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Live: Jens Lekman, 11/3/12 (Portland, OR)

November 15, 2012
I was thrilled to finally see Jens Lekman, the Swedish songwriter whose folk-pop reaches witty and humorous heights even in its somber moments. His ingeniously melodic delivery and self-deprecating romantic swoon have made Jonathan Richman comparisons rampant, but Jens is a songwriter who is difficult to c...

Video: EIMIC – “Brittle Crystal”

October 15, 2012
EIMIC stands for Everything Is Made In China, a Moscow-based trio specializing in a unique hybrid of visual-savvy synth-rock. The video for their excellent track “Brittle Crystal” is ceaselessly stimulating; constant movement and clever morphing images make it one of the year’s best music...

Toro Y Moi Announces Third Album

October 10, 2012
Toro Y Moi, the solo project of South Carolina-based Chaz Bundick, announced his third full-length today. Due out January 22nd, Anything in Return will emphasize hip-hop samples and house, with “darker atmospheres” and more “languid funk” compared to Bundick’s past efforts. A ...

Bright Little Field – Treatment Bound (2010)

August 28, 2012
The tribute album is, as I suppose it hardly merits mentioning, a dodgy proposition. It requires an artist who can not only understand the other artist’s work, but who is cognizant enough of its structure that they can offer up what amounts to a criticism or at least a novel interpretation of it. Thi...

july music compilation

Obscure Sound: Best of July 2012

August 14, 2012
I apologize for being late, again, with this. Look on the bright side: we’re only two weeks away from the August compilation. The two combined should feature about 40 bands or so in a span of 15 days. But let’s focus on July for now. Three familiar names kick it off, with tracks that show [&hel...

Coachella Weekend Schedule Announced

April 11, 2012
The schedule for the first weekend of Coachella in Indio, California has been announced. As reported a few months ago, this is the first time Coachella will take place over two weekends (April 13-15 and 20-22). Friday, Saturday, and Sunday feature headliners like Pulp, Mazzy Star, The Black Keys, Arctic Mo...

MP3: Vague-à-bonde – “Voices”

February 20, 2012
Minneapolis-based Vague-à-bonde reminds me of a submission I got two years ago from Grimes, who is finally getting widespread recognition with her new album Visions. I expect producer/songwriter Nicole Alicia of Vague-à-bonde to follow a similar path. I wouldn’t be surprised if she releases a few exc...

Best Albums of 2011: #30 to #21

December 8, 2011
The list's mid-point. There's plenty of great material here, from rookie breakthroughs NewVillager to arena-ready acts like The Black Keys and Fleet Foxes. Take a look.

Russell Simmons Applauds Jay-Z’s OWS Shirts

November 17, 2011
Jay-Z‘s “Occupy All Streets” t-shirts have come under fire as of late, primarily because all the shirts’ profits are going to Jay-Z himself. He has at least one supporter in Russell Simmons, who references yogi scripture of all things to sympathize with Jay-Z’s profitable sche...