January 15, 2013 |
"New York City," the third song on Christopher Owens' debut solo album "Lysandre," is kind of an opposite-universe version of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side. " It's a sax-soaked tale of turning tricks in the big city, but zips along a major-key melody with a mix of hope and devastation. That blend has been the hallmark of Owens' writing since his time fronting the indie-rock band Girls. "Lysandre" isn't much of a departure But it does broaden the range and refine the writing that made him a troubadour of millennial drifters (and those who go to bed with them)
September 4, 2012 |
Admit it. You thought you had Cat Power's Chan Marshall pegged - and maybe grown a little nervous that her smooth, smoky voice and increasingly carefree demeanor had settled into a blue-eyed soul groove that would soundtrack hipster dinner parties through the next decade. But "Sun" will prove you wrong. A big, confident, and captivating pop album that's so far removed from her Memphis-inspired previous album of originals "The Greatest" (In between, she released an album of covers called "Jukebox")
March 11, 2013 |
A Devendra Banhart album is akin to an art exhibit of miniatures, the rewards contingent on the viewer's/listener's commitment to exploring each tiny detail in his microcosmic mise-en-scènes. Those rewards here more often are moments of smiling "ahhhhs" than of wide-eyed "A-has!" The indie folk darling's brand of Latin- and electronic-tinged pop yields a broad range of musical and sonic textures here. The lyrics range from snippets of ideas, such as the title track's brief rumination on acceptance of a missed opportunity to a slightly more elucidated homage to a musical hero ("Fur Hildegard von Bingen")
August 28, 2012 |
Dan Deacon "America" (Domino Records) Two and a half stars (out of four) It takes nerve to title a record “America,” a loaded word if there ever was one, and acclaimed electronic music performer Dan Deacon is embracing the challenge. Deacon, whose middle-of-the-crowd gigs, in which he sets up his gear in the pit and rocks hard along with fans rocking hard to his music, are some of the most frenzied and inspiring shows I've seen in recent years. He's also a video artist and combines his frantic neon-colored mantra clips with like-minded music to create a modern-day A.V. overload writ large.
April 24, 2013 |
In a memo sent to journalists covering this month's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the Neighbourhood asked that its early-afternoon set be photographed only in black and white. A silly request? For sure. But it's one entirely in keeping with the devotion to style that runs through " Sweater Weather ," this young L.A. band's current alt-rock radio hit, in which frontman Jesse Rutherford admires a lady friend's "little high-waisted shorts" before laying out his hopes for where their evening might go: "One love, two mouths / One love, one house / No shirt, no blouse.
September 11, 2013 |
Since his most recent double-album “Fire & Ice,” Kaskade has become shorthand for the arrival of stadium-sized EDM shows in America. After a decade honing his pointedly emotional, populist sound, he was the first dance act to headline Staples Center, and topped bills at most of the major EDM fests in America. That's been great for his career -- but what does becoming a genre figurehead mean for your actual music? On “Atmosphere,” it means getting more musical -- some of these tracks barely flirt with dance beats at all. Instead, there are winding little orchestras and even more prominent places for his raft of female guest vocalists.