cincinnati garage/pop/folk practitioners Wussy have refined a winning formula. Every 15 months or so, they break from full-time jobs (stonemasonry, waitressing,…
By: Jason Gubbels / May 5, 2014

The Afghan Whigs Trounce Corgan, Channel Usher on Righteous Comeback ‘Do to the Beast’

Allowing for grumbling from small cohorts of naysayers, it seems safe to posit that the Afghan Whigs have overseen the most artistically successful alternative rock…
By: Jason Gubbels / April 13, 2014

Jon Langford Questions War, Puff Pieces on Delightful ‘Here Be Monsters’

Welsh-born Chicagoan Jon Langford boasts a unique creative energy, unless you can name another individual who helped pioneer cowpunk (Fear And Whiskey) while contributing artwork…
By: Jason Gubbels / April 1, 2014

The Hold Steady Reboot Their Sad-Bastard Rock Moves on ‘Teeth Dreams’

Craig Finn's the kind of rock and roller who references W.B. Yeats and John Berryman because he's dog-eared their paperbacks, not just because he like…
By: Jason Gubbels / March 25, 2014

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