Album of the Week: LCD Soundsystem’s “This Is Happening” (2010)

LCD Soundsystem's "This Is Happening" (Virgin; 2010)

Album of the Week LCD Soundsystem This Is Happening (Virgin; 2010) *** RATED 8 of 10 — LCD Soundsystem’s last album is a great collection of long, radio-unfriendly songs.  All but one song clock in at over five minutes. Ironically, the longest track “You Wanted a Hit” is over nine minutes long. The introductory part […]

This Week’s Picks: Zion I & The Grouch at Casanova, June 4

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This Week’s Picks: Grouch Surfing Saturday (June 4), 10pm, Casanova, Makawao; $20 advance / $25 door *** Underground hip hop fans, rejoice! Wrapping up a more than 30-show nationwide tour, Corey Scoffern—aka The Grouch—returns home to the Valley Isle. Bringing “positive messages over unforgettable 808 drums and a melodic slump California is known for,” The […]

Album of the Week: Ted Leo & The Pharmacists’ “The Tyranny of Distance” (2001)

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Album of the Week Ted Leo & The Pharmacists The Tyranny of Distance (Lookout! Records; 2001) *** RATED 8 of 10 — Ted Leo headed many punk rock groups before he made this album. But this isn’t punk rock. Rather, The Tyranny of Distance is a collection of high-energy pop songs produced by Fugazi drummer […]

Album of the Week: Oasis’s “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?” (1995)

Oasis's "(What's the Story) Morning Glory?" (Epic; 1995)

Album of the Week Oasis (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (Epic; 1995) *** RATED 8 of 10: England slowly slumped into post-industrial decline for two decades. Then came the ‘90s. The economy improved, the Labor Party and Tony Blair took over, Manchester United won their first title since 1967 and Oasis became the band of […]

Album of the Week: DJ Shadow’s “In Los Angeles, 10/31/09″ (2010)

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Alum of the Week DJ Shadow In Los Angeles, 10/31/09 (Blunderbuss, 2010) *** RATED 7 of 10: A “live” DJ these days is almost always going to show up with a laptop. Not DJ Shadow. He points out that even though DJs have “access to millions of songs [they’re] still playing the same fifty over and over […]

Album of the Week: The Go! Team’s “Thunder, Lightning, Strike” (2004)

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Album of the Week The Go Team! Thunder, Lightning, Strike (Columbia; 2004) *** RATED 5 of 10: Brighton is England’s playground. The southern beachfront town is home to huge dance festivals and a big, brassy sound represented best by local hero, Fat Boy Slim. The Go! Team mixes this upbeat aesthetic with the 1970s and, uh, […]

Album of the Week: Calexico’s “Feast of Wire” (2003)

Calexico's "Feast of Wire"

Album of the Week Calexico Feast of Wire (Quarterstick Records; 2003) *** RATED 7 of 10: What kind of music does Calexico play? That’s a tough question. Part country, part Latin, part jazz and part rock, Feast of Wire refuses to conform to just one genre. The Arizona-based band covers wide musical territory with a […]

Album of the Week: Eligh’s “Grey Crow” (2010)

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Album of the Week Eligh Grey Crow (Legendary Music; 2010) *** RATED 7 of 10: Eligh has learned a lot after five years of sobriety, and the Californian’s latest solo album proves it. “Find Yourself” graphically follows a young artist as he gets caught up in an iron grip of addiction, battles his demons and […]

Album of the Week: Zion I & The Grouch’s “Heroes in the Healing Nation” (2011)

Heroes in the Healing Nation

Album of the Week Zion I & The Grouch Heroes in the Healing Nation (One Records; 2011) *** RATED 8 of 10: Oakland hip-hop duo Zion I has again teamed up with fellow Bay Area boy (and current Maui resident) The Grouch to give us a diverse new album. Heroes in the Healing Nation (set […]

Album of the Week: Bruce Springsteen’s “The River” (1980)

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Album of the Week Bruce Springsteen The River (CBS; 1980) *** RATED 9 of 10: Listening to this album is like reading a John Steinbeck novel; the people in it have been hardened by life. The Boss sings of soul-crushing disappointment in “Jackson Cage,” dating ladies from the ghetto in “Sherry Darling,” an abandoned husband […]

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