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Big Takeover Issue #83
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Norine Braun - Through Train Windows (Braun and Brains)

13 December 2018

The tour must have been an amazing experience for Braun, because Through Train Windows is one of her purest and most concise statements as an artist yet.

Medeski Martin & Wood with Alarm Will Sound - Omnisphere (Indirecto)

13 December 2018

Having proven themselves the most experimental groove combo on the circuit, MM&W take another step forward with Omnisphere, a concert collaboration with postmodern orchestral ensemble Alarm Will Sound.

Western Star - Any Way How (Saustex)

12 December 2018

Like a broken-hearted romantic with a shelf full of Larry Brown books and a bottle by his side, Max Jeffers writes songs as if every record in his collection comes from either Texas or Minneapolis.

Richard Lloyd - The Countdown (Plowboy)

11 December 2018

Though it may be only for certain rock cognoscenti, the arrival of a new album from guitarist Richard Lloyd is always something of an event.

Tropical Fuck Storm - A Laughing Death in Meatspace (Joyful Noise)

10 December 2018

The hiatus of Australia’s amazing Drones was a shock coming after its upward creative arc, but all is not lost for fans of their distinctive arty psychedelic postpunk roots rock. Singer/songwriter Gareth Liddiard and bassist Fiona Kitschin keep the vision flowing with drummer Lauren Hammel and guitarist/keyboardist Erica Dunn in Tropical Fuck Storm.

Gina Graves - And We Rise (Self-Released)

9 December 2018

And We Rise_ is produced on a surprisingly grand scale for an album that was essentially recorded all at home by Graves, and it will undoubtedly serve as one of the most uniquely individual artistic statements in the genre in recent years.

Gift Machine-New Tangles

The Gift Machine – New Tangles (People in a Position to Know)

8 December 2018

Mastered by Frank Arkwright at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London, this Escondido, CA-based foursome’s seventh album sounds more robust, expansive, and sonorous than their previous six.

Wanderingted - I Could Be You

7 December 2018

Wanderingted will catch your attention and not let go.

Soul Asylum - Say What You Will...Everything Can Happen/Made to Be Broken (Omnivore)

7 December 2018

Soul Asylum would go on to make records with more acclaim and success, but its first two lay out the qualities that would get them there, making them as essential as anything in the band’s catalog.

Peter Senior - On The Edge (Mandalong Records)

6 December 2018

It’s not the deepest of music, but there’s a real artistry to Senior’s definition of fun and you’ll be too busy dancing to think of anything else anyway.

Jack Drag - 2018 (Burger)

6 December 2018

With his now-signature blend of twinkly new wave and melancholic power pop, Dragonetti knocks out one sweetly melodic gem after another here, putting adult uncertainty and confusion to a catchy soundtrack.

Mark Turner/Ethan Iverson - Temporary Kings (ECM)

5 December 2018

Duet records can be a challenge, especially if neither musician is part of the usual rhythm section. But acclaimed saxophonist Mark Turner and former Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson make it seem easy.

Psychocide - Hungover (Self-Released)

4 December 2018

In fact, the title of Hungover is misleading, because the EP finds Psychocide with a renewed sense of creativity.

Chris Lightcap - Superette (Royal Potato Family)

4 December 2018

Bassist/composer Chris Lightcap has an impressive resumé in the jazz field. But he also harbors a love for psychedelic and instrumental rock from the sixties, and that’s what provides the inspiration for Superette.

Wolfgang Muthspiel - Where the River Goes (ECM)

3 December 2018

Though he’s been slinging strings for a couple of decades, Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel is hardly a household name, even in the jazz world. But it’s a mark of the respect for which his peers have for him that he can attract the kind of talent that makes up his band on his latest release.

Dead Can Dance - Dionysus ([PIAS])

30 November 2018

It’s been five long years since we last heard from worldbeat iconoclasts Dead Can Dance. Fortunately, the hiatus ends with the release of Dionysus, a brand-new DCD album that’s both familiar and not quite like anything the group has done before.

Thomas Comerford-Blood Moon

Thomas Comerford – Blood Moon (Spacesuit)

29 November 2018

Aided by 16 guest musicians, this Chicago troubadour’s third solo album adds plenty of new stylistic wrinkles to the homespun, Wilco-esque alt-country of his 2014 II and 2011 Archive + Spiral.

Barre Phillips - End to End (ECM)

29 November 2018

Solo bass recordings often seem off-putting at first, more of a showcase for technique than anything else. But that’s only in the hands of a bassist who’s not interested in the music first. Phillips definitely is – here he comes across more as a composer whose primary instrument happens to be the double bass.

Jakob Bro - Bay of Rainbows (ECM)

27 November 2018

The second album in 2018 from Jakob Bro, Bay of Rainbows is a return to the Danish guitarist’s working trio with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Joey Baron.

Bird Streets - s/t (Omnivore)

26 November 2018

This is pop of a kind rarely heard anymore: informed by the sixties but matured in the eighties and nineties, guitar-based but not overwhelmed, high on craft but never aloof, heart on sleeve but rarely overwrought.

Twisted Oak - Cold Coffee and Half Smoked Cigarettes (Self-Released)

25 November 2018

One could argue that in future, Twisted Oak could use a little more production to prevent it from becoming too singer-songwriter-y, but it’s nevertheless a very strong start.

Album cover for Amazing Disgrace by The Posies.

The Posies - Amazing Disgrace (Omnivore Recordings Reissue)

25 November 2018

“This is not the album people will point to when they talk about the band’s greatest songs, and that would be a shame since some of their best songs reside here.”

Andrew Cyrille/Wadada Leo Smith/Bill Frisell - Lebroba (ECM)

23 November 2018

A triumph of experimentation with jazz sounds, Andrew Cyrille’s previous album The Declaration of Musical Independence_reasserted the AACM-associated drummer’s place in the top tier of the jazz pantheon. _Lebroba, its even-better follow-up, consolidates that position.

max lee - Colors of Noise (Self-Released)

22 November 2018

In a sea of self-released lo-fi albums, Colors of Noise manages to stand out from the pack with style, substance, and quality songwriting.

Elza - Nothing's Wrong (Self-Released)

21 November 2018

Nothing’s Wrong is a statement of consummate execution and even bolder vision from a true original.

Permanent Green Light - Hallucinations (Omnivore)

21 November 2018

An excellent combo that fell through the cracks of a confused early nineties music industry, Permanent Green Light deserves this second look more than just about anyone else from the time period.

Steve Tibbetts - Life Of (ECM)

21 November 2018

Saying an artist is one of a kind is such a cliché that it’s hard to take seriously. But how else to describe guitarist and composer Steve Tibbetts?

3x4 album art

3x4: The Bangles, The Three O’Clock, The Dream Syndicate, Rain Parade (Yep Roc Records)

18 November 2018

“These songs are powerful and exquisitely rendered with love for the craft and the artists behind these works, and what a treat for Record Store Day collectors.”

LeeSun - Singing You This Song (Self-Released)

16 November 2018

_Singing You This Song” is an album this will definitely provide a sense of comfort and solace for many.

The Rolling Stones, “Voodoo Lounge Uncut,” (Eagle Vision/Universal)

16 November 2018

This newly restored Rolling Stones concert film recorded in 1994 includes 10 songs and 5 bonus cuts not included on the original 1995 Voodoo Lounge Live release.

H! - Journey to the Centre of Yourself (Self-Released)

6 November 2018

_Journey to the Centre of Yourself” manages to convincingly depict a subject which is difficult to write about without sounding trite, and it feels like the launchpad for future, even greater artistic developments.

Crooked Flower - Into the Light (Self-Released)

28 October 2018

It’s difficult to say whether or not their busy recording schedule is a help or a hindrance to their evolution as a band, but one thing is clear: Into the Light shows Crooked Flower with no sign of slowing down and without want of fun or material.

Neurotix - Save Me (Self-Released)

26 October 2018

Save Me will immediately appeal to almost any fan of grunge, and many will be surprised to find there is evidently still new ground to cover in the genre.

Deb Montgomery - All the Water (Self-Released)

24 October 2018

All the Water is a fantastic work of craftsmanship, and fans finally are given a perfectly executed example of Montgomery’s unique vision.

Michael Rank - I Fell in Love with You Tonight

22 October 2018

Michael Rank seduces With Freaky New Single and Video from new album I Fell in Love with You Tonight

The Slang - Desperate Times EP (Secret Song Records)

21 October 2018

If there’s a fault at all here, it’s that the EP feels like it should have been fleshed out to a full-length, but fans, for better or for worse, will have to settle for the satisfyingly alluring five songs the band did produce.

Tangerine - White Dove

Tangerine - White Dove (AWAL)

19 October 2018

Tangerine’s new EP suggests a brighter aptitude for instrumentation and arrangement than their synth pop predecessors.

Highbeams - Keep Meaning It (Blanket Fort)

17 October 2018

There’s a lot of excitement circling Keep Meaning It (clearly the band felt it too while they were making it), and with any luck this album will prove to be their breakthrough.

Weather McNabb - Cubicle Zombie

14 October 2018

Cubicle Zombie is a tremendously tight, fully-formed collection of songs that prove the years of work spent finishing it were worth it, and hopefully it won’t be long before McNabb’s next collection of songs.

Alright Alright - Nearby album cover

Alright Alright – Nearby (Hooves and Sugar Record Co.)

12 October 2018

Denver-based alt-folk/Americana duo Alright Alright release a heartfelt and engaging debut album via Hooves and Sugar Record Co.

Synthonic - Sunshine EP (Self-Released)

3 October 2018

It isn’t exactly revolutionary in the genre, but it’s infectious in its positivity, and it’s immediately clear that the EP is the work of someone deeply in love with the process of making music.

Laura Paragano - Strange Curses (Self-Released)

26 September 2018

What’s remarkable about Strange Curses is that Paragano’s vision has been delivered to her audience fully formed.

Sam Fishman - End of Time (Self-Released)

25 September 2018

New Jersey’s Sam Fishman of the band Madison Rising is back with another imposing solo release, End of Time.

The Ar-Kaics - She’s Obsessed with Herself

24 September 2018

The Ar-Kaics gritty, gnarly, but secretly glamorous 60s punk