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Remembering Tommy Ramone

By Douglas Wolk, Contributor

"The Ramones all originate from Forest Hills and kids who grew up there either became musicians, degenerates or dentists," wrote the band's something-like-a-manager Tome Erdelyi in a press biography sent out from his company Loudmouth Productions in 1975. "The Ramones are a little of each. Their sound is not unlike a fast drill on a rear molar." Erdelyi was born in Budapest as Erdélyi Tamás in 1949 (he adjusted that year to 1952 for most… more »

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Dan Wilson on Writing Hits for Adele, Taylor Swift and Birdy

By Sam Adams, Contributor

Semisonic may have been consigned to the ranks of one-hit wonders, but these days, singer Dan Wilson has hits to spare. As the band wound down in 2003 after the million-selling success of 1998's single "Closing Time," Wilson was starting up a new career as a co-songwriter for hire, working with Rachel Yamagata, Mike Doughty, Jason Mraz and more. He ended up in the studio with the Dixie Chicks, co-writing nearly half the songs on… more »

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Remembering the Legacy of Gerry Goffin

By Wayne Robins, Contributor

There may be no better farewell for lyricist Gerry Goffin, who died Thursday at age 75, then this appreciation offered in an interview last year by Frankie Valli, back in the spotlight with Jersey Boys. Valli was in a Manhattan diner talking with me about the enduring appeal of songs from the early 1960s. Songs that were released on 45 rpm records, purchased by teenagers (most of them girls), expected to be forgotten the moment they… more »

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Le Butcherettes, Cry Is for the Flies

2014 | Label: Ipecac Recordings / The Orchard

Le Butcherettes’ Teri Gender Bender comes off as unpredictable, perhaps even a little possessed, during the band’s now-infamous live performances. But on Cry is for the Flies, her band’s second full-length, the Mexican-born singer-songwriter also displays some subtlety alongside her off-kilter edginess.

Gender Bender and drummer Lia Braswell, as well as collaborator and producer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (of Mars Volta), have concocted an album that’s playfully weird and oftentimes frightening. Whether it’s the organ-grinding churn of “Boulders Love Over Layers of Rock,” the all-out garage-rock stomp of “Demon Stuck in Your Eye”… more »

Lia Ices, Ices

2014 | Label: Jagjaguwar / SC Distribution

Lia Ices’s new sound appears from the get-go on her third studio release, with layers of tribal hand-drum rhythms, playful chanting, tambourines and hazy synths in opener “Tell Me.” Ices marks a drastic departure from the high-concept, unadorned ’70s folk rock of 2011′s Grown Unknown, on which she had already strayed from her piano-based singer-songwriter roots.

It’s tempting to long for the glossy folk Lia Ices of old and write off the more experimental, overtly produced sound on Ices. The embrace of Auto-Tune, echo chambers and syncopated blippy whirs recalls Cat… more »

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Gimme Indie Rock!

By Marc Hogan, Lead News Writer

Calling all poseurs, dilettantes and part-time punks: Check your head and check your cred at the door. From Buzzcocks to Iceage, from dream-pop to chillwave, Gimme Indie Rock gives you the sickest vibes out of the scene that can't stand to be pigeonholed. Whether Dum Dum Girls or the Strange Boys, the Field Mice or Killer Mike, James Blake or PJ Harvey, you'll hear them all here — where it's totally OK to hang the… more »

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