DEERHOOF Offend Maggie LP+MP3 / CD
*** "On Offend Maggie a friction between tragic and comic, masculine and feminine, is played out in spectacularly dramatic fashion. This famously cheerful band can certainly summon the thunderclouds when needed. Like the traditional enka music of Japan that Satomi counts among her childhood influences, these songs are often haunted by heartbreak and frustration, but at the same time they're universal, and meant to give courage to the listener."
DEPARTMENT OF EAGLES In Ear Park CD
*** Members of GRIZZLY BEAR. "In Ear Park is a colorful and expansive album, an intimate and personal collection of songs; much of the material that Daniel Rossen brought to In Ear Park draws on memories from his childhood, especially those relating to his father, who passed away in 2007 and to whom the album is dedicated. Many of Fred Nicolaus' contributions relate to similar themes of nostalgia and mortality, giving the album at times an elegiac feel. In Ear Park is also full of joyful moments, lush production and concise songwriting."
BOB DYLAN Tell Tale Signs: Rare & Unreleased 1989-2006 2xCD
*** "27 unreleased recordings, studio demos, alternative takes, live tracks and more. Includes 60 page booklet of rare photos, in-depth liner notes & complete recording credits.
FUCKED UP Chemistry Of Common Life CD
*** "The second album from Toronto posthardcore wunderkinds FUCKED UP is a dense, orchestral double album containing an expansive epic about the mysteries of birth, death and the origins of life (and re-living). Merging elements of hardcore songwriting with up to 70 tracks of guitars, organs, winds and vocals, the songs are iconoclastic and startling. The band is contemptuous of churches and religion, while promoting an almost Buddhist mysticism."
JOLIE HOLLAND The Living And The Dead CD
*** "Jolie Holland's most revealing and expansive work yet, featuring MARC RIBOT and M. WARD."
HOWLING HEX Earth Junk CD
*** "The sixth new version of NEIL MICHAEL HAGERTY’s (ROYAL TRUX) HOWLING HEX. Recorded in the late winter of early 2008, Earth Junk is a ramble in the dappled sunlight of the American Southwest, twisted metallic folk-art in the ever-changing breeze, an offering to all nations. Throw Earth Junk in your sound trunk and keep on rolling."
LAMBCHOP OH (Ohio) CD
*** "Change is a subtle thing in Lambchop's world; Kurt Wagner is simply a great believer in the natural pace of life. Lambchop have evolved, adapted, and tested themselves over their long career and "OH (Ohio)" follows this pattern in typically oblique but deeply satisfying ways."
MICHNA Magic Monday CD
*** "NYC producer MICHNA (SFC, BONDE DO ROLE, DIPLO) comes correct with skullsnap bets and playful electronics by the pound." FADER says: “With each song, Michna pumps city grit into the watery graves of mixtapes past. Post-bass, ambient, whispers of acid jazz, it’s all there.”
MOUNT EERIE Lost Wisdom CD
*** "Lost Wisdom is an album that finds Elverum in a more collaborative mode than usual, working with two legends of music and kindred spirits, JULIE DOIRON and FRED SQUIRE. Elverum and Doiron share vocal duties almost equally on the record, making it an album comprised of dark pop duets. 10 songs with the expression of the face of a baby in a burning world, in the swirling dust. More overtly personal and emotional than usual (which is saying something), these songs hang on a theme of impermanence and destroying forces."
JAY REATARD Matador Singles '08 CD
*** "Every month for six months, Matador has released a limited-edition 7" by
Memphis boywonder JAY REATARD. Each has sold out instantly upon release. This collection collects all 6 plus one extra song. Every song is a perfect snarling pop-punk gem, but the collection evolves interestingly (and erratically) from punk to pop."
THE ROSEBUDS Life Like CD
*** "The fourth full-length from this Raleigh, NC band is a return to more organic territory, barely a year after releasing the synth-heavy dance pop of 2007's "Night Of The Furies". Guest appearances by Portastatic's Matthew McCaughan, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon, and Ashley Stove's Jim Brantley."
MARNIE STERN This Is It... CD
*** "Having released last year's most exciting rock 'n' roll album, Stern's second LP is a pop record for an alternate dimension, where hooks and choruses are sent careening through a cracked kaleidoscope. Chirping chorus lines, riff-raking leads, and bloodletting."
SUN RA & HIS SOLAR ARKESTRA Secrets Of The Sun CD
*** "A superb reissue of a mind-numbingly rare Saturn Records document from ‘62- with a previously unreleased 17 min. track. SECRETS OF THE SUN is one of the last great early ‘60s Saturn LPs to be reissued and is one of his classic early New York releases."
THESE ARMS ARE SNAKES Tail Swallower And Dove CD
*** "On 'Tail Swallower & Dove,' These Arms Are Snakes move through 10-songs with the cracked grace of bolted lightning, rolling and leveling, seeking a space to storm into."