Dirty Projectors, the shapeshifting herd of arty indie-rockers led by oddball mastermind Dave Longstreth, have crowned the strange and surprising first decade of their existince with their smart, accomplished fifth full-length Swing Lo Magellan.
While their sound is familiar, it's not sloppy or dated in any way. It has a grounded feel to it, with just as much passion as before, but with more of the kind of focus that only growing up and having a family can give you.
The story of Dan Wilson is by now a local legend. He helped create some of the biggest music hits in the '80s and '90s through his work in Semisonic and Trip Shakespeare.
Barb Abney got a chance to sit down with music superstar in advance of his appearance at Wits.
When people ask me what Afghan Whigs record they should listen to as an introduction to the band, without hesitation I say "Gentlemen" and here's why.
I love this quote from the band regarding the sound and texture of the record: "We wanted the louder stuff to sound cranky." Oh, it does. Even the tiniest moments of silence have a buzz and a darkness about them.
Lucy Michelle and The Velvet Lapelles have been together for a long time. A string of well-received albums, best band nods and consistently well-attended shows has made the act a local treasure. In the past year though, they've been a little off the radar. Now we know why - the band has traded in their traditional folk sound for a full sonic revamp and the results on their newest record "Heat" couldn't be more promising.
Rhett Miller still maintains a youthful charm which is why it's hard to believe he's been writing songs since 1989. As both a successful solo artist and the frontman of classic roots rock band Old 97's, Miller has become something of a prodigy in the Texas music scene where he hails from.
Folk-pop singer/songwriter Caroline Smith began her music career in a similar fashion to that of Mason Jennings and Elliot Smith - with a residency at the 400 Bar. This led to meeting the fine people that would later put "the good night sleeps" in Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps including Arlen Peiffer, Jesse Schuster and David Earl. Their debut "Backyard Tent Set" was released in 2008 with a live album to fill the gap between that release and their follow up "Little Wind," which came out in September of 2011.
Lucero probably won't be slowing down anytime soon. Live show enthusiasts since their beginnings in the late '90s, the band performs hundreds of times a year in support of the nine records they've already put out.
British rockers Kasabian emerged at the height of the early-to-mid-2000s British indie hype wave alongside peers like The Libertines, The Music, The Coral and more. Last year, the band released their fourth album, "Velociraptor!," which was hailed by critics and fans as a major artistic step forward for the band.
The Joy Formidable has been around for five years now, but it wasn't until 2011 that they released their debut album. Building upon the steady buzz they received with their EP "A Balloon Called Moaning," they've since gone on to play late-night television, appear on film soundtracks and gather accolades from some of alternative rock's most iconic acts like Garbage and Foo Fighters.
Nope, The Honeydogs didn't get that "rock 'n roll formula" memo. Or if they did, they ignored it. And we should thank them for it. While it's true that "What Comes After" is The Honeydog's first studio recording they've released in six years, it is also true that with this10th studio effort, they've released the best CD of their career.
Denver-based band Tennis describe their new album "Young and Old" as "Stevie Nicks going through a Motown phase." Produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys and recorded in three weeks, their breezy pop songs were inspired by touring and poetry from Yates.
Heartless Bastards encapsulates that all too classic story of the small Midwest band who quickly found an audience and rose to prominence. In their case, it was a hard-hitting approach to blues rock and frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom's lyricism which got them their accolades. The niche in music they helped to fill in the early aughts hasn't lost its importance - Heartless Bastards is still on the forefront of a scene which seems to be exploding in popularity.