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Deap Vally – “Smile More”

This Deap Vally song killed me when it came out over the summer, but it sounds even more right on this most fucked up of days. Don’t let any man tell you how to be. Hang in there and fight back. The new Deap Vally record is called Femejism and it’s out now. You should […]

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Sumerlands – “The Guardian”

And now we venture out to the farthest reaches of Rocktober with the straight-up heavy metal of Sumerlands. None of thrash metal’s punk instincts or black metal’s cultivated misanthropy here for the fence-sitters to fall back on — just the purest, Ozzy Ozzbourne Bark At The Moon-inspired anthems courtesy of a Philadelphia-based group who, by […]

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New Duo – “Never Got Her Name”

Another Rocktober scene: Two men approach the stage in a tawdry nightclub called Bandcamp, their grizzled, unpreened appearance a cloak of invisibility to the trendy patrons. Only as the PA goes silent does the crowd notice one of the duo opening a guitar case with a Deep Purple sticker. “No classic rock!!” the cry goes […]

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Axis: Sova – (Like An) Intruder

Axis: Sova arrives on the scene to settle a score only late 70s/early 80s rockers thought unsettled. Namely, is there only one way to rock — as Sammy Hagar famously declared, to “crank up the drums, crank out the bass/Crank up my Les Paul in your face”? Rising to the Van Halen usurper’s challenge, the […]

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Loch Lomond – “A String”

Some of the imagery conjured by Loch Lomond: a lone figure in the distance, dwarfed by a soaring mountain horizon. The knowing wink of a cabaret singer performing in a dingy canteen. The international esprit de corps of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, who fought the fascists in the Spanish Civil War. A weathered photo of […]

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Basilica Soundscape 2016

Full disclosure: I think many music festivals could be improved by a generous helping of extreme heavy metal. But here’s why that change made this year’s Basilica Soundscape, always a unique and engaging event, one of the best in its five-year run. At first, you might not notice the shift in this year’s line-up, which […]

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Psychic Twin – “Stop In Time”

Behind the forceful pulses of Psychic Twin’s electro-pop, a clue to frontwoman Erin Fein’s own psyche appears in the way she keeps repeating certain phrases: “No, I can’t stop in time,” “I won’t take part of you,” “When I go farther, I lose myself,” “We can work it out, baby.” This Brooklyn duo has the […]

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Black Coffee – Pieces of Me

Are we okay with evaluating music for its effectiveness in the gym? Because I’m thinking Black Coffee has a contender for best work-out album of 2016 with his latest album, Pieces of Me. Nathi Maphumulo, the man from Durban, South Africa behind the Black Coffee alias, puts a fresh, jazzy spin on vocal house music. […]

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Basilica Soundscape 2016 preview

The leaves haven’t even started turning colors in New York’s Hudson Valley, but already the locals are anticipating autumn’s sublime landscapes and peak cultural offerings. Speaking of which: two weeks until Basilica Soundscape! This Sound It Out correspondent has attended the celebrated “anti-festival” of independent music, spoken word, and art in Hudson, NY for all […]

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