Jason Gubbels

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Review: The Paranoid Style Make the Trump-Era Send-Up of the Year on ‘Rolling Disclosure’

"American politics has often been an arena for angry minds." So wrote Richard Hofstadter in "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," his seminal 1964 Harper’s…
Jason Gubbels / July 11, 2016

SPIN World Report: Ukandanz’s Ethiopian Crunch, Kel Assouf’s Tuareg Stoner-Grunge

In these end times for music labels and record stores, the crate-digging claque apparently has yet to receive the memo. Collectors, unite — below, find four…
Jason Gubbels / May 23, 2016

Review: Konono Nº1 and Batida Redefine Trance on ‘Konono Nº1 Meets Batida’

Although one should never underestimate the international pleasures of the big beat, Western festival enthusiasm for Kinshasan percussion ensemble Konono Nº1 remains a rather unlikely…
Jason Gubbels / April 25, 2016

Review: Bombino’s Red-Hot Guitar Sings the Desert Blues on ‘Azel’

Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but musical censorship runs close behind. Be it plantation owners confiscating the drums of African-American slaves, or…
Jason Gubbels / March 22, 2016

Review: Wussy’s Ragged Ohio Racket Hits Biblical Proportions on ‘Forever Sounds’

As one of American indie’s premier songwriting projects, Cincinnati-based five-piece Wussy have set high standards of consistency over their decade-and-change career, patiently amassing a hefty…
Jason Gubbels / February 29, 2016

Review: Charlie Puth’s Dire ‘Nine Track Mind’ Proves That We Can’t Handle the Puth

Go ahead, blame Wiz Khalifa. Casting about for some kind of hook delivery system to anchor Furious 7’s lugubrious elegy "See You Again," the guy…
Jason Gubbels / January 27, 2016

SPIN World Report: Radiohead Guitarist Aids an East-West Summit, Karina Buhr Punks Brazil

This latest dispatch from the great musical world extending beyond American shores is dedicated to the inauthentic, with absolutely no pejorative connotations intended. Let the…
Jason Gubbels / January 22, 2016

Review: Erykah Badu Continues R&B’s Longtime Game of Telephone on ‘But You Caint Use My Phone’

In this pop moment of 17-38 squads, Gap Band pastiches, and Queen Adele looming on her throne, how bizarre that 2015’s runaway cultural convergence should…
Jason Gubbels / December 1, 2015

SPIN World Report: Mbongwana Star’s Congolese Street Music, Fabiano Do Nascimento’s Afro-Brazilian Folk Shredding

The term "world music," ick — a marketer’s desperate pitch more than tangible genre, suggesting either Yankee provincialism (there’s Americana, British rock, and, um, The World) or…
Jason Gubbels / August 14, 2015

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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
Jason Gubbels / June 2, 2014

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