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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK October 13, 2011
    By Michael Marotta
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    After seeing her sing to a national television audience this spring on NBC’s The Voice, it feels like we, as a city, are somehow still getting to know CASEY DESMOND. A veteran of the Boston music scene since her 2005 self-titled debut record, Desmond appears ready for mainstream lift-off on the strength of the glittery electro-pop she always seemed destined to sing.

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK September 29, 2011
    By Michael Marotta
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    This Saturday, the first of the month, October officially becomes Rocktober. But before we enact a city-wide moratorium on use of the facepalm-flinging mashup, the denim-clad dudes of TOWNSHIP fill the bill and fit the bit in true definition by reducing Brighton Music Hall to a smoldering rock rubble. Brand spankin’ new disc One More Summer is a riff-laden musical love letter to youthful rebellion, parties in the woods, and the struggles of getting older, and it’s led by standout bluesy shit-fit jamboree “All Your Stufff.

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK September 21, 2011
    By Michael Marotta
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    There’s 12 seconds of washed-out riffage in “(A) Natural History,” the new single from Boston alt-rock quartet SOCCER MOM, before it hits rock and roll overdrive and never looks back. The first track off debut EP You Are Not Going to Heaven, “(A)NH” has already dropped the jaws of early-’90s college rock revival enthusiasts, and co-vocalist William Scales' Thurston Moore impression fits perfectly over the sludgy, noisy, chain-link fence guitarwork.

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK September 14, 2011
    By Michael Marotta
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    The online bio for Boston space-rock quartet MOONS reads simply: “A heartfelt story of some metal and hardcore kids that got into Hum, Swervedriver, and Failure.” Rock bios are usually the biggest waste of time this side of plugging band Web sites on stage, but that’s some succinct shit right there. “Jupiter Drive,” the first track off this summer’s Stasis 10-inch, initially hits like those explosive chords in Hum’s “Stars” before settling in to a post-hardcore comet ride, each riff a galactic blast of post-rock force.

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK September 08, 2011
    By Michael Marotta
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    A few months after unleashing a 28-song month-long “Covers Project” in which he gave a solo shine to lost classics by the Stooges, Bad Brains, and Galaxie 500, indispensible Boston rock veteran RYAN LEE CROSBY is back with original material and a full backing band. The former Cancer to the Stars screamer and longtime folk singer-songwriter has released two new tracks as we await the full-length follow-up to 2009’s Out To Dry (and a possible CTTS reunion).

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK August 31, 2011
    By Michael Marotta
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    Now that we’re lodged into the whole noisy, fuzzed-out, nervous frontman college-rock revival, in which reverb-heavy bands are surfing the detached-cool waves of Pavement and Dinosaur Jr., how long before we re-embrace the gritty sonic assault of full-blown grunge? GREY VALLEY GHOST might be one step ahead in their worn-out Doc Martens — the first single from the Georgia-born/Boston-based alternative rock trio screams with a hellacious fury last heard sometime around 1994.

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK August 24, 2011
    By Michael Marotta
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    This week for our Metal Issue, BORN OF FIRE and the Boston Phoenix raised their swords together and compiled this killer 15-track homegrown metal compilation, The Phoenix Born of Fire Volume 1, which you can listen to or download after the jump for zero dollars and zero cents. Plus: info on our issue-release party and end of summer BBQ at O'Brien's.

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK August 18, 2011
    By Jeremy Adams

    There’s something going on in Haverhill. A few weeks after we posted the latest offering from the New Highway Hymnal, along comes the starry-eyed theatrical pop of ANALOG HEART. In debut single “Space Cadet,” Analog Heart take dreams of reaching the musical stratosphere and filter them into song. “I just thought it would be nice to see/The whole world spinnin’ under me,” coos Liz Bills, the quartet’s primary songwriter and solo performer whose previous output was like a North Shore version of La Roux, using keyboards and beats to create pop ditties that she’d launch into with her big voice.

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK August 11, 2011
    By Michael Marotta

    There’s a certain carefree alt-rock swing to SLOWDIMS “Wishing Well (Reverb Mix)” that suggests it could have been a lost sonic relic off the 1993 No Alternative compilation, tucked somewhere in the track listing among fuzzy contributions by Matthew Sweet, Buffalo Tom, and the Verlaines. Instead, the reverb mix of “Wishing Well” is the standout selection off February’s Spirals EP, Slowdim’s debut record that merges intelligent, ambient indie-pop with the noisy makeup of its members’ other affiliations (This Car Up, 28 Degrees Taurus).

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK August 04, 2011
    By Michael Marotta

    In January 2010, the mysterious BLACK LIGHT DINNER PARTY posted their elegantly shimmering synthpop single “Older Together” to Myspace (remember that?), played a low-key gig at All Asia Café, and then went nearly silent. Eighteen months later, we still hardly know anything about these dudes, except for: they’re a collection of four anonymous producers; they formed in Boston but also call New York home; buzzing new track “Small Boxes” is a cinnamon-flavored electronic-pop dragonfly that’s turning the Hype Machine inside out.

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK July 28, 2011
    By Michael Marotta
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    By now they should know better, but it’s clear Boston thrash-metal dudes RAMMING SPEED just don’t give a fuck. Since the band’s formation in 2007, previous tours have included van breakdowns in the middle of the desert; getting arrested at gunpoint in San Francisco (on suspicion of kidnapping, charges were later dropped); and having $5000 worth of band money, laptops, journals, and other shit stolen from their van before a gig in Italy.

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK July 21, 2011
    By Michael Marotta

    Say you got this big job interview one day, and that morning some random film crew crashed your apartment and recorded every move you made: from waking up late, to showering, to getting dressed, to mindlessly eating breakfast in your still-wrinkled Urban Renewal-bought suit, to walking (confidently!) out the front door and into the world.

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK July 14, 2011
    By Michael Marotta

    The strip of Interstate 495 that slices Haverhill in half is much like any other commuter stretch in eastern Massachusetts — tree-lined, suffocating, and a default motor speedway for angry locals. But take a musical ride with THE NEW HIGHWAY HYMNAL through their hometown and envision something else entirely: desert landscapes, sun-faded asphalt, and relaxed views into endless, hazy mountains.

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK June 30, 2011
    By Michael Marotta
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    Everybody wants a piece of BODEGA GIRLS, and after last month’s Best Music Poll party, we think everyone in Boston got some. Now the tables turn with “Everybody Wants a Piece of My Baby,” a sexy soul ballad of love and lust that’s the B-side to the Bodegas’ “Live Free or Die” single, an ode to New Hampshire/Independence Day released this weekend on Burning Mill Records (cassingle/digital).

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  • MP3 OF THE WEEK June 23, 2011
    By Michael Marotta

    “All the crust punks have credit cards,” sings Bo Moore in kicking off “Milksnakes,” the first offering from BOZMO. No, the lyric isn’t lifted from an angry thread on Lemmingtrail, but it could start a flame war there, since Bozmo’s lyrical barrage on cliques and scenes in New York is also fit for Allston, with its bad drunks, braggarts drinking for free, and orphans who “think this place is boring.

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