June 18, 2008 Throughout "In the Evening," which Dalton would later record for her studio debut, she infuses a Leroy Carr song with bluesy, woozy weariness, drawing the sorrow out of every note. It's hard not to view the track through the prism of Dalton's haunted life.
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June 16, 2008 Where Yo La Tengo's "Tears Are in Your Eyes" possesses the heavy-lidded feel of shared sorrow (with a reassuring hint of optimism), Adem's cover opts for a tone of comparative comfort. His version also functions as a sort of Cliffs Notes to what Adem is all about: a figurative glass of warm milk for a world of nervous stomachs.
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June 5, 2008 When driving long distances, the crushing exhaustion and faceless landscapes can fade from memory in a nanosecond when accompanied by the perfect piece of adrenaline-infused music. These five tracks serve that purpose beautifully, so be sure to put them on for those moments when the landmarks are starting to whiz by in a joyously indistinct blur.
May 30, 2008 Minus the Bear's mystifyingly titled "I'm Totally Not Down with Rob's Alien," from the newly remastered and reissued 2004 EP They Make Beer Commercials Like This, houses a gorgeous, warmly rendered reflection on alienation and the bliss of youthful solitude.
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May 28, 2008 As dark as it gets, "Skinny Love," with its unforgettable steel-guitar hook, is too gorgeous to function as a true downer. Shout-along fodder for melancholy late-night drives, it announces Bon Iver as a budding powerhouse, not so much promising as fully formed.
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May 23, 2008 The band's new album is dark and graceful, intermittently rocking, and uniformly excellent, making it an ideal showpiece for a band five albums into its career, yet still largely unknown on a grand scale. Best of all is the sort-of title track "Rooks."
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May 22, 2008 Nada Surf singer Matthew Caws has one of the kindest voices in rock, but "See These Bones" finds the band opting to dispense its feel-goodery through a heart-swelling arrangement that builds power as it progresses through five glorious minutes.
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April 22, 2008 Walsh finds the loveliest possible melodies in "Your Song" ("I'm stuck on a boy who fills me with joy"), strolling right up to the line between innocent and cloying without winding up on the wrong side of it. Throughout the song, Walsh's vocal aches with the weight of the highest possible stakes.
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March 17, 2008 Last week, 1,700 bands converged on Austin, Texas, for the annual South by Southwest music festival. From a Chinese woman who sings AC/DC covers to a singer whose songs are like foot rubs at the end of a long night out, the music brought out power and beauty in unexpected places.
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March 16, 2008 My mischievous old laptop picked SXSW as the time to commence its long-anticipated death rattle. And, as if faced with the imminent passing of a wealthy relative, I'm both crestfallen over the looming loss and hoping against hope that it leaves me...
March 16, 2008 From now on, if I want to see a understated and under-promoted singer-songwriter perform at SXSW, I'm going to record that person playing in an alley and post it to the site. I just saw two of my favorite young singer-songwriters in separate conce...
March 14, 2008 I ran into Carrie at the Spin party this afternoon — where lots of fans skipped the headliner, X, once >
March 14, 2008 I'm typing this from the party WXPN is hosting with Paste magazine, Stereogum, and the usual gaggle of energy drinks and technology concerns. I'm enjoying the music of >
March 14, 2008 In my years at NPR, I've been called on to read essays on Morning Edition, speak extemporaneously in >
March 14, 2008 Cahoone has been playing warm, easygoing, country-tinged roots music ever since shedding her role as Band of Horses' drummer a few years ago. In that time, she's come to suit a specific mood to perfection: Her songs are about comforting the weary — acknowledging exhaustion while offering reassurance.
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