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live review of Kylie Minogue at Agganis Arena in Boston

Kylie Minogue brings her long-running disco to Agganis Arena

Live review: In ‘Motion
Most talk in America regarding Kylie Minogue surrounds the mystery of her lack of popularity here: while the rest of the world regards the pint-sized Aussie pop diva as a multiplatinum stadium-filler, here she is little more than an import-only dance queen known mostly for her late-‘80s hit cover of “The Loco-Motion.”
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  May 03, 2011

Kid Sister list

Kid Sister stays ahead of the electro-rap curve

Right-hand hype
Musical artists will give a zillion reasons for Why They Do It, but if they were really honest, "staving off boredom" would be the number-one Survey Says answer.  
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 26, 2011

hl list

The Human League | Credo

Wall of Sound (2011)
This year sees the release of yet another pathetic '80s rehash, a desperate plea for attention and relevance by a has-been by-product of an earlier, synthier decade, a record whose glossy sheen can't cover up the band's sad inability to pen a tune on a par with the hits that made them charttopping behemoths in an age gone by.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 27, 2011

DRV list

Death Ray Vision emerge from scrap metal

Veteran thrashers
Metal, being a musical genre based on extremes, embodies an ongoing war between conservative and radical forces.  
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 19, 2011

Zola list

The dark romantic transformation of Zola Jesus

Personal resurrection
I'm going to guess that Nika Roza Danilova's teenage years were not full of the frivolity that most of us associate with that pimpled life phase.  
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 19, 2011

musician Yanni

The word from Yanni

A conference call with the man himself
We should all be so lucky as to live the Life of Yanni: While the rest of us concern ourselves with mundane day-to-day trials and tribulations wrapped within a greater shell of global anxiety, Yanni has been able to fashion a musical identity where he can pursue genre-defying instrumental music for the gratification of a dedicated worldwide following.  
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 06, 2011

Cornell list

Soundgarden's Chris Cornell comes full circle

Back into the superunknown
Rock bands, if they do it right, can become part of a greater societal movement, hitting the zeitgeist and hoovering up fans like power-mad demons, subversive priests at the altar of the counterculture.  
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 11, 2011

Amon list

Amon Amarth | Surtur Rising

(Metal Blade 2011)
Every hessian band duder ever will tell you that the new album is the same as the previous one, only heavier and more brutal. And even if that's true, it's hard to pull off in real life, where the will to be heavy often leads to riffage that is shrill and speedy or, worse, deadeningly uninventive.  
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  April 06, 2011

Brit list

Britney Spears | Femme Fatale

Jive (2011)
To fans and detractors alike, Britney Spears is less a flesh-and-blood human being than an abstraction, an ideal, a pagan icon, a symbol of innocent temptation and not-quite-articulated desires.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 30, 2011

Wire list

Wire maintain a sharpness through evolution

Electric editors
What is "talent" in music? If we agree that it's about something more than just technical skill, then perhaps part of the definition involves a musician's ability to ferret out his or her own particular (or peculiar) talents.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 31, 2011


Ritualz | Ghetto Ass Witch

Self-released (2011)
A genre of music based in darkness is always the most sensitive to light, especially the kind of illumination that comes from the scorching laser beam of pop-culture attention.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 24, 2011


Mogwai | Hardcore Will Never Die But You Will

Sub Pop (2011)
There's a fine line in the post-punk instrumental world between mind-blowing musical ecstasy and, uh, whatever is playing underneath the guy who says, "Well, there's an app for that."
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 17, 2011

The Strokes

Albert Hammond Jr. explains how the Strokes maintain their cool

The new modern age
The paradox at the heart of rock and roll is simple: it takes an immense amount of hard work - not to mention huge, greasy loads of cunning and strategy - to get ahead in a competitive field. And yet when best executed, top-notch rock appears effortless.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 18, 2011


A Deathwish comes true

Psycho Pirates Dept.
If you've lived in Boston for more than a few months, you've surely felt the pang of "Whoa" that runs up and down your spine the first time you see their trucks: huge black-and-gold behemoths stocked with intimidatingly jacked dudes all dressed in black, blazing down the street like Mongol hordes on the rampage.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 11, 2011


Radiohead | The King of Limbs

Self-released (2011)
OK Consumer?
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  March 03, 2011


PJ Harvey | Let England Shake

Island Records (2011)
Polly Jean Harvey's newest manages to be a song cycle about the soldier's perspective on armed combat without being a typical anti-war diatribe — and is all the better for it.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  February 16, 2011


The sound of tyranny

System of a Down's Serj Tankian soundtracks the A.R.T.'s production of Prometheus Bound
There are musicians, and then there are polymath musicians. How to tell the difference?  
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  February 18, 2011


Gang of Four roar back with post-punk fury

Still in uniform
The history of popular music is littered with musical questioning, from "Why must I be a teenager in love?" to "Who put the bomp in the bomp buh-bomp buh-bomp?" But when pop turned to rock and artists began to attempt to wield their popular might in order to do right, that inquisitiveness often turned into telling people what to do and think.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  February 02, 2011


The perfectionist persona of Natalia Kills

Going Gaga
The British-born Natalia acted in BBC television and radio comedies (starting at age nine) before morphing into a musical career that has seen her adopt the stage name Natalia Kills — which describes her lethal combination of dark themes and anthemic synthpop.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 26, 2011


Robyn reclaims her identity en route to pop stardom

Dancing on her own
There are some pop stars for whom every record requires a reinvention of their persona. But what if your persona is just yourself, and you've spent your career rejecting the urge to create controversy to make people pay attention to you? For pop chanteuse Robin Carlsson, a/k/a Robyn, the R-word itself causes consternation.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 26, 2011


The Varsity Girls aim for pop stardom

Making the cut
By the time I arrive at their Lowell recording studio to talk to the teenage pop/R&B dynamos Varsity Girls, it's almost 10 pm, and I'm expecting to encounter an exhausted group of studio-tanned kids burned out after a full day of singing and more singing.
By: DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  January 04, 2011

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