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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 16th, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Amogh Symphony – Vectorscan (Amogh Music Library)
Anjou – Anjou (Kranky)
Antropomorphia – Rites Ov Perversion (Metal Blade)
Black Moth – Condemned To Hope (New Heavy Sounds)
Cannibal Corpse – A Skeletal Domain (Metal Blade) – Trey Spencer
Chris Brown – X (RCA)
The Contortionist – Language (Entertainment One Music) – Jacob R.
Engineers – Always Returning (Kscope)
Generationals – Alix (Polyvinyl Records)
Hands Like Houses – Re-Imagine (Rise Records)
Hostage Calm – Die On Stage (Run For Cover Records)
Isabel Rose – Trouble In Paradise (Jubilee Recordings)
James – La Petite Mort (BMG Rights Management)
Jesse Winchester – A Reasonable Amount Of Trouble (Appleseed Records)
The Juan MacLean – In A Dream (DFA Records)
Lia Ices – Ices (Jagjaguwar)
Lowell – We Loved Her Dearly (Arts & Crafts)
The Madden Brothers – Greetings From California (Capitol)
Malpractice – Turning Tides (Sensory Records)
Mia Doi Todd – Floresta (City Zen Records)
Mike Doughty – Stellar Motel (MRI)
The Mojo Gurus – Who Asked Ya? (Red River Entertainment)
Moonface – City Wrecker (Jagjaguwar)
Motionless In White – Reincarnate (Fearless Records)
My Brightest Diamond – This Is My Hand (Asthmatic Kitty)
Myrkur – Myrkur (Relapse)
Noctem – Exilium (Prosthetic)
Obey The Brave – Salvation (Epitaph)
Paolo Nutini – Caustic Love (Atlantic)
The Pineapple Thief –

September 6, 2014: “Never” is my favorite track of the year. If anything comes along and dethrones it, I will be more than positively surprised. In a paradoxical manner, I often can’t pinpoint why a certain song or an album resonates with me the way it does. That’s because as a person, I’m more adept at feeling and experiencing than sharing my exact thoughts in a coherent piece of writing. I know what I like, but can’t necessarily explain why every time. In conversing, I’m more often than not a stream of consciousness type of talker – something that I find hard to translate over into writing. I know exactly why I like “Never” though: it speaks to me about as much as it speaks of me, and that is a lot.

“Never” is barefaced as much as it is multifaceted. Structurally, both instrumentally and rapping-wise, it is a relatively straightforward track. Inversely, its message can be interpreted in many ways. To take it in the context of the full album it originates from, …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, it’s part of a narrative, part of a story. I like to be self-centered with the track though – I like taking it out of context, pulling it apart from the rest of the record, because while I enjoy &TYSYC very much as a full-length offering, no other song on the album digs as deep as “Never” does when I forget what The Roots might have wanted…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 9th, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

American Hi-Fi – Blood & Lemonade (Rude Records)
Avi Buffalo – At Best Cuckold (Sub Pop)
Ballet School – The Dew Lasts An Hour (Bella Union)
Banks – Goddess (Harvest) – Deviant
Better Than Ezra – All Together Now (The End Records)
Billy Childs – Map To The Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro (Sony Masterworks)
Cries Of The Captive – Imperialist (Imminence Records)
David Bazan & The Passenger String Quartet – David Bazan & The Passenger String Quartet (self-released)
Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World (Warner Bros.)
Delta Spirit – Into The Wide (Dualtone Music Group)
Digitalife – Nemesis (Imminence Records)
Duologue – Never Get Lost (Wild Game Records)
Esben And The Witch – A New Nature (Nostromo Records)
Flowers – Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do (Kanine Records)
Greensky Bluegrass – If Sorrows Swim (Big Blue Zoo)
Gob – Apt. 13 (New Damage Records)
Hiss Golden Messenger – Lateness Of Dancers (Merge Records)
In Flames – Siren Charms (Sin UK) – Kyle Ward
Interpol – El Pintor (Matador Records)
Jhene Aiko – Souled Out (Def Jam)
Justin Townes Earle – Single Mothers (Vagrant Records)
Karen O – Crush Songs (Kobalt)
KMFDM – We Are KMFDM: Live 30th Anniversary (Metropolis Records)
The Kooks – Listen (Astralwerks)
Lecrae –…

In case you’ve been sleeping (or ignoring those trending Facebook items like a good, red-blooded whatever nationality you are), rock god, virtuoso, musical authority, and in no way, shape or form, a mere cunning businessman who played rock ‘n’ roll to the tune of inflating his bank account, Gene Simmons (not to be confused with fitness guru Richard Simmons) declared rock music dead in an interview with Esquire magazine. While Ace Frehly (official doctor of rock medicine) declined to provide a time of death, he did pander a bit about his recent solo album. Which is more than Mr. Simmons can do. Meanwhile, Simmons, in his coroner’s report, officially declared that lack of funding was the ultimate cause of death.

KISS Coffin

We'd bury it in a KISS casket, but it can't afford it

According to Simmons’ reports, it would seem that none of the many rock and metal bands rising up through the modern day miracle of free, online publicity and simplicity of self-recording/releasing made an impact in attempting to revive the presently deceased genre. In fact, said modern realities were glossed over in acknowledging that rock died because “no one will pay you to do it.” The deceased bands counted in Simmons’ toll number in the tens of thousands, many of which will have to be told to cease touring and producing music due to the recent death of their genre. Many do not expect this news to be easily received and believe…

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The notion that “human beings don’t change” has gained prevalence in modern society. We’ve all heard variations of it before – he’s stuck in his ways, or the famous once a cheater, always a cheater – and while some people show it more than others, I can guarantee you that we all do evolve. It’s not something you can necessarily witness all at once. Every day, we absorb different stimuli, we’re faced with new decisions, and our character is ever so slightly altered until they all resonate as something noticeable. It’s why your best friend is less likely to notice small changes occurring in you than someone who sees you once per year, such as a distant relative. People like that are subject to brief windows of observation, because they have no frame of reference other than your previous, dated encounter.

If music was life and Brand New were a person, we’d all be distant cousins. We saw them at Your Favorite Weapon in 2001, and they were very much a product of their peer groups, albeit outshining the likes of Taking Back Sunday and other pop-punk groups of that era. Then came Deja Entendu in 2003, and we all marveled at how much the band had matured. The same reaction followed suit, perhaps double fold, upon the release of 2006’s The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, an epic transformation with overarching spiritual and existential themes. Once again, we transport ourselves years forward to 2009. Daisy was…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of September 2nd, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Blonde Redhead – Barragán (Asawa Kuru LLC)
Christopher Willits – Opening (Ghostly International)
The Color Morale – Hold On Pain Ends (Fearless Records)
Code Orange – I Am King (Deathwish Inc.)
Counting Crows – Somewhere Under Wonderland (Capitol)
Coves – Soft Friday (Nettwerk Records)
Dark Fortress – Venereal Dawn (Century Media)
Darkspace – Darkspace III I (Avantgarde Music)
Earth – Primitive & Deadly (Southern Lord)
Grey Gordon – Forget I Brought It Up (No Sleep Records)
Half Japanese – Overjoyed (Joyful Noise Records)
HammerFall – (r)Evolution (Nuclear Blast)
The Haunted – Exit Wounds (Century Media)
James Taylor – The Letter (AAO Music)
Jeezy – Seen It All: The Autobiography (Def Jam)
Johnny Winter – Step Back (Megaforce)
Killjoy Club – Reindeer Games (Psychopathic)
Lily Taylor – The Ride (Pour Le Corps)
Machinae Supremacy – Phantom Shadow (Spinefarm)
Mark Lanegan Band – No Bells On Sunday (Heavenly Recordings)
Maroon 5 – V (Interscope)
Maybeshewill – Fair Youth (Superball Music)
Melodime – Where The Sinners & The Saints Collide (Rock Ridge Music)
Nick & Knight – Nick & Knight (BMG Rights Management)
Solstafir – Otta (Season Of Mist)
The/DAS – Freezer (Sinnbus)
TOPS – Picture You Staring (Arbutus Records)
The Vines – Wicked Nature (+180 Records)
Wolf – Devil Seed (Century Media)
YOB – Clearing The Path To Ascend…

Jess Kahr – bass, Rasmus Rasmussen – keyboards, Jakob Skøtt – drums & Jonas Munk – guitar

One of the most revered and prolific psychedelic rock acts today, Causa Sui, have released a new album, the 3rd part of the Pewt’r Sessions. Straying from the summery vibes of most of their LPs, these spontaneous collaborations with Ron Schneidermann are rather haunting and the most free-jazz oriented volumes in their catalog. It is very interesting to listen to the intense chemistry between the members, as they lay to tape various segments chopped off long jamming sessions. In an attempt for me to gain more insight into the band’s creative process and their thoughts on the music industry today, I contacted guitarist/El Paraiso Records co-owner, Jonas Munk. Luckily, he found some spare time to answer a few questions for SputnikMusic:

So, new year, new album! Tell us more about the latest volume of the Pewt’r Sessions. How did it come to fruition?

We first started doing improv sessions with Ron Schneiderman back in 2006. Since then we’ve played live with him several times and recorded a handful of sessions throughout the years. Some of the sessions from 2009 were eventually released as Pewt’r Sessions 1 and 2 in 2011, and now we’ve just released the third record in the series which was recorded last year in September. It’s the result of an afternoon of improvisations. We recorded roughly four hours of music, I mixed around two hours…

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 26, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Basement Jaxx – Junto (PIAS Amercia)
Battle Trance – Palace Of Wind (Naxos Of America, Inc.)
Brad Paisley – Moonshine In The Trunk (Sony Nashville/Arista)
The Bug – Angels & Devils (Ninja Tune) – Will Robinson
Cassie Ramone – The Time Has Come (Loglady Records)
Claude Speed – My Skeleton (LuckyMe)
Cold Specks – Neuroplasticity (Mute)
Cymbals Eat Guitars – LOSE (Barsuk)
Dry The River – Alarms In The Heart (PIAS America)
Elephant Stone – The Three Poisons (Caroline/Universal)
Frnkiero And The Cellabration – Stomachaches (Ingrooves)
Gemma Ray – Milk For Your Motors (Bronzerat Records)
In The Valley Below – The Belt (Capitol Records)
Merchandise – After The End (4AD)
Mono/Poly – Golden Skies (Brainfeeder)
Music Blues – Things Haven’t Gone Well (Thrill Jockey)
New Medicine – Breaking The Model (Imagen Records)
The New Pornographers – Brill Bruisers (Matador Records)
Opeth – Pale Communion (Roadrunner Records)
O-Town – Lines & Circles (All About The Melody)
The Rentals – Lost In Alphaville (Polyvinyl Records)
Robyn Hitchcock – The Man Upstairs (Yep Roc Records)
Rustie – Green Language (Warp Records) – Will Robinson
Tinnarose – Tinnarose (Nine Mile Records)
Ty Segall – Manipulator (Drag City)
The Young – Chrome Cactus (Matador Records)


Album Streams:

Basement Jaxx – Junto

The Bug – Angels & Devils

Taylor Swift has debuted a new single and set a new record, 1989, to be released on October 27th of this year. Normally in a blog I’d like to include more details, but I really have no words for whatever is going on here.

In other news, fuck everything.

Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 19, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Accept – Blind Rage (Nuclear Blast US)
Ace Frehley – Space Invader (Entertainment One Music)
Ariana Grande – My Everything (Universal Republic)
Avenged Sevenfold – Waking The Fallen: Resurrected (Hopeless Records)
Bahamas – Bahamas Is Afie (Universal Republic)
Beach Day – Native Echoes (Kanine Records)
Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker (ATO Records)
Better Than Ezra – Surprise (Liaison Records)
Bishop Allen – Lights Out (Dead Oceans)
Buddy – Last Call For The Quiet Life (Stove Punchin’ Records)
Chase Rice – Ignite The Night (Dack Janiels Records)
Colton Dixon – Anchor (Sparrow Records/Universal)
Counterpunch – Bruises (Cyber Tracks)
Darkness Divided – Written In Blood (Victory Records)
Dirty Loops – Loopified (Verve)
Dr. John – Ske-Dat-De-Dat: The Spirit Of Satch (Concord)
Dragonforce – Maximum Overload (Metal Blade)
Egypt Central – Murder In The French Quarter (Fat Lady Music)
Electric Würms – Musik, Die Shwer Zu Twerk (Warner Bros.)
Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) – You Will Eventually Be Forgotten (Topshelf Records) – Eli
Fat White Family – Champagne Holocaust (Fat Possum Records)
Gretchen Wilson – Snapshot (Redneck Records)
He Is Legend – Heavy Fruit (Tragic Hero Records)
Imogen Heap – Sparks (RCA)
Jason Feathers – De Oro (Totally Gross National Product)
Jessica Hernandez & The Deltas – Secret Evil (Instant Records)
JJ – V (Secretly Canadian)

For the majority of the year, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is a placid hub of serene wildlife and meditative arrangements located in the heart of the Bay Area city. At around 1000 acres, it’s easy to get lost in one garden or traverse a series of trails and meadows and totally forget the fact that you’re in one of the more claustrophobic cities in the country. Since 2008, however, the three-day Outside Lands Music and Art Festival has transformed the center of the park into a massive combination of live music, artisan cuisine, wine and cheese pairings, a plethora of local craft brews, and a surreal array of the kind of weird art you’d expect from San Francisco locals.

Peaking with an estimated 200,000 ticket holders and over a hundred performers, the 7th edition of the festival was the largest (and most crowded) yet. Given how integrated the experience has become – with the new “GastroMagic” area that showcases celebrity chefs, local restaurants, and sports its very own stage, along with separate areas entitled WineLands and BeerLands – Outside Lands is now, more than most festivals, a unique celebration of the city it calls home. Instead of divvying it up into its component days, then, here are 30 things I liked.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan / Samantha Saturday

1. Short of Kacey Musgraves, Run the Jewels likely had the best set of the day (and about as far apart as

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Here’s a list of major new releases for the week of August 12, 2014. Please feel free to request reviews for any of the following albums from staff or contributors.

Adebisi Shank – This Is The Third Album of A Band Called Adebisi Shank (Sargent House)
Adult Jazz – Gist Is (Spare Thought)
Brian Setzer – Rockabilly Riot! All Original (Surfdog)
Caleb Johnson – Testify (Interscope Records)
Dilated Peoples – Directors Of Photography (Rhymesayers)
FaltyDL – In The Wild (Ninja Tune)
FKA Twigs – LP1 (XL Recordings)
The Gaslight Anthem – Get Hurt (Island) – Jom
Grey Lands – Songs By Other People (Paper Bag Records)
Hilltop Hoods – Walking Under Stars (Golden Era Records)
Karma To Burn – Arch Stanton (Deepdive Records/Faba Records)
Kris Allen – Horizons (+180 Records)
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Neon (Letting Up Despite Great Faults)
Lucero – Live From Atlanta (Liberty & Lament Records)
Marcel Dettmann – Fabric 77 (Fabric Worldwide)
Pixie Lott – Pixie Lott (Interscope Records)
Porter Robinson – Worlds (Astralwerks/Universal)
Sinéad O’Connor – I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss (Nettwerk Records)
Soja – Amid The Noise & Haste (ATO Records)
Tank – Stronger (Atlantic)
Twista – Dark Horse (Get Money Gang Entertainment/Universal)
The Underachievers – The Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium (RPM MSC Distribution)
Upon A Burning Body – The World Is My Enemy Now (Sumerian Records)
Watsky – All You Can Do (Steel Wool Records)


Album Streams:

Adult Jazz – Gist Is

FaltyDL – Into

Dog Fashion Disco may have one of the wackiest names in music business, but their multifaceted style shouldn’t get discredited because of that. The sextet’s new offering, released 8 years after the seminal Adultery, epitomizes exactly what made their music unique in the first place. Sturdy metal-centered arrangements are augmented by jazzy woodwind instruments and spooky keys taken straight from a horror movie. The allure of the record lies in how effectively these divergent influences are combined. Even though Sweet Nothings is certainly a helluva lot of fun to listen to, there’s insidious darkness loitering beneath the surfaces here, implicit regardless of whether the sextet are rolling at full tilt or holding back. Here’s a brief interview with the group’s singer, Todd Smith.

Sweet Nothings is a worthy follow-up to your amazing 2006’s release Adultery. What motivated you to come back as Dog Fashion Disco?

We are all good friends and we have a great time creating and performing together so we figured, why not?

Although Dog Fashion Disco broke up in 2007, you continued creating music with such groups as Polkadot Cadaver, El Creepo and Knives Out. Did your work under these monikers influence your creative process for Sweet Nothings in any way?

No, those other projects have a vibe and feel that’s all their own in my opinion. When writing the new album we just wanted to give people a diverse and fun album to rock out to.

Adultery was a concept album unlike Sweet Nothings

The following is something I wrote up a few months ago while trying to consolidate my thoughts on what to tell more-novice writers when they ask “But why can’t I write about every track?” Keep in mind this shows me trying to speak for Sputnik as a whole, but is also my personal opinion, so feel free to chime in as well as discussing my own reasons. Enjoy.


Track-by-track reviews are frowned upon on Sputnikmusic. Why? Because, at best, the site tries to be “professional.” And, obviously, there are different definitions on what makes a review that way, but the one generally agreed-upon rule is that explicitly track-by-track reviews don’t look good, especially beside full paragraph-by-paragraph album analyses. There are a number of explanations for this, and I’ll include a few here. First, track-by-track reviews typically have really, really short paragraphs. Which can be fine, but in almost all types of critical writing paragraphs should have at least a few sentences. We all probably learned this in elementary school: intro sentence, three body sentences, concluding sentence. And that’s probably the bare minimum, and usually even that’s not enough – typically, my paragraphs are about 8-12 sentences, which I think is a pretty good length as it’s beefy but not threateningly long. To reiterate: track-by-track reviews lead to too-short paragraphs, which really doesn’t look well-written and complete.

Second, track-by-track reviews are almost always incredibly disjointed. A review should have some sort of coherent structure (and no, brief intro…

This probably won’t be something that I always have time to do, but some weeks just overflow with quality releases. Today I’d like to share with you two of my favorite tracks, written by The Rosebuds and Owl John, respectively. These two tracks only combine to take a little bit over 8 minutes of your time, so I suggest you give them both a try!

The Rosebuds: “In My Teeth”

from the album Sand + Silence

Listen if you like: dEUS, Spoon, Wye Oak

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“In My Teeth” is the opening track on an album brimming with confident melodies. Wrapped tightly around mature instrumental framework, this track manages to sound relaxed in its urgency, potent in its lyrical content, and entirely fresh from a novelty standpoint. Oh, and it was produced by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Check the band’s official website out out here, and if you would like to purchase this song or the entire album, it is available on iTunes or Amazon.


Owl John: “A Good Reason to Grow Old”

from the album Owl John

Listen if you like: Frightened Rabbit, Bright Eyes, Biffy Clyro

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“Turn your back to the afterlife!” Scott Hutchison proclaims, in an emotional bout of suicidal triumph…”with my head in my hands I resolved to die alone…I was ready to drown in the afterlife, but not anymore…

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