She & Him: A Very She & Him Christmas

It’s never too early for Christmas music. At least, it certainly isn’t for She & Him, who released their new album, AA Very She & Him Christmas, on October 25th. And though the Yuletide is still two months away, this record is sure to put listeners in the mood. Soft,
Read More…

Jedi Mind Tricks: Violence Begets Violence

While the spoken-word opener could suggest that Jedi Mind Tricks’s latest album might continue the group’s previous style, Violence Begets Violence is a far cry from the former JMT that spoke of figures like Gandhi. Perhaps it’s the lack of founding producer/D.J. Stoupe, or maybe M.C.s Vinnie Paz and Jus
Read More…

Tom Waits: Bad As Me

For those who have not heard Tom Waits’s voice, it’s basically audibly analogous to a wailing ghoul eating gravel topped off with some hot fudge syrup. That’s to say: It’s unique, intriguing and wholly entertaining. Back with Bad As Me, his first album of entirely new material in seven years,
Read More…

Surfer Blood: Tarot Classics

Surfer Blood is the kind of band you dance to in your bedroom. High socks on, Molly Ringwald in “The Breakfast Club”-type moves and some giant speakers blasting (or headphones, if you have a roommate), there’s no denying their infectious hooks. But if Surfer Blood’s debut album, Astro Coast, evoked
Read More…

Coldplay: Mylo Xyloto

Mylo Xyloto, Coldplay’s latest album, was supposed to be a new name, two undefined words pieced together. But it seems like a gross misrepresentation to give a new name to an album that is simply a rehashing of old music. Mylo Xyloto is not that much different from the albums
Read More…

Kelly Clarkson: Stronger

Two years since Kelly Clarkson last released new music, fans were thinking that the idol queen was beginning to fade into the dark abyss of pop star has-beens. But here she is, back with her fifth studio album, Stronger, a collection of 14 (18 on the deluxe version) stale, stuck-in-your-head
Read More…

Justice: Audio, Video, Disco

Everything about Justice’s image screams rock star, from the gothic cross right down to the leather jackets. It was only a matter of time before the French electronic duo would attempt to craft some rock music of their own. I’ll admit I was skeptical when I heard that this was
Read More…

Land of Plenty: 2011 Treasure Island Music Festival

While October generally means frights, candy, Halloween raves, there’s one show that stands out from the standard fall festivals. The Treasure Island Music Festival is one of the newer annual music festivals to arrive in the Bay Area. Since 2007, the festival has been quietly gaining attention. Now in its
Read More…

Mariinsky Orchestra graces Zellerbach Hall

The notes emanating from the string section of the Mariinsky Orchestra danced through the air of Zellerbach Hall like ballerinas showing off their most stylish spins and twirls. Vivid and commanding, the ensemble seized the attention of the audience immediately as it launched into Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1. Like a
Read More…

The Metamorphosis

Bjork: Biophilia

Biophilia is not easy listening. The Icelandic singer and electronic composer has outdone herself on her eighth album, and the end product is brilliant but also intense. Since her debut in 1992, Bjork has conjured a reputation for pushing the envelope and pioneering new experimental sounds. But not even the remixed
Read More…