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Confronting the Swedish gloom of In Solitude

Cold spell
When I am finally able to get through to the cell phone of In Solitude's tour manager, they have emerged from a massive dust cloud, their metal-mobile finding civilization after a long spell traversing the deserts of Arizona with no idea where they are going.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  May 08, 2012

[R.I.P.] Adam Yauch and the Beastie Boys

Revenge of the Nerds
ADAM YAUCH, a/k/a MCA, was likely inspired to pen those words, that appear in a tossed off couplet in the middle of what would wind up being one of the band’s final singles, by his immersion in the world of illness.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  May 08, 2012


Interview: Simon Reynolds tries to look forward

Quick, try to think of futuristic music that has nothing to do with the music of the past. Can't do it?
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 24, 2012


The Sound of Muzak

Has our lust for convenience turned rock and roll into background music?
Most people seem content to toss into the void of obscurity the record-store clerk and even the record-label executive, letting them join the silent-movie matinee idol and the jazz-era singing star on the slow-moving boat of the damned-to- irrelevance.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 18, 2012


Ramming Speed find their cruising altitude

Punk metalurgy
In the mid-'80s it was considered you-put-your-peanut-butter-in-my-chocolate when bands like Black Flag dared to tippy-toe into metal territory with their punk attack.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 19, 2012


A Mass metal titan brings it back to Worcester

Killswitch reborn
Of all rock genres, metal has proven itself to be perhaps the most accepting of the aging of its idols.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 19, 2012


The Mars Volta | Noctourniquet

Warner Bros. (2012)
The Mars Volta sprang forth from the '90s avant-punk of At the Drive-In.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 17, 2012


Bad Brains refuse to compromise

Still sailin’
Most bands tend to take credit for their successes while chalking up their failures and struggles to a cruel and unforgiving musical environment — but hardcore punk legends Bad Brains aren't most bands.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 11, 2012


Madonna | MDNA

Interscope/Live Nation (2012)  
There was a time in the mid-'90s when it seemed that Madonna was finally acting her age: with the 1994 release of "I'll Remember" and the subsequent greatest-ballads collection Something To Remember, it seemed as if the Material Girl was resigned to a lifetime of mature songcraft and age-appropriate jams that would serve her well into her 50s and beyond.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 03, 2012

music APTBS

The quiet side of A Place To Bury Strangers

Sonic bids
When you are surrounded with those jagged barbs of sheer bloody noise for the first time, do you run for the hills or continue to stick your head in the acid bath? It only takes a few seconds of luxuriating in the stinging audio hailstorm that is A Place To Bury Strangers to know how a young Oliver Ackermann reacted to the noise threshold test.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 27, 2012


Unsane | Wreck

Alternative Tentacles (2012)
In a lot of ways, the legacy of '90s rock is one of sheer ugliness — so many bands found so many ways to make so many genres sound so unrepentantly unattractive, whether it was the sonic miasma that was late-'90s nu-metal or the post-grunge dirty-blues thick sludge that was the prevailing sound of guitar rock throughout the decade.  
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 28, 2012


3 Inches of Blood party on

Hitting up the Metal Alliance Tour
In a culture obsessed with decoding the lyrics and attitudes of modern popular music, nothing gets more closely scrutinized than heavy metal.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 21, 2012


SXSW 2012 marks the end of the superstars

Twilight of the gods
In his keynote speech, informally anointed King of Music, Sir Bruce Springsteen, gave some uncle-ly advice to all the young'uns with their deathmetals and their trollgazes who made up the complicated and chaotic mass that was this year's SXSW talent pool/conference of musical commodity farmers: he pointed out that a ticket to a show is "a handshake between the artist and the fan."
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 21, 2012


Claire Boucher makes Grimes her thing

If you want to make music — I mean, if you really want to make music — there are several steps.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 26, 2012


Lamb Of God | Resolution

Epic/Roadrunner (2012)
Lamb of God, like the actual lamb of God, have existed seemingly for the purpose of expiating sins — in this case, the sins of baggy-pants late-'90s groove metal.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 21, 2012


Interview: Oderus Urungus and GWAR hit the Wilbur

Death threat
It makes a certain amount of sense that Boston's Theater District will be visited upon by one of rock's most theatrical groups, GWAR.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 14, 2012

Justice music

Justice blaze new trails for dance music

For all
Most musicians, at a certain point, discover a paradox at the center of the whole act of musical creation: that seemingly complex music can be simple, and that making simple music is often a complex process. After all, what do you expect in a medium where mathematics and pure emotion are intertwined?
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 14, 2012

Black Bananas Rad Times Xpress

Black Bananas | Rad Times Xpress IV

Drag City (2012)
It's a rare thing when you listen to a record and can actually hear drugs spewing from the speakers, but such is the gift of Rad Times Xpress IV , the latest from Jennifer Herrema, the exRoyal Trux chanteuse now doing business as Black Bananas.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 06, 2012


††† | EP 2

Deftones/Far (2012)
Don't be fooled by †††, a/k/a Crosses.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  February 28, 2012


In Flames craft an evolving breed of metal

Still spreading
Face it: metal bands are just brands, and to the headbanging hordes, you are only as good as your last breakdown — unless you can concoct a memorable musical identity to stand above the competition.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  February 15, 2012


[in memoriam] Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

"The biggest devil is me," is how Houston famously summed up her life's dilemma
Whitney Houston, who passed away this weekend of still-to-be-determined causes at the too-young age of 48, made an art out of depicting heroic triumph over adversity in her music
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  February 13, 2012

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