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  • Article

    The Sea and Cake - Everybody (Thrill Jockey)

    As Pitchfork Media once said of the group Silkworm, consistency without spectacle can make for a tough sell. This axiom also applies to the Sea and Cake, but it has been mitigated somewhat by their danceability, which came to a head on 2000's Oui and...

    by Daniel Mee on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    Goldrush - The Heart Is the Place (Better Looking)

    Keyboards blur and bubble, guitars loop like a Mbius strip, chorale arrangements and found sounds (muted trumpet, birdsong and static) stack and stack, a bereft acoustic guitar or piano anchors the melodies, and Robin Bennett sings with a quizzical,...

    by Roy Kasten on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    The National - Boxer (Beggars Banquet)

    Let's just get this out of the way: The National's Boxer does not rock. Unlike Alligator or Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers, the "single options" are few ("Fake Empire," "Mistaken for Strangers"). Instead, the album is a surprisingly cohesive introspectio...

    by Merritt Martin on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen Songs From a Room Songs of Love and Hate

    In 1967, there were many singers claiming to be poets, but Leonard Cohen was a real poet who was trying to be a singer. And although there are still critics who decry Cohen's singing ability, very few disparage the man's strengths as a wordsmith. The...

    by Darryl Smyers on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    Welcome - Sirs (Fat Cat)

    In an era when you can practically take every album into the critic's version of the CSI laboratory (complete with Zero 7 playing in the background) in order to determine its exact points of reference and the width of its bandwagon tread, it's refres...

    by Terry Sawyer on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    Prom Is for Suckers - Lollipop Shoppe is bringing groovy back

    High school proms are tragic. The potential that something will go absurdly wrong is likely with teens amidst hormonal rage making sartorial decisions of taffeta and tails. Whether it was in the '70s or the '90s, those prom photos of yours will only ...

    by Richard Lopez on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    Pop Art - On J.D Whittenburg's new disc, everything adds up

    To some extent, the lyrics of pop music are about emotion, specifically of the romantic variety. Oh sure, there are the occasional forays into intellectual queries, or literary ruminations, or mathematical formulae, but truly even the arithmetic boil...

    by Jonanna Widner on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    The Rapture, Shiny Toy Guns - Thursday, May 17, at the Granada Theater

    In the California desert during Coachella it's always time to boogie. At this year's festival, the Arctic Monkeys strapped on their "Dancing Shoes," Peeping Tom got their mojo working, LCD Soundsystem brought the Sound of Silver, Hot Chip knocked out...

    by Austin Powell on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    Ghostland Observatory - Saturday, May 19, at House of Blues

    Austin-based Ghostland Observatory say they're "not a band, but an agreement between two friends to create something that not only heals their beat-driven hearts, but pleases their rock and roll souls." Whether or not they're a band, the friends--sin...

    by Travis Ritter on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    The Demigs - Thursday, May 17, at Andy's Basement, Denton

    Chris Demiglio, the slightly rotund, bald frontman (and namesake) of this Denton quartet, is, for better or worse, a dead ringer for Frank Black. The fact that his band channels the best attributes of the Pixies only makes simplistic comparisons that...

    by Darryl Smyers on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    Clientele, Beach House - Friday, May 18, at Hailey's, Denton

    Proceed with caution if you plan on mixing alcohol or sedatives with this dreamy indie line-up. Clientele winces the night away with a gorgeous blend of '60s pop, poignant and pensive, led by the soothing vocals of Alasdair MacLean, who manages to so...

    by Austin Powell on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    I Hate Sally - Friday, May 18, at the Door

    Dee Prescott, frontwoman for this Canadian doom metal quartet, looks like a Joan Jett starter kit, but once she lets loose her commanding roar, it's obvious that she's from an entirely different universe. Don't Worry Lady, I Hate Sally's sophomore ef...

    by Darryl Smyers on May 17, 2007
  • Article

    Nomad - On the road--and sea--with Peter and the Wolf

    The life and music of Red Hunter, better known as Peter and the Wolf, moves like the wind through chimes: weightless, pensive and meditative. The nomadic singer-songwriter's gorgeous lo-fi tales of distance and clime convey his intrinsic knack for ad...

    by Austin Powell on May 10, 2007
  • Article

    Bad Good Bad - As usual, Wilco delivers--and divides.

    Wilco's latest album, Sky Blue Sky (due out May 15), so far appears to be polarizing fans and critics alike; people either love or loathe the group's meandering, rootsy direction. In the spirit of dialogue, here are two takes on Sky from two longtime...

    on May 10, 2007
  • Article

    Eat, Drink and Be Merry - Gorge yourself on the good stuff

    Booze? Music? We're all over it: OK, sure, Billboard magazine wrote up the Good Records/Urbano Restaurant Rock 'n' Roll Wine Dinners a while back, but hey, DO broke the news on Unfair Park. But this isn't about us; this is about Dinner No. 3, which t...

    by Jonanna Widner on May 10, 2007
  • Article

    Anthony Hamilton - Southern Comfort (Merovingian)

    Things have never been easy for platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated, neo-soul crooner Anthony Hamilton. Before briefly touching superstardom with his 2003 So So Def hit Comin' From Where I'm From, Hamilton bounced from short-lived record label to shor...

    by Ben Westhoff on May 10, 2007
  • Article

    Kings of Leon - Because of the Times (RCA)

    The whole point of Because of the Times, according to Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill, is to throw the unsuspecting listener for a loop. And the group's third full-length should have no trouble pulling off that one. The Kings have abandoned th...

    by Ed Masley on May 10, 2007
  • Article

    Bjrk - Volta (Elektra)

    At this point in her career, Bjrk probably isn't going to win over any new fans. Those who didn't like her before won't start with this release. Volta is challenging, confusing and likely to grate on the nerves, similar to the beatbox-driven Medulla...

    by Michael D. Ayers on May 10, 2007
  • Article

    Make My Funk Tha P-Funk - George Clinton still wants to get funked up

    Funk master George Clinton started off in the 1950s singing doo-wop. A couple of months ago, he was in the studio with rapper Scarface. Fifty-something years is a long time to stay relevant in the music business, but that's what Clinton has done. Par...

    by Olivia Flores Alvarez on May 10, 2007
  • Article

    Jimmy LaFave - Cimarron Manifesto (Red House)

    Although born in Wills Point, Texas, roots singer-songwriter Jimmy LaFave is more closely associated with Stillwater, Oklahoma, the place where he honed his pleasing mixture of folk, country and rock. LaFave calls what he does "red dirt music" and th...

    by Darryl Smyers on May 10, 2007
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