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Album Review: Beat of Our Own Drum | JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound

JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound Beat of Our Own Drum www.myspace.com/theuptownsound JC Brooks comes from Chicago, but recently played at the Yacht Club, and from all reports, burned the joint down. I wasn’t able to make it out to that show, but this CD gives me a strong idea of the sort of fireworks […]

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Album Review: Soul on Display | Bonne Finken

Bonne Finken Soul on Display www.bonnefinken.com It takes some gut for a white girl from Knoxville, Iowa, to use “Soul” in her debut CD’s title. But Finken can, as they say in the parlance, bring it. She has a voice and delivery with the buttery depth of Annie Lennox, the effortless blues edge of Bonnie […]

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Album Review: Disaster Footage at Night by The Lonelyhearts

The Lonelyhearts Disaster Footage At Night Scenester Credentials www.thelonelyhearts.net Lonelyheart John Lindenbaum lives in Oakland, while Andre Perry lives in Iowa City; so the band is not quite bi-coastal — maybe sesqui- or hemi-coastal?  It doesn’t really matter, what with the Internet turning us all into quivering monads afloat in a dimensionless sea. The songs […]

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Album Review: Flight Time by Pieta Brown

Pieta Brown Flight Time self-released www.pietabrown.com Pieta Brown’s latest EP Flight Time is written in a world occupied by Cadillacs and run away lovers, and in which a gallon of gas still cost 36 cents; somewhere just down the road from Tom Waits’ “Burma Shave.” However, this isn’t some sort of forced nostalgia. When she […]

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Album Review: (self-titled) The Sullivan Gang

The Sullivan Gang Self-titled www.thesullivangang.com I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a CD in recent years that more overtly identifies itself as roots music.  From Michelle Wiegand’s acoustic cover of country music classic “Abilene,” to the ass-kicking stomp of “The Colorado Mines Song,” there’s nothing on this CD that couldn’t have been recorded 40 years […]

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CD Review: She Swings She Sways – Wasted Love Songs

She Swings She Sways Wasted Love Songs www.sheswingsshesways.com A common sophomoric “insight” into music is that we only have 12 notes, and that this imposes some upper limit on the possibility of musical expression. It’s not like it’s hard to demolish this idea with combinatorial mathematics, but both the argument and refutation are beside the […]

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Album Review: The Tanks – Keep Breaking Down

The Tanks Keep Breaking Down Scenester Credentials www.myspace.com/thetanks When Keep Breaking Down opener, “Command Divide” begins in earnest, after a groan of wheezy feedback, it feels like the two years since the Tanks’ debut, Summon Creature was but a day. Lead singer Kevin Koppes bellows over a thick, sludgy mess concocted by bass player Adam […]

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Album Review: Musée Mecanique: Hold This Ghost

Musée Mecanique Hold This Ghost Frog Stand Records myspace.com/museemecanique [audio:http://www.false45th.net/Audio/Two%20Friends%20Like%20Us.mp3] Musée Mecanique is one of those bands who puts way more into their songs — both the writing and performance — than the short-attention-span musical culture of the US requires. Delicate quiet vocals that trace out long melodic lines, couched in brushed drums and string […]

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Album Review: Brighton MA – Amateur Lovers

Brighton MA Amateur Lovers Loose Tooth Records www.brightonma.net [audio:http://files.for-robots.com/daveb/sunblinded.mp3] Brighton MA is a Chicago Band with some ties to Iowa City. They have my sympathies — Chicago is a rough town musically, full of clubs and bands playing mean zero sum games.  Safe to say anyone mediocre or timid gets tossed in Lake Michigan tout […]

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