Arcade Fire – Neon Bible

Arcade Fire – Neon Bible Merge; 4 ½ stars You have heard about the dissonant church organs of “Intervention” and Win Butler’s channeling Bruce Springsteen and an Episcopalian choir.  You have heard about how he smashed his acoustic guitar on SNL.  You have heard that Neon Bible entered Billboard at #2.  You have heard that … Continue reading

The Decemberists – Crane Wife

The Decemberists – Crane Wife Capitol – 4 ½ Stars (Sorry, Noah) Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov is a luxury liner of a tome, clocking in at around 700 pages of typically Russian overtalk. Most people give it up after about 250 hard-fought pages. “It’s like Dostoevsky sat down and said, ‘I’m going to write the … Continue reading

Islands – Return to Sea

Islands – Return to Sea Equator – 5 Stars When I was a kid, I had a toy guitar that made really horrific noises, which some 1980s engineer probably imagined rock ‘n’ roll sounded like.  And to this day I credit it as God’s grace that my parents didn’t strangle me with the thick plastic … Continue reading

Drive-By Truckers – A Blessing and a Curse

Drive-By Truckers – A Blessing and a Curse New West Records – 41⁄2 Steven Stars In Kennesaw, Georgia, minutes north of Atlanta, there is a store owned by a 70 year old named Wild Man.  Among the many items which Wild Man proudly sells is a used KKK uniform, several authentic Nazi armbands and grave … Continue reading

Tiger Bear Wolf – s/t

Tiger Bear Wolf – Tiger Bear Wolf Hello Sir Records – 5 Stars I’ve got blood running down my cheek.  It’s formed a little puddle near my feet, feet which were used for running and kicking and jumping mere minutes ago.  The sweat and dirt on my brow makes my hair stick flat on my … Continue reading

The Decemberists – Picaresque

The Decemberists – Picaresque [Kill Rock Stars] 5 Stars The Decemberists live in a world of fake moustaches, newspaper men with press cards in their hatbands, and bootblacks.  Their albums have always been firmly rooted in the past, both musically and lyrically.  Guitars have competed for attention with accordions, horns of bizarre shapes and sizes, … Continue reading