Rock

Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello (CD)

The legendary power-pop band sets a new course with Bang, Zoom, Crazy...Hello, their first release in over five years. Firmly cemented as one of the most important bands in music history, the quartet will continue their reign as the top progenitors of power-pop through 2016 and beyond.

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Distortland (CD)

Can The Dandy Warhols stay relevant and weird in the Portland music scene when the city has gentrified and gotten significantly cleaner and more square? Distortland might find them at their poppiest and breeziest, but the out-there arrangements and love lyrics that a pop star wouldn't touch with a pole still make them the senior wackos of Portland. "Search Party" leans close to electronic '90s Britpop with its hypnotic fuzz and spaced-out guitars that feel like the perfect cosmic backdrop to an addictive pop song. "STYGGO" feels like a Talking Heads outtake from the Stop Making Sense era, with a funky bass line, bongos, and an acoustic guitar hook that balance against psychedelic lyrics that taste like candy-covered painkillers. Adding a new, professional sheen to Distortland is producer Jim Lowe, who previously has worked with the Stereophonics and mixed hits by Taylor Swift. He takes the album in directions the Warhols themselves wouldn't have gone. Done via e-mail, frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor would send him the raw tracks and wait a day before getting them back, and would be blown away by the results. The Dandy Warhols have always been one of the most interesting and best indie rock bands, and Distortland's catchy tracks that are simultaneously poppy and gonzo balance so perfectly that you'll keep wanting to listen to this album until the needle breaks.

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City Sun Eater In The River Of Light (CD)

Brooklyn’s Woods follows up the sunlit psych-folk-rock of 2014’s With Light and With Love with an album that’s rife with detail — worldbeat guitar tangles, Morricone-inspired orchestration, and subtle jazz beats — yet still retains their warm folk-inspired touch. Magnificent.

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Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll (CD)

Peter Guralnick, author of numerous books on American music, has delivered perhaps his crowning glory in this book on the nervous but driven man who was compelled to record Howling Wolf, Ike Turner, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis among many, many more.

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Holdin' The Bag (CD)
Veteran rockers continue to make strides into country. The touches of Morricone and Tejano only serve to add to the general baddassery of a band that has never cared much to fit into a genre or scene. Read more
Lost Time (CD)

Tacocat may have an emoji-worthy name, but they utilize their surf-rock licks and sugary melodies in the service of serving feminist realness on tracks like “Men Explain Things to Me.”

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Human Ceremony (CD)
Cute, catchy post-punk with a hint of twee. Take the jangling early-’90s sounds of Belly and The Sundays and throw in some of the snarl of a modern-day act like Metric or Lykke Li, and you’ve got an irresistible thing known as Sunflower Bean. Read more
Vitals (CD)
The New Orleans band skillfully walks the line between cool minimalism and psych-pop indulgence. The resulting album teams with life and style, terrifically catchy and tasteful at the same time. Read more
Three Men & A Baby (CD)
Goofy band/album name, kickass sound. Mike Kunka of godheadSilo and Enemymine teams with sludge masters The Melvins for a delightfully f*cked-up blend of Sabbath chords and maniacal vocals. Read more
Lukas Graham (CD)

Danish contemporary pop stars Lukas Graham take a bit of funk, soul, country, and rock and forge the rare blend that manages to be a little bit of everything yet still potent. It helps that songs like “7 Years” are terrifically written, with powerhouse vocals from Lukas Graham Forchhamme.

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