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Sound Advice

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Yonder Mountain String Band  - Yonder Mountain String Band  -  -  - Vanguard Records  -  - The self-described "bastard children of bluegrass" have - released their first studio album in years, and while their - characteristic ferocious picking and impeccable timing - are present in spades, the Colorado-based foursome - seems to be stretching out their catalog and sound by - enlisting the help of producer Tom Rothrock (Beck). Cuts - like the Benny Galloway penned "I Ain't Been Myself in - Years" and the original instrumental "Fastball" maintain - the YMSB sound, but the boys expand upon traditional - bluegrass. The rousing "How 'Bout You" finds them using - (gasp) a drummer; the result is not only infectious but - fun. While this album hints at a future move away from - the strict bluegrass YMSB does so well, it also suggests - what these boys are capable of, and the myriad - directions they might move toward down the road. -  Jesse Stanek
  • Yonder Mountain String Band

    Yonder Mountain String Band

    Vanguard Records

    The self-described "bastard children of bluegrass" have released their first studio album in years, and while their characteristic ferocious picking and impeccable timing are present in spades, the Colorado-based foursome seems to be stretching out their catalog and sound by enlisting the help of producer Tom Rothrock (Beck). Cuts like the Benny Galloway penned "I Ain't Been Myself in Years" and the original instrumental "Fastball" maintain the YMSB sound, but the boys expand upon traditional bluegrass. The rousing "How 'Bout You" finds them using (gasp) a drummer; the result is not only infectious but fun. While this album hints at a future move away from the strict bluegrass YMSB does so well, it also suggests what these boys are capable of, and the myriad directions they might move toward down the road. Jesse Stanek

Various Artists  - Big Star Small World  -  -  - Koch  -  - Originally slated for a 1998 release, Big Star tribute - album Big Star Small World finally sees the light - of day. The irony is thick as Big Star, a highly under- - appreciated and influential American power-pop act, - receives the ultimate compliment by a host of bands that - are, well, highly under-appreciated and somewhat - influential (albeit from eight years ago). Among the gems - found on the 11-track disc are The Afghan Whigs' - anthemic take of "Nightime" and Juliana Hatfield's garage - rocker "Don't Lie to Me." The biggest no-brainer - inclusion for the project is Teenage Fanclub, which - delivers a compelling "Jesus Christ." The U.K. band built - its entire career on lost Big Star sounds, which is - somewhat the case for many players in today's power - pop movement. Invariably, Big Star Small World - acts as the perfect gateway album to the entire Big Star - catalog.  John Benson
  • Various Artists

    Big Star Small World

    Koch

    Originally slated for a 1998 release, Big Star tribute album Big Star Small World finally sees the light of day. The irony is thick as Big Star, a highly under- appreciated and influential American power-pop act, receives the ultimate compliment by a host of bands that are, well, highly under-appreciated and somewhat influential (albeit from eight years ago). Among the gems found on the 11-track disc are The Afghan Whigs' anthemic take of "Nightime" and Juliana Hatfield's garage rocker "Don't Lie to Me." The biggest no-brainer inclusion for the project is Teenage Fanclub, which delivers a compelling "Jesus Christ." The U.K. band built its entire career on lost Big Star sounds, which is somewhat the case for many players in today's power pop movement. Invariably, Big Star Small World acts as the perfect gateway album to the entire Big Star catalog. John Benson

Various Artists  - The DFA Remixes Chapter 1  -  -  - DFA/Astralwerks  -  - There's good reason James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy - are some of the most sought-after remixers the world - over. On their first collection of remixes as dance-punk - forerunners DFA, the two showcase nine of their best - remixes from artists as diverse as Jon Spencer Blues - Explosion, Le Tigre and The Chemical Brothers. Which - isn't necessarily to say that DFA do terrific remixes. What - they do is terrific, but precisely for the reason that what - they do aren't remixes. The mixes here are more - reimaginings, grand expansions, massive detours, new - becomings that work both to the benefit of remixer and - remixed, better than either artist's original work. - Soulwax's "Another Excuse" becomes bongo-driven - synth merriment; Gorillaz' "DARE" becomes a driving - electrofuzz odyssey; Fischerspooner's "Emerge" becomes - irresistible stutter-step bounce.  Matt - Martin
  • Various Artists

    The DFA Remixes Chapter 1

    DFA/Astralwerks

    There's good reason James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy are some of the most sought-after remixers the world over. On their first collection of remixes as dance-punk forerunners DFA, the two showcase nine of their best remixes from artists as diverse as Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Le Tigre and The Chemical Brothers. Which isn't necessarily to say that DFA do terrific remixes. What they do is terrific, but precisely for the reason that what they do aren't remixes. The mixes here are more reimaginings, grand expansions, massive detours, new becomings that work both to the benefit of remixer and remixed, better than either artist's original work. Soulwax's "Another Excuse" becomes bongo-driven synth merriment; Gorillaz' "DARE" becomes a driving electrofuzz odyssey; Fischerspooner's "Emerge" becomes irresistible stutter-step bounce. Matt Martin

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