Aug 15, 2004

Recorded: Rogue Wave: "Out of the Shadow"

Rogue Wave”Out of the Shadow” (Subpop) Indie-pop outfit, Rogue Wave, should consider themselves lucky. Ever since the Subpop label re-released their overlooked debut, Out of the Shadow, the gushing reviews keep pouring forth. Critics compare them to everyone from the Beach Boys to Elliot ...

Gerling: 'Bad Blood!!!'

Jul 25, 2004

Gerling: "Bad Blood!!!"

Aussie electro-punks Gerling want it both ways: hardcore’s caustic snarl with the insistent thump of disco and house. Fans of dance-punk darlings The Rapture and !!! may consider this opportunistic, but the Sydney trio have crossbred both genres for years. Their eclectic third LP, ...

Shake it, baby, shake it

Jul 21, 2004

Shake it, baby, shake it

It’s not just about mosh pits and busted lips: Both Summer Sonic and Fuji Rock have plenty of rump-bouncing beats on offer. In fact, the dance-oriented acts in this year’s lineups are as diverse as ever. Here are a few of the best places ...

The Album Leaf: 'In a Safe Place'

Jul 18, 2004

The Album Leaf: "In a Safe Place"

Jimmy LaValle’s classical training helped define his old outfit, Tristeza, whose intricate post-rock pastorals could have been jarring or cluttered without a subtle, steady hand. As the Album Leaf, his present incarnation, the San Diego guitarist’s strings recede into more barren terrain. Lush acoustic ...

Kenji Jammer: 'Hula Hula Dance 4'

Jul 4, 2004

Kenji Jammer: "Hula Hula Dance 4"

Japanese guitarist Kenji Jammer’s eclectic dossier includes studio work with everyone from U2 to Bill Laswell to Simply Red. His “Hula Hula Dance” CD series, however, has focused on a reinterpretation of Hawaiian-style steel guitar, sauntering past the luau for the sleek sofas of ...

Nothing like vintage tech

Jun 27, 2004

Nothing like vintage tech

It’s been said that the musical style now referred to as “electro” wriggled to life in the early ’80s, when the heavy thump of funk collided with burgeoning synthesizer technology. Jittery, bass-heavy and bombastic, electro lurked on the half-courts and back-alley clubs of New ...

De La Soul: 'Live at Tramps, 1996,' 'De La Mix Tape'

Jun 20, 2004

De La Soul: "Live at Tramps, 1996," "De La Mix Tape"

Few hip-hop fans argue the relevance of golden-age innovators De La Soul, but two recent releases from the Rhino label may cause debate. The first, “Live at Tramps, NYC, 1996,” catches the trio performing for a hyped home crowd near their creative peak — ...

RJD2: 'Since We Last Spoke'

Jun 6, 2004

RJD2: "Since We Last Spoke"

Any DJ worth his wax knows there’s more to hip-hop than beats, bravado and samples extracted from R&B vinyl. On “Since We Last Spoke,” the Def Jux label’s star spinner, RJD2, strays further from the medium’s usual rap/soul axis and delves into arena rock, ...

May 16, 2004

The Beta Band: "Heroes to Zeros"

On “Heroes to Zeros,” their third and considerably less-goofy LP, Edinburgh’s puckish loners The Beta Band deliver more eclectic, off-kilter pop, but from a point much closer to the center than kaleidoscopic EPs of yore. Where past output spun around a double-helix of acoustic ...

Sufjan Stevens: 'Seven Swans'

Apr 11, 2004

Sufjan Stevens: "Seven Swans"

In a recent interview, Sufjan Stevens confessed vocal inadequacies: his range is limited; his falsetto is strained; he lacks Patti Smith’s attitude and Willie Nelson’s cliches. However, narrative, he says, saves the music from these weaknesses. He sells himself short, but Stevens has a ...