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Core of the Matter: TAPinto Piscataway

Priya Khosla Interviews Ken and Kia Simmons, the publishers of Piscataway online news, about their website and why it is important to share local news. Ken and Kia explain the purpose of their website, and the different types of news and events they post there. 

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Album Review: Semiotics - For How

New Brunswick natives Semiotics have been the hidden gem of alternative emo rock, with a slight early 2000’s pop punk vibe (think Motion City Soundtrack). With jumpy melodies and relatable lyrics, Semiotics surely is a band worth checking out if you’re looking for a fresh, reviving sound. Nicholas Rapon, co-singer and co-guitarist of the band, has been booking shows since he was in high school, and not necessarily just in New Brunswick. Originally only playing in his house, Semiotics have since played various DIY venues and...

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Album Review: Hodera - United By Birdcalls

From the underground NJ music community comes Montclair based indie rockers, Hodera. United By Birdcalls is Hodera’s first official full length release. Led by Matthew Smith, Hodera has undergone several lineup changes until establishing a consistent collective of musicians both touring and recording. The band takes on an indie-alternative form, with their music embodying characteristics of the classic Midwestern emo blended with a folky tone. United By Birdcalls narrates the listener through a therapeutic release...

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Album Review: Gifts - Seven Songs

With two years and various lineup changes under their belt, Montclair based quartet Gifts have dropped Seven Songs, a solid and confident EP that provides the perfect starting block for a band who finally has all its working parts in order. Rather than add another band to further clutter the, "emo," tag, let's call this something like: Dark Math-Tinged Pop-Punk. Though only, well, seven songs, this album is a truly fulfilling listening experience with great narrative at its core. First and foremost, let's talk about the drumming....

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Album Review: Vasudeva - Life In Cycles

Is it possible to receive a cease and desist letter from a deity? Bernardsville, NJ's dreamy, groovy post-rock four-tet Vasudeva might know the answer to this question; at the moment, the Indian god after whom this band is named hasn't taken any legal action. Vasudeva probably wouldn't do that kind of thing anyway: his name translates to "good deity", and he never told a lie in his lifetime (!!), so he seems pretty content with things. What a good name to describe the music these dudes make, then. Vasudeva's debut Life in Cycles...

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Album Review: Little Big League - Tropical Jinx

Little Big League was just signed to Run For Cover records, and is still a relatively unknown band. That makes listening to them cool, right? Nevertheless, one word to describe their music is “sick.” Sick in the fact that there’s so much diversity in a single album that it makes for a dynamic adaptation to the “indie-emo revival” genre (and not in the idea that this album makes me sick and nauseous). When compared to previous releases, Tropical Jinx does not seem to stand out as much, however. The sound seems to...

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Album Review: ROMP - Sorry, Not Sorry

A romp is a fun and energetic event, full of the youthful carefree moments that were so frequent before things like school and emotions got the best of you. We’ve all been to romps, had romps, created romps, but as we grow older we’ve either lost interest in the types of release that adolescent hijinks offered, or we simply don’t have time for them anymore. New Brunswick’s own Indie quartet ROMP, lead by vocalist/keyboardist Madison Klarer and fleshed out by Lucas Dalakian, Mitch Gollub, and Luke Bamford represent an...

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Album Review: LVL UP - Hoodwink'd

I’m going to tell a story I’ve told before: the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college, I saw Real Estate play a free benefit show in their hometown of Ridgewood, NJ. I grew up twenty minutes away in a small town in the same county, so I felt a strong connection with the band and this show in particular. Opening for Real Estate were two lesser known Ridgewood-based bands: Toasted Plastic and Spook Houses. LVL UP, the Internet’s new power pop buzzboys, are also from Ridgewood; specifically, two members of...

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Album Review: Radiator Hospital - Torch Song

Radiator Hospital has released a plethora of albums that have all been fantastic, and Torch Song is no exception to this streak. Every song is a solid piece of instrumentation. Sam and his lineup of ever changing recording artists collectively put together a melodic and beautiful sounding album. Each song has an 80’s to 90’s pop reminiscent vibe, all while still keeping with a low-key, “underground” punk rock motif. Previous Radiator Hospital albums have had the same, similar structure to Torch Song. Every song Radiator...

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Album Review: Crying - Get Olde

How do you make a 15 minute EP about 20-something pains set in a world of bodegas and Dorito crumbs stand out? An initial answer when listening to New York native band, Crying, is to set some expertly arranged high-energy chip-tune leads at the forefront. But then again, can a few 8-bit notes really hold people’s attention for longer than those 15 minutes where you’re either browsing the internet like a zombie or driving to a job that you hate? “Get Olde” succeeds by blasting through your speakers with immediately...

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Album Review: Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory

Don’t be fooled: although Cloud Nothings’ third album, Attack on Memory, may only feature eight tracks, it is nothing short of colossal. Attack is one of those rare albums that can be played through time after time, each time revealing something new about an album you thought you already knew so well. Although it’s only January, I’m already convinced that this will be one of 2012’s most memorable albums. Glancing at the album’s cover, you might get the impression that this album encompasses the feelings of...

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Album Review: Toh Kay - Streetlight Lullabies

Streetlight Manifesto has a way of teasing its fans; Anticipation for their albums always seems to be a rampant, relentless affair. Add to that their re-releases (Keasbey Nights Volume 2), covers (99 Songs of Revolution), and side projects (Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution) and you’ve got a hungry fanbase desperate for new material. Once again, lead singer Tomas Kalnoky delivers rehashes of old material, this time in the form of acoustic “lullaby” renditions of various songs from the three full-lengths. However, don’t...

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Album Review: The Black Keys - El Camino

Back in February, The Black Keys won three Grammy awards for their album Brothers, including Best Alternative Music Album. Most bands upon winning a Grammy either sell out, fade into obscurity, or have every following album compared to the award winning one. Thankfully, only one of these has happened to the Black Keys. With their 7th studio album El Camino, The Black Keys have neither sold out nor faded away. They simply went back into the recording studio, wrote a few songs, and created one of the finest albums of the year. El Camino is...

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Album Review: Dntel - Life Is Full of Possibilities

Ten years after its initial release, Dntel’s Life Is Full of Possibilities still sounds as fresh and unparalleled as it was then. To celebrate this momentous album’s ten-year anniversary, it was re-released as a deluxe edition featuring a few unreleased tracks and a plethora of remixes. The album that laid the cornerstone for the formation of The Postal Service still immediately grabs listeners in with its first track, “Umbrella.” Chris Gunst’s airy vocals force listeners further in, until the beat has fully...

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Album Review: Textures - Dualism

Metal music often appears ridiculous to outsiders because of the plethora of highly specific subgenres that fans of the style create. Is it really necessary to define grindcore with highly sexual lyrics as ‘porno-grind’? Do people really expect a group of bands dubbed ‘post-ironic beardcore’ to be taken seriously? Yet I think of all of these subgenres, the most obnoxious and unnecessarily specific has to be ‘djent’. The name itself, according to Wikipedia, is an onomatopoeia for a specific type of guitar...

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Concert Review: Rock the Bells

Rock the Bells, the touring hip hop festival or bonanza, I should say, never ceases to amaze me. However, this year’s edition definitely takes the cake thus far. To say the 2011 Rock the Bells concert at Governor’s Island, NYC, went well would be an understatement. As lovers of the hip hop culture, we had the opportunity to witness not 1, not 2, but 11 of the greatest hip hop albums of all time being performed by heavy hitters including Black Moon, Mobb Deep, and Nas! The line up of albums performed in its entirety at Rock the...

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Album Review: Tombs - Path of Totality

I've always found it really tough to get into black metal. I like lo-fi music, and I like fast, brutal music, but I could never make the natural transition to black metal. I think it's because much black metal sounds art-less to me. Whenever I hear a band like Mayhem or Darkthrone, I get the feeling that the performers are making the songs up on the spot. They seem unconcerned with composition or melody. Sure, there are some cross-over black metal groups like Keep Of Kalessin that add a more composed aspect to the sound, but even then, I get...

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Concert Review: Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino at Vintage Vinyl, Edison, NJ Record Store Day, April 16, 2011

Could it have been any rainier that Saturday? Excellent, a rainy day is a good day to go to a record store. ANY day is a good day to go to a record store, but that day is one that I'll never ever forget. Ian Axel performed a short set of inspired music, live at Vintage Vinyl with Chad Vaccarino. Five songs later, of which Chad joined in for two, I knew that they were exceptional musicians. I knew it to be true. Ian is his piano. As he performs, the music emanating from that piano is rich and vibrant and awesome!! I talked to Ian briefly after...

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Album Review: Peter Bjorn and John - Gimme Some

Peter, Bjorn and John are an excellent band! They recorded this 11-track CD in Malmoe, Sweden. They sound like they could come out of the late sixties, early seventies with their songs, and I’m not complaining. All the songs are very good. One track that stands out in my opinion is “I Know You Don’t Love Me,” the longest (and last) track on the CD. There is a strong drumbeat, and the lyrics are more somber than the song would sound if there were no lyrics. Another stand-out track is “Lies.” This song has...

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Album Review: Telekinesis - 12 Desperate Straight Lines

If the Beach Boys and The Cure started a garage pop band, it would probably sound like Telekinesis. Admitting to being inspired by The Cure’s “dirty bass lines,” Michael Benjamin Lerner attempted to evoke the “weird lust of a seedy bar on a Saturday night.” His sophomore release 12 Desperate Straight Lines clocks in at just over 30 minutes, but each track demonstrates perfection. Lerner describes track 3, “50 Ways,” as “the most complicated song I’ve ever written.” It’s a song...

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Album Review: Marsha Ambrosius - Far Away

Even though she is already recognized as a talented singer because of her involvement in Floetry, Marsha Ambrosius is facing the next challenge in her career: reinventing herself as a solo artist. As a huge fan of her “rain like” voice, I am highly anticipating her debut effort on J Records, Late Nights and Early Mornings. However, there are a few things I would like this Liverpool, England native to keep up with, her self-esteem. I am well aware that Floetry’s split was due to “creative differences.” We were used...

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Concert Review: As Tall as Lions

When I read the announcement on As Tall As Lions’ myspace that they were retiring back in early October, I was heartbroken. As a die hard fan for three years, I couldn’t accept that this was the end. The bright side to all of this was that they were playing a handful of shows the last couple of weeks in December for their “Farewell Tour.” I bought the tickets immediately, and on December 21st, 2010 I fortunately got the chance to see one of my favorite bands for the first and last time. At around 9:30 P.M., As Tall As...

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Album Review: Matt and Kim - Sidewalks

Brooklyn indie pop duo Matt and Kim released their album Sidewalks on November 2, 2010 and so far it is gaining mass popularity; some even proclaiming it as one of the best albums of 2010. Matt and Kim returned with the hyper beats and energetic electronic synths they are known for, but the songs are a little less hectic and in your face as they were in their previous album Grand. There are many tracks off this album worth mentioning, the best probably “Good for Great,” which has the most phenomenal introduction melody that they...

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Concert Review: Circa Survive

As the legions of people out there who worship the ground that Anthony Green walks on will tell tell you, Circa Survive puts on an incredible live show. An experimental rock band based out of Philadelphia, they compose music that defies simple classification. They have the energy and rhythm of post-hardcore bands like At The Drive-In, the densely-layered guitar tones of an indie-rock band like Minus The Bear, and the abstract lyrical approach that I can only compare to Aaron Weiss of contemporary punk rockers mewithoutYou. The music is equal...

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Concert Review: Ra Ra Riot

The first time I heard Ra Ra Riot was on the radio about three years ago driving to a friend’s house in the summer. I heard “Can You Tell,” their first single off of their first album, “The Rhumb Line.” For a while, I thought it was the new Vampire Weekend single (turns out the two bands are actually pretty tight). When I found out that it was Ra Ra Riot, I checked out “The Rhumb Line” and became a fan for it’s mix of Indie-Poppy vocals, cool bass lines, upbeat and almost Reggae-influenced drums,...

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Album Review: Oceansize - Self Preserved While the Bodies Float Up

I've been a Muse fan for ages. You know, Muse, that ridiculous British rock band with that song in Guitar Hero? They're one of those groups with an incredible sound and energy. As I began to listen to more progressive, technical music, I noticed that they just don't have that same kind of compositional depth that really keeps me coming back to the music. I wanted something that keeps that kind of over-the-top, theatrical feel yet balances it with a more finely attuned ear for song composition. Essentially, I was looking for Muse meets Godspeed...

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Album Review: Wale - More About Nothing

D.C. rapper Wale proves that he is aware of the potential pitfalls an underground MC faces in the game. Like his 2009 album, “Attention Deficit,” Wale uses his love for the hit 90s sitcom, “Seinfeld” as inspiration. Wale cleverly uses excerpts from the popular sitcom without being too gimmicky.  Even though you will crack a smile while listening to Wale’s latest work, “More About Nothing” does show Wale emerging from the “cool guy” to a thinker. Besides the hit songs on the mixtape,...

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Album Review: Wavves - King of the Beach

There are two types of people: those who love Nathan Williams and the music he makes under the moniker Wavves, and those who hate his guts. The past has not been too kind to the San Diego native, but it seems the negative vibes have only encouraged his growth as a musician. Now a solid three-piece band, Wavves has been joined by former Jay Reatard band members Billy Hayes and Stephen Pope. The sound of the band has changed immensely from Williams' days recording ultra-fuzzed-out songs in his bedroom. Where Wavves and Wavvves are albums...

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Concert Review: Good Old War

Live music has a powerful effect on me, to the point where concert tickets are probably the thing I spend the most money on. A concert excites me and gives me something awesome to look forward to. With this kind of feeling, it's easy to see how a bad show could put me in a bad mood. But not this one. I saw Good Old War perform at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ on Friday, June 25. They're a folk-rock band that specializes in chill, groovy, feel-good music. Being a metalhead, their style normally isn't my thing, but they do it so well, it's hard not...

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Album Review: The Roots - How I Got Over

To call The Roots' latest album, How I Got Over, "long awaited" or "anxiously anticipated" is an understatement. As usual, the band brings nothing but a jazzy sound combined with old school flows to their latest album. How I Got Over finds The Roots in a somewhat pensive mood by discussing society’s “cutthroat” behavior mixed with politics and religion. Thus, the message the album gives is clear: The Roots are awake.Two songs that stood out to me the most on How I Got Over are “Walk Alone” and...

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Album Review: Red Sparowes - The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies the Answer

Red Sparowes are an instrumental post-rock band. To those who might not know what that means, the genre is described as orchestral rock. I find it difficult to listen to post-rock because the songs tend to be very long and take a long time to make their musical "point." However, I didn't encounter this problem with Red Sparowes' 2010 release, The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer. Red Sparowes stays true to the post-rock aesthetic while keeping the music interesting. I think the thing about this record that interests...

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Album Review: Sleigh Bells - Treats

The meeting of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss seems like it’s out of a romantic movie. She was a fifth grade teacher with a background in pop singing. He was working in a Brooklyn restaurant after being the guitarist of post-hardcore outfit Poison the Well for some years. They met. A week later they were recording music and would become known as Sleigh Bells. The music is all a production of Miller, who say it all starts with and revolves around a beat. The beats laid down on Treats sound like they are straight out of an underground...

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Album Review: Crystal Castles - II

Crystal Castles’ sophomore album Crystal Castles (II), which was supposed to make its debut on June 7, 2010, will now make its official debut on May 25th. The band moved up the release by a couple of weeks due to its leak on April 19th. Crystal Castles (II) has been available online digitally since the day it leaked. This album shows a much more mature sound for the band. Following the 8-bit terror of their self-titled debut, Crystal Castles (II) offers the listener a softer and lusher sound. Although some of these 14 tracks contain the...

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Interview: Eternal Summers

Eternal Summers are one of my favorite new bands. They play short songs that combine hazy tranquility with speedy punk. It's fun to rock out to but it's dreamy enough to zone out to. Unfortunately, before the interview, I did not know much about the band, so I decided to conduct it to find out some information about Nicole Yun and Daniel Cardiff (the guitarist and the drummer, respectively).  First off, I just want to thank you for doing this interview! I really enjoy your music, I must have listened to your EP about a dozen times within...

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Album Review: Our Last Night - We Will All Evolve

With Our Last Night’s sophomore release on their current label Epitaph, following the 2008 release of The Ghosts Among Us, they have once again set a standard for bands in the Metalcore/Screamo genres. They have perfected the art of balancing their screaming and clean vocals as well as contrasting their heavier riffs with chorus-like anthems in their own unique way. We Will All Evolve is Our Last Night’s way of letting the world know that they are capable of much more than creating just another CD to satiate the palate of your...

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Interview: Yung Mars: Givin’ the folks ‘Something Fresh’

On April 19, 2010, I spoke with San Francisco’s own Yung Mars. The near three-thousand mile distance wasn’t enough to stop the dialogue between me and this musically-inclined emcee. We spoke about the power of collaboration, the “Almighty white emcee comparison”, and “Something Fresh Music”, which, according to Mars, will be comin’ at ya’ll soon. Deev on the Takeover: In 2007, your self titled debut reached No.3 on the CMJ Hip-Hop charts, and it was the only self-released album at the time to...

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Concert Review: Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine with Mirrors & Wires, Common Enemy, and Witch Hunt

Jello Biafra was one of the guys who started the San Francisco punk band the Dead Kennedys in 1978. They were one of the first punk bands in the US to write politically-themed songs, using their music as a reflection of society's ills and excesses. Among the first punk bands to incorporate humor, they were known for holding a satirical mirror to the popular music of the time, and they were a major influence on hardcore & punk bands that followed. The Dead Kennedys disbanded during an obscenity trial which took issue with a poster included...

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Album Review: Streetlight Manifesto - 99 Songs of Revolution

As a Streetlight fan, I had high expectations that were not met. To say that this project is ambitious is an understatement. At this rate, their next cover album should be released somewhere around 2030.  The album begins with "Birds Flying Away" by the singer/songwriter Mason Jennings. It starts off with a subtle, yet, minor key ska groove. I feel that "Hell," originally by the Squirrel Nut Zippers is the best song on the record. They took a classic and made it better by adding leaps and bounds. Also, Kalnoky's well...

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Album Review: Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh

I think we can all agree that individuality is not admired in the music industry. There are only a few artists that try to stay away from commercial radio and wind up with huge successes. Fortunately for Badu, she is one of them. Throughout it all, Badu has amazed us by staying true to herself which pays off in her latest album.I’ll be honest, I did not think that Erykah Badu’s new album was going to be worth the listen. Her last CD, “New Amerykah Part One” left me puzzled and was too experimental. However, when I did a...

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Album Review: MGMT - Congratulations

Brooklyn based indie band MGMT recently "released" their new album "Congratulations". The reason released is in quotes is because someone recently leaked all of the songs onto the internet, allowing people to listen to the album long before it was due. In response to this, MGMT decided to put of all of the tracks to "Congratulations" on their website for people to listen to as streams. They didn't allow people to download it for free though, and instead give people the option of preordering the album at their own...

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Album Review: Kidz in the Hall - Land of Make Believe

With three albums and mixtapes that hit the streets hard, I think it’s safe to say that Chicago natives Kidz in the Hall have enough credibility in the underground rap game.  However, their LP did not live up to my expectations as a hip hop fan. MC Naledge and Double O have a pattern of gathering a lot of controversy whenever they drop a single, but, I didn’t get that feeling while listening to their latest album.   “Jukebox” featuring MC Lyte on the hook makes you ask in your head “did you really have...

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Concert Review: Rx Bandits

"When I'm on my death bed, I'll think of these three nights," said Matt Embree to the crowd near the end of the show. The people who attended them will never forget them, either. Progressive ska band Rx Bandits played three shows at NYC's Gramercy theater back-to-back-to-back. These shows were special because they were album shows; they played their 2003 album The Resignation on Thursday (3/25), their 2006 record ....And The Battle Begun on Friday (3/26), and their most recent album, 2009's Mandala on Saturday (3/27). I was lucky...

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Album Review: Shooter Jennings and Hierophant - Black Ribbons

Never satisfied in being known as just the son of Waylon Jennings, Shooter rounds up a whole new gang of outlaws to form Hierophant .  Don’t be fooled by his down south heritage. While Shooter is more than apt at making solid country-rock, for Black Ribbons he infuses noisy rock, electronica, and even Stephen King into what could be one of the best concept albums of the year.  The horror guru is central to the albums story. A tale revolving around Will O’ the Wisp, a radio talk show host being taken off the air by...

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Album Review: Usher - Raymond v. Raymond

While listening to Usher’s newest tracks at the station, I’ve noticed that he is sticking to what was an already successful theme – confessions. Usher comes back with another "tell all” album named after his scrutinized divorce with his ex wife and stylist Tamika Foster Raymond with Raymond V. Raymond. What starts off as a good spirited, "I'm just getting over her," type of sound quickly jumps into a party driven project. Usher displays some level of maturity in songs such as There Goes My Baby and...

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Album Review: Goldfrapp - Head First

It's been 10 years since Goldfrapp's debut and there is no question the electro duo has inspired current pop artists and spurred countless imitations. Goldfrapp diverged from their dance feel with 2008's folky Seventh Tree, but have returned and shaped Head First into an album soaked with an 80's and optimistic pop feel. Rocket and Believer are two tracks guaranteed to pick up considerable hype, yet I can't help but feel this album lacks the attitude associated with Goldfrapp's last retro-dancey album, "Super nature."  The album...

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Album Review: Fabolous - There is No Competition 2: The Funeral Service

Listening to this mixtape made me think that fellow “Brooklynite” Jay-Z had a long and inspiring talk with Fabolous. You can tell Fabo (Fabolous, yes spelt FABOLOUS) clearly feels as if there is no competition, hence the name of the mixtape. While Fabolous has been consistent since his first apex, I do admit that I thought Loso (Fabolous) was going to fall off hard. However, since Loso's Way was released last summer, his career seems to skyrocket. Unlike most rappers, Fabo’s swag complimented his new mixtape. From Rihanna's...

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Concert Review: Sondre Lerche at Maxwell's

On March 6th, Norwegian indie rock singer and cutie Sondre Lerche played a show over at Hoboken’s legendary music venue, Maxwell’s. Despite the premature St. Patty’s Day celebration, Lerche’s music was able to bring Hoboken at an ease during the night. To start off the night, he played “Good Luck” from his new album, Heartbeat Radio, which then perfectly segued to Airport Taxi Reception. His set throughout the night also consisted of hits such as Two Way Monologue, Phantom Punch, and Sleep on Needles. At one...

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Review: Savoir Adore Live at 90.3 the Core

Don’t let their up beat summertime sound fool you, when it comes to performing, Savoir Adore does not mess around.  90.3 The Core was fortunate to have them record a live session that aired on Wednesday March 10th at 8pm on Eclecticism. It featured several previously unreleased tracks including “Hollywood,” “Honestly,” and “Sparrow”.  They showed up to the station ready to go and believe me they went in!  The first song they played was the unreleased “Hollywood” and then...

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Album Review: B.C. - Time Capsule

The words distinct and fusion come to mind when listening to this interesting album. B.C. (The Black Child) is definitely using the art of hip hop when it comes to story telling.  The album itself was created for a purpose, to send a message, to make a point, to tell a story about hip hop from a futuristic, time traveler riding the rhyme, out of space point of view.   As a matter of fact, the quality of sounds and beats on “Time Capsule” also plays on that theme.  When listening to some of the tracks it takes one...

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Album Review: Wu-Tang - Return of the Wu and Friends

Ok, I know why you’re all reading this. You saw the name Wu – Tang and got excited that they may just hit us hip hop fans with another classic. Don’t get gassed. Return of the Wu & Friends is just a mix of remixes and unreleased tracks from The W and other albums/freestyles from 2000 – 2008. It would’ve been dope to hear some remixes to classic Wu - Tang joints on 36 Chambers, right? Compiled by DJ Mathematics, Return of the Wu seems to pay more homage to the legendary MCs. Tracks such as, “Clap...

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Album Review: Portugal. The Man - American Ghetto

For anyone who is even remotely familiar with the group Portugal.The Man, this record should come as no surprise to them. The quartet, based in Wasila, Alaska, is notorious for their impressive and highly heterogeneous musical output, consisting of five full-length records (all with a completely different sound) and innumerable EPs since 2004. Their discography, however, is marked by not only quantity, but quality as well, and their first 2010 release, American Ghetto, is no different. Portugal. The Man is a constantly-evolving group that...

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Album Review: JEFF the Brotherhood - Heavy Days

JEFF the Brotherhood is the project of Tennessee natives Jamin and Jake Orrall. The brothers grew up playing guitar and drums just for the heck of it. JEFF can be described as a “kraut punk” band. Their music is psychedelic and experimental while having a good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll vibe and punk attitude. The band has been compared to early Sonic Youth, Hawkwind, and Wipers. JEFF has shared the stage with Jay Reatard, Ex-Models, Battles, Sonic Youth, and play often with New Brunswick’s own Screaming Females....

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Concert Review: Kasim Sulton at the M Room

Kasim Sulton, in his own right, is an excellent performer singer/songwriter. He is well known for touring with Utopia, Todd Rundgren and Meat Loaf, but if you haven't seen him take a stage over by himself you are missing out on a wonderful thing. The sound in the M Room was like magic for Mr. Sulton. He played for approximately 90 minutes and it went by too fast. Clever banter in between songs, an audience completely won over, and excellent guitar and voice. At one point he sang an inspired an a capella song entitled, Does Anybody Love You? A...

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Album Review: Sade - Soldier of Love

After a decade of absence – the jazz/soul singer Sade is back! I think it’s safe to say that Sade is a powerful figure in the music industry. For Sade, Soldier of Love is a work that continues her excellence from her last album, Lovers Rock.  After hearing the album, I can say confidently that this is another classic CD under her belt.Each track explains her journey 25 years into her career. The song that stands out the most without a doubt is “In Another Time.”  The saxophone and string quartet allow...

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Album Review: Four Tet - There Is Love in You

Four Tet’s There Is Love in You (Domino Records), is something you wouldn’t want to miss. Four Tet is the project of Kieran Hebden of the post-rock band Fridge. There Is Love You is the fifth release from Four Tet, but is the first full-length in over four years. If you’ve never heard Four Tet, the sound is far from the post-rock sound of Fridge. It takes on almost a newly reborn house beat that combines other genres as well. Hebden typically samples a variety of sources including hip-hop, electronica, techno, jazz, and folk....

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Album Review: Beach House - Teen Dream

We’re approaching Valentine’s Day, and whether you’re hitched up for the holiday or you’re enjoying the single-life, you need to be listening to Beach House’s Teen Dream.  This album not only made me remember why I love Beach House, but also why I love to love.   Teen Dream is easily Beach House’s best album. It maintains Beach House’s west coast lo-fi pop sound, but on this album we get some of the best dream pop I’ve heard in a while. Beach House incorporates more of a romantic 80s...

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Concert Review: Gogol Bordello at Webster Hall 12/28/2009

It's hard to imagine musicians who collaborate with Madonna and perform on Jimmy Kimmel Live as punk rockers, but punk is an attitude and Gogol Bordello's live shows prove it to their audience with ferocious energy and heart. All nine band members are on stage almost a hundred percent of the time, but I'm venturing to say 30% of their time on stage, they're in mid-air, not actually on the stage. You can verify the numbers on your own time.At 9pm the lights went out, the giant sling-shot image lit up in red and in front of it sauntered Eugene...

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Concert Review: The Wrens

The Wrens played their much anticipated 20th anniversary shows December 4 in Hoboken, NJ. For those who haven't been paying attention, The Wrens as a band turned 20 this year and played three sets at Maxwells: an all-request set, the album The Meadowlands in full, and one with an emphasis on "new songs" and this was the set I caught. The final set proved to be an amazing blend of both old and new and everything in-between. They opened as they are prone to with the everyone-get-on-stage one at a time softer than on the LP version of...

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Album Review: Trey Songz - Ready

Usually, I would turn the other cheek when I heard any Trey Songz album, then I heard his latest work Ready. Trey Songz decision to put two mixtapes out this year, Anticipation and The Genesis has benefited him through his internet fanbase. Because of this wise decision, his album Ready is definitely a success. Throughout the entire album, Trey Songz paints a picture of scenes that would happen behind closed doors.  Now, the act of making love has always been Trey Songz’s “bread and butter” in the past. However, this new...

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Album Review: Savoir Adore - In the Wooded Forest

You know that band with the ultra-catchy sound that you’ve always wanted? Savoir Adore has come to the rescue! This Brooklyn boy/girl duo has one of the most addictive and infectious albums out right now. Now, a lot of bands are coming out of Brooklyn these days, but Savoir Adore is something different. Trust me. Your ears will thank you. Much akin to Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire, Savoir Adore has the same quality of lush innocence in their music. Not only can these two capture something that few new indie bands can, they also...

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Concert Review: Ulalume Festival

On Oct . 23, the Halloween spirit was immense at mtvU’s very first Ulalume festival held at The Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Ghosts, clowns, vampires, and everything in between, decorated the venue and the Halloween festivities were plenty.  There were rides and games galore, but the haunted house really put the icing on the cake. Contrary to how it may have seemed, the Ulalume festival was not all about Halloween.  Right next to all of the festivities was the stage where an awesome set of artists put on an...

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Album Review: Brand New - Daisy

Aggressive, emotional, intense: three words to describe Brand New’s album Daisy. This album is a huge step for the band, proving that they can still produce music that defines them and shows maturation throughout the years. Brand New has been a band for nine years now and this is their fourth full-length album. This album, like the past three, is an almost complete different sound than the previous. While The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me showed that Brand New knows a thing or two about writing music, Daisy is a step above. This...

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Album Review: Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx

For the past 15 years, the original Only Built 4 Cuban Linx has been Raekwon the Chef’s greatest achievement. With the recent release of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II, Wu – Tang fans definitely have something to look forward too. Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II definitely recaptured the essence of Raekwon’s first LP. You immediately return to the summer of ’95 due to the familiar rhythms and verses on “Return of the North Star.” Raekwon reprises his role as the confidant, “uncle – like figure” and...

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Album Review: Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3

With his Def Jam days over, Jay-Z’s move to his own Roc Nation records brings with it his latest musical offering, The Blueprint 3. Produced (mostly) by Kanye West, The Blueprint 3 is one of the best hip hop albums of the year. The tracks on Hov’s latest material are golden. However, “Real as It Gets,” a track featuring Young Jeezy, has more of a “Southern twist” to it, something Jay-z fans aren’t used to. The heavy hitters on this album are the singles” Run This Town” featuring Rihanna and...

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Concert Review: Camera Obscura

A rainy, stormy evening did not deter a sold out crowd from attending Camera Obscura's east coast portion of their US tour. The band has recently signed with 4AD records and have released their fourth album "My Maudlin Career". The highly anticipated followup to 2006's "Let's Get Out of This Country" has not failed in delivering the music Camera Obscura is known for, and shows promise of this notable band's star rising higher. The crowd seemed curious as experimental violinist Anni Rossi opened up the show at Webster Hall...

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Album Review: Mr. Lif - I Heard It Today

“We’re all supposed to start trusting the government again ‘cause it has a friendlier face now, right?” - Mr. Lif: Welcome To The WorldThis wonderful piece of work throws away all the usual conceptions of what a Hip Hop album should be and instead brings Lif’s own idea of what Hip Hop should be and do into the limelight. To start with, the beats on this album just sound amazing. Everything flows perfectly. From the simplest inclusions of drumming and horns to the more complicated scratching and ambient noises that...

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Album Review: Sage Francis - Sick of Wasting

For those of you who don’t know him, Sage Francis is one of the most respected names in the indie hip hop scene. As an accomplished slam poet and the owner of Strange Famous records, he has plenty of experience under his belt (seven albums actually) and it clearly shows with his most recent mixtape “Sick of Wasting.... .“While his last album (released roughly three years ago), “Human the Death Dance”, was a bit of a departure into the more poetic style of rap he has become known for pioneering, Sage returns to...

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Album Review: Mos Def - The Ecstatic

Wow! Mos Def is back on the music scene! After two not so critically acclaimed CD’s, Mos Def brings a lot of heat with this album. I felt this album lived up to Mos Def’s image. The beats are sick [meaning hot] and get your head bouncing while enjoying Mos’s flow. “Quiet Dog,” a song strictly made for the mean streets in Brooklyn, has a nice percussion beat and reminds us Mos Def doesn’t only come with smooth and jazzy lyrics, but can be aggressive. “Life in Marvelous Times” is a trip down memory...

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Album Review: Deer Tick - Born on Flag Day

When I first came across the new Deer Tick album, “Born on Flag Day”, I didn’t know what to think. I’d never heard their music before, and I didn’t even know what genre they fall into. I’ve heard so much about this band, but I’ve never had an opportunity or a reason to listen to their music. I thought that this was going to be another country album full of “America!” and “my cat got run over last week” and “I drank myself to sleep” type lyrics. I was completely...

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Concert Review: Lily Allen

A burst of light and blaring synthesizers were exposed to view as a single white sheet fell from stage at April 18th's sold out Lily Allen concert. The full crowd at the Theater of Living Arts in Philadelphia started to scream as Allen emerged from the bright, white light singing the lyrics of “Everyone’s At It.” Wearing a strapless one-piece outfit and lens-less, hot pink sunglasses courtesy of opening band, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, Allen commented on how uncomfortable her outfit was. The British singer commended...

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Album Review: Grizzly Bear - Veckatimest

If you would’ve mentioned the words “grizzly bear” to me a couple weeks ago, I would’ve thought of a giant brown bear charging after me in the middle of the forest. So what comes to mind now? The beautiful sounds of a brilliant band from New York City. Edward Droste, the vocalist and guitarist for the band, formed Grizzly Bear in Brooklyn in 2004-2005. Droste was originally planning on a solo project, but after help from Christopher Bear, drummer and vocalist, on Grizzly Bear’s first album a four-piece band began...

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Album Review: Bishop Allen - Grrr...

The Harvard grads who decided to scrap their multi-thousand dollar educations to become musicians (who thought that would ever work?) released their album GRRRR… on Dead Oceans on April 17th and I’ve got to give it to them, these guys can create a catchy tune or two. Definite “home runs” on the new album which features thirteen tracks include “The Ancient Commonsense Of Things”, “The Magpie”, “Dirt On Your New Shoes”, and “Don’t Hide Away”, in that order. The...

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Album Review: Dan Deacon - Bromst

I have been waiting with baited breath for this album for a while, just to warn you of the gushing praise to follow. But if you haven’t heard of Dan Deacon, a bit of introduction is in order.  Dan Deacon, a graduate of the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in Purchase, NY is known for having helped found Wham City an artist collective in Baltimore, which could really have its own article.  He is possibly the most prominent musician associated with the collective, though the others (Adventure, Lesser Gonzalez Alvarez,...

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Album Review: War Child Presents Heroes

When I first came across this CD, I thought, “Great, another covers album. Is there no more creativity left in the world?” I’ve always thought it was a little bold for today’s artists to take on the best of the best. But upon playing the album, Beck’s opening cover of Bob Dylan’s “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” wasn’t a disappointment at all. So I thought, “Maybe this was just a lucky shot.” Up next was a cover of one of my favorite bands, The Kinks, done by The Kooks, which turned...

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Album Review: These Are Powers - All Aboard Future

When I first played this album, a friend asked, "What is this avant-garde hipster trash you're listening to?" I consider myself an outsider, someone who likes things outside the mainstream. But my indie mentality was wounded, even though I'd never even heard of These Are Powers before, and I'm no fan of noise rock or no wave or whatever you'd call this. Unfortunately, I was unable to defend this...spastic, electronic noise that was coming out of my computer speakers. Jump back to the fall semester of 2008.  After playing new...

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Album Review: Coconut Records - Davy

Coconut Records, musician/actor Jason Schwartzman’s one-man band, released the second album Davy following the success of 2007’s Nighttiming.  Schwartzman started out as the drummer of the now disbanded Phantom Planet (which he references in the song “Drummer” with the lyrics “I was a drummer in a band that you’ve heard of..”). After leaving Phantom Planet, he became more involved in the film industry.  Most recently Schwartzman has worked with director Wes Anderson, writing and starring in...

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Album Review: Franz Ferdinand - Tonight

What should you expect from an album that has the lyrics “come on, let’s get high” within the first thirty seconds? A good amount. Franz Ferdinand, the Scottish dance-rock quartet behind the 2004 hit “Take Me Out,” are back with their third album: “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand.” After garnering much critical acclaim for their first two albums (“Franz Ferdinand” and “You Could Have It So Much Better,” respectively) their third album is a concept album revolving around a “night...

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