Browsing: Music Reviews

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Reviewing music can be a tedious job. To create one, you have to take into account your interpretation of what the artist hoped to accomplish and meld it with how well you believe he or she accomplished this end, while also discussing how you feel about said hopeful interpretation accomplishment and what it means to accomplish such an interpretation… thusly. That was so heavy and confusing my brain exploded. But that is the motion my mind went into when our editor emailed me the latest by Not an Airplane, “It Could Just Be This Place”.

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This is what happens when you give every kid in the soccer league a trophy. This is what happens when you hold up movie and television stars as idols. They start making shitty music. I want to blame Gwyneth Paltrow for this trend, but its dark roots go much deeper. Remember Don Johnson? Remember Eddie Murphy? We have a long and shameful history of first convincing people that they can act, and then allowing them to believe they can sing.

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The Inept Owl has been lucky enough to have a few artists in multiple fields come back again and again with new albums, ideas, and visions. It has the feel of a family reunion, as we see each other grow up and grow out each time we get together for a brief moment in the year. Such is the case with The Northstar Session as I review their latest album, “Late Bloomer”.

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Rap as an art form has continually evolved. From its tribal, beat-based story-telling syncopation around a fire to its modern, beat-based story-telling syncopation in 50,000 capacity sports arenas, rap has been in constant flux in how the form has been portrayed, enacted, and interpreted. The same can be said for modern biological evolution. So it is no surprise that Canadian rapper Baba Brinkman would take both of these linear ideas of evolution, and evolve them from performance, feedback, and revision, into a new album, The Rap Guide to Evolution: Revised, and then bring it to New York City as a public performance.

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You think you know the blues? Hold up there, Hipster Hank. Put down your PBR and listen for a minute. This isn’t your super-rare bootleg 45 of Etta James playing live in some smoky dive in New Orleans. This isn’t John Lee Hooker, growling his way through another “woman done me wrong” song. And this definitely isn’t some long-haired white boy who just shreds his way through a 12-bar blues chord progression. Meet Christian St. Croix… a self-described “un-closeted new-roots blues singer into tattoos, street art and slasher flicks.”

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On April 20th, I got an email notification whose subject line read: “The Editor wants to share ‘TV on the Radio’ with you.” Do me a favor: go to Wikipedia, look up “TV on the Radio,” then see if you can find a reference to April 20th. Go ahead, I’ll wait. Yep. That guy sent me an album to crack jokes about on the day the band’s bassist died of cancer.

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To be fair, I knew fuck-all about the Deftones before I hear their latest album, Diamond Eyes. I thought, based on the name, that they were some sort of jazzy, neo-swing band of some sort. It turns out they are actually a rock band.

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