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The Big Takeover Issue #82
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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.

Riot Fest: (Chicago, IL) - September 14-16, 2018

25 September 2018

Coverage of Chicago’s Riot Fest includes text and photos of Johnny Marr, Elvis Costello, Gary Numan and more.

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

Historian - Distant Wells

Historian – Distant Wells (Self-Released)

24 September 2018

LA-based post-rock/orchestral/folk experimentalist Chris Karman unveils a distinctive, reflective, and hybrid album.

Ben DeLaurentis - Liar for a Muse (Self-Released)

20 September 2018

As one would expect, Liar for a Muse is quieter than the work with DeLaurentis’s band, but it’s also much more refined and mature as if the artist has a newfound sense of direction.

Warm Drag - S/T

Warm Drag - S/T (In the Red)

18 September 2018

Warm Drag is the authenticity yielded by a natural continuation of Paul Quattrone and Vashti Windish’s collaborative DJ sets, and the theme of this night is acid western.

dep - We Are The Lights That Will Not Go Out (Self-Released)

11 September 2018

We Are The Lights That Will Not Go Out is nothing groundbreaking, but it’s the perfect album when you’re in need of an injection positivity.

Snow Bound from The Chills.

The Chills - Snow Bound (Fire Records)

8 September 2018

“The venerable Dunedin quintet is back after three years with a delectable but moody new release.”

James White and the Blacks - Sax Maniac (Futurismo)

6 September 2018

Comprised of some of New York’s best session musicians and dedicated to his manager and girlfriend Anya Phillips (who passed away from cancer in 1981), this differs from his previous work, but not enough that fans who are unfamiliar with it shouldn’t hear it.

Glenn Jones - The Giant Who Ate Himself...

Glenn Jones - The Giant Who Ate Himself and Other New Works for 6 & 12 String Guitar (Thrill Jockey)

4 September 2018

Jones’s latest full-length indebts itself to his bygone friend and mentor John Fahey in a personalized sonic essay on his early teachings.

The Goldwyn Experiment - Avenue B (Stash)

1 September 2018

Overall, it’s the artist’s personality—a confident expression of both good humor and serious artistic intent—which makes Avenue B such an enjoyable, wild ride that never stops to rest for long.

Eric Anders and Mark O'Bitz - Of All These Things (Self-Released)

30 August 2018

Of All These Things is a work in which the love and care of the musicians’ craft is evident everywhere, and fortunately the pair is already hard at work on a follow up.

Oh Sees - Smote Reverser

Oh Sees - Smote Reverser (Castle Face Records)

27 August 2018

On their twenty-first record, Oh Sees remain confounding in their pace and dependability.

Jared Weiss - Isolated Thunderstorms (Self-Released)

21 August 2018

With Isolated Thunderstorms a listener should come for Weiss’s own takes on his New York musical idols, but stay for his sensitive and introspective lyricism.

Phantastic Ferniture - S/T

Phantastic Ferniture - S/T (Polyvinyl Records)

21 August 2018

Aside from one breezy single, this perfunctory debut is about as catch-all as a ClipArt search result for ‘indie band.’

Ty Segall & White Fence - Joy

Ty Segall & White Fence - Joy (Drag City)

17 August 2018

Joy resembles not the electric freak jam of its former, adopting instead a case of perpetual nervousness and a short fuse. Segall and Presley have bottled the essence of Dr. Jekyll transforming into Mr. Hyde.

My Autumn Amor - Letters To Brie (Self-Released)

13 August 2018
From the effusively charming “Gabrielle” to the Killers influenced “In A Scene,” Letters To Brie is a standout example of bedroom pop from an artist who so very clearly wears his heart on his sleeve.
Geography and Luck by Neil Sturgeon and the Infomaniacs

Neil Sturgeon and the Infomaniacs - Geography and Luck (Buzzwagon Beat Recordings)

12 August 2018

“Neil Sturgeon and his band of Infomaniacs have created a delightful new release, full of well-constructed hooks and excellent lyrics.”

Beach House – Hollywood Forever Cemetery, L.A. 8-3-18

7 August 2018

Beach House kicked off two-sold out nights at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, an ideal setting for their haunting brand of dream pop.

Pram - Across the Meridian

Pram - Across the Meridian (Domino)

7 August 2018

Pram’s first release in a decade is often the score to the rumpus of ghosts in the attic after their being unleashed from a dusty music box ballerina’s stimulus.

Astral Cloud Ashes - Dear Absentee Creator (Self-Released)

6 August 2018

Dear Absentee Creator shows a lot of growth since Astral Cloud Ashes’ first record, and it suggest a consistent progression of devoted artistry.

Lollapalooza 2018 - Day 3: (Chicago, IL) - August 4th, 2018

5 August 2018

Photos and a quick excerpt from Day 3 of Lollapalooza.

Lollapalooza 2018 (Pre-Coverage)

31 July 2018

Pre-coverage for the 2018 installment of Lollapalooza.

The Rabbitts - Tall Pines & Tangled Vines (Self-Released)

30 July 2018

Tall Pines & Tangled Vines has an undeniable charm and chemistry which is impossible to fabricate.

Monique Angele - Alive (Self-Released)

29 July 2018

Alive isn’t experimental in a nature in which one could categorize it as belonging to the avant garde; instead, it’s experimental on a personal level as she continues to search deeper within herself for emotionally honest material.

American Amnesia - Yet Here We Are (Prophet Motive Records)

25 July 2018

Yet Here We Are inevitably carries some of the tell-tale traces of youth, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it is undoubted that the band will continue to make great leaps forward as they mature.

Radiohead - Little Caesars Arena (Detroit) - July 22, 2018

23 July 2018

Radiohead in 2018 continues its decades-long campaign of confounding expectations and challenging the norms of conventional rock bands. An adventurous crowd in Detroit offered strong support on Sunday. Photos by Andrew Potter.

The Pretenders - The Riverside Theater (Milwaukee) - July 10, 2018

22 July 2018

Review and photos by Philamonjaro. The Pretenders’ playing is as vibrant and visceral as ever. The catalog of songs by Chrissie Hynde, Martin Chambers and company reveals rock and roll with substance, savvy arrangements and a mountain of melodic hooks. No pretending here; this band is the real deal.

Miriam Waks - Tales from a Room (Self-Released)

22 July 2018

Waks’ commitment to treating her subjects with authenticity gives the entirety of Tales from a Room a legitimacy rare among debuts.

Pitchfork 2018 (Pre-Coverage)

17 July 2018

Pre-coverage for Pitchfork 2018.

Body/Head - The Switch

Body/Head - The Switch (Matador Records)

17 July 2018

The Switch does away with the sterility of Body/Head’s debut and seeks to better represent the group’s live sound.

Jane in Space - Gorerunner (Aion Records)

15 July 2018

It’s only been two years since the debut album of NYC’s Jane in Space was released, but thankfully they haven’t waited too long for a follow up EP.

Maxwell James - Maxwell James (Self-Released)

12 July 2018

Maxwell James manage to pack a wide array of human emotion into a very short release, making it a compelling listen from the beginning.

Ledges - The Sun, The Stars, The Moon, and Me (Self-Released)

10 July 2018

The Sun, The Stars, The Moon, and Me is a dynamic collection with the occasionally brilliant moment, and one is left with a desire for the band to continue to create music in the future under a more unified vision.

Kicklighter - Paper Planes Vol. 1 (Aardvark UK)

10 July 2018

Fans of Kicklighter will be anxiously waiting to see what Young will do with an orchestra, but Paper Planes is a bittersweet finale from an artist who clearly still has so much to give to the world of pop.

Cover art for Meadowsweet from Chatham Rise.

Chatham Rise - Meadowsweet (Picture In My Ear Records)

4 July 2018

“Meadowsweet is a mind-bending and cosmic head trip, immediately dousing your synapses with its dreamy hooks.”

ASG Survive Sunrise album art

ASG – Survive Sunrise (Relapse)

3 July 2018

Self-described psychedelic stoner-punks, ASG return (finally!) with Survive Sunrise. It continues the North Carolina band’s trajectory of excellent, never-boring, energetic music. My only complaint about this band is why do we have to wait five or six years between offerings?

Bowie’s Piano Man: The Life of Mike Garson (Backbeat Books)

3 July 2018

Mike Garson was David Bowie’s favorite piano player. This is his account of a 30 year collaboration.

Marty Thompson - Romantic Stories (Self-Released)

2 July 2018

Ultimately, Romantic Stories is richer and far more fulfilling than a mere travelogue.

Tuomas Palonen-Tuomas Palonen

Tuomas Palonen – Tuomas Palonen (Palatsi Finland)

29 June 2018

Aside from his familiar trill, the hushed, homespun folk Helsinki’s pleasantly-voiced Palonen fashions on TP is far removed from his previous outfit Kuparilinna’s punchier, ‘60s-inspired indie pop, surf, and psych-rock.