Author: Scott Seward

  • Dream Theater

    I avoid most modern American indie-rock records for the same reason I avoid the ham-and-cheese wraps sold at my local supermarket: They are bland, poorly made, and dependent on limp and soggy ingredients. I only bought the Fiery Furnaces’ 2004 release Blueberry Boat because I kept hearing complaints about how long the songs were; in […]

  • Pickers With a Hint of a Grin Take on an Idiosyncratic Ouevre

    With trepidation I approached the all-star alt-rock love letter to the late guitarist, label founder, archivist, field holler champion, and all-around shaggy super-genius John Fahey: Rare indeed are tribute albums worth listening to twice. My fear was that good-intentioned fans of the music would leach out the pep and wit of Fahey’s idiosyncratic touch and […]

  • Funkatrons Turn Britpop’s Umpteenth Flowering Into a Very Happy Monday

    Ladies and gentlemen, the second or third flowering of Britpop is hovering over us. (It seems like just yesterday that American schoolchildren were bitterly divided into two camps: Menswear fans versus Northern Uproar fans.) According to the U.K. dailies, Kasabian have already conquered, set fire to, defecated on, and won the hearts of Ol’ Blighty […]

  • Winter Swim

    On Manzanita (which translates roughly as “little Doors fan”), Mia Doi Todd lets loose with a psychedelic barn folk burner as powerful as a face slap by a false albacore in the North Atlantic at high tide. Backed by Dead Meadow’s lysergic scientists (the entire album’s personnel is a Mojo magazine CD comp waiting to […]

  • Murderous Punk Albums Share Plenty With Each Other and Nobody Else

    Das Oath have made a great punk rock album. What that means in 2004, I’ll let boring people figure out. All you need to know is I’m 35, and recently I got drunk and almost cried listening to a Judge record cuz it sounded so friggin’ beautiful. And I’m hardly the biggest fan of post-Y.O.T. […]

  • Thoughtful Florida Rapper Knows What the Alligators Know

    I never believed all those T-shirts that read, “Why do you think they call it Flori-duh!” For one thing, alligators live there, and alligators have been around for millions of years, so they must know something we don’t. Hip-hop mixtapes concocted in swamps probably won’t be around as long, but who knows? I’ve been wrong […]

  • Philly Pub-Rockers Present Daring Alternative to Difficult Art

    Nick Hornby is full of shit. Actually, this is unfair to shit. At least life grows from shit. In his recent half-page essay printed on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, the lad-lit author stunned the music world with this revelation: They don’t make ’em like they used to! At least, I think […]

  • New Hampshire Rap Nerd Invents Whiter Shade of Radiation

    Passage is all wrong for me. He’s too young, more doofus than youfus, and from New Hampshire. Which means by law he must live free or die. Which scares me. However, his Beckian folktronic lo-fi histrionics intrigue ‘cuz there is tension and pain (or squirreliness or Ritalin) lurking beneath the pathological logorrhea that comes with […]

  • Sabbath Prayer

    Some purists decry what they see as half-assed experimentalism in some modern metal as an aesthetic dead end and as a trend that prizes novelty over the perfection of form dictated by the unwritten laws and constraints of whatever sui generis subgenres a band aligns itself with. Unfortunately, I was cursed with a funny bone, […]

  • East European Weirdos Confuse Whammy Bars for Pillows

    What were they thinking? What were they trying to prove? “They” being Czech rockers Sunshine, whose 2001 album, Necromance, was only lately released in this land o’ ours and who seem determined to improve upon and honor the legacy of . . . Gene Loves Jezebel? It sure sounds like it. Though their rock is […]

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