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Elite 8: The top albums of 2017

Here is another year of albums to consider. It’s silly to rank music at all and also fun in that it ignites passionate conversations about the art that has moved us (for better or worse) in the last year. Please accept this list as an invitation to hear something new, and introduce us to something new by sending your own list of wonderful musical moments — albums, songs, shows, etc. — from 2017. […]

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Elite 8: 2016 Albums of the Year

This year’s Elite 8 presents another list of great albums to consider. As always, these records are just the beginning of a conversation, and we encourage you to create and share your own inspiring shortlist of albums that entered the world this year. 8. Jagwar Ma, Every Now & Then Channeling elements of Britpop and […]

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Elite 8: 2014’s essential albums

Across the spectrum of genres, 2014 was a great year for songs. Singer-songwriters had their revenge: Sharon Van Etten’s “Your Love Is Killing Me,” the break-up song of the year, drove our emotions into the gutter and we liked it, while Sun Kil Moon’s “Richard Ramirez Died Today of Natural Causes” fully possessed us, its […]

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Elite 8: The best albums of 2013

2013 was a fertile year for music. Rap came strong with ASAP Rocky’s debut, the El-P and Killer Mike Run the Jewels collab and more toughboy posturing from Pusha T. Disclosure kept the dancefloor hot with its improbable ‘90s house flashback while Rhye kept bedrooms steamy with their Sade-inspired R&B jams. Janelle Monae stepped forth […]

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Interview with Dan Boeckner of Divine Fits

Dan Boeckner is one of indie rock’s hardest working songwriters and performers. He was a founding member of Montreal-based Wolf Parade and helped lead that band through a fruitful career that yielded three impressive albums before disbanding last year. He also co-founded the synth, drum machine outfit Handsome Furs with his wife and put out three great records before that project also disbanded in 2012. […]

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Music: Elite Eight Albums of the Year 2012

If nothing else, 2012 can be described as the Year of Easy Listening. A multitude of indie bands (Beach House, The Walkmen, Divine Fits), beat makers (Flying Lotus, Lindstrom, Crystal Castles) and hip-hop artists (Killer Mike, El-P, Big KRIT) put out strong, extremely listenable albums, which, in turn, made it difficult for anything to really […]

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Elite 8: Music of 2011

It is a bit odd to condense a year’s worth of listening into such a short, impossibly definitive list, yet each of us is attracted to the act of putting a stamp on a handful of albums that may (or may not) represent the best of the year in question. It is all about a sense of style, a method of sculpting self-identity by which others will judge us and against which we will judge others. So, having acknowledged both the absurdity and necessity of making such lists, let us now gaze upon the Elite 8 records of 2011. […]

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Railroad Earth

Tuesday, March 29 – Englert Theatre Railroad Earth has long been a sought-after act on the roots, folk and jam-band circuits, though–much like their forbearers the Grateful Dead–none of those genres can claim the band as its own. The group’s dedication to Americana traditions and their love for the warm, natural tones of acoustic instruments […]

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The Poison Control Center

w. Land of Blood and Sunshine, Mumfords, Birth Rites – $6 Friday, April 1 – Blue Moose Tap House One part Pavement indie-rock enthusiasts and one part Elephant Six psych-pop geniuses, The Poison Control Center is one of the best rock and roll bands in the state of Iowa. Sad Sour Future, their 2010 album, […]

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Rubblebucket

w. Birds & Batteries, The Wandering Bears Monday, March 28 – Gabe’s – $10 advance, $12 door Splitting the difference between an afrobeat-inspired Portishead and a blissed-out Radiohead, Rubblebucket have a touch for heady atmospherics and killer beats. This is a band the Mission Creek Festival has had its eyes on for some time. Their […]

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Jeff Tweedy

w. Snowblink Wednesday, March 30 – Englert Theatre – SOLD OUT As a songwriter, Jeff Tweedy has achieved success on several levels via the alt. country underground, the indie underground and the relative mainstream. Whether it’s the worn-in country of Uncle Tupelo, the golden era in Wilco with cohort Jay Bennett, or that band’s later […]

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