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All posts by Brian Clifton

Brian Clifton: Top Ten Hip-Hop Tracks of 2013

10 Can’t Wait — Serengeti (as Kenny Dennis) Call it kitsch, call it hyper-meta-self-awareness, call it awesome. Serengeti’s alter ego, Chicagoan Kenny Dennis, released “Can’t Wait” on the web to generate hype for the Kenny Dennis LP. There’s something charming about a man with a Chicago accent shouting: “I’m coming out Tuesday” on repeat. But don’t […]

An Interview With David Bennett of Akkilles

Brian Clifton: So, as a Classicist, I first noticed that you use the traditional Greek spelling of Akkilles for your band name. How did that come about? David Bennett: As an undergrad, I studied philosophy, but I also studied classical Greek. And I was really struck with Homer, especially the Odyssey, so it came from there. […]

Cate Le Bon’s Latest Mug Shot

 There are few albums that can simultaneously sound like the album your best friend recorded in her basement and be interesting, but Cate Le Bon’s Mug Museum finds that perfect mix between disharmony and harmony, between familiar and unexpected. Bouncing between a female rendition of Morrissey (the one from The Smiths’ debut album) and beachy […]

Son Lux Continues To Shine With Lanterns

Mix equal parts Sufjan Stevens, Jonsi, and Wild Nothing; add a splash of dense and rhythmic unpredictability, a touch of lyrical ambiguity, and a sprinkle of brooding strings. The result? Son Lux’s latest album, Lanterns. Son Lux seems to steal fragments not only from the aforementioned artists but also from a myriad of other sources […]

Cults Cut Through The Static

  On their sophomore album, Static, Cults stick close to the duo’s neo-doo-wop sound. However, rather than rehash the same territory, Static carries with it a not so sugary edge. The music is still bright with an undeniable pop structure, and the lyrics are largely complicated (albeit saccharine) love songs. But the embellishments expand the […]

Adult Film Stays To Omaha Roots

Tim Kasher’s latest album Adult Film begins with a tongue-in-cheek critique of American life via American literature (class). Stringing together English department buzzwords, Kasher’s enfilade in “American Lit” gestures toward the propensity for people to live passively. The message seems to be to engage with the world (albeit Kasher seems a little too self-aware to […]

Local Freak Folk: The Burdock King

Setting up for a sidewalk show, Justin Vacca of The Burdock King realized his acoustic guitar was missing a tuning peg, so he packed it up, strapped on his friend’s electric guitar, and played his set as planned. To anyone watching the show, it would have seemed that The Burdock King hadn’t a problem that […]

“Engravings” Is Both Tense And Evocative

I never would have guessed that something readily classified in the shoegaze genre would ever have enough subtle sexuality to warrant a slow-jam style groove. Yet, “An Hour” from Forest Sword’s debut album Engravings does just that. Beginning with a ringing xylophone-ish riff, the song builds into a groove that pretty much demands body movement […]

Cult Classics of the 90s: Heaven or Las Vegas

  Cocteau Twins Heaven or Las Vegas: 4AD (1990) The first time I heard the Cocteau Twins’ “Fotzepolitic” was somewhat of a curious event for me. A little tired and a little frazzled, I put on an internet playlist from 8tracks while studying. As soon as the waves of sound culminated and broke on the […]

Tookah: Strange and Inviting

Tookah is the type of album that haunts. With roomy vocals and thick drum-driven instrumentation, Emiliana Torrini creates simultaneously strange and inviting soundscapes throughout the entirety of the album —ones that are constantly shifting yet recognizable as a stable whole. Perhaps, Torrini is able to ground her sonic experimentations by using (mostly) traditional instruments and […]

5 Guilty Pleasures – Brian Clifton

Let’s get down to it: I’m not always so hip with my music tastes. Sometimes, I just don’t want to think when I’m listening to music. We all do it (I hope). Anyway, here are some of my guilty music pleasures: 5) “Birthday Sex” -Jeremih: Listening to this while drunk rollerskating in Omaha was the […]

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