Review: Pan-American – “A Son”

A Son is the name of Chicagoan Mark Nelson’s latest release as Pan-American, out last week via Kranky. And, even by Pan-American standards, it is a startlingly human and naked thing. Nelson’s outside-Labradford project often has come loaded with the lynchpins of glitch and dub: the careful arrangements, even – sometimes especially – of arguably…

Review: Tomeka Reid Quartet – “Old New”

Most of us know or associate with the cello as a staple of the classical and post-classical world, an instrument whose deeper breaths can elicit comparisons to the bowels of sadness. (Jazz polls, for example, list it under “Miscellaneous.”) In Queens-by-way-of-Chicago musician Tomeka Reid’s hands though, the thing swings. Reid recently released the second outing…

Profile: Spotlights (2019)

The band Spotlights played its first show in Pittsburgh in 2017, opening for Melvins at Rex Theater in South Side. At the time, the group – husband and wife team Mario and Sarah Quintero – lived in Brooklyn. On Tuesday, July 16, the band will make its latest appearance in Pittsburgh, headlining Black Forge 2…

Review: Nonagon – “Tuck The Long Tail Under”

Nonagon sound positively, well, positive on “Tuck The Long Tail Under,” its offering from a new split seven-inch with Cincinnati’s Knife The Symphony out on Phratry and Controlled Burn Records. That’s not to say the trio’s gone all doughy or doe-eyed on its first vinyl outing since 2013’s excellent The Last Hydronaut. The closing third…

Review: Radon Chong – “I Keep On Talking To You” (x2)

Radon Chong — a Pittsburgh act that crafts musical nooses out of knotted guitars — sets its sights high on I Keep on Talking to You, a debut cassette sitting at the intersection of post-rock’s interwoven trajectories and Captain Beefheart’s atonal laments. And, man oh man, does this band bloody and utterly batter those sights. In…

PROFILE: Matt Mehlan (2017)

He’s going it on his own again and it sounds great. Tomorrow, after a decade-plus at the helm of the thought-rock ensemble/b(r)and Skeletons, Matt Mehlan will strike out on his own with the release of a solo record, The Mehlans. The record is alarmingly accessible and totally bizarre – like a fever-dream where you know…

REVIEW: Tyranny of Dave – “Silence In Brooklyn” b/w “All This 4 U”

The antique-garde is rearing its head again. After seven years of silence, Pinataland founder David Wechsler – whose bizarre orchestrette once emanated from near the epicenter of a NYC micro-scene fascinated with Old World themes, history, and oddball strains of Americana – returns with a self-released 7-inch single. And, man, is it worth tracking down…

PROFILE: King G and The J Krew

Twenty five years ago today, the beat was born. It was the sound of young adults from Louisville – a sprawling collection of collaborators, most of them close friends since childhood – surging with ideas, and busting out with a declaration that they intended to live an unfiltered, untethered life of art and music. It…

REVIEW: Chicken & The Chick Flicks – “Too Bad About The Sun”

Chicken and The Chick Flicks’ Too Bad About The Sun, out now on Shinkoyo, is exhilarating for reasons that most records simply aren’t. A microtonal-poetry reading for a demented albeit low-key dream, the record pairs Thax Douglas – he of the live concert reading; check the resume here – with Skeletons b(r)and leader Matt Mehlan,…

REVIEW: Elephant Rifle – “Ivory”

This record begins with the uncontrolled wailing of guitar feedback and squalor, later joined by the gasps of a dying piano. And that’s a good place to start. Because, then, it kicks you in the goddamn teeth. Turn it up! Turn it up! “Bone Voyage,” Elephant Rifle’s entry in Noise-Punk Single of the Year, explodes…