Tuesday, September 2, 2014

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Des Moines Art CenterBike World
Posted June 18, 2014in Sound Check

Lana Del Rey “Ultraviolence” Polydor There’s a school of thought that says “Ultraviolence” is an unnecessary album. Del Rey herself seemed on the fence about making any more music after 2012’s “Born to Die,” and, indeed, many people found that album to be nothing more than a one-trick pony, albeit

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Posted June 11, 2014in Sound Check

Chrissie Hynde “Stockholm” Caroline I was never the world’s biggest Pretenders fan, but I’ve always enjoyed Chrissie Hynde. This is admittedly a hefty paradox because, more than any other component, Hynde WAS the Pretenders. As the years progressed, Hynde wrote more and more of the band’s output on her own,

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Posted June 04, 2014in Sound Check

Echo & The Bunnymen “Meteroites” 429 The “personal approach” taken by Ian McCulloch in the 11th Echo and the Bunnyman’s album is, quite simply, sublime. The liner notes talk about McCulloch’s “complex relationship” with his father, which seems like tired ground for a band as established as this. But instead

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Posted May 28, 2014in Sound Check

Buzz Osborne “The Machine Kills Artists” Ipecac Osborne, legendary front man of The Melvins, has picked 2014 as the year to come forth with his first solo acoustic album. And, ever after 30 years of work to look back on and draw comparisons to, King Buzzo manages to come out

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Posted May 21, 2014in Sound Check

Conor Oberst “Upside Down Mountain” Nonesuch Though just 34, Conor Oberst has been playing this game for 20 years now. All those miles reflect in the construction of “Upside Down Mountain,” Oberst’s sixth solo effort. Oberst’s solo work has always eschewed most of the over-wrought melodramatics that punctuated his Bright

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Posted May 14, 2014in Sound Check

The White Elephant “Cocaine Love Letter” Independent After putting out two of the better roots-rock albums released in the state, The White Elephant is, in its own words, pumping the breaks a bit. Eschewing the crunchy, electrified, three-chord blues-infused rock riffs of its first two albums, “Cocaine Love Letter” is

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Posted May 07, 2014in Sound Check

Lily Allen “Sheezus” Regal/Parlophone This is a perfectly acceptable album. Really, that’s as close to the quick as you can cut. Nothing about “Sheezus” is particularly horrible — bland, maybe — but nothing here will re-invent your life, either. Lily Allen starts the album with the title track, which serves

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Posted April 30, 2014in Sound Check

Bonne Finken “Fairytales/Love Affairs” Independent I’m just going to say it: This is the best thing Bonne Finken has ever done. Originally planned as a double album (something teased in the split title), Finken condensed “Fairytails/Love Affairs” down to 14 tracks, and there’s not a song on the album that

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Posted April 23, 2014in Sound Check

The Pixies “Indie Cindy” Pixiesmusic There are two ways to look at “Indie Cindy.” You can compare it to the other alt-rock albums being released today, or you can compare it to The Pixies, an iconic American band that last released an album 23 years ago. If you choose to

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Posted April 16, 2014in Sound Check

Amps For Christ “Canyons Cars and Crows” 5 Rue Experimental folk/noise project Amps For Christ is back with its first full-length album since 2006’s “Every Eleven Seconds.” If you’re familiar with Henry Barnes’ Man is the Bastard work, you have a good idea what to expect from Amps For Christ,

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