Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Posted November 18, 2015in Sound Check

Kurt Cobain “Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings” Universal Here is possibly the worst thing that “The Home Recordings” does: It comes very, very close to making Kurt Cobain boring. Cobain was, as anyone who knew him or saw him live will attest, a fascinating individual. But all “The Home

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Posted November 11, 2015in Sound Check

Courtney Krause “Thoughts and Sound” Independent Virtually everything about Courtney Krause is delightful, and you can now add her debut album to the list. “Thoughts and Sound” is a lovely bit of work, in a genre that is woefully under-represented in Des Moines’ musical landscape. “Thoughts and Sound” avoids the

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Posted November 04, 2015in Sound Check

Steve Martin & Edie Brickell “So Familiar” Rounder Records This is an absolutely delightful pairing. Martin, long known for his comedic chops, is one of the more accomplished banjo players around and has the ability to concoct simple, heart-tugging melodies. Brickell, ever the songwriter’s songwriter, has been criminally under-appreciated for

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Posted October 28, 2015in Sound Check

Demi Lovato “Confident” Safehouse Let’s start with a potentially divisive declaration: Demi Lovato’s “Cool For the Summer” is the best song written this year. Do with that information what you will. Outside of that track, “Confident” is the next step in Lovato’s progression from wholly owned subsidiary of the Disney

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Posted October 21, 2015in Sound Check

The Zombies “Still Got That Hunger” The End Records There was a time when The Zombies were legitimately great. It was 50 years ago. In fact, but for the sheer stubborn-mindedness of the band itself, The Zombies should have been relegated to the scrap heap of bands that released one

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Posted October 14, 2015in Sound Check

Run the Jewels “Meow the Jewels” Mass Appeal It should go without saying, but let us just get it out in the open anyway: “Meow the Jewels” is by no means a serious album. The only reason this album exists in the first place is because Run the Jewels produced

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Posted October 07, 2015in Sound Check

Sexwitch Self-titled BMG Natasha Khan — perhaps best known for her work as Bat for Lashes — has taken a bit of a left turn with Sexwitch. Produced in collaboration with east London quintet Toy and producer Dan Carey, Sexwitch’s debut album is mostly a psych-pop take on Middle Eastern

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Posted September 30, 2015in Sound Check

Ryan Adams “1989” Atlantic Ryan Adams has done something seemingly impossible. He has opened up Taylor Swift’s music to an audience of people who would never have listened to the pop princess herself and has managed to validate and elevate both himself and T-Swift in the process. Adams’ “1989” is

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Posted September 23, 2015in Sound Check

Holy White Hounds “Sparkle Sparkle” Independent There are few bands in the metro that have grown as much and as quickly as the Holy White Hounds. Three short years ago, the group — then a three-piece — seemed like a fun but nondescript bar band. Since then, the group has

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Posted September 16, 2015in Sound Check

Sara Routh “Black Sheep” Independent The best ideas are often the simplest ones, and “Black Sheep” is a deceptively simple EP. For five songs, all you get is Routh and her guitar. And while that has been done time and time again by a veritable laundry list of musicians, Routh’s

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