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Author Archives: Caryn Rose

CD Review: Heartless Bastards – Stairs and Elevators

I fell in love with Heartless Bastards’ vocalist Erika Wennerstrom’s voice on the Junior Kimbrough tribute (Sunday Nights – The Songs of Junior Kimbrough). I was absolutely floored and immediately went to find out more about this band. I am pleased to report that Heartless Bastards’ debut album, Stairs and Elevators, sounds nothing like they do on the Kimbrough tribute. ... Read More »

CD Review: Akron/Family – Akron/Family

This is some freaky shit. It’s like Syd Barrett if he didn’t go insane and start climbing trees, it’s early Pink Floyd if they didn’t suck. It sounds like someone found these guys somewhere in South Dakota, because these songs sound like South Dakota – open and clean and clear. They do NOT sound like they were written in Brooklyn. ... Read More »

CD Review: The Moaners – Dark Snack

Indie rock of the country-ish persuasion has been blessed lately with these women of tremendous, distinctive voice – Neko Case, Tift Merritt, Jesse Sykes, and Melissa Swingle, formerly of Bloodshot’s Trailer Bride. I mention this because Swingle is now fronting a new project, The Moaners, on that new vanguard for record labels, Yep Roc (not since Sub Pop or Dischord ... Read More »

CD Review: Kasabian – Kasabian

After about the half-dozenth unsolicited gush/recommendation to check out Kasabian’s self-titled debut CD, I felt I had no choice. I even saved the debut listen for a day spent in the car so I could devote some serious listening time to the album. In fact, I was so sure this record was going to be a slam dunk that I ... Read More »

Various Artists – New York Rocks: Original Punk Classics of the 70’s

Creating the definitive collection of anything is an impossible task; creating an album that’s supposed to be the definitive representation of the New York punk scene is almost setting yourself up for the firing squad. There have been plenty of previous attempts, to be sure (hell, even Marty Thau’s 2×5 was supposed to be a ‘definitive’ compilation of the New ... Read More »

The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Tepid Peppermint Wonderland

Imagine if aliens had captured the Rolling Stones and locked them in a time capsule right around the time they started hanging out in Morocco, but before Brian Jones took a nosedive into drug-induced oblivion. Imagine that he won the battle of egos and he ran the Stones, not Mick. The result might well resemble the Brian Jonestown Massacre, whose ... Read More »

Petra Haden – Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out

I became a die-hard Who fan at the age of 15. Did I say die-hard? More like obsessed, obsessive, consumed, in love with a rock band the way you can probably only be when you are discovering the world and your place in it for the first time. Mike Watt and d.boon (of the late, great Minutemen) were also die-hard ... Read More »

The Postal Service – “We Will Become Silhouettes” single

The cover of the Postal Service’s newest single, “We Have Become Silhouettes” (from 2003’s collaboration,Give Up) is a lovely snowy urban street scene (that suspiciously looks like the Seattle neighborhood that Sub Pop Records’ office is located in, but that could be coincidence). The song’s lyrics cheerfully relate being snowed in, with groceries and provisions, and maybe it’s a case ... Read More »

Bright Eyes – I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning

It is rare these days that I get a record that makes me stop in my tracks, that I play endlessly, put away, and then when I pick it up again, it’s still as good as I remember it. One of two new releases from Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning, is a record like that. The record opens ... Read More »

Various Artists – Sunday Night – The Songs of Junior Kimbrough

The new Fat Possum Records release, Sunday Night – The Songs of Junior Kimbrough, manages to shatter the assumptions that white boys can’t play the blues and that all tribute albums suck. Here, both of those theories delightfully fall flat on their faces. Tribute albums usually start from a heartfelt expression but end up being poorly executed, mostly because of ... Read More »