reviews

Kid Rock Hosts Star-Studded Hometown B-Day Bash!

How, exactly, do you celebrate your 40th birthday when you're a musical icon whose 20-year-plus career leaps from hard-partying hip-hop to hard-rocking arena pomp, shit-kicking…
Chris Handyside / January 18, 2011

The Decemberists, ‘The King Is Dead’

The best thing about the new Decemberists record is what it lacks: a concept. On 2009's The Hazards of Love, these Portland-based nerd's nerds tragically…
Mikael Wood / January 18, 2011

Robert Pollard, ‘Space City Kicks’ (Guided by Voices Inc.)

Defying logic, the famously productive Robert Pollard is getting even more prolific with age. One of five Pollard-related releases slated over a ten-month stretch (plus…
Jon Young / January 18, 2011

Braids, ‘Native Speaker’ (Kanine)

It's fitting that burbling -- either of a brook or of a bong -- opens this Canadian quartet's debut, which pairs glimmering, pastoral post-rock with…
Spencer Kornhaber / January 18, 2011

Archers of Loaf Make Surprise Live Comeback

It was the poorest-kept secret in town: The unidentified "Special Guests" on the bill at Saturday night's Love Language show at Carrboro, N.C.'s Cat's Cradle…
David Menconi / January 18, 2011

Notable Newcomer Lissie Wows Crowd in L.A.

Saturday night in Los Angeles, rising indie folk-pop singer Lissie seemed surprised that so many people had come out to see her play. "For the…
Chris Martins / January 18, 2011

Camper Van Beethoven & Cracker Reunite!

What do Eyehategod, the Cribs, Stereophonics, and Echo and the Bunnymen have in common? They're among a handful of rock combos to perform not one…
Richard Gehr / January 18, 2011

British Sea Power, ‘Valhalla Dancehall’ (Beggars)

Even before choosing a mission overstatement as the title of 2008's Do You Like Rock Music? these Scots were ambitious omnivores, pilfering from various guitar-group…
Spencer Kornhaber / January 11, 2011

Tapes ‘n Tapes, ‘Outside’ (Ibid)

Tapes 'n Tapes' more polished yet underwhelming second album, 2008's Walk It Off, made the Minneapolis group a "live by the blog, die by the…
Ian Cohen / January 11, 2011

Cage the Elephant, ‘Thank You Happy Birthday’ (Jive)

Openly emulating Black Francis, Gordon Gano, and the dude from Cake, frontman Matt Shultz spends the second album by his Kentucky band spewing street-corner inanities…
Mikael Wood / January 11, 2011

Lennon Debuts Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger Tour

Could Sean Lennon draw a crowd if he didn't have his dauntingly famous pedigree? Or, for that matter, could his model-musician-girlfriend Charlotte Kemp Muhl pack…
Eric Magnuson / January 7, 2011

Ghostface Killah, ‘Apollo Kids’ (Def Jam)

After last year's R&B-friendly Ghostdini: Wizard Of Poetry, Ghostface Killah's ninth album consoles his hardcore constituency: Forty-plus minutes of gritty, soul-sampling beats soundtracking bizarro street…
Brandon Soderberg / December 21, 2010

Prince Kicks Off ‘Welcome 2 America’ Tour

"We're taking it old school tonight." This is an extremely pleasing sentiment to hear Prince express early in a set, for a couple of reasons.
Andy Battaglia / December 16, 2010

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, ‘III/IV’ (Pax Am)

Ryan Adams has experienced his most consistent artistic success as an acoustic troubadour -- but dude always wants to rock. Cheekily billed as a "double-album…
David Menconi / December 14, 2010

Michael Jackson, ‘Michael’ (Epic)

The success of This Is It was that it gave fans a rare glimpse of the candid, still startlingly talented man behind the billion-dollar machine.
Barry Walters / December 14, 2010

Florence, Pumpkins, Black Keys Rock KROQ Xmas

For 21 years, Los Angeles' alt-rock radio stalwart KROQ has thrown the holiday ball to end all. Set at the Gibson Amphitheater, which itself is…
Chris Martins / December 14, 2010

Peaches Debuts Her G-Rated ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’

Peaches appears onstage wearing a skin-tight white leotard, with a stuffed collar as thick as a fire hose wrapping her neck, when she begins singing…
Eric Magnuson / December 13, 2010

Rammstein Set New York City Ablaze

German metal gods Rammstein might not have scored a hit song or album in the U.S. since 1997, but that didn't stop them from staging…
Chris Steffen / December 13, 2010

R. Kelly, ‘Love Letter’ (Jive)

For his tenth album, R. Kelly programs his own decades-spanning radio station of R&B's greatest bits, and there's plenty here that deserves heavy rotation. Motown-inspired…
Maura Johnston / December 10, 2010

Wavves, Warpaint Rock SPIN’s L.A. Year in Music Party

It was a year when new music sparked and exploded, and SPIN's Year in Music party on Tuesday night at the Music Box Theatre in…
Kevin Bronson / December 8, 2010
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