featured
  • Updated

’Tis the season for giving! There are, fortunately, many groups and organizations that get food, toys and clothing to those in need. One thing that often gets overlooked when people donate is menstrual hygiene products. Clothes, toys and food are all very helpful and of course that should no…

Every music genre had much richer representation in 2020 than listeners had any right to expect. Even improvisational noise had a banner year, though new releases from Magik Markers, The Dead C and Nels Cline Singers feature unexpected melodic currents. The shift is most evident in Magik Mar…

  • Updated

Given distribution problems and physical media’s growing unpopularity, there was no reason to expect box sets to figure in holiday gift lists. Yet 2020 offers a rich mix, though sometimes a bit too rich in price. The most unusual offering is Bobby Bare Sings Shel Silverstein Plus (Bear Famil…

  • Updated

With COVID-19 exposures at an all-time high, some venues have been rethinking how they are operating. The Black Sheep recently went down to being open just four days a week. They are now open Thursday through Sunday from 6 to 10 p.m. They have also added a new outdoor seating area to allow f…

featured
  • Updated

For many musicians, this has been a time full of inspiration to create in ways they haven’t before. The process of putting out a full release can often be a lot to handle. It takes planning release dates, artwork, concepts, pressing, and the list goes on. Sometimes artists just want to get t…

  • Updated

Since disco music is seeing an unexpected revival in a year with no dance floors, Australian diva Kylie Minogue inevitably made an appearance. Her November release, aptly titled Disco (BMG), doesn’t disappoint, if little depth is expected. Minogue has never been known for powerful vocals, bu…

featured
  • Updated

There is no better time than now for metal music. Death, destruction and overall bleak times; pair that with thundering drums and walls of amplifiers and you’ve got yourself some material! Several bands locally have been releasing new work lately, and it’s all worth a listen.

  • Updated

In 13 years of marriage, Elvis Costello and Diana Krall rarely have released new music on similar cycles. But Costello’s new Hey Clockface (Concord Records) arrives mere weeks after Krall’s This Dream of You (Verve), and both are among the two artists’ best works. Costello recorded portions …

featured
  • Updated

The best part about having a good music scene is that it brings so many people together to help one another. Whether it’s for booking events, fundraising or just overall support, the Colorado Springs music community is there to help. Ours has been helping recently and is still in need of mor…

  • Updated

Rumors of a Bruce Springsteen/E Street Band reunion have circulated for five years, but The Boss played bait-and-switch with a new solo album, Western Stars, and a Springsteen on Broadway soundtrack. Now, the great reunion arrives in the stunning Letter to You (Columbia), underscoring Spring…

featured
  • Updated

It’s no secret that live music is practically nonexistent at the moment. That hasn’t stopped artists from creating though. In fact, it has helped provide motivation. This has been a time for bands to focus on writing new material, recording and getting it out to the world.

  • Updated

I’m a sleeping dog, but you can’t tell / When I’m on the prowl, you’d better run like hell.” So sings the Velvet Underground’s John Cale in “Fear Is a Man’s Best Friend,” an assertion that few dogs or psychiatrists would likely agree with.

  • Updated

Now that the world is locking down for a pandemic winter, we’re complaining about the crowded summer festivals we missed, but also those happy pop summertime anthems. But 2020 didn’t leave us completely barren. The Salt Lake City foursome, The Aces, dished out 14 tunes that sparkle in Under …

featured
  • Updated

When I chatted on the phone with singer-songwriter Jeremy Facknitz during a few free moments before he resumed full-time dad and home-school duty on top of his prolific musical efforts, you’d never have guessed it was so early in the morning. Of course, Facknitz had been through a musical we…

  • Updated

Before the pandemic hit, Boston’s Darlingside was slated to be a headliner at MeadowGrass. The foursome’s new album Fish Pond Fish (Thirty Tigers) perfects the unique blend of vocal harmonies, acoustic instruments and electronica Darlingside polished over three previous albums. There’s enoug…

featured

I’m sure everyone knows the conventional wisdom surrounding half measures, which, depending on the moment and angle, could apply to the many asterisks tacked on to the opportunities for live music... efforts to preserve independent music venues still caught in limbo... measures to combat the…

  • Updated

It’s never easy to shut down a festival that brings $355 million into your city each year. So it came as a shock to the music world when, on March 6, Austin Mayor Steve Adler declared a state of disaster, leaving SXSW Festival organizers no choice but to call off an event that earned the cit…

  • Updated

Ever since her country-punk freshness redefined the genre with the song “Steve Earle” in 2011, Lydia Loveless has demonstrated how to create the optimal mix of heartache, surliness and resilience. For her fifth album Daughter (Honey, You’re Gonna Be Late Records), her first in four years, sh…

  • Updated

Plenty of stories have been written about the many artists who keep demanding that Donald Trump stop playing their music at campaign events, which only encouraged him to do it more. And now, as the sitting president stumbles ever closer to the abyss, threatening to take us all with him, even…

featured

"When we’d be on tour, I’d be broke, so I would just sell from this little crate of records so I’d be able to eat when I was on the road,” recalls Bryan Ostrow, in between ringing up customers at What’s Left Records. “We’ve always wanted to start a record store, since we were kids.”

The mission of UK’s Idles since their 2017 debut album was to bring back an explicitly political mission once found in British punk bands like Crass or Gang of Four. The new third album Ultra Mono (Partisan Records) certainly promotes a positive DIY belief by declaring itself possibly “The B…

Sylvan Esso, Free Love (Loma Vista) – What has always set North Carolina’s Sylvan Esso apart from other electronica duos is Amelia Meath’s honeyed vocals serving the band’s belief in the power of ecstatic dance. Their third album is not out to prove anything majestic, but its informal studio…

featured
  • Updated

Most local musicians and music aficionados are well aware of the talents of Charlie Milo, particularly his acumen on the bass and guitar and obvious charisma as a live performer. However, with live music still not quite back in anything resembling high gear, it’s a perfect time to bask in an…

  • Updated

In mid-lockdown last spring, we covered artists who released finished works online without waiting for LPs and CDs to arrive. Other musicians have created works speaking to the lockdown itself. The wrong way to do this is exemplified by Van Morrison, who will release three singles in October…

  • Updated

Cults, Host (Sinderlyn Records) – Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion perfected a certain lo-fi 1960s pop sound in their 2011 debut, but three subsequent albums relied too much on ethereal floating sounds to be memorable. This time the duo add a string trio and more pronounced beats in striki…

featured
  • Updated

While live performances slowed to a near halt for the majority of the year, it presented an opportunity for music fans to broaden their playlists and discover some new favorites in the ever-broadening digital musical landscape.

Heidi Newfield, The Barfly Sessions Vol. 1 (Newfield/Notfamousenough – The former lead singer of Trick Pony has kept a low profile since her 2008 hit “Johnny and June,” but suddenly a 14-track, 54-minute LP appears in which country is overshadowed by Grace Potter-style hard boogie, and harmo…

  • Updated

Give Record Store Day organizers credit for postponing the spring date, replacing it with three new vinyl drop dates from August to October. If only new releases warranted the triple threat. Twelve years in, it’s throttled new releases to focus on 60 years of reissues.

featured

If we attempt some kind of artful, metaphorical read on current situations (and, honestly, what better choices do we have?), I suppose there was something strangely poetic about the weather surrounding Labor Day weekend. If Memorial Day weekend and its usual MeadowGrass Music Festival procee…

Throwing Muses was founded in the mid-1980s by stepsisters Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly when they were in high school. The band’s lo-fi and mysterious quirky sounds predated the riot grrrl movement by several years. Donelly left the band in the early 1990s to form Belly, while Hersh has d…

  • Updated

Well, no surprises here, but it’s still likely to be a while until you can see your favorite artists restored to their full-bore, live music glory at indoor venues without some sort of catch — limited seating, dinner and a show, livestreamed performances... you get the drift by now. That sai…

When Gasoline Lollipops presents the first pop concert in 2020 at Red Rocks on Sept. 14, the Boulder band will feature its new album All the Misery Money Can Buy (Soundly Music). Vocalist/guitarist Clay Rose launches the first couple tracks with a guitar-centric intensity resembling Lucero, …

  • Updated

Angel Olsen, Whole New Mess (Jagjaguwar) – The mystical lamentations guru has been unusually prolific in the past five years, often the result of tweaking existing works. This year’s lonely-sounding album features the songs of 2019’s heavily orchestrated All Mirrors, but stripped of accompan…

  • Updated

Early last year, Conor and Ian Bourgal provided backing and production for local Xanthe Alexis’ follow-up release to her debut, 2016’s Time of War. Early demos of the eight tracks already displayed a new depth, but subsequent engineering and vocal tracking resulted in the finished work, The …

featured
  • Updated

When U2inSL, a group of role-playing users of the online virtual world Second Life “performed” a free “live concert” as blocky, low-res avatar representations of Irish mega-rockers U2 in 2006, I don’t think anyone thought they were witnessing the future of live music.