June 7, 2004 |
The Shins make the kind of neatly manicured, slightly twisty power-pop that has for years appealed primarily to aging fans who pine for the '80s heyday of XTC and Squeeze. So what were all those college-age kids who wouldn't know an XTC song if it bit them on their iPods doing at the band's packed Wiltern LG show on Friday? Dancing and singing along to this unlikely rising-star quartet, that's what.
February 2, 2004 |
The cool thing about normal-looking people is you never really know. Take the Fiery Furnaces and Ted Leo, who shared a bill at the jam-packed Echo on Friday. Furnaces siblings Eleanor and Matthew Friedberger look like average grad students, while Leo could be that guy in the office down the hall. But their performances revealed the kind of eccentric takes that keeps rock fresh. The Brooklyn-based Friedbergers, augmented by two musicians, almost seemed to have their own musical language.
February 29, 2004 |
January Various artists, "Lost in Translation" soundtrack (Emperor Norton) With its haunting mixture of guitar assault and lovely pop strains, the Jesus & Mary Chain was a London-based band with a sound every bit as radical and, possibly, influential as the Sex Pistols.
November 30, 2003 |
Kinky "Atlas" (Sonic 360/Nettwerk America) *** In its sophomore effort, this celebrated electro-Latin quintet set out to capture the excitement and energy of its live performances. Sonically, they succeeded with this polished and occasionally provocative new album, written and produced by the band. Seeking a fresh creative environment, these longtime friends ensconced themselves in a remote jungle studio in southern Mexico, refiningtheir intriguing blend of rock, electro-pop and Latin rhythms.
August 22, 2004 |
R. Kelly "Happy People"/"U Saved Me" (Jive) **** One of the great things about certain pop records is their ability to fill you with a feeling of well-being when there's not much reason to be feeling good. The world might be going to hell in a handbasket and your personal life might be unraveling, but it doesn't matter if "Dancing in the Street" or "Help Me Rhonda" is on the radio. It's only natural to assume that R.