Review: Will Oldham – “Songs of Love and Horror”

Songs of Love and Horror — a new LP, out alongside a tome of lyrics last week via Drag City, wherein the acclaimed singer-songwriter Will Oldham unfurls tender incantations of songs from the Palace and Bonnie “Prince” Billy catalogues — is frighteningly, frighteningly evocative stuff. It also might be the indie-folk icon’s finest record in…

Review: Papa M – “A Broke Moon Rises”

Talk about a phoenix rising from the ashes of it all, am I right? Consummate post-rock guitarist David Pajo returns to excellent form on A Broke Moon Rises, a new five-song mini-LP released a few days ago via Drag City. The record comes less than two years after Highway Songs, a confusing mish-mash of odds…

Review: Altar Boy – S/T

Pittsburgh label Crafted Sounds recently Tweeted out the following in response to a request to drink PBR with members of Altar Boy, a group of post-something Pittsburghers releasing their debut EP Friday on said label: “Altar Boy does not have a Twitter but they got a tighttttt EP coming out.” Tighttttt? Now, that’s an understatement….

REVIEW: Watter – “History of the Future”

Watter – a Louisville post-rock band that’s high in promise due to its parentage, if nothing else – simply fails to deliver on the oft-disjointed but occasionally ambitious History of the Future, its sophomore full-length, out today on Temporary Residence. It’s not that there are not great moments on the record. It’s just that their…

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: Radon Chong – “I Keep On Talking To You”

Captain Beefheart devotees, rejoice! Shape-shifter Don van Vliet might be deceased but his spirit – and that of his ever-evolving Magic Band – is alive and well in Pittsburgh. Local band Radon Chong channel the Captain with passionate precision, vibrant originality, and colorful flare on its nine-song debut, the mind bogglingly good I Keep On…

REVIEW: Heron – “You Are Here Now”

To hear some good reverb-drenched post-rock on the radio dial or the event horizon, you can do a heck of a lot worse than Heron, the Pennsylvania quartet that made its debut recently with the engaging and shimmering full-length You Are Here Now. On the record, which they self-released, the band situates itself comfortably near…

Louisville-Born, Brooklyn-Based — PROFILE: David Grubbs (2006)

The classroom is empty, the students more than an hour away, but David Grubbs sits behind a console in an unassuming Brooklyn College radio laboratory, tinkering with faders and talking about the aesthetics of sound art as if one of his classes already was in session. In this performance space without an audience, he’s dressed…

REVIEW: Papa M – “Highway Songs”

At first blush, Papa M’s Highway Songs LP is a mess or, at best perhaps, unbalanced. But first blushes, like a journalist’s first drafts of history, are frequently pockmarked with misconceptions and quotes demanding corrections. Many watched as Papa M’s sole member and primary muse, the Slint and Tortoise alum David Pajo, struggled with god…

REVIEW: HC-B – “Rough”

It takes a great record to remind me how awkward it can be — yes yes, like dancing to architecture — to write about really good instrumental rock music. For the moment, the band putting me in said position is HC-B, the record is the group’s latest Hidden Shoal release, Rough, and both are terrific, sometimes bordering on breathtaking….