Explosions in the Sky Concert Review

Explosions in the Sky Concert Review June 22, 2012 at the Jefferson Theater, Charlottesville, Virginia Having never possessed any music by Explosions in the Sky, I went to the Jefferson Theater last Friday compelled only by their reputation as a great live act. The show had sold out a week before, and with most sold-out shows at small, indoor venues, I expect little to no room to move around, a …continue…

REVIEW: The Tallest Man on Earth’s There’s No Leaving Now

Kristian Matsson first became well-known as the Tallest Man on Earth for the simple power of his performances. He seemed a pure troubadour of the venerable American folk tradition, performing alone on stage with just his voice and guitar. It’s a mode that works when the performer exudes an air of prophetic mystery, when the music is beautiful and any apparent meaning gets tucked behind a shroud of symbolic imagery. …continue…

Blooms and Busts: An Almost VIP Take on Bonnaroo 2012

By Ben Wilkes Despite its remote location in Manchester, Tennessee, – a run-of-the-mill post-industrial American highway stop town where Wal-Mart is a central figure in the local economy – Bonnaroo continues, in its eleventh year, to be the standard bearer for North American music festivals. It may not be as hip as Pitchfork Festival in Chicago, or as sprawling and underground as SXSW in Austin, but the music industry and …continue…

Concert Report: Yeasayer at the National in Richmond, VA

When I walked into the National last night, the first thing I noticed was the stage. It appeared fuller than normal (which is saying something because the last show I saw there was Gwar, and they turn their stages into castles) partially due to the fact that the instruments of Delicate Steve, the opener, were still there, but also because of Yeasayer’s light setup. Arched behind where the band would …continue…

Abstraction and Pop Music: An Interview with Tanlines

Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm sat relaxed in leather couch in the back of DC9 as they waited for showtime to roll around after their soundcheck. Both members of Tanlines wore jeans with a denim shirts and denim jackets, which they quickly pointed out and mocked themselves for. I had forgotten my notebook of questions in my rush to get through DC traffic and parking in time, and thusly the …continue…

For I is Someone Else: A Review of Who Is That Man? In Search of the Real Bob Dylan

“For I is someone else,” wrote Arthur Rimbaud in one of his famous “seer letters” of May 1871. “If the brass awakes as a horn, it can’t be to blame.” France was just out of its war with Prussia, and Paris was controlled, for the rest of the month at least, by the Marxist Commune. Living in his childhood town, Rimbaud seems to have gone mad from boredom as uncertainty …continue…

Mixed Emotions: A Review by Matt Conover

Mixed Emotions is one of the most vivid break-up albums in recent memory. It actually feels like going through a breakup; it feels, at times, gleefully absurd, but at others, irritating, moody and incomprehensible. Is that a good thing? Depends on how sadistic/masochistic you’re feeling when you put the record on. It really doesn’t feel like it is going to be such an album at first, either. The album opener and …continue…

Susan Youssef’s Brave Habibi

Maury Hall, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA  “Please stay for the whole film,” implored Susan Youssef in front of a decidedly not-crowded Maury Hall. I still had another piece of the free pizza I had come for on my plate, so I, for one, was prepared to stay. Then, the American born, Arabic speaking Dutch national (and U.Va. alumna) who wrote and directed Habibi, began to introduce her film. …continue…

Remembrance of Things to Come: A Review

How does one begin a review about an album that is so decidedly against beginnings and ends? Rhetorical questions? In a tone built by words and phrases like “in which” and “one”? I like for the tone of reviews to match the tone of the album in question, but that’s really a struggle with Princeton’s Remembrance of Things To Come. The L.A. group’s second LP consists of bouncy, well-polished, almost …continue…

Chalked Up to Collateral Damage: An Interview with Immortal Technique by Matt Conover

When I met Tech, as his road manager referred to him, he was writing notes for his show, which was about to begin at the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, Virginia— a part of the Martyr Tour he’s doing in support of a recent mixtape release. He had a set list scrawled on three paper plates, written in blocky magic marker letters. He wore a desert digital camouflage jacket with woodland …continue…