Thursday, May 25, 2017

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Posted May 03, 2017in Sound Check

Sound Check

“Whiteout Conditions” The New Pornographers Concord The New Pornographers seems like a band that should have imploded a decade ago. It’s made up of enough successful individuals (A.C. Newman, Neko Case, Dan Bejar) that the band gets called a supergroup, making a Fleetwood Mac-style breakup all but inevitable. The band’s

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Posted April 05, 2017in Sound Check

Sound Check

“Heartworms” The Shins Columbia Records Early in their career, a Natalie Portman character blessed/cursed The Shins with an endorsement that will follow the New Mexico band until its eventual demise. For a while, it seemed like the end might have already occurred, but following a hiatus and a five-year gap

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Posted March 01, 2017in Sound Check, Uncategorized

Sound Check

“Watchlist” Aaron Earl Short Independent During the last two decades, Aaron Earl Short has quietly established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the Iowa roots sound. From The Creek Dwellers to his family band The High Crest to his other family band, Eastside Brothers, Short has shown

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Posted February 01, 2017in Sound Check

Sound Check

David Bowie “No Plan” Columbia How do you write an epilogue for a life like David Bowie’s? The rock god’s final album, “Blackstar,” and his death two days later in early 2016 helped set the tone for the worst year ever. One year later, in what would have been his

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Posted January 04, 2017in Sound Check

Sound Check

The Rolling Stones Blue & Lonesome Polydor  It’s been 11 years since The Rolling Stones last released an album, but when was the last time the legendary band put out a memorable album? Sadly, the Stones’ cover album, “Blue & Lonesome” continues the “OK, but forgettable” format the band has

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Posted November 30, 2016in Sound Check

Sound Check

St. Lenox “Ten Hymns from My American Gothic” Anyway Records A concept album about the experiences of Korean immigrants carving out a life for themselves in the Midwest released just weeks before the 2016 presidential election ran the risk of being lost in the political frenzy or worse, becoming instantly

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Posted November 02, 2016in Sound Check

Sound Check

Angle “Talkin’ Story” One Leg Up Productions For years, Jarid Catrenich has been an unsung hero of the local hip-hop scene, releasing material on a regular basis under the name Angle. On his latest album, “Talkin’ Story,” Angle shows that he still has incredible flow and the ability to put together

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Posted October 05, 2016in Sound Check

TWINS

“Square America” Maximum Ames TWINS’ 2014 debut “Tomboys on Parade” had an infectious pop quality, but for “Square America,” the Waterloo band has moved more toward a ’70s FM rock sound. It suits the quartet, with tracks like “Hot Stepper” and “Mary’s Sister Margaret” harkening back to the sound of

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Posted August 31, 2016in Sound Check

Quick Piss

“Rock ‘N’ Roll Impotence” Independent Short, fast and raw, the songs on Des Moines (slightly pop) punk band Quick Piss’ new album cling to the essential truth that a good punk song needs to be just over or under 2 minutes. Vocalist Stone Mills seems like he would be comfortable stepping

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Posted August 09, 2016in Sound Check

The Other Brothers

  “Rosetta” Independent The Other Brothers released a live album last year, but “Rosetta” marks its first studio effort. Recorded in a series of one-takes on vintage instruments and microphones, and using tiny 5-watt amps, “Rosetta” has a raw sound that frontman Eli Clark favors. The result might strike some

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