Sound Advice


Alternative Talk: Cheesy tunes abundant during diploma season

on April 18, 2012, at 10:36 p.m.
During this time of year, you should expect to hear some certain sounds around campus. Among these will be the congratulations of your peers and elders, the cheers of your classmates as they throw their caps into the air and the cheesy music that is always played at graduation ceremonies. …

CD Review: Great Western Plain, “Mustache Eye Patch”

on April 18, 2012, at 10:30 p.m.
All good things must come to an end, especially in music. Sometimes, though, the demise of a band can lead to bigger and better things. For two local groups, that seems to be the case. Tim Berrigan and Michael Powers were University of Maine grad students a few years ago …

How I Hear It: Gibb in critical condition

on April 15, 2012, at 11:52 p.m.
Many of you will probably recognize Robin Gibb thanks to Justin Timberlake’s portrayal of him on “Saturday Night Live,” but music fans the world over know him as a member of the Bee Gees, a band he formed with his brothers, Barry and Maurice, that revolutionized disco music. For music …

CD Review: Steiner Street, “Time & Temperature”

on April 15, 2012, at 11:46 p.m.
It may not be obvious, but Southern Maine has a great underground music scene. Nowadays, most dedicated bands — such as Falling Skyward and Too Late The Hero — play some type of metal. But every now and then, a pop-punk band seems to rise and gain attention quickly, and …

How I Hear It: U2, boy-band songwriter to team up for new songs

on April 11, 2012, at 11:57 p.m.
Despite having sold more albums than most bands and winning more Grammys than all bands, U2 has hit a bit of a lull as of late. Well, more than a bit — Although their last album, 2009’s “No Line on the Horizon,” was a hit with critics, it failed to …

CD Review: M. Ward, “A Wasteland Companion”

on April 11, 2012, at 11:51 p.m.
Although most people see M. Ward relegated to Zooey Deschanel’s backup in their band She & Him, he has been a pivotal figure in the Portland, Ore., music scene for years. Some Deschanel fans might say Ward rode her to the top and she’s the only reason anybody knows the …

CD Review: Dr. John, “Locked Down”

on April 05, 2012, at 12:15 a.m.
It’s painful watching once-successful rock stars age. Their looks fade, their voices grow more and more strained with every painful performance, and the world counts down to the moment when they realize their best days are behind them and they decide to move on. Calling Dr. John a rock star …

How I Hear It: Songs to kickstart your summer playlist

on March 22, 2012, at 1:53 a.m.
The recent shirt-soaking heat wave has got me thinking about summertime music. There’s something about the way I listen to music in the warmer months that changes what I enjoy. Maybe it’s the bright sun and break from school that consistently puts me in a happier mood. It’s not that …

CD Review: If These Trees Could Talk, “Red Forest”

on March 22, 2012, at 1:48 a.m.
If These Trees Could Talk is doing their best to give people a reason to care about a band from Akron, Ohio besides The Black Keys. They also have the challenge of being a post-rock band and avoiding living in the shadows of Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai and other …

CD Review: Indian School, “The Cruelest Kind”

on March 18, 2012, at 11:25 p.m.
Indian School is flying under the national radar, but undeservedly so. Indian School rose from the ashes of Audio Karate, an indie punk band with a decent-sized following thanks to the underground hit, “Lady Melody.” Indian School is more or less Audio Karate with a new a guitarist, Anthony Leach, …

CD Review: Bruce Springsteen, “Wrecking Ball”

on March 14, 2012, at 11:23 p.m.
When you think about politics in music, one of the first names that comes up is Bruce Springsteen. The Boss has always dabbled in political topics throughout his career, but since the new millennium, his records have almost been concept albums focused on issues like the Iraq war and dealing …

CD Review: Fun, “Some Nights”

on Feb. 16, 2012, at 12:11 a.m.
Indie pop band Fun’s catchy tunes have gained them an enthusiastic audience over the last decade Fans loved their last effort, 2009’s “Aim & Ignite.” The number of instruments and the way they are incorporated into each song is mind blowing, the production values are top notch, and singer Nate …

CD Review: Dr. Dog, “Be The Void”

on Feb. 13, 2012, at 12:08 a.m.
Always looking to innovate, Dr. Dog have undergone Darwinian evolutions throughout their successful career. While their sound is rooted in southern rock and ’60s pop, they’ve experiment with different methods of songwriting, horn sections and anything else they could get their hands on that they thought would be beneficial. They …

CD Review – Leonard Cohen, “Old Ideas”

on Feb. 06, 2012, at 3:14 a.m.
Fans of Johnny Cash’s final few records will find a pleasing parallel in Leonard Cohen’s newest effort, “Old Ideas.” The intimacy of Cohen’s voice, which sounds like it was breathed into the microphone from mere centimeters away, creates a personal aura that makes it easy to connect with the aging …

CD Review: Lana Del Rey, “Born To Die”

on Feb. 02, 2012, at 12:43 a.m.
Lana Del Rey is an enigma, but not in the way that Lady Gaga’s Dadaism leaves people scratching their heads or how Justin Bieber is both beloved and belittled by so many, but because the vagueness of Rey’s rise to prominence. One critically panned Saturday Night Live performance propelled the …

CD Review: Snow Patrol, “Fallen Empires”

on Jan. 12, 2012, at 8:47 a.m.
Irish songsmiths fall short of lofty goals on plain album   Like many bands before them, Snow Patrol came about when its members were in college together. Like other bands, they had rough times until they hit it big. Also like other bands, on their newest offering, Snow Patrol is …

tUnE-YarDs, “w h o k i l l” (4AD Records)

By Emily Burnham on June 30, 2011, at 4:28 p.m.
The gloriously weird and heartfelt world of Merrill Garbus — aka tUnE-YarDs — is one that is easy to inhabit, provided you’re into things that are weird and heartfelt. Garbus has been making music since 2006, using loop pedals to create a full band around her ukulele and bass playing …

Cults, ‘Cults’ (Columbia)

By Travis Gass on June 30, 2011, at 2:43 p.m.
The success of NYC indie-pop duo Cults is proof that the Internet’s rise hasn’t been totally bad for music. OK, it’s been an unmitigated disaster for the music industry, which has seen sales plummet over the past decade thanks to illegal downloading. But for music fans, the Web has been …

NKOTBSB, ‘NKOTBSB’ (Sony Legacy)

By Joel Crabtree on June 30, 2011, at 2:41 p.m.
Like an aging NBA star chasing one last championship ring before retirement, the New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys have joined forces in the winter of their music careers. The boy band supergroup’s album, “NKOTBSB,” feels like one last-ditch effort for these two acts to stay relevant in …

Lady Gaga, ‘Born This Way’ (Interscope)

By Travis Gass on June 30, 2011, at 2:37 p.m.
Underneath all the meat dresses and dangerously inappropriate footwear, there’s something charmingly old-fashioned and traditional about Lady Gaga. While everyone else is content with niche popularity, which is pretty much all that most artists can obtain in the 21st century, Gaga strives for the pop icon status that Madonna and …