Album Reviews (19)

Beam me up? Jeff Beam defies labels

Is it possible that Jeff Beam is an alien? Or perhaps a time traveler? It doesn’t seem to make sense that in the 21st century there could be somebody who operates without an ounce of concern as to what is going on in any current musical environment. The man has his musical touchstones, and his beliefs, and he creates, and has been creating, for years. He is an artist with no apologies, staying true to…

An assist for Reis and Lady Essence: Rap duo could use stronger beats to anchor collaborations

Though released late last year, Not the Same, Shane Reis and Lady Essence’s collaborative record with Providence-based producer ClarkWork, recently had an official release party at Asylum. While each rapper has released records of their own, there is a unique chemistry between the two that makes it seem like a future of operating as a duo, at least to some degree, isn’t out of the question.“Nuervision” starts the album with a sample of Essence rapping…

Sister Sparrow's technical needs: New album illustrates importance of live-show support

Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds are a seven-piece band out of Brooklyn, N.Y. that fit the bill for the seemingly never-ending demand of a certain brand of soul/blues/funk by a large subsection of Portland music fans. They’re not as rock-leaning as Grace Potter, as guitar-solo-friendly as the Tedeschi Trucks Band, as retro-authentic as Sharon Jones, but there are elements of each as well as more straight forward pop acts within the Dirty Birds sound.…

An Overnight Low

Originally released last November, Piccadilly, the latest record by An Overnight Low, was finally celebrated this past weekend with a release show at Empire. The album is the second in a trilogy of records named after the train stations bandleader Chad Walls visited most on a trip to Europe, the first chapter being 2014’s Euston with the final, Waverley, scheduled for later this year. Impressively, Walls and associates have actually taken trips overseas in support…

Living with Snaex: Giving the finger to a time of moral crisis

By SAM PFEIFLE There’s something kind of thrilling about the cover to the new Snaex record. On the black and white cover of The 10,000 Things, Chriss Sutherland’s and Christopher Teret’s wives give us the finger, in unison, while their toddlers sit in their laps, even nurse. Their eyes are darkened, making them menacing, but their mouths are set in something more like determination. A mix of that classic Johnny Cash shot and, well, Duccio’s…
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