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[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


A punk phenomenon grows up

Punk is dead, right?
It's time we faced it: the vanguards of rock have gotten really old.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  February 08, 2012


Thurston Moore moves on

Demolition man
When Thurston Moore takes the stage at Somerville Theatre on Tuesday, he will no doubt stroll through the wispy cloud-spires of last summer's Beck-produced solo effort, Demolished Thoughts (Matador).  
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 25, 2012


Spreading blasphemous rumors with Ghost

Ghouls' night out
Can rock still be subversive?
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 17, 2012

MW3 - Paradise Lost

Closing the book on the West Memphis Three

Between heaven and hell
The Paradise Lost story began in 1993 with the discovery of the bodies of three West Memphis, Arkansas, children in a watery ditch, hogtied and mutilated. A confession led police to the arrest of three teenagers: Damon Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 05, 2012


Madonna, Sleigh Bells, Rick Ross, Lana Del Rey, and Grimes highlight early 2012 releases

There's nothing particularly apocalyptic about the releases thus far slated for 2012: perhaps this is the way that the music world melts down, with a whimper rather than a bang, right?
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 05, 2012


2011 goes pop

The music climate is as frigid as the business
The Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" alludes to eras of upheaval and tumult. But what if that tumult happens too slowly to seem interesting?
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 20, 2011


Deep tracks and minutiae for music lovers, rich and poor

Box-set match
Ah, box-set season, that time of year when you go to your nearest record store, looking for gifts for that special someone you know who would really appreciate a super-cool addition to their record collection.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 09, 2011


Neil Diamond | The Very Best of Neil Diamond: The Original Studio Recordings

Columbia/Legacy (2011)
Neil Diamond is a pretty upbeat guy — or at least as upbeat as can be expected from a man who made his claim to fame writing "Solitary Man."
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  December 06, 2011


Mastodon simplify the heavy subject matter

Positive gains
Viewed from the outside, heavy metal has always appeared unnecessarily negative, obsessed with morbid imagery and anti-social attitudes.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 16, 2011


Anthony Gonzalez of M83 elevates his game

Plus, the revenge of the double album
Music occupies time but not space, meaning that a musician's musical indulgences tend to stretch out in time to make up for the fact that, once emitted, the signals disappear in the aether like wisps of nothing disappearing into more nothing.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 16, 2011


Rob Halford gives Judas Priest one last spin

Metal god
When you talk to a living legend like Rob Halford, it should come as no surprise that you are dealing with a pro; after all, the man not only invented almost all the tropes and conventions of modern heavy metal, but he's been doing it all — show after show, album after album, tour after tour — nonstop for almost 40 years.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 15, 2011


Scratch Acid reignite a compact snap

Economy hardware
In general, people who care about music make too big a deal about the notion of talent.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 03, 2011


Saviours | Death's Procession

Kemado (2011)
The genre now vilified as "hipster metal" can trace its roots back to the stoner-rock movement of the '90s, when a shameful acquiescence to grunge and pre-nümetal meant that vintage gear, downtuned sludge, and tuneless neanderthalisms were taken as preferable to the pentatonic shred-age and adenoidal shrieks of classic metal.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  November 02, 2011


Where goth rock came from

Under cover of night
Beneath pop's facade lurks a dark undergrowth, always present and forever providing its own counterpoint — a bleakness that makes your feet move even as it subsumes you in gloom .
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  October 26, 2011


Unmasking the sinister beats of GL▲SS †33†H

Dark haus
When I met Xavier Gath in an alleyway on a dark rainy night in Cambridge a few Fridays ago, I didn't know what to expect.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  October 26, 2011


Skeletonwitch | Forever Abomination

Prosthetic (2011)
Although composed of fun-loving party mavens from Ohio, Skeletonwitch on record have always left a trail of scorched earth that lacks in levity what it plentifully makes up for in sheer ass-kicking force.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  October 25, 2011


The liberation beat rolls on for CSS

That cheer brigade
Struggling young bands toil to discover something novel, to uncover a musical concept that no one has encountered before, only to find, if they succeed, that this initial toiling is just step one — and that step two involves finding a way to progress so that your novel band doesn't become a novelty.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  October 19, 2011


The Strokes a decade after the debut

That was it
Let's face it: popular music is a lie. But it's the lie we crave: that the Beatles taught us how to love, that the Pistols taught us to be fierce, and that the Strokes — with their debut long-player released 10 years ago this week — delivered us from a nu-metal and boy-band purgatory into a sleek and sexy modern age.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  October 12, 2011


Zola Jesus | Conatus

Alternative Distribution Alliance (2011)
Listeners could be forgiven for categorizing Nika Rosa Danilova, a/k/a Zola Jesus, as a mope-tastic downer, since older songs like "Night" and "Sea Talk" have used her weapons-grade pipes in service of a Dark Lord of song.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  October 12, 2011


The Horrors change more than their hair

Near the end of my conversation with Rhys Webb, bassist for Southend-on-Sea quintet the Horrors, I begin to sense the exasperation in his voice.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  September 28, 2011

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