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Music Staff Picks: The Best Releases of April

billy woods – Aethiopes On Aethiopes, billy woods reestablishes his strengths as a storyteller, with help from producer Preservation’s experimentally jazzy beats. By now, woods has cemented himself as one of hip hop’s greatest writers, and his brooding yet clever introspection sounds especially powerful over Preservation’s musical backdropping. Samples of pianos will twinkle across some tracks, and pound discordantly on others, while electric guitars ring and horns blow. By the time the harmonica enters the equation, the beats here are unparalleled. It is an enveloping atmosphere completed by excellent percussion, which moves between hand drums, full kits, and shuffling jangles … Continued

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Soccer Mommy Hints at New Sound at Mission Creek Festival

Overall, Soccer Mommy earned the headline spot at Mission Creek Festival with their bright-sounding indie underpinning the deeper, darker meaning looming in the lyrics. Sometimes, Forever releases June 24th and can be pre-ordered through her website. 

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On Cloud Nine with Beach Bunny

Beach Bunny had had their first performance of their tour at the Englert Theatre. The theater quickly filled with excited young bodies thrilled to see Beach Bunny live.

By Shari Jaffri Mauro Remiddi, or better known as his moniker Porcelain Raft, is a multi-talented man. With an impressive repertoire right down his belt having traveled to many lurks of the world (the dashing Italian lad has worked off Broadway, joined part of a traveling circus in Germany and was part of a choir in Korea — imagine that), Mauro unremittingly stuns with his first full-length album, Strange Weekend. Released by the label Secretly Canadian, Strange Weekend is a wonderful and magical collection of songs. It begins with the woozy track, ‘Drifting in and Out’. With an opener like … Continued

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By Michael Kadziulis Chicago natives Kids These Days are taking the nation by storm. After a huge year where KTD performed at Lollapalooza, Summerfest and South by Southwest, the band is continuing to rock the nation touring the rest of the U.S. Don’t let the age of the band fool you, these kids know how to jam. KTD use elements of hip-hop, jazz, blues, funk, and rock to form a unique sound that has been compared to that of The Roots. The band will soon be releasing their LP “Trap House Rock”, which was produced by Wilco’s very own Jeff … Continued

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By Nick Lovelace Bradford Cox is one of the most prolific artists in recent memory, having released a total of 14 full-length albums as the front-man of Deerhunter and as Atlas Sound, the moniker of his solo project, since 2005. This isn’t to mention the vast amount of music he’s recorded and shared on his blog. This guy has so many ideas when it comes to music, and it’s amazing that he’s consistently able to sift through his vast body of work to construct a cohesive and thoughtful album. Whether we’re talking about Atlas Sound or Deerhunter, not one of … Continued

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By Alina Perez Gomez Fool’s Gold is back with their second studio album, Leave No Trace, from IAMSOUND Records.  It is a different style from their self-titled debut album released in 2009.  Luke Top and Lewis Pesacov formed this collective to explore their interest in African music styles, but their second album proves they have found their own style. Leave No Trace is a 10-track mini-vacation.  Many tracks have a tropical sound, with a mix of electronic styling.  I had the first three tracks on constant repeat, “Wild Window” being my favorite track of the album.  It is a dance … Continued

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By Riley Ubben Whenever anyone in the music blogosphere talks about Wild Flag, the band’s riot grrrl credentials almost always seem to be the primary focus. Sure, everyone loves to throw around the “supergroup” tag, but the success of these ladies’ past projects (Sleater-Kinney, Helium, The Minders) certainly isn’t the only reason for their success now. Plenty of supergroups make headlines every year, but rarely do these projects deliver. I mean, have you heard Loutallica? The reason Wild Flag’s debut is still relevant is because it’s one of the few releases of the year that rocks. And I mean really rocks—the … Continued

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By Blake Carlson-Joshua Frontman Peter Pisano and drummer Brian Moen, Peter Wolf Crier, take the power of two musicians to a whole new level in their highly-anticipated second album, Garden of Arms. In a music scene riddled with alternative folk duos, Peter Wolf Crier have perfected one crucial element that sets them apart from others: the ability to sound complex. After the success of their debut album, Inter-Be, the Minneapolis based duo had a lot to live up to. They played 100 different shows around the country in a short six month time period. When they were done they sat … Continued

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By Rob Rodriguez  Blitzen Trapper simply rocks. I don’t know of another band that can consistently pump out great albums without a disappointing change in style. American Goldwing picks up right where Destroyer of the Void and Furr leave off. As always, the album offers a bit of everything. There is a cornucopia of sound; banjos, 70’s style synthesizers, and blaring harmonicas. You will nod your head to the guitar licks and then close your eyes in appreciation of all the beautiful southern melody. The album doesn’t skip a beat, opening loudly with the riff-heavy “Mind Find It Cheap.” But if you’re like me, you stay … Continued

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By Alina Perez Gomez Dare to Care presents the fourth album by Canada’s indie rock heroes, Malajube.  Hailing from Montreal, Malajube is a quartet led by Julien Mineau on vocals and guitar.  Their first album, Le Compte Complet, in 2004 gained them instant fame in Quebec.  By their second album release in 2006, Malajube began to tour the US and gain international recognition.  While many bands that gain international fame turn to English to propel them to a wider stage, Malajube faithfully continues singing French lyrics.  Don’t speak French?  Not to worry.  Dubbed the language of romance, French is beautiful to … Continued

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By Riley Ubben With the recent split of Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, things are looking bleak for boy-girl bands all over. I mean, let’s be honest here–the lifestyle of a musician has to be tough on even the most rock-solid relationships. They spend their days crammed in a tour bus or in a recording studio with their significant others, and unlike the majority of their indie rock peers, they can’t even vent about their romantic woes via song. While it’s been over a decade since My Solo Project first introduced the infectious, lovey-dovey pop of the Mates of State, … Continued

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