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With a new My Bloody Valentine album, a new Replacements EP and a new David Bowie album, it became clear early on in 2013 that this was going to be a year full of comebacks. What’s followed has been a barrage of albums from artists you wouldn’t expect to see dominate 2013.
When Arizona-based band The Maine dropped their most recent album “Forever Halloween” on June 4, my initial feelings were mixed.
Comprised of anti-folk singer-songwriter Kimya Dawson and indie rapper Aesop Rock, The Uncluded have been my favorite new band of 2013 since I first heard their album, “Hokey Fright.” So when I heard they were performing in Detroit on June 5, I had to go.
Cincinnati indie band The National may have seemed a bit ordinary on their 2001 self-titled debut.
Musically, it was a basic alt-country album and, as far as songs go, it wasn’t anything special. Still, there was one saving grace: vocalist Matt Berninger’s baritone voice.
Kimya Dawson gained mainstream attention when many of her songs appeared in the 2007 film “Juno.” Still, she had a following in the indie scene years before that. She is known for her soft, friendly voice and lyrics that use heavy wordplay and humor. When Ke$ha sang, “We make the hipsters fall in love,” I like to think she was actually singing from Dawson’s point-of-view.
When Rilo Kiley announced via Facebook they were working on a news album, fans became ecstatic (after all, the band had announced their breakup less than two years earlier). As somebody who considers them one of the greatest bands of all time, I was one of those fans.
Vampire Weekend’s second album, “Contra,” opened with “Horchata,” a calypso-influenced ditty that stated, “Winter’s cold is too much to handle.”
This year, Record Store Day fell on April 20th, which meant that the day meant a lot to more than just one group of people.
“Everything from Bach to rock,” is cited as an influence on Grand Rapids band The Outer Vibe’s Facebook page. Consisting of Eastern Michigan Universitry alum Nick Hosford on lead guitar, Sean Zee on vocals, Lisa Kacos on the trumpet and keys, Andrew “Wonder” Dornoff on bass and Jeff Brems on drums, The Outer Vibe is pairing pop and rock like it’s never been done before.
Here is the new format for Matt on Music. Rather than just reviewing one new album, I’ll review several older albums with a connection to a new release and then finish with a review of said new release. This may manifest itself in partial discography reviews, or just a series of reviews of albums in similar genres. (My reviews already feature so much exposition, so I might as well use it to comment on more than one album.)
Eminem, Marshall Mathers, Slim Shady—whatever you want to call him, the man is a genius and one of the most important artists in the history of American popular music (at least before his lame last couple albums). Here is a list of his 15 best songs:
Mainly based around John Flansburgh and John Linnell, alternative rock band They Might Be Giants first formed in 1982. They became popular on college stations and over time became one of the few college rock bands to become a household name along with R.E.M. and The Smiths. Since releasing their debut album in 1986, they’ve never gone more than three years without releasing an LP.
Spring is in the air, and Eastern Michigan University’s music students have a lot in store for the campus community. The American String Teachers Association is holding a fundraiser concert in the Alexander Music Building Recital Hall Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. The concert will feature music arranged in the pop and rock style for string instruments.
Several bands paid tribute to the influential band The Replacements at Woodruff’s bar in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town on Saturday.
The early ’90s was one of the best times for alternative rock and the late ’90s was one of the best times for pop singles. The ’90s were just an awesome time for music overall, so here are my 15
favorite songs of the decade.
Bastards of young, dope smokin’ morons, girls who play make-up and wear guitar. If any of that describes you or you’d just like to hear a group of bands pay tribute to one of the greatest American rock groups of all time, come to Woodruff’s, located at 36 E. Cross St. in Ypsilanti, on Saturday at 9 p.m. for ‘Mats Fest.
“Mormons can’t rock. There, I said it,” a friend of mine quipped about Low after I posted my overview of the band on Facebook. In response to that statement, I must bring up the Butler brothers of Arcade Fire and New York Dolls bassist Arthur Kane, as well as the fact that Low isn’t a particularly rocking band. Their style is mainly based around minimalism, harmony and beauty; three things that many people, including my friend, love about The xx, and what I love about Yo La Tengo’s “Fade.”
Low is a Duluth-based slowcore band fronted by married couple Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker, both practicing Mormons. Although Sparhawk and Parker have been consistent members since the band’s formation in 1993, they’ve changed bassists three times.
Guitarist Donald Lajiness, a sophomore at Eastern Michigan University, steps to the front of the Alexander Music Building’s auditorium to a burst of ecstatic applause. He sits down in the proper classical guitar position— foot up, fretboard raised —and begins to strum the opening chord of the mysterious-sounding “Koyunbaba,” a modern piece with Turkish influences composed by Carlo Domeniconi. After a nearly flawless recital, the musician basks in the glow of his fellow music majors’ collective cheering and praise.
Awful album covers are incredible. For every “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” or “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” there’s a few amateur (or even, sometimes, mainstream) artists whose album cover designs are just absurd. Sometimes, this turns out quite disturbing (every Cannibal Corpse album cover) or just creepy (“Julie’s Sixteenth Birthday”).