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“In Madagascar”/“Bar Abbas Blues”

D. Charles Speer & The Helix
SOUND@ONE

Backed by the No Neck Blues Band and members of Sunburned Hand of the Man, Charles Speer is making me regret I missed his Lisa’s performance not too long ago.

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I’ve always wondered why Jawbox didn’t receive the same reverential treatment as Fugazi.

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Estil Cortez Ball was a singer and fingerstyle guitar player from Rugby, Va. Before he passed in July 1978, he wrote countless folk ballads with his wife, Orna.

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Book of Leaves

Rachel Grimes
KARATE BODY

Just as Book of Leaves, the new solo piano album from Rachel’s pianist Rachel Grimes, contains no lyrics, it would seem fitting to review the album without words; perhaps replaci

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Japanese Heavy Rock Hits

Boris
SOUTHERN LORD

This constantly experimenting Japanese heavy rock outfit has logged more than 20 releases since 1996, gaining attention after 2001 with a series of reissues by Southern Lord.

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The Blouprint

JaLin Roze
FEEL FREE

In contemporary hip-hop, one has to ask oneself: Which is more important, the emcee or the beat? What defines “good” in 2009?

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3

Susanna and the Magical Orchestra
RUNE GRAMMAFON

The tone of 3 is consistent to a fault, defined by its distinct lack of presence — melodies so abstruse they seem to disappear completely; backing tracks so muted and inscrutable

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Notorious Movie Soundtrack

Various Artists
Bad Boy

I have mixed feelings on watching the biopic of the late Notorious B.I.G., which I will not go into here.

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Carbonistas

The Metroschifter
Noise Pollution

Metroschifter are at their best when they speak with their instruments, not their mouths.

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Treeg Salaam

Group Doueh
SUBLIME FREQUENCIES

Released in conjunction with their first-ever European tour this past June (the first time audiences outside of Western Sahara saw them perform), Group Doueh’s second album, Treeg Sa