Fitz and The Tantrums : More Than Just a Dream

After two years of exhaustive touring supporting their debut LP, Pickin' Up the Pieces, Fitz & the Tantrums faced the daunting task of recording a follow-up album that would live up to the newly heightened expectations without simply releasing a carbon copy of the music that made them famous. Perhaps as a way of delegating that problem, front-man Michael Fitzpatrick this time opted against producing the album himself, instead handing the reigns to Tony Hoffer (Beck, The Kooks).

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Rose Hill Drive: Power Ride

he members of Rose Hill Drive are young, but don’t let their age fool you. This power trio of throwback rock and roll has enough rock star experience to fill four trips to Europe, while opening for Van Halen, the Black Crowes, and Queens of the Stone Age. The trio will embark soon on their sophomore stint of opening for legendary rockers The Who, traipsing from the west coast to the East, after headlining their own tour in the UK and Amsterdam.

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Ray Davies: Other People’s Lives

Wipe the slate clean. Ray Davies has dawned over rock’s new millennium. Davies, formerly of The Kinks, is a complicated, socially conscious musician, who delivers his message by drawing from a mount of musical styles.

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Of Montreal : Chop Suey, Seattle WA 1/31/2006

The best thing about Of Montreal’s super-charged live act, perhaps, is their playfulness. They don’t take the retro-rock thing too seriously, as so many style-conscious bands do these days. Yes, they were wearing fancy rock-star outfits, striking poses and even began “I Was Never Young” with the intro to “The Final Countdown,” but you still got the feeling that any and all posturing was accompanied by a large wink and a very open invitation to play along.

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The Detroit Cobras: Baby

Baby runs short and swift, bringing back a simpler sound from a simpler era, yet the rollicking good times on “Everybody’s Going Wild” can’t be ignored. The Cobras want to swing their favorite songs around and around like long flapper pearls, while they keep the bar open past last call.

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Scissor Sisters: Vic Theatre, Chicago IL

The Scissor Sisters may be the ephemeral band of the moment, a novelty act if you will, but at least they look like they have as much fun as the audience, living right in the moment and basking in the warm glow while it lasts.

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