• Titus Andronicus, 'The Airing of Grievances' (Troubleman Unlimited)

    On their debut album, this New Jersey quintet unfurls a series of banner-waving, punkish anthems (plus a couple of slow-burners) that, with its E Street Band–through-a-blender production, convey a raw, deeply palpable blue-collar sympathy. Patrick Stickles screams and moans amid the swirling, lo-fi racket, and although he sounds a helluva lot like Conor Oberst, this is no Bright Eyes knockoff. The Airing of Grievances is more inviting, fraternal, and widely referential. Stickles' lyrics ruminate on the countless ways the world, well, sucks much of the time, but not while you're immersed in these nine raging-with-life songs. BUY: iTunesAmazon

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    Jaguar Love

    What? It ain't the Blood Brothers or Pretty Girls Make Graves, but for all those young budding fans who, depressingly, missed the post-hardcore boat these legends sailed way back in, like, 2006 -- fear not! The same familiar faces are back and shockingly progressive without entirely abandoning their past. Take Me to the Sea, the debut long player from Seattle's Jaguar Love, out on Matador Records Aug. 19, exhibits clearly matured musicianship, especially in the relatively tamed ex- Blood Brothers frontman Johnny Whitney. Opener "Highways Of Gold" showcases a more melodic Whitney than was evident on the Bros' efforts, and tracks like "Jaguar Pirates" and "The Man With the Plastic Suns" are reminders of where these guys are coming from.

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    Daedelus

    What? Though classically trained in jazz, composer/producer/instrumentalist Daedelus became a House-hold name in the drum'n'bass community with scores of DJ gigs. But with Love to Make Music To, his umpteenth album to date (amongst countless EPs and remix albums), Daedelus, a.k.a. Alfred Darlington, conjures a dance floor's wet dream. Channeling his subject-spanning past in synth-driven, complex musical arrangements, Daedelus' latest flaunts an array of styles -- even doses of disco and ragtime! Bits of hip-hop and drum'n'bass recal his 2002 debut, Invention, but chiefly Love to Make Music To delineates Daedelus' natural progression. Who? Santa Monica-born Alfred Darlington, who adopted the Daedelus nom de tune as an ode to his childhood obsession with becoming an inventor (in Greek mythology Daedalus was known as an inventor).

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    'Guitar Hero' Gamers Rock Out with Aerosmith in NYC

    New York City's Hard Rock Cafe transformed its souvenir bedecked, rock'n'roll halls into a gamer's fantasy world Friday (June 27), as officials unveiled Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, offering fans a free test-run of the game's latest installment, as well as a guest cameo from its stars -- Aerosmith! Velvet ropes sectioned off corners for wide-screen TVs and booming sound systems, and adoring fans of Aerosmith and Guitar Hero alike lined up to have their chance at rocking out like Joe Perry on jams like "Sweet Emotion" and "Walk This Way." Further immortalizing the rock legends, the game follows the rock icons from their first gig at Nipmuc Regional High School to their induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in vivid, real-life graphics, down to the detail in Joe Perry's Gibson Les Paul and Steven Tyler's gaping mouth. Preparing for "Guitar Hero: Aerosmith Rocks the Hard Rock" -- a 16-da

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    Jakob Dylan Unveils New Album Live in NYC

    Just after bloated clouds opened up over Manhattan, adding powerful winds and buckets of rain to the already unbearably muggy heat wave engulfing New York City, Jakob Dylan offered fans at the Gramercy Theater a much needed cool off by plucking out the breezy, '60s-tinged tunes off his solo debut, Seeing Things. Honoring the day of the new record's release, Dylan silhouetted across the stage as a tapestry of stars lit up behind him and the atmosphere switched quickly from sweat-soaked burden to lush country backwoods. Donning a wide hat, his boyish face looked stoic and the beat up old six-string slung over his shoulder provided a look of familiarity -- one which many whispered was that of his father, Bob Dylan.

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    Be Your Own Pet Get Hot, Heavy in NYC

    As the Fillmore East quickly filled to capacity last night (May 28), adoring fans, fashionistas, and hipsters alike joined forces in one huge sweaty pit of ambiguity for a kick-ass bill highlighted by Nashville's Be Your Own Pet. But, unlike the molten sea of fans beneath them, each performing act stood out on their own; Switches kept the crowd interested with their thick British brogue when tunes like "Lovin' It," off latest LP Lay Down the Law, weren't able to pick up the slack. The quartet's generic brand of pop-rock is certainly tight, but never wanders off the beaten path -- it could have been playing over the P.A. system with the pithy British quips ("We're from Lonnnnnndon! Wooooo!") overdubbed. After a brief break, New York City's the Virgins, ahem, switched things up with clanking Police-like dub guitar over droned vocals and snappy bass.

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    Punks Honor Joey Ramone's Birthday with NYC Bash

    With the sheer number of punk icons on hand last night (May 19) at New York City's Fillmore East, the 8th annual posthumous soiree for Ramones legend Joey Ramone proved to be simultaneously surreal and disorienting, pulling fans through a labyrinthine genre museum, then backhanding with fresh cuts and pure downtown bravado. And combined, it was an all-around birthday bash of punk rock proportions! Local H kicked things off with a rendition of the Ramones' "I Just Want to Have Something To Do," paying homage to the man of the night with snappy vocal shots and chugging, power-chord guitars.

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    Joan as Police Woman Arrests NYC Fans

    Just after 7:30 P.M. last night (May 14) New York City's Mercury Lounge was starkly populated and dimly lit, much of the packed crowd sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce by the stage awaiting what would become a welcomed shock of beautiful sonic authority. A shimmering blanket draped over a keyboard came to life as Joan as Police Woman, a.k.a. Joan Wasser, finally formed a chord after a little pre-show banter. "This is the first single off our new record," the songstress whispered before diving into To Survive's "To Be Loved," its swaying, lounge groove and bright keys lighting up the venue from wall to wall. Cloaked in red, Joan intricately weaved the audience through a bevy of hushes and cries, while -- at times -- pinning us under a blanket of low bass tones and dreary guitar rings.

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    Goldfrapp's Musical Colors Spill Over NYC Fans

    Poised in front of a rapturous packed house, Goldfrapp transformed New York City's Beacon Theater from an art-deco relic into the entertainment bridge aboard the Starship Enterprise last night (April 29) with an extravagant light show, as the Brit fivesome plucked out a set heavy in whimsical tunes from their latest set, Seventh Tree. And though she complained of suffering from a cold, Alison Goldfrapp's voice still managed to hit all of the dog-whistle highs, notably on the bubbly "Happiness" and sweeping, orchestral "Clown," as well as Supernature's "Satin Chic," as she sang "he's my man, you don't understand" simultaneously ghastly and sexy.

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    Agnostic Front, Madball Shred Hardcore Family Reunion

    Summing up Saturday's (April 5) Black and Blue Bowl in one word is simple: nuts. Hardcore devotees moshed and kicked at Brooklyn's Studio B venue from 2 P.M. well in to the early hours of Sunday morning as a 14-band bill unfolded with performances from hardcore legends Agnostic Front, Madball, and Terror, as well as Breakdown, Fahrenheit 451, Backfire, Death Before Dishonor, Bloodclot, Inhuman, and others.

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