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Though they play it safe, White Lies provide a gateway to Joy Division and the Smiths for a new generation of punks

On last October’s Friends (BMG) White Lies have almost all of the ingredients for greatness: the lean and direct rhythms of early U2, the airy synths of 154-era Wire, and the hopeful-albeit-dark melodic sense of New Order. But the one major component missing from this London-based postpunk trio’s formula is the actual punk—these tunes are […]

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Together Aisha Orazbayeva and Joe Houston play Cage, Feldman, and Wolff

In response to President Trump’s recent executive order on immigration Aisha Orazbayeva has canceled her upcoming tour. Kazakhstan-born, London-based violinist Aisha Orazbayeva and British pianist Joe Houston have each found ways to reconcile contemporary classical music practice with traditional repertoire. Houston’s dynamic approach sounds apposite on both the Franz Liszt and John Cage pieces posted […]

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On American Band, Drive-By Truckers dig through the country’s toxic mix of violence and racism

Few working bands embrace their southern heritage as proudly as Georgia’s Drive-By Truckers, which makes their decision to wade right through the country’s political divide all the more stunning. The group intentionally dropped its strong new album American Band (ATO) at the end of September, just as the presidential election neared the height of its […]

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Minders

MINDERS For much of their career these bedroom Anglo-poppers from Portland, Oregon, have been buoyed by the tidal wave of hype about the Elephant 6 Recording Company, a loose aggregation of home-recording enthusiasts led by Robert Schneider of the Apples in Stereo. Schneider lent his flower power to the Minders’ first single back in 1995, […]

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Pavement

PAVEMENT Rumors have been flying for months that Pavement’s Terror Twilight (Matador), which hits the shelves Tuesday, is to be the band’s swan song. If that’s true, they’re going out with more of a whimper than a bang—but even Pavement’s whimpering beats a lot of other people’s banging. The new album builds on the direct […]

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Pavement

PAVEMENT With its most recent album, Brighten the Corners (Matador/Capitol), Pavement has settled gracefully into normalcy, making musical peace with its middle-class roots. Sometimes the intersecting guitar lines of Stephen Malkmus and Scott Kannberg hark back to the jagged architecture of previous efforts, and the band’s hooks remain delightfully off-kilter. But the new album is […]