It’s hard these days to convey the simple offense the Violent Femmes were to 1980s musical culture. Now that they’re heralded as a classic band, assimilated by long-tradition listeners into roots music, you could almost be forgiven for miscalculating the degree of radicalism that was in their stripped-down, punked-out sound.
The Church has embarked on several retrospective projects like its current “Starfish” thirtieth anniversary tour, taking the opportunity to explore its massive back catalog (twenty-five studio albums and counting), but the band has never been one to rest on its reputation.
Dosik’s rich, caramelly, velvet-smooth voice sets off little pings of recognition in your head, like Pop Rocks on your tongue—recalling the golden age of soul crooners like Luther Vandross and Gladys Knight, and even eighties inheritors like Boy George and Lisa Stanfield.
Lauryn Hill’s victory lap for the twentieth anniversary of her groundbreaking album, “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” leads off this month’s must-see musical events.
Dead Sara is one of the best rock bands you’re not listening to. Its raging music is infectious, filled with searing guitar riffs and tongue-in-cheek lyrics. Emily Armstrong is an unforgettable frontwoman, whose gritty vocals have earned praise from Grace Slick and Courtney Love.
The Quartet’s new concert season, called “The World Around Us,” is a kind of call to action, a ringing alarm to rouse us from our collective torpor. Luckily, they’re talking about the world both physical and metaphysical, not any given political landscape.
Wilcox’s latest album, “The View from the Edge,” reflect the laid-back vibe of Western North Carolina. Wilcox says that living in the mountains influences the kind of songs he writes. “Because there’s no music industry here,” he explains, “you’re there to play for the people, not the industry.”
The best known examples of the influence of industrial music can be found in what today could be considered “legacy alternative rock” acts like Depeche Mode, Ministry and Nine Inch Nails, although hardcore fans would (and should) take umbrage at such an attempt to lump these “pop” acts into the genre. Trent Reznor may have done more than anyone to popularize industrial music, but he would be the first to admit that what he’s really done is to create pop music using industrial tropes.
When Fantastic Negrito emerged onto the music scene in 2015, he looked to all the world like a new, emerging artist. In fact the man born Xavier Dphrepaulezz—winner of that year’s Tiny Desk Contest for his song and video “Lost in a Crowd,” which showcase a sound that builds upon the blues, but didn’t conform to most people’s ideas about what blues should sound like—had been making music for quite a few years.
The band has become a critical darling with the release of its latest release, “Twin Fantasy (Face to Face),” a complete rerecording of an earlier cult-favorite album;