Review: Blankets For Laura – “Orange” EP

Thank you, Shay Park. While much of the Pittsburgh underground is awaiting the debut EP from Soda Club, the local dream-pop quartet Park fronts with saxophonist Jarrett Krause, Park quietly released on Bandcamp a four-song gem of an EP from her now-defunct solo project Blankets For Laura. And it’s a reminder of why we fell…

Review: Jeremy Bass – “The Greatest Fire”

Considering Jeremy Bass’ new LP, The Greatest Fire, boasts contributions from Nick Luca and Jacob Valenzuela, there probably was little doubt this thing would draw comparisons to Calexico. But, while it beats everyone’s favorite southwestern desert folksters in one respect — The Greatest Fire will be released Jan. 19, seven days before Calexico’s highly anticipated The Thread…

Review: Expires – “Fake Sigils”

Pittsburgh has never been known, particularly, as a hub for post-rock, that fluid genre of “music for people who read books” that flirts with everything from shoegaze to math-rock. (We leave that to Louisville.) But Burgh-based multi-instrumentalist Mike Layton has been plugging away quietly in the regional SWPA scene for a few years now, most…

Review: Alexei Shishkin – “Pittsburgh”

We all know the words – folksters Simon & Garfunkel, searching for the nation’s soul in the song “America,” talked to Cathy “as [they] boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh.” It’s not the first time Pittsburgh, as a place, was used as a cultural signifier but it might be one of the more famous. Well, enter…

Review: Denzell – “Tour Tape” EP

I don’t need some punk-rock band to hand over the verdict that, yeah, things are pretty bleak. Even if the Pussy-Grabber-In-Chief weren’t trying to run the show – let me just pause on that for a second and enjoy the thought – the world has no shortage of proof that we’re hurtling toward the eye of the…

Review: Souns – “Aquamarine”

Michael Red continues to distance himself from the dance-conscious work associated with his name through Souns, an experimental/ambient project whose Aquamarine LP was released by Subtempo Records late last week. Aquamarine, in its finer moments, calls to mind the work of Loscil’s Scott Morgan, but that contrast does more to hurt than to help it….

Profile: Elephant Rifle

Let me call it early: anybody who’s anybody who considers themselves a devotee of punk rock will consider Hunk, the recently announced third full-length from Reno quartet Elephant Rifle, to be one of the most anticipated records of 2018. That’s on the record, Skippy. While Party Child, the group’s debut, was great, the band really…

Review: Rachel Grimes – “Eights”

Composer/pianist Rachel Grimes orchestrates a soundscape of wonder on “Eights,” a digital one-off also available on the compilation accompanying Oxford American’s new edition on Kentucky music. The song was released, alongside sheet music, earlier today on Bandcamp. The premise for the piano etude is simple and one does not have to wonder long if the…

Review: Dw. Dunphy/Jeff Elbel/Randy Kerkman/Dan Pavelich – “Everything Goes To Hell”

For a song titled “Everything Goes To Hell,” this is pretty gleaming. Assembling for the Co-Op an indie supergroup of sorts – bassist Jeff Elbel (Ping, Farewell to Juliet), guitarist Randy Kerkman (Yonderboy, Beki Hemingway) and keyboardist Dan Pavelich (The Bradburys, The Click Beetles) – the synthetic-minded singer-songwriter Dw. Dunphy presents a version of hell on this online-only single that’s, overall, pretty…

Review: Tom Waits – “Alice”/”Blood Money” (Remastered)

Tom Waits never has sounded better, at least in terms of fidelity, than he does on the new, re-mastered versions of Alice and Blood Money – which were released, to much anticipation, on ANTI- Records. There are good reasons for these revelations, of course, and some of them are so obvious they don’t even need…