Watts releases solo album after 31 years

Posted on April 14, 2014 by dkelly in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Ben Watt, an accomplished writer, DJ, BBC radio personality, and musician, gives a peak songwriting performance on Hendra. Hendra begins with its self-titled track. Acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, background strings and a reverberated picked electric guitar part create a dim and somber feeling. Lyrics go, “I wish I’d studied harder now, made something of myself […]

Local Album Review: A dose of whole-hearted rock’n’roll

Posted on February 24, 2014 by dkelly in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Whale Oil’s self-titled release isn’t complicated, technically proficient or even polite. What it is, however, is rock’n’roll, pure and simple. Whale Oil is on the front lines of keeping the power trio tradition alive. Brian Saxton pounds his drumkit for all it’s worth and sings (well, screams) with an astoundingly high level of energy. Bill […]

National Album Review: Terrestrials is a dark and ambient musical collaboration

Posted on February 24, 2014 by elledavis in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Sunn O (pronounced as just “Sunn”) and Ulver’s drone metal collaboration, Terrestrials, is pristine.  There is a perfect combination of the two groups on this album, which was released on February 3.  With this collaboration, the two bands have come far from where they first musically started yet strike a good balance with their roots. […]

Local Album Review: The Border

Posted on February 14, 2014 by elledavis in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Successfully executing the traditionally untraditional, and predominantly disfavored, integration of punk and country genres, here’s one stampede of an album fresh out of Dirigimus, Portland’s very own DIY music cooperative.  Seriously, listen up and listen well. The Coalsack in Crux released their second album, The Border, in January, and it’s by far one of the […]

National Album Review: “Grass Punks” by Tom Brosseau

Posted on February 03, 2014 by dkelly in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Grass Punks, released by Tom Brosseau, questions the imperatives of American folk, yet it is still able to pay dear respect to the timeless genre. Folk music has always been an elusive term––world music played by lower socioeconomic classes, artists from the ‘60s folk revival (e.g., Bob Dylan, Joan Baez), and more recently, bands like […]

National Album Review: “The Age of Reason” by Gramatik

Posted on February 03, 2014 by Francis Flisiuk in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture, Uncategorized

The Age of Reason defies standards in electronic music albums featuring 15 dynamic tracks that are rich in innovation and variety. The Slovenian born DJ Gramatik, whose real name is Denis Jasarevic, has been busy creating his own record label Lowtemp and crafting this gem of an album that’s been released after much anticipation. The […]

Album Review: Black Radio 2 by The Robert Glasper Experiment

Posted on November 04, 2013 by Sam Hill in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Black Radio 2, released last Tuesday by the Robert Glasper Experiment, is at the forefront of a new genre-blending movement. This album is more than a just few tracks with good musicality, it represents an emerging musical culture. Building off of the enormous success garnered by Black Radio released in 2012, Glasper continues to channel […]

National Review: B-Room, this old dog’s tricks are good enough

Posted on October 09, 2013 by dkelly in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

B-Room, released last Monday by rock band Dr. Dog, is less than adventurous, but who cares? This release is a continuation of what Dr. Dog is best at: churning out catchy indie-rock tracks that don’t require much intellectual capacity but are infinitely fun to listen to. The best thing about B-Room is its familiarity. These […]

Local Review: Change by Pallaso and The Mess

Posted on September 23, 2013 by Sam Hill in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Change, released last Saturday by the Lewiston based rappers. Pallaso and The Mess, takes Ugandan influence and incorporates elements of popular American music. Pallaso, a Ugandan-raised rapper formerly known as Pius Lizard and Pius Mayanja, released several cuts in his home country and has shared the stage with the likes of Sean Paul and soca […]

National Review: #willpower by will.i.am

Posted on April 29, 2013 by Sam Hill in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture

Let’s just say that will.i.am’s fourth solo album #willpower will never be trending on Twitter, despite its not-so-subtle marketing scheme of the album’s title. You’d think after founding the Black Eyed Peas, releasing three previous solo albums, winning seven Grammy Awards and being given the position of creative director of innovation at Intel Corporation that […]