Warren Miller

Tim Kasher- Adult Film

[rating=5.00] Despite its provocative title, Tim Kasher’s second full-length album, Adult Film, has little, if anything, to do with pornography. Instead, the Cursive and Good Life frontman’s latest offering merely

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Jonathan Rice – Good Graces

[rating=8.00] On the cover of his new record, Good Graces, singer-songwriter Johnathan Rice, bearing a strong resemblance to a handsome movie star from a bygone era, sits alone, staring longingly

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Rilo Kiley: Rkives

RKives is far from perfect. It hardly comprises Rilo Kiley’s best material. To be fair, though, it is a rarities compilation, and a bulk of the songs on the album remained unreleased until now for good reason. But while the beautifully curated record will never replace The Execution of All Things or More Adventurous as anyone’s favorite album, it is an essential addition to any Rilo Kiley fan’s collection and a pleasant enough collection of songs for even the most casual listener.

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Telekinesis: Dormarion

Dormarion sounding like that of “a man figuring out exactly who he is” is not exactly a good thing. Given the variety of the songs, the record lacks cohesion, which translates to an often frustrating listening experience. The bright side, of course, is that Lerner is still young and early enough on in his career to one day truly discover himself and reach his full potential.

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Christopher Owens: Bowery Ballroom, New York, NY 01/21/13

Midway through Christopher Owens’ set at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom this past Monday night, the ex-Girls’ frontman posed a question: “What if I’m just a bad songwriter?” In the lyric, from “Love Is in the Ear of the Listener” off of his new record Lysandre, Owens proceeds to wonder aloud whether his words are unoriginal and if he possesses the knack for entertaining an audience. Fortunately, his struggle with these and other insecurities are only momentary, as he ultimately concludes, “Beauty’s in the eye of the beholder/love is in the ear of the listener.” Had Owens continued to experience this self-doubt and lack of confidence, one would merely have to point out the 11 tracks on his new record to persuade him of his obvious songwriting talents.

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Summerland Tour: PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ, 07/21/12

Regardless of Everclear’s disappointing performance, the night was a success. Cynics may argue that there’s something pathetic about a tour like this. They may suggest that these bands are well past their prime and creative apex and have nothing to offer to music fans today. The truth is, this music remains important.

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David Bazan

No one in attendance finds it the least bit strange that the acclaimed singer-songwriter is performing in the living room of a tiny duplex in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland. Instead, the small audience is completely captivated by the music: a slow and somber version of “Wolves at the Door” that is virtually unrecognizable from the album track.

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Best Coast: The Only Place

Bethany Cosentino, one half of Los Angeles, CA, indie rock duo Best Coast, is a firm believer in the age-old idiom, “Home is where the heart is.” Based on the cover art of the band’s latest album, The Only Place—which depicts a cartoon bear embracing an outline of California—her heart clearly resides in her home state.

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M. Ward: A Wasteland Companion

M. Ward is one of a few remaining artists whose music still sounds best on vinyl. The crackles and pops from a record on a turntable provide a fitting ambiance for the singer-songwriter’s timeless sound. A Wasteland Companion, Ward’s latest release, is no different.

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Cursive: I Am Gemini

While Tim Kasher’s ambition to create a fully realized concept album is admirable, the decision seems ill-advised. After all, we live in the modern age of iPod Shuffles, when music fans are increasingly shunning full-length albums in favor of individual tracks. As a result, the failure of I Am Gemini is partly due to the success of the album’s cohesiveness.

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