Who're you callin' al dente?
DOWNLOAD: Kid:Nap:Kin, "Heroin Grillz" (mp3)
Like risotto, young rock bands require a lot of time and stirring before their many disparate elements meld into a satisfying and delicious glop. Unlike risotto. . . . well, there are lots of ways that young rock bands aren't like risotto.
Mylene: Queen of Pop
This week in the fishwrap, Charles Taylor makes the case for French pop, through the lens of the latest Mrs. Johnny Depp album. Below, longtime Phoenix critic Michael Freedberg, whom we consider our resident expert on the topic, provides his own master-class in variete francaise -- one that is necessarily weighted towards Mylene Farmer, who is the Reed to his Bangs, the Kixx to his Eddy.
Caleb: not fucking afraid of those other heatseakers.
DOWNLOAD: Heatseeker, "Heavy With Shadows" (mp3)
If you ever wondered why Cave-In never sounded the same way twice, take a listen to what its members have released since the breakup: it's a minor miracle these guys ever agreed on anything
Having Ian MacKaye show up as the surprise guest for your intro-to-punk-rock class is, as Will Spitz writes in this week's fishwrap, "sorta like Darwin showing up for your Biology 101 lecture." Except that Darwin would probably end up talking Biology.
DOWNLOAD: Hooray for Earth, "Warm Out" (mp3)
Hooray for Earth: odd band. Get 'em drunk, and they're liable to belt out a Justin Timberlake hit, or maybe one of Jacko's. Left on his own, their singer has been known to crank out Magnetic Fields covers. In their own right, HFE have carved out a unique niche that's equal parts indie breadth and metal brawn, like a second coming of Queens of the Stone Age.
DOWNLOAD: Hallelujah the Hills, "Don't Take the Law Into Your Own Hands But Take Mine In Yours" (mp3)
On the eve of their biggest national tour to date (stops include SXSW and a Daytrotter session), Boston indie heroes Hallelujah the Hills forsook the bedroom and entered an actual studio for the first time ("My 8-track will never forgive me," laments frontman Ryan Walsh), emerging with two brand-new songs to hold us over until they record album no.
DOWNLOAD: Medicated Kisses, "Kill the Queen" (mp3)
When we told you last year to keep an eye on Medicated Kisses, we were thinking that frontwoman Alanna V's soul-fired belt might carry them to the top of the emo-pops: their "A Wolf Among Lilacs" sounded like Paramore with more metal and an even better singer.
It's official: Only Living Witness will play a reunion show at the Middle East downstairs on June 14. Support bands are still being finalized. Tickets are not yet onsale, we'll update as soon as more info becomes available. For a comprehensive history of the band, read James Parker's interview with frontman Jonah Jenkins here, on the occasion of Century Media's reissues of OLW's two studio albums.
DOWNLOAD: White Hinterland, "Dreaming of the Plum Trees" (mp3)
Back when she was studying at New England Conservatory, Casey Dienel put out a demo called "Grandmother Rock," a quick suite of songs suggesting rocking chairs more than rock-n-roll, a genre you'd coin if you were precocious, shy, and out of love with your generation.
P&N: Putting the amp back in ampersand
DOWNLOAD: Pretty and Nice, "Grab Your Nets" (mp3)
Pretty and Nice? No and no, actually -- ugly and raucous is more like it -- but they've got "Your New Favourite Band" written all over 'em. This Boston-via-Vermont foursome (or maybe threesome? MySpace is inconclusive) infuses thrill-crazed power-pop with the mad-noisy, chimp-like energy of juvie-hardened teenage degenerates.?xml:namespace>
The first time you hear the OUTBURST's "New York Surprise," you'll wonder if this is it, the one: the absolute worst song you've ever heard. By the 20th time, you'll be singing the out-of-tune chorus -- "You fucking did it/I know you did it!" -- to everyone you meet. In just over a month, the Outburst, a trio of teenage Dropkick Murphys fans from Quincy, have gone from anonymous MySpace geeks to 2008's first big worldwide web meme.
DOWNLOAD: The Patrons, "Don't Need Your Lovin' Anymore" (mp3)
Since releasing their 2006 debut All That Is Tied (Raggmopp), local alt-country dudes THE PATRONS have gotten . . . drunker. At least that's the first impression after a quick spin through their new Smoke After Smoke (Confab). The Patrons have an ecumenical approach to country-rock: from Gram Parsons (natch) to Doug Sahm, the Band, the Stones (cf.
DOWNLOAD: Andre Obin, "Premonition" (mp3)
First things first: there's still an ampersand connecting Matters & Dunaway. Last year the storied Boston micro-electro duo unveiled a macro-sized album on which they sounded like space-rock visionaries. But M&D's ANDRE OBIN has spent the past few months working his way back to techno on a batch of solo tracks that will be released next year on Ghostly International's new Moodgadget imprint.