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Singer-songwriter Silvana Estrada conquers heartache on her debut Marchita

On her exquisite debut album, Marchita, Mexican singer-songwriter Silvana Estrada dissects the many bruised facets of a breakup in 11 intimate, elegant tunes. Estrada colors her compositions with her experiences growing up in a family of classical musicians and luthiers as well as her jazz studies at the University of Veracruz. On Marchita, she traces […]

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Progressive death-metal band Monochromatic Black deliver the brutality on Vicissitude

In 2018, Long Island progressive death-metal band Monochromatic Black threw down the gauntlet with a video for their debut single, “The Herd,” announcing themselves as a force to be reckoned with. The following year, they released their first EP, Pneuma, to considerable acclaim: it’s an intense, versatile, and strikingly assured burst of brutality that hit […]

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Violist Jessica Pavone brings good vibrations to the new When No One Around You Is There but Nowhere to Be Found

About a decade ago, back trouble forced Jessica Pavone to stop playing viola for nearly two years. Since her return, the impact of music upon the health and well-being of both performers and listeners has been one of the New York-based artist’s essential concerns. When she was composing the material for her most recent ensemble […]

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Krautrock legend Michael Rother and electronic explorer Vittoria Maccabruni make weird beautiful music on As Long as the Light

I was a wee lad with little journalism experience in 1998, when I interviewed German guitar god Michael Rother, who’d cofounded pioneering experimental rock outfits Neu! and Harmonia in the 70s. Not only did I hit him with a cliched question about his biggest influences, but I also pressed him when he said that no […]

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On the new W, Boris find serene sounds amid their continuous sonic explorations

As Boris continue to steer in and out of avant-rock territory, the 30-year-old Japanese band increasingly splinter genre ideas and expectations fans might foist upon them. The trio have been prolific during the pandemic, releasing nearly a dozen albums whose variety almost necessitates a disregard for boundaries: they include studio full-lengths, EPs, and live and […]

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Hana Vu carves new pop landscapes with Public Storage

Storage units, with their heavy padlocked doors and stockpiles of intimate possessions, are ripe for metaphors about emotional compartmentalization. On her debut album, Public Storage, Los Angeles guitarist and songwriter Hana Vu finds inspiration there, drawing on memories of the storage units her family used during their frequent moves and her subsequent feelings of displacement. […]

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Four Chicago venues join forces for a celebration of local rock, metal, and punk

Update, January 10: The Save the Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival has been postponed. The new dates are Friday, April 29, through Sunday, May 1. In April 2020, just weeks after COVID-19 shut down the live-music industry, four Chicago venue operators—Louie Mendicino of Cobra Lounge, Herb Rosen of Liar’s Club, Robby Glick of Reggies, and Dave Hornyak […]