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Trans Am | What Day Is It Tonight? Trans Am Live, 1993 - 2008

Thrill Jockey
Trans Am are distillers of guilty pleasures, mixing fat AOR riffs with sleazy electronic accents and a propulsive attitude typically reserved for arcade soundtracks. What Day Is It Tonight? covers the DC-area band’s 20-year history with high-quality, high-energy live cuts taken from their many tours.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  November 24, 2009


The Black Heart Procession | Six

Temporary Residence (2009)
Formed in sunny San Diego, the Black Heart Procession write the kind of gloomy, downcast dirges you'd expect from less hospitable climates.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  October 06, 2009


Fool's Gold | Fool's Gold

 Iamsound (2009)
A big band with a big sound, Los Angeles-based Fool’s Gold come off as self-consciously cosmopolitan.  
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  September 22, 2009


Review: Castanets | Texas Rose, the Thaw and the Beasts

Asthmatic Kitty (2009)
Although based in a rustic, country-western sound, Ray Raposa's Castanets are irreverent, using familiar elements like pedal-steel guitars and gospel choruses in defiant ways.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  September 15, 2009


Review: Wild Beasts | Two Dancers

Domino (2009)
It would be easy to overuse singer Hayden Thorpe's ebullient falsetto and dilute its campy majesty. Wild Beasts, a dreamy English quartet with a penchant for licentious lyrics and showy flourishes, know better.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  September 09, 2009


Yo La Tengo | Popular Songs

Matador (2009)
Yo La Tengo are articulate, thoughtful purveyors of highbrow pop.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  August 19, 2009

Review: Robert Pollard | Elephant Jokes

Guided By Voices Inc. (2009)
Pollard doesn't care whether you listen to his music. The entire world could be rendered deaf and he'd still put out a half-dozen albums a year, driven by a need to express the twisted melodies and schizophasic lyrics that clutter his brain.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  August 10, 2009


Review: Pissed Jeans | King of Jeans

Sub Pop (2009)
Billy Joel told us that the future of Allentown was bleak, but he could never have predicted that out of the decaying Pennsylvania steel mills and a crumbling economy, a sound as ugly and exciting as Pissed Jeans would emerge.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  August 03, 2009


Sax Ruins | Yawiquo

Ipecac (2009)
After a quarter-century of punishing, hyper-rhythmic acrobatics, drummer Tatsuya Yoshida has taken a sharp detour.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  July 22, 2009


The Horse's Ha | Of the Cathmawr Yards

Hidden Agenda (2009)
Despite a solid roster of Chicago underground vets, the Horse's Ha fail to show signs of life on what proves to be a sleepy album of wispy folk.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  June 08, 2009


Sonic Youth | The Eternal

Matador (2009)
This is Sonic Youth's first release on Matador Records, a retirement home for long-in-the-tooth indie-rockers, after two decades of major-label albums and one celebrity-curated Starbucks hits compilation.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  June 01, 2009


Akron-Family | Set 'Em Wild, Set 'Em Free

Dead Oceans (2009)
Known for their anarchic live jams and percussive psych-folk, Akron/Family have shed their burly beats in favor of a more digestible, blissed-out flavor.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  April 28, 2009


Takeo Toyama | Etudes

Karaoke Kalk (2009)
Takeo Toyama's song experiments here run the gamut from sublime to unsettling. The first half offers mannered, consonant melodies.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  April 21, 2009


Bill Callahan | Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle

Drag City (2009)
In the first moments of "Jim Cain," Bill Callahan gives a concise description of his work: "I used to be darker," he sings, "then I got lighter, then I got dark again."
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  April 14, 2009


Black Dice | Repo

Paw Tracks (2009)
Spearheaded by Brooklyn trio Black Dice and their peers, American noise rock is less like the pure noise of Merzbow and more like a renewal of dark, grinding industrial rhythms.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  April 06, 2009


Bonnie 'Prince' Billy | Beware

Drag City (2009)
Will Oldham's time as Bonnie "Prince" Billy has been overwhelmingly fruitful, but even amid that strong back catalogue, Beware stands out as one of his fullest, most complete works.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  March 17, 2009


Arbouretum | Song of the Pearl

Thrill Jockey (2009)
Dave Heumann has learned much in stints backing Oldham brothers projects like Bonnie Prince Billy and Anomoanon.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  March 03, 2009


Mi Ami | Watersports

Quarterstick (2009)
After a contentious stint with DC rockers Black Eyes, Daniel Martin-McCormick and Jacob Long moved west to clear their heads and take control of their musical destiny.
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  February 09, 2009


Review: Dälek's Gutter Tactics

Ipecac (2009)
Bad-ass buzzkills 
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  January 27, 2009


Review: Lars Horntveth's Kaleidoscopic

Smalltown Supersound (2009)
Lars Horntveth creates worlds of his own with this 36-minute voyage, which never feels reliant on anything but itself (unlike most "cinematic music").
By MICHAEL PATRICK BRADY  |  January 20, 2009
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