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Lydia Pudzianowski
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Alex Cameron, “Oxy Music”

With the truth of each joke masquerading as parody, the unsettling part of Cameron’s signature humor this time around is that after the abject horror of the past couple of years, we’re able to see ourselves in it.

March 18, 2022
Babehoven, “Sunk”

Nothing is obscured on this EP—it’s all on the table, demanding nothing of the listener except empathy.

March 11, 2022
Boulevards, Electric Cowboy: Born in Carolina Mud

There’s an effortlessly tight groove anchoring Electric Cowboy, which feels like more of a family affair than normal.

February 22, 2022
Tasha, “Tell Me What You Miss the Most”

Light like a feather and warm like a blanket, the latest from the Chicago-based songwriter sees her taking care of our bodies as well as hers.

November 19, 2021
Babehoven, “Nastavi, Calliope”

The album runs the gamut musically and lyrically, mirroring a day in the life of someone who’s grieving, when moods and feelings change in an instant.

July 16, 2021
Ellis, “Nothing Is Sacred Anymore”

The aptly titled abyss-gazing EP is about as pretty as a pandemic gets.

July 01, 2021
Pearl Jam, “Gigaton”

Where “Lightning Bolt” was solid but stagnant, “Gigaton” is (ironically) more electric, a living, breathing thing giving off sparks.

March 25, 2020
Alex Cameron, “Miami Memory”

Though he spent his last two albums examining despicable male characters, this one spotlights and elevates women.

September 13, 2019
The Lemonheads, “Varshons 2”

Dando has a keen ear and an encyclopedic knowledge of recorded music, and the selection of songs here spans decades and genres.

February 13, 2019
Eerie Wanda, “Pet Town”

Much of the album sounds like echoes in an empty room, with percussion provided by hand claps and a drum machine.

January 31, 2019
The Smashing Pumpkins, “Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. 1 / LP: No Past. No Future. No Sun.”

There’s nary a bad vibe to found here, despite all the ragin’ and cagin’ promised by the angsty title.

November 21, 2018
R.E.M., “At the BBC”

R.E.M. is one the best bands that America has ever produced, and, appropriately, “At the BBC” is an embarrassment of riches.

October 30, 2018
GØGGS, “Pre Strike Sweep”

“Pre Strike Sweep” is a fireball of an album, blistering from start to finish.

October 01, 2018
Spider Bags, “Someday Everything Will Be Fine”

No matter who Spider Bags sort of sound like, they always sound like themselves.

August 06, 2018
The Ophelias, “Almost”

“Almost” is the sound of women comparing notes in the spotlight to create something unusual, beautiful, and wholly relatable.

July 20, 2018
Andy Jenkins, “Sweet Bunch”

While the album feels appropriate for relaxed, sun-kissed porch listening, it is by no means lazy.

June 22, 2018
Liz Phair, “Girly-Sound to Guyville: The 25th Anniversary Box Set”

Liz Phair’s debut remains exactly as relatable, smart, and genuine in 2018 as it was in 1993.

May 09, 2018
Hinds, “I Don’t Run”

Hinds created this record with an agenda—theirs, not yours.

April 20, 2018
Lucy Dacus, “Historian”

Where her first album was an exploration, this one is a proclamation.

March 21, 2018
Film + TV
Sunita Mani Defies Comfort Zones

From stilt-walking to viral rap videos, your guess as to where the “GLOW” star will appear next is as good as ours.

March 08, 2018
Bat Fangs, “Bat Fangs”

Bat Fangs’s “Bat Fangs” marries hair metal and garage rock, equal parts campy and true.

February 15, 2018
Art & Culture
Lived Through That: A Conversation with Hole’s Patty Schemel

The iconic grunge drummer talks about her recent memoir, “Hit So Hard,” and the turbulent years of sex, drugs, and loss that inspired it.

January 30, 2018
Salad Boys, “This Is Glue”

On “This Is Glue,” much is made of direction and being on the edge of somewhere, a part of something larger. Salad Boys are growing up and getting restless.

January 23, 2018
Boulevards, “Hurtown, USA”

We’ve all lived in Hurtown, USA, and this album is reason enough to go back.

December 20, 2017
Duds, “Of a Nature or Degree”

This is spare, nervy music with no strings attached. It’s almost refreshing.

October 04, 2017
Alex Cameron, “Forced Witness”

The characters on “Forced Witness,” Alex Cameron’s second record, make the sociopaths from his debut look like amateurs.

September 14, 2017
EMA, “Exile in the Outer Ring”

“Exile in the Outer Ring” is a dispatch from a Midwestern woman trying not to fall into the traps of fear and paranoia set for her and her fellow Americans.

August 28, 2017
Mr. Lif and Akrobatik (The Perceptionists), “Resolution”

“Resolution” is the result of the newfound balance in Mr. Lif and Akrobatik’s lives as they devote their attention to love and to justice equally.

August 24, 2017
Frankie Rose, “Cage Tropical”

If you were to say that the whole package sounds like a sad time in Los Angeles, you’d be dead on.

August 17, 2017
Dent May, “Across the Multiverse”

When times get tough, it’s easy to check out. It’s harder to be present. Dent May gets it.

August 16, 2017
Manchester Orchestra, “A Black Mile to the Surface”

The Atlanta group’s latest is a next step that feels fitting for them.

August 07, 2017

photo by Alexa Viscius

I Got So Much Magic, You Can Have It: How the Near West Side Was Won at Pitchfork Fest

Solange, Angel Olsen, Kamaiyah, and a host of brilliant female artists took over Chicago’s Union Park this weekend.

July 17, 2017
Pill, “Aggressive Advertising” [EP]

Brooklyn punks Pill released their excellent first LP, “Convenience,” last summer, and lucky for us, they haven’t slowed down since then.

July 06, 2017
She-Devils, “She-Devils”

The Montreal duo keep a careful balance of weirdness and sweetness across their self-titled debut.

May 18, 2017
Film + TV
Get Your Motor Running: Ad-Rock and John Doe Are—er, Were—“Roadside Prophets”

Back in 1992, Abe Wool, the writer of “Sid and Nancy,” got a very weird film made starring John Doe of X and Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys. John Doe remembers some of it.

May 17, 2017
Sylvan Esso, “What Now”

The duo’s sophomore album is called “What Now” for reasons both glaringly obvious and less so.

May 10, 2017
Charly Bliss, “Guppy”

Charly Bliss’s Eva Hendricks makes Letters to Cleo’s Kay Hanley sound like Eddie Vedder.

April 26, 2017
Priests, “Nothing Feels Natural”

Priests’s debut full-length feels like a natural extension of the DC band’s early EPs while simultaneously pushing the band’s sound forward.

January 26, 2017
Flo Morrissey & Matthew E. White, “Gentlewoman, Ruby Man”

On their covers LP, Morrissey & White stand shoulder to shoulder with classics from Sinatra & Hazlewood and Sonny & Cher.

January 12, 2017
Metallica, “Hardwired…to Self-Destruct”

Historically, metal’s biggest act has suffered the most when they try something new. “Hardwired…To Self-Destruct” finds them slogging their way back to basics.

December 01, 2016
Sanctuary: A Weekend at the House of Creatives Music Festival

With darkness encircling the nation, what better time to get lost in our southernmost major city?

November 22, 2016
Sad13, “Slugger”

If it feels like you’ve heard the lyrics on “Slugger” somewhere before, it’s probably because you’re a woman and you’ve thought them all.

November 18, 2016
Deap Vally: All Smiles

The LA duo and comedian Liza Treyger talk crocheting caps for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and taking babies on tour.

October 20, 2016


Breaking: Shovels & Rope

For the married duo behind the Charleston, South Carolina, Americana act, there is no line between music and life.

October 13, 2016
Natural Child, “Okey Dokey”

These dudes could blow smoke right in your face, and you’d just have to sit there, groovin’ on it.

September 14, 2016
Alex Cameron, “Jumping the Shark”

The mysterious Aussie singer-songwriter channels Suicide, Nick Cave, and David Lynch on Secretly Canadian’s re-release of his 2014 debut.

August 22, 2016

Happy Diving “Electric Soul Unity”

Happy Diving, “Electric Soul Unity”

Oakland unity metal with a splash of sunshine.

August 18, 2016
Breaking: Pill

The only Brooklyn post-punk quartet with a yakety sax and a devotion to Japanese disco are ready to offer you a dose of “Convenience.”

August 17, 2016

photo by Catie Laffoon

Remember Already: The Self-Definition of MUNA

With a strong debut EP to their name, the LA trio MUNA are ready to get serious.

August 11, 2016
Twenty-Three Short Stories About Lolla

This ain’t no recap, it’s a reenactment.

August 01, 2016

2016. iji Bubble cover

iji, “Bubble”

It’s got no place else to be, and it’s happy to be here.

July 27, 2016

Insane Clown Posse / photo courtesy of Psychopathic Records

Art & CultureIn Conversation
In Conversation: Author Steve Miller on Where the Juggalos Roam

In his new book “Juggalo,” Steve Miller grapples with what it means to be a fan of the most hated band in the world.

July 21, 2016

Lucy Dacus “No Burden”

Lucy Dacus, “No Burden”

“No Burden” is what would happen if your quietest, most thoughtful friend from college ran her journal through an electric guitar and a distortion pedal.

July 20, 2016
case/lang/veirs, “case/lang/veirs”

Given who’s involved here, there was no doubting that “case/lang/veirs” would be powerful. The only question is how they’d choose to use their power.

June 21, 2016

Xenia Rubinos // “Black Terry Cat” cover

Xenia Rubinos, “Black Terry Cat”

There are hints of Judy Garland and Billie Holiday and Erykah Badu, but Xenia Rubinos has created something all her own with her second album.

June 10, 2016

2016. Whitney Light Upon the Lake hi-res

Whitney, “Light Upon the Lake”

“Light Upon the Lake” is, understandably, an album about breakups and the many forms they take.

June 01, 2016

Kristin Kontrol / X-Communicate cover

Kristin Kontrol, “X-Communicate”

Like Robyn’s “Body Talk,” the solo debut from the erstwhile Dum Dum Girl is packed full of dreamy synth-pop that’s far from shallow.

May 26, 2016
Twin Peaks, “Down in Heaven”

The Chicago quintet may want you, but they don’t need you.

May 09, 2016
Art & Culture
Breaking: Markus Prime

The LA-based illustrator turned heads last summer when he reimagined the outcome of a shocking incident of police brutality. With his debut book of illustrations, “B.R.U.H.,” he’s taking things even further.

April 27, 2016

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever / photo by Jamieson Moore

Breaking: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

The Aussie jangle-punk quintet harness the daylight on their just-released mini-LP “Talk Tight.”

April 25, 2016
Paisley Park: Finding Your Place with Prince

“Life is just a game, we’re all just the same.”

April 22, 2016

Gallant / “Ology”

Gallant, “Ology”

“Ology,” twenty-four-year-old Gallant’s debut LP, makes the wait for Frank Ocean’s new album much easier to take.

April 08, 2016

2016. Woods, City Sun Eater in the River of Light

Woods, “City Sun Eater in the River of Light”

This release represents new growth in the forest.

April 07, 2016

Boulevards / photo by Daniel Topete

Breaking: Boulevards

Getting up to get down with the Raleigh fount of funk.

March 29, 2016
Cullen Omori, “New Misery”

Unlike the Smith Westerns’ (relatively) upbeat catalog, “New Misery” is a quietly apocalyptic album.

March 25, 2016
Luke Top, “Suspect Highs”

This is chamber pop, filled out by saxophone, organ, fragile guitar, and backup singers.

March 18, 2016

2016. Quilt Plaza cover art hi-res

Quilt, “Plaza”

On “Plaza,” Quilt doesn’t tread water or waste time.

March 01, 2016

2016. Doug Tuttle It Calls on Me cover hi-res

Doug Tuttle, “It Calls on Me”

“It Calls on Me” is laid back and dreamy, even flat-out cheerful in places.

February 12, 2016

Tortoise // photo by Andrew Paynter

The Catalog: Tortoise’s Doug McCombs on His Band’s Discography

Two decades in, the jazz-informed Chicagoans keep innovating.

January 28, 2016

2016. Soda Without a Head cover “hi-res”

Soda, “Without a Head”

At the end of “Without a Head,” Soda’s six-song debut, you may still be waiting for its big moment.

January 19, 2016

jennylee “right on!” cover

jennylee, “right on!”

Unfortunately, the second half of “right on!” is so atmospheric that it slips into the background, and the album ends with a whimper.

December 10, 2015

2015. The Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs reissue cover hi-res

The Magnetic Fields, “69 Love Songs” [vinyl reissue]

Clichés are clichés for a reason, so where’s the space between a fake love song and a real one? On 69 Love Songs, it’s often clear, but the places where it isn’t make this an essential set of throwaway love songs.

November 11, 2015

Carrie Brownstein // photo by Autumn de Wilde

Art & CultureReviews
Modern Girl: The Powerful Simplicity of Carrie Brownstein’s Memoir

“Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl” details the history of Sleater-Kinney. Even more than that, it’s a moving personal story.

October 26, 2015

2015. Alex Bleeker and The Freaks, “Country Agenda”

Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, “Country Agenda”

All of these soothing vibes and laid-back tracks make the LP feel as breezy as relaxing on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

October 13, 2015

2015. Salad Boys Metalmania cover high res

Salad Boys, “Metalmania”

By the time closing song “First Eight” rolls around, “metal” starts to sound a lot like “mellow.”

October 07, 2015

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Breaking: Shopping

East London’s sharpest post-punks just want you to dance with their sophomore album “Why Choose.”

October 02, 2015

2015. Shopping, “Why Choose”

Shopping, “Why Choose”

Its only blatant agenda involves making you dance, and Shopping’s excellent sophomore album “Why Choose” is full of potential singles.

September 30, 2015

Strange Wilds Band Photo

Breaking: Strange Wilds

Rebelling against the jocks and their Nirvana records with the heavier-than-heaven Olympia power trio.

July 27, 2015

Strange Wilds subjective concepts cover art album art.

Strange Wilds, “Subjective Concepts”

“Subjective Concepts,” the first album from hardcore trio Strange Wilds, makes it abundantly clear that the band was formed in Washington.

July 24, 2015

2015. White Reaper, “White Reaper Does It Again”

White Reaper, “White Reaper Does It Again”

Play “White Reaper Does It Again” while driving. Play it at a party. Play it to start a party.

July 16, 2015