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…

Review: Little Mazarn – S/T

I’ve always considered Curtis Eller to be the prototypical underground banjo player. He crafts song-stories about history (or more appropriately, history through a warped contemporary lens) with an Americana flare and P.J. Barnum hucksterism; his banjo, as vibrant as a ringing electric guitar, drives the compositions front and center. Little Mazarn, whose self-titled outing will…

Review: The Sun Machine – “Turn On To Evil”

The Sun Machine certainly has its musical reference points down pat. On its evocative Turn On To Evil LP, which was released two days ago through Electric Church, the Austin “third-coast” quintet sounds like a band possessed by the sometimes-raw, lo-fi haziness of 60s garage-psych. And, on the LP’s 10 songs, they prove themselves mighty…

Review: Slow Decay – “Ghosts” EP

Hard to get into Ghosts, the new EP from Isle of Man’s Slow Decay. It’s not that there’s anything particularly wrong with the three-song outing; the vocals – delivered by a front-woman who sounds like the offspring of Bjork and Danzig – are well-studied and well-trained, the guitar crunches, the drums pop. It’s just that…

Review: DF – “abcdf” EP

I feel largely under-qualified to review abcdf, the new EP and accompanying visual experience from Montreal duo DF. While tenor saxophonist Dustin Finer employs some of the same looping methods as fellow Montreal act Alder & Ash – whose Clutched In The Maw of The World I liked very much – his tone is wholely,…

REVIEW: Jozef Van Wissem – “Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back”

Minimalist composer and lutenist Jozef Van Wissem follows up last year’s When Shall This Bright Day Begin with a new LP, the spare and oft-haunting Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back, out Friday on Consouling Sounds. Van Wissem’s got Minimalism’s horizon-expansion down. In “Golden Bells Ring…,” a 4/4 refrain on lute loops infinitely,…

REVIEW: Murder For Girls – “All The Pretty Stars”

Blender analogies are lazy, so let’s find a way around them. While Murder For Girls always has traced its trajectory back to the Riot Grrl bands of the early ’90s, its new record – All The Pretty Stars, which the band will mark with a release show Saturday night – is a little bit more…