I was lucky enough to catch the sold-out Little Boots show this past Tuesday night (in my business clothes, no less) , and lemme tell ya, good night, nurse! I strolled into the Music Hall of Williamsburg just as first opening band, Feathers, took the stage. All hail Feathers! They played the hell out of the best songs on their debut album, If All Now Here, filling the hall with their ominous, dance-y sound. I didn’t want it to end, and my only complaint about their set is that it was too short. Read More
Going to an Akron/Family show is like attending a hipster tent revival, so it’s fitting that the band’s sixth album is full of psychedelic hymns for its flannel-clad brethren. Mixing folk-y melodies with strange rhythms and switching time signatures and tempos constantly, the band has fully realized its signature genre on Sub Verses: prog folk. Expansive opener “No Room” is a primal waltz with a grinding, repetitive drumbeat and soaring, chant-like vocals. Read More
Virgin Soul is the fictional memoir of Geniece> Hightower, an aspiring journalist undergoing a journey of self-discovery during the Black Power movement in 1960s San Francisco. Divided into four sections, each dedicated to a year of her university schooling, the novel follows Geniece’s transition from focused scholar to revolutionary panther. While researching a story for her college newspaper, she meets Allwood, a highly intellectual activist who pulls Geniece into the rebellious world of the Black Panther Party. Read More
It's been six years since Patty Griffin released an album of new material. Yeah, she did a way cool Gospel album (which won a Grammy) then recorded and toured with Robert Plant's Band of Joy but no new stuff since '07's stand out Children Running Through. Well, girlfriend is back with what I consider to be her most personal album yet and it's in tribute to her recently departed father. Although Ms. Griffin is identified as an acoustic guitar and piano player much of her music is never in just one genre. Read More
The So So Glos' latest full-length album, Blowout (out now on the band's own label), starts out with a home recording of a boy about seven or eight saying, “Do you think he has a gun? Yes, he shot himself! Well, we’re listening to Nirvana, and as you know Kurt Cobain, POW,” before the Bay Ridge–bred punks fly into opener “Son of an American.”  Singer Alex Levine roars through with a perfect blend of slightly nasal sneering and staggering raspiness, and keeps going for 12 more tracks (clocking in under 45 minutes). Read More
Electronic dance music—otherwise known as EDM—sometimes gets a bad rap, but Miss Kittin’s new album Calling from the Stars is a nonstop dance party. The French femme fatale sounds as sharp as ever. Songs like “Night of Light” and “Tamarin Bay” find Miss Kittin experimenting with various pitches and tempos, all while using her voice as a flexible instrument. “Ballad of the 23rd Century” sounds more like a psychotropic call to action than a five-minute dance track. Read More
Authors Jennifer Keishin Armstrong and Heather Wood Rudúlph wanted to “dispel negative ideas about feminism” and give ladies “the tools to bring feminist ideals into their daily lives.” The result, part feminist primer and part self-help book, is certainly accessible: the chapters are loosely-organized riffs from a friendly and well-read perspective. The first half gets into ethical aspects of typical women’s magazine fodder: bikini waxing, plastic surgery, dieting, and fashion. Read More
It’s been four long years, but avant-punk trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs has returned with a trippier-than-ever LP to feed your inner art-school weirdo. The psychedelia-infused album pays homage to the band’s punk roots while weaving in the raw intensity of Show Your Bones andIt’s Blitz!-like electronica/dance beats. Mosquito boasts 11 dreamy tracks fueled by Karen O’s fiery yelps, Nick Zinner’s striking guitarwork, and Brian Chase’s complex percussive skills. Read More
Introverted, respectable, intelligent, and devoutly Quaker, Hannah Gardner Price spends her days working at the local Nantucket Atheneum and her nights scanning the stars in search of a comet that she hopes will earn her a prestigious King of Denmark Prize. But in 1845, the path to scientific achievement isn’t an easy one for a single girl of 24, and Hannah soon finds herself at a crossroad when her father announces he’s remarrying and moving to Philadelphia, meaning Hannah must either marry ASAP or abandon her night-sky vigils. Read More
Deepa Mehta, the woman behind the Elements film trilogy—Fire, Earth, and Water—directs this adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s 1980 novel, an epic story that deftly combines elements of magical realism, historical fiction, Indian postcolonial literature, and deeply personal family dynamics. At midnight on August 17, 1947—the very moment of India’s independence from Great Britain—two baby boys are born to two families on opposite sides of the economic spectrum, and are swapped by a nurse wishing to make a political statement. Read More