Thurston MooreThe Trees Outside the AcademyEcstatic Peace
Thurston Moore’s 12-year hiatus from the solo game has paid off, because Trees Outside the Academy is in line with the best Sonic Youth records. There’s a bunch of solos from Dinosaur Jr.’s J. Mascis, string arrangements, and a raw recording of Thurston at age 13, which equals one monumental indie-rock LP. In 12 more years, this is going to unlock some kid’s passion for songwriting.
Bad BrainsBuild A NationMega Force
The Rasta punks have returned again. This time they had Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys) reigniting the dub-core production flame. Bad Brains have not lost any urgency with age. Build A Nation contains 14 tracks that rekindle the spirit of hardcore as it was–vibrant, passionate, and heavy as hell.
Kanye West “Stronger” Universal
Blogs love it, electro-purists hate on it, and the single’s video cost enough scrilla to feed a Somalian village for months. No matter what, this track slays. Daft Punk samples and Kanye’s raps are the recipe for a club banger. Is mainstream electro-hip-hop the new black? If not, “Stronger” is.
Film SchoolHideout Beggars
Someone’s been listening to The Jesus and Mary Chain. Film School must have had a goth-shoegaze epiphany, because from beginning to end, Hideout is layered, dark pop bliss. It’s quite reassuring to know that a genre that’s been exploited to the bone can still come out this sick.
Turf TalkWest Coast Vaccine (The Cure)Sick Wid It
While the hyphy movement can seem a little formulaic from time to time, Turf Talk is in an entirely different hip-hop league. The bassiest release yet from the Rick Rock squadron, West Coast Vaccine will send a lot of whips into ghost ride mode.
MúmGo Go Smear the Poison IvyFatCat
Is the pianette the national instrument of Iceland or something? Three years since their last release, Múm has composed a new LP of glitchy, playful pop/classical compositions that include strings, horns, live and synthetic drums, and plenty of pianette. Less "experimental" than the band is often labeled, Go Go is as interesting as it is exuberant.
Sinden & Count of Monte Cristal Everybody Rocking / Beeper 12” Counterfeet
This latest EP from Sinden and Herve contains some of the most twisted stuff they’ve laid down yet. “Beeper” is the standout here, and it may just be the biggest track from this crew since Switch’s “A Bit Patchy.” Filled with huge, swollen basslines and chopped hip-house vocals, this track is out of control.
Eleven & Ayres The Glamorous Life 2 Self-Released
We stumbled upon this 2005 mix CD by The Rub’s Ayres and Eleven, and it’s still the ultimate ’80s soul-funk summer soundtrack. These dudes rip through 34 tracks of boogie-woogie by the likes of New Edition, The Jets, Cameo, and Neneh Cherry. We dare you not to smile when you hear this.
Tyler Potts The Deluge Dragon’s Eye
Seattle’s Tyler Potts makes experimental ambient music that’s more than just 20-minute drones. His latest release moves from classical synth and string melodies to atonal tinkerings to an occasional flirtation with rhythm. We just found a new album to make the bus ride home a cinematic experience.
Le Loup The Throne Of the Third Heaven Of The Nation's Millennium General Assembly Hardly Art
With so much indie-rock these days sounding, well, like other indie-rock, it is so refreshing to hear a debut LP like this one. Sure, the banjos and vocal harmonies might bring to mind Grizzly Bear or Sufjan Stevens, and sure the rampant intellectualism is a bit pompous, but the emotional zeal and dramatic simplicity are urgent and sincere.