Album Of The Week: J.I.D DiCaprio 2

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JID-DiCaprio-2Imagine how it must feel to be really, truly great at something, at anything. Imagine operating at such a high level that what you’re doing becomes its own sort of momentum, where your talent almost operates independent of you. Imagine feeling like you’re just sort of watching yourself from the outside while something else takes … More »

Album Of The Week: Unreqvited Mosaic I: L’Amour Et L’Ardeur

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Unreqvited-Mosaic-I-LAmour-Et-LArdeurMaybe it’s Friday Night Lights. Maybe I’m conditioned. But there’s a certain kind of ringing, sustained guitar chord that kicks me in the soul every time I hear it. It’s pretty much Pavlovian. That guitar, all longing and crushed hope and delay, builds up into a note of turbulent triumph while the music around it … More »

Album Of The Week: Portrayal Of Guilt Let Pain Be Your Guide

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Portrayal-Of-Guilt-Let-Pain-Be-Your-GuideDo you remember your first time hearing Converge? I remember mine: September 2001, a listening station at a Syracuse record store, maybe a week after Jane Doe came out. And I remember what I thought: something along the lines of what the fuck? This was clearly heavy, intense music, and I knew that I’d be … More »

Album Of The Week: Vince Staples FM!

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Vince-Staples-FMToward the end of FM!, his quick and jarring new album, there’s a moment where Vince Staples brutally sums up the cold absurdity of rap almost-fame: “Tryna get rich, get everybody fed / But everybody dead.” Staples has earned a reputation as a sharp and cerebral trickster — funnier than a lot of comedians, more … More »

Album Of The Week: Pistol Annies Interstate Gospel

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Pistol-Annies-Interstate-Gospel“It takes a judge to get married / It takes a judge to get divorced / Well, for the last couple years, I’ve spent a lot of time in court.” That’s how Miranda Lambert opens up “Got My Name Changed Back,” the best of the three singles that she used to introduced Interstate … More »

Album Of The Week: Antarctigo Vespucci Love In The Time Of E-Mail

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Antarctigo-Vespucci-Love-In-The-Time-Of-E-MailThere’s a particular kind of anxiety that comes when you text someone and you see the three dots looking back at you on your screen. When those dots disappear and then reappear, it gets worse. This is a new anxiety, and nobody has really figured out how to properly describe it yet. But that anxiety … More »

Album Of The Week: Empress Of Us

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Empress-Of-UsNear the end of “Everything To Me,” the first song on the new Empress Of album Us, we hear the featherlight voice of Devonté Hynes, doing that Prince-style deeply intoned spoken-word thing that he sometimes does. When Hynes shows up, it’s a genuine surprise. Of course, Us is an album that straddles the line between … More »

Album Of The Week: Matthew Dear Bunny

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Matthew-Dear-Bunny“Sounds like a drunk college kid imitating Tom Waits.” That was what my wife heard when she heard Matthew Dear’s voice. And it’s pretty much true, except during the moments where Dear sounds like a drunk college kid imitating Berlin Trilogy-era David Bowie. It’s part of the man’s charm. Dear never intended to become a … More »

Album Of The Week: Fucked Up Dose Your Dreams

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Dose Your DreamsWhat, exactly, is so fucked up about Fucked Up? Is it the band name? Sure, if you’re trying to write a piece on the band for NPR and you can’t even use their f***ing name. Is it Damian Abraham’s voice? Maybe, if the phrase “titanic, earth-shattering roar” fills you with dread. Is it … More »

Album Of The Week: Gouge Away Burnt Sugar

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Gouge-Away-Burnt-SugarHere’s something I really like doing: Clicking around Bandcamp and hitting “subscribe” on the pages of every halfway-competent hardcore band I can find. I check the internet for show fliers or hardcore-festival bills, and then I just subscribe to the pages of every band I’m not already subscribed to. That way, every time any one … More »