Album Review

Raekwon – Fly International Luxury Art

The Wu-Tang Clan as a collective has unquestionably seen better days, but the group’s most talented member (if not Ghostface Killah) has enjoyed something of a Raekwonaissance as of lately. Buoyed by the 2009 release of the excellent, long-delayed sequel Only Built 4 Cuban Linx Pt. II, Raekwon has been unusually high-profile in recent years,…

View Article

Preview

Tonight: What the Beck

After performing to packed crowds at Nietzsche’s, What the Beck, the pun-ey tribute group to alt-rock’s favorite genre-bender, is performing at the Tralf tonight. While Beck songs normally dabble in rock, alternative, funk, west coast folk, hip hop, country, and latin music – in other words, pretty much everything – the group itself is a…

View Article

Album Review

Of Monsters and Men – Beneath the Skin

Nearly four years after their hugely successful debut, My Head Is an Animal, the Icelandic indie-folk/indie-pop quintet Of Monsters and Men has at last returned with a proper follow-up in Beneath the Skin. The record is a rare, near-perfect follow-up that both retains the group’s galloping choruses and effervescent energy while also pushing their sound…

View Article

Album Review

Death Cab for Cutie – Kintsugi

“I don’t know where to begin,” croons perennially plaintive vocalist Benjamin Gibbard on Kintsugi, the eighth studio album from indie-rock vets Death Cab for Cutie. Indeed, with its synth flourishes and electronic left-turns, it does ring of a band that’s struggling to maintain its identity while still growing musically – albeit one that’s doing it…

View Article

Album Review

Earl Sweatshirt – I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside

Could Earl Sweatshirt make it any clearer that he has no interest in being a chart-topping rap-star? With the release of his sophomore album, I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside, it’s pretty obvious the only right answer is no. An entirely self-produced effort – under the alias randomblackdude – the barely 21-year-old SoCal…

View Article

Album Review

Modest Mouse – Strangers to Ourselves

Over the last couple years, Modest Mouse’s new album had become arguably the most anticipated release in alternative rock. The eight-year gap so soon after their mid-aught heyday was made all the more intriguing by the bits of news that did emerge. Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr had already left the band, they worked with OutKast…

View Article

Album Review

Florence + the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

As humans we would never wish personal turmoil, i.e. a tough breakup, on anybody, most of us having gone through a lot of that shit ourselves. As music-fans, however, there’s nothing better than a breakup, divorce, death of a loved one or mental breakdown, as tragedy has inspired so many artists’ best music. For baroque-y…

View Article

Preview

Tonight: Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad

To the uninformed, Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad is Rochester’s premier dub reggae crew. That may sound like a particularly narrow and unessential niche to reign over, but the decade-old quintet is, in fact, one of the most popular and skillful live acts to emerge from The Flower City in recent years. With their mix…

View Article

Preview

Tonight: Incubus & Deftones

These days, the so-called nu metal movement of the late 90s and early Aughts – spawning such atrocities as Papa Roach, Kid Rock and Linkin Park, to name a few – is typically dismissed with the contempt and scorn it so rightfully deserves. But, as is the case with most fad sub-genres, it also spawned…

View Article

Album Review

Faith No More – Sol Invictus

Even while experi-metal rockers Faith No More helped inform so much heavy music of the 90s and early Aughts, they always seemed to be miles removed from it. In the early 90s they were too abrasive for the alt-rock crowd, too weird and unpredictable for grunge, and by the late 90s too arty for the…

View Article