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Aural Fixations

  • Rodrigo y Gabriela -

    Rodrigo y Gabriela: Rodrigo y Gabriela
    Two former heavy metal band-mates from Mexico City do some pretty impressive duo guitar work. Check out "Orion" on this album. It's better than Metallica's original. (****)

  • The Black Crowes -

    The Black Crowes: The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
    Such great music. The highlight for me on this album is Thorn In My Pride. At about 3:47 in the song, just after the screaming guitar solo, there is a piano bridge the makes me want to go to church. Seriously. (****)

  • Bright Eyes -

    Bright Eyes: Digital Ash in a Digital Urn
    Overall, a fantastic album. Bright Eyes has a great sense of musicality and composition. I don't love every song on this album but the ones I like, I love. If you are unfamiliar with Bright Eyes, check out "Arc of Time" to begin with. It's my favorite from this album. (****)

  • Dropkick Murphys -

    Dropkick Murphys: The Warrior's Code
    Traditional Irish drinking music with electric guitars and punk sensibilities. DKM's bring piss-drunk Irish fighting and drinking songs together by weaving guitars and bagpipes into just plain fun music to listen to. (*****)

  • Jedi Mind Tricks -

    Jedi Mind Tricks: Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell
    If you thought you've heard angry black men before, you ain't heard nothin' yet. This is some downright cathartic rap that challenges war, injustice, and oppression on their own terms. The truth is that this is really well done rap that accomplishes what rap set out to do 30+ years ago: Tell a story about the realities of oppression. Listen at your own risk. You have been warned. (****)

  • Old Crow Medicine Show -

    Old Crow Medicine Show: Big Iron World
    OCMS is a bluegrass band with an attitude. Instead of limiting their subjects to the beauty of the Appalachians or the plight of the working man, these guys sing about cocaine habits, down home girls, and nosy people. This is such great bluegrass with catchy choruses that you will be singing long after you stop listening to them. (*****)

  • Fort Minor -

    Fort Minor: The Rising Tied
    Fort Minor has been the DJ and MC for Linkin Park and is now doing some of his own stuff. It's really good. I have never been a huge fan of L.P. but this stuff is well done. If you like N.E.R.D. and stuff in that genre, this will hit the spot. (***)

  • Tal Wilkenfeld -

    Tal Wilkenfeld: Transformation
    An astonishing musician. This is a jazz album and Tal works her chops into some listener-friendly compositions. Great instrumental album. (***)

  • The Tossers -

    The Tossers: Agony
    Hailed as the heirs to the Pogues throne, The Tossers have put out a bunch of albums and are quite popular in Ireland. They are a traditional Irish band gone punk. Their songs are often dark (a la Pogues) but their proximity to the Northern Ireland battleground adds a certain authenticity to their angst. Great stuff. (***)

  • Dread Zeppelin -

    Dread Zeppelin: Un-Led-Ed
    I love D-Z! There, I said it. Alright, here's the gimmick: This is a Zeppelin cover band who does all of the covers in reggae style with an Elvis-impersonator (Torte-Elvis) as the the lead singer. As absurd as it sounds, it all works. And the band is tight to boot. Check it out! (****)

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