Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Annual ManualInternship

Bike World
Posted September 17, 2014in Sound Check

Aphex Twin “Syro” Warp How much you enjoy “Syro” will depend entirely on how much attention you’ve been paying to Richard D. James, the lone mind behind Aphex Twin. To the casual electronic music observer, “Syro” is Aphex Twin’s first release in nearly 13 years and will probably sound like

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Posted September 10, 2014in Sound Check

Ryan Adams/ In Flames

Ryan Adams Self-Titled Pax-AM Every time I listen to Ryan Adams’ new self-titled release, I get the mental image of a guy watching “Singles” for the first time and really “getting” Matt Dillion. The simple fact that Adams has described the album’s creation as “jamming with bros, smoking bowls and

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Posted September 03, 2014in Sound Check

Patresa Hartman/ Karen O

Patresa Hartman “The Only Way Down” Independent Patresa Hartman has been a breath of fresh air in the Des Moines musical landscape. Someone who’s so humble and dismissive of her own talents would ordinarily make one weary and on the lookout for signs of disingenuousness. But Hartman is as earnest

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Posted August 27, 2014in Sound Check

Ill Way “Something New To Do” Independent Ill Way is a local band that, admittedly, I came into this listen knowing nothing about. It’s always a gamble when you’re reviewing a CD completely blind, because Ill Way could have been an experimental noise act that specialized in taking a dump

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Posted August 20, 2014in Sound Check

Brian Setzer “Rockabilly Riot! All Original!” Surfdog Brian Setzer is like your second favorite uncle. When he walks into the room, you’re always like, “Hey! Uncle Brian is here!” and everyone has a great time. But when he’s not around, you’re never like, “I wonder where Uncle Brian is?” Setzer’s

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Posted August 13, 2014in Sound Check

The Muffs “Whoop Dee Doo” Burger Records It’s usually not a good sign when a band takes an extended hiatus from releasing new music. But any reports of The Muffs’ demise have been greatly exaggerated. A decade after their last release, Kim Shattuck, Ronnie Barnett and Roy McDonald have not

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Posted August 06, 2014in Sound Check

Spoon “They Want My Soul” Anti Spoon is the band that can do no wrong. For the bulk of its career, the Austin, Texas, four-piece has enjoyed the mantle of “critical darlings” — a term usually reserved for bands that manage to impress the people who wield pens for a

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Posted July 30, 2014in Sound Check

La Roux “Trouble in Paradise” Polydor The title of La Roux’s sophomore studio effort is retroactively ironic, should one choose to consider the recent split — and subsequent Twitter spat — of singer Elly Jackson and producer Ben Langmaid. As such, it would appear that “Trouble in Paradise” is the

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Posted July 23, 2014in Sound Check

Red Wanting Blue “Little America” Fanatic Records Depending on how you look at it, Little America’s opening track, “Hallelujah,” is either the best or worst track to start the album. On the plus side, it’s a tremendous table-setter with its huge, sweeping sound and frontman Scott Terry’s Marcus Mumford-esque vocals.

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Posted July 16, 2014in Sound Check

Morrissey “World Peace is None of Your Business” Capitol The title track of Morrissey’s 10th solo album is one of the most eye-rollingly pretentious things he’s ever done. If you’re even slightly familiar with Morrissey’s work, you know what a tall order that is. Once he gets that out of

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