David Menconi

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Hear Haley Bonar’s Dynamic, Demanding ‘No Sensitive Man’

The story goes that Haley Bonar caught her big break at an open-mic show, when Alan Sparhawk of Low saw Bonar and put her on…
David Menconi / February 28, 2014

Hear Bobby Bare Jr.’s Swaggering ‘North of Alabama by Mornin”

Despite being Nashville royalty by bloodline, Bobby Bare Jr. has never been easy to pin down as strictly country. On "North of Alabama by Mornin',"
David Menconi / February 25, 2014

Uncle Tupelo’s ‘No Depression’ Reissue Fetes a Hard-Luck Classic That Birthed a Whole Genre

Between Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers, and the Avett Brothers, twang-y, revivalist roots rock might seem like a new thing, but all that's really new…
David Menconi / January 23, 2014

Bill Callahan Is a Fount of Gorgeously Economical Gravitas on ‘Dream River’

"I've got limitations," Bill Callahan admits with characteristic matter-of-factness on the opening track to Dream River, his fourth studio effort under his own name. "Like…
David Menconi / September 18, 2013

Jason Isbell, ‘Southeastern’ (Southeastern/Thirty Tigers)

"Saw my guts / Saw my glory / It would make a great story / If I could ever remember it right," Jason Isbell hollers…
David Menconi / June 14, 2013

She & Him, ‘Volume 3′ (Merge)

Back in 2008, She & Him seemed like a whimsical diversion for singer/movie star Zooey Deschanel and guitarist M. Ward — an artsy little love-over-gold…
David Menconi / May 9, 2013

Olafur Arnalds, ‘For Now I Am Winter’ (Mercury Classics)

The major label debut from Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds begins and ends on a familiar note, with bookend tracks flaunting his signature blend of stately…
David Menconi / April 1, 2013

Samantha Crain, ‘Kid Face’ (Ramseur)

It's the folkie conundrum: For all the music's emphasis on rootedness and connection to place, it is nevertheless bound to ramble, bringing out the restless…
David Menconi / February 22, 2013

Cracker Look Back at 20 Years of ‘Low’

The jangle and rasp of "Low," the leadoff track from Cracker's 1993 platinum album Kerosene Hat, was a ubiquitous signpost of the alternative-as-the-new-mainstream era. As…
David Menconi / January 29, 2013

Stream Camper Van Beethoven’s Tenth Album, ‘La Costa Perdida’: Plus David Lowery Q&A

After breaking college radio with the Dr. Demento fave "Take the Skinheads Bowling" in 1985, we never imagined Camper Van Beethoven would be making news…
David Menconi / January 14, 2013

Parquet Courts, ‘Light Up Gold’ (Dull Tools/What’s Your Rupture?)

Parquet Courts seem to have hit on the magic mushroom that conjures the effects of both weed-induced reflection and acute hyperactivity. As chemical alchemy goes,…
David Menconi / January 11, 2013

Ty Segall, ‘Twins’ (Drag City)

Ty Segall works so fast, it's a wonder he didn't call this album Quintuplets, just for the challenge. As is, Twins stands on its own…
David Menconi / October 9, 2012

Woods, ‘Bend Beyond’ (Woodsist)

Scan the new Woods album's track list, and the adjectives are what leap out: "honest," "easy," "empty," "impossible," "surreal," "beyond." Which about sums up the…
David Menconi / September 20, 2012

Patti Smith, ‘Banga’ (Columbia)

Halfway through "Amerigo," the first song on Patti Smith's first album of new material in eight years, the pile-driving bass line drops away and the…
David Menconi / June 5, 2012

Lambchop, ‘Mr. M’ (Merge)

Album No. 11 from Nashville's self-proclaimed "most fucked-up country band" opens with a bed of tense string lusciousness straight out of a '50s Douglas Sirk…
David Menconi / March 8, 2012

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