reviews

Butch Walker, ‘Sycamore Meadows’ (Power Ballad/Original Signal)

This well-connected Los Angeleno spends his days producing hits for pop-radio stars like Pink and Avril Lavigne and his nights crafting vibrant power-pop discs crammed…
Mikael Wood / December 18, 2008

The Postmarks, ‘By-the-Numbers’ (Unfiltered)

Gimmicky yet compelling, the delicate second album by Miami's Postmarks presents 11 numerically titled covers in ascending order, plus Sesame Street's cute "Pinball Number Count."
Jon Young / December 18, 2008

Jedi Mind Tricks, ‘A History of Violence’ (Babygrande)

This Philadelphia duo have built an unlikely indie-rap niche by giving their thuggish hip-hop a quasi-spiritual undertone. On their sixth album, Vinnie Paz boasts, "Me…
Mosi Reeves / December 18, 2008

Travis, ‘Ode to J. Smith’ (Red Telephone Box/Fontana International)

Six albums on, these Scots aim to reverse the creeping bloat in their elegant pop, though bad habits die hard. Despite refreshingly brief songs, frontman…
Jon Young / December 18, 2008

Cause Co-Motion!, ‘It’s Time! Singles and EPs 2005–2008′ (Slumberland)

Cause Co-Motion! hustle. Of the 14 songs compiled here, not a one exceeds two minutes, and the Brooklyn foursome fizz through their jangly, three-chord workouts…
David Bevan / December 18, 2008

Black Milk, ‘Tronic’ (Fat Beats)

Tronic is an artistic breakthrough for Detroit producer/rapper Black Milk, a Slum Village associate who has toiled in the industry for years (which he explains…
Mosi Reeves / December 18, 2008

88-Keys, ‘The Death of Adam’ (Decon)

This perverse morality talecenters on the elaborate efforts of poor, blue-balled "Adam" (a.k.a. producer/rapper/singer 88-Keys, who has made beats for conscious artists like Mos Def,…
Mosi Reeves / December 18, 2008

Various Artists, ‘1970s Algerian Proto-Rai Underground’ (Sublime Frequencies)

Algeria's oppressive late-'60s and early-'70s social atmosphere forced rai --the country's edgy new pop music -- underground; its bands performed, but couldn't release records until…
Abigail Everdell / December 18, 2008

Gary Wilson, ‘Lisa Wants to Talk to You’ (Human Ear)

Resurfacing in 2002 after more than two decades in obscurity, San Diego's Gary Wilson -- who has prowled stages completely wrapped in gauze and duct…
Jon Young / December 18, 2008

Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby, ‘Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby’ (Stiff)

He started out on Stiff Records in the late '70s alongside Elvis Costello; she made her name on the New York scene in the '90s…
Jon Young / December 18, 2008

Air France, ‘No Way Down’ (Something in Construction)

Like much of the sample-driven pop coming out of Gothenburg, Sweden (Jens Lekman, the Tough Alliance, El Perro Del Mar, Studio), Air France's debut album…
Spencer Kornhaber / December 18, 2008

Sparks, ‘Exotic Creatures of the Deep’ (Lil’ Beethoven)

For their 21st album, these eternally deft, art-pop brothers stick to the operatic splendor they embraced on 2002's Lil' Beethoven. Russell Mael warbles falsetto witticisms…
Barry Walters / December 18, 2008

Ursula Rucker, ‘Ruckus Soundsysdom’ (Five Six Media)

On her fourth album, this Philadelphia single mom who closed the Roots' '90s albums with spoken-word elegies describing gang bangs, prison life, murder, and other…
Mosi Reeves / December 18, 2008

Photos: Oasis Rock New York City

Finally, after a crazed Toronto fan injured co-frontman Noel Gallagher, causing Oasis to cancel their New York City show last September, the Britpop legends strolled…
William Goodman / December 18, 2008

Celebs Flock to Neil Young’s Tour-Closer

After two months on the road, rock legend Neil Young closed out his North American tour last night with a catalogue-spanning set at New York…
William Goodman / December 17, 2008

Fall Out Boy, ‘Folie a Deux’ (Island)

Purists can stomp their Doc Martens all they want, but Fall Out Boy is the biggest punk-influenced act to emerge this decade. Not only do…
David Marchese / December 17, 2008

Metric Debut New Songs Live!

Though the weather outside Sound Academy was frightful Saturday night, a packed crowd seemed delighted by the Canadian indie flair of Toronto's annual Jingle Bell…
Chandler Levack / December 15, 2008

The All-American Rejects, ‘When the World Comes Down’ (Doghouse/DGC/Interscope)

As 2005's double-platinum Move Along demonstrated, these Midwestern emo-rock dudes have never hidden their arena-size aspirations. But opening for Bon Jovi last year must've convinced…
Mikael Wood / December 15, 2008

Dan Deacon Debuts 15-Piece Band

"Let's try this show out," Baltimore's electro mastermind Dan Deacon gamely announced as his 15-piece band took the stage last night at the cavernous Brooklyn…
Larry Fitzmaurice / December 12, 2008

Concert Photos: Death Cab, Killers, and More!

The holiday season is here and what better way to celebrate than with performances from your favorite bands? Seattle radio station 107.7 FM The End…
SPIN Staff / December 10, 2008
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