BoA makes American debut

Album: "BoA" Artist: BoA Record Label: SM USA Arsenal Record BoA (pronounced like the snake) is a Korean hip-hop/dance sensation in Asia.  After taking most major Asian...

La Roux’ debut album rocks the electro-pop scene

Album: La Roux Artist: La Roux Record Label: Cherrytree Records La Roux is a British duo comprised of singer-songwriter Elly Jackson and synth-player and co-writer Ben Langmaid....

Jay-Z’s rhymes poorly designed on ‘The Blueprint 3’

With a big name like Jay-Z, one would expect a certain amount of quality. For example, a listener might not want to hear the...

Rasta-punk band Skindred gets in the groove with latest album

No other group can command attention the way Skindred can. The Prince of Wales quartet is fronted by Benji Webb, a dreadlock-sporting Jamaican with...

Kingston’s ‘Tomorrow’ fizzles

With multiple hit singles and one full-length album, Sean Kingston is riding high on a platinum wave. But in his sophomore album "Tomorrow," he...

Brother Ali’s new album uplifts

Brother Ali’s knack for expBrother Ali’s knack for explaining social issues with lyrical complexity over infectious beats is in full force with his latest...

Music Review: Crooner Mayer Hawthorne offers swell first title

Singer, songwriter and music producer Mayer Hawthorne is an oddity. The 29-year-old with Buddy Holly specs sings love songs right out of the 1950s...

Music Review: Muse goes synth-pop with ‘The Resistance.’

Muse is known for their dark, esoteric style, and “The Resistance” does not disappoint. Laden with pulsing synth, sweeping strings and oscillating electric guitar,...

Lovely lyrics with a weak repetitive sound

This band has something that the rock industry has needed. I don't what it is exactly, but it is in the sound. The music of the Thermals catches a listener's attention immediately and holds them there for the whole song. The first time you listen, you'll be impressed, even on the second and third time.

Sweet songs warm the heart

May 16 marked the release of Alaskan Home Grown artist Melissa Mitchell's third solo album "Rain or Shine". The release party was held at the Snow Goose where a diverse melting pot of fans and supporters rallied in celebration of Mitchell's latest "creations"; more than songs - the messages pierce the heart with poignancy and inject a healthy dose of self realization without the nasty after effect of judgment.

‘It’s Blitz’ by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

When I think of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, I think about grueling, flesh biting, drunk-rock. Karen O's frantic, hysterical vocals with the swirling guitar gnashes of Nick Zinner and the pounding drums of Brian Chase made for one powerful fury. Now all of the sudden, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have grown up and settled down.

Even in April, it’s ‘December’

Years ago I started saying that The Decemberists need to write a musical. All their stories of wenches, thieves, vagabonds, pirates, chimney sweeps and whatnot-it's all material begging for a musical. Then along came the day where I got to say "I called it.

‘Enemy Mine’ by Swan Lake

Created in 2006, Swan Lake's members are affiliated with the other Canadian bands known as Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Destroyer and New Pornographers. Their new album starts out with a troubadour-ish song that takes you back to renaissance era reminiscent of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake," from where the band takes their name.

Trumpet player still astounds contemporary music scene

I'll start by stating that I am not well versed in jazz. I enjoy jazz. I listen to jazz. However, if pitted in a "Jazz Jeopardy" arena against even the most novice listener, I'd scarcely be able to identify a melody to its maker. So the big question is. who is Dizzy Gillespie? He is a musical god in his own right.

Here We Go Magic takes a trip down the rabbit hole

Luke Temple (jack of all trades for Here We Go Magic) made his name by recording albums in his bedroom, playing all the instruments, singing all the parts, and pretty much doing whatever he wanted. So naturally when you hear that the guy has a new project out you think, "oh, he must have formed or joined a band and is trying out new musical adventures.

‘Hello World’ by Xrabit + DMG$

It's no secret in hip-hop that gangsters and hipsters aren't really on the same turf. We're talking the Montagues and the Capulets. Tupac fans aren't generally also fans of Blue Scholars. But like the oddball amalgam of two Texan rappers (DMG$) and a German-born producer (Xrabit), and the evidence of Romeo and Juliet, two opposing sides can converge.

Ali brings some brotherly love

For those of you who are strangers to Brother Ali, allow me this shallow introduction: Ali is an albino Muslim battle rapper. I say this to front load the introduction so you can quickly get past any preconceived notions or socio-programmed stereotypes to get straight to this point-Brother Ali is in a word: dope.

DM Stith haunting, masterful

In the opening song of "Heavy Ghost," DM Stith is by a billowing fire, conjuring up the spirits and the strength he needs to get himself through the journey that is ahead of him. Through the clangor of pounding piano chords, howling vocals and percussion like a crumbling stone tower, Stith introduces the turmoil and the beauty of his debut album.

May cause dance parties

On the Website for Fol Chen's record label Asthmatic Kitty, the band names a few different artists they sound like. Among the accurate relatives lay Pink Floyd and Gwen Stefani. I can't imagine Asthmatic Kitty, who is home to artists like Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond, Castanets and Grampall Jookabox, would house an artist that compares themselves to Gwen Stefani, but for Fol Chen, it kind of works.

Sports Briefs

UAA's Williams earns GNAC honors UAA senior Ruby Williams has been honored at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference's co-Player of the Week for women's basketball after helping the nation's top-ranked Division II team run its winning streak to 22 games last week.

After 10 releases, Morrissey abides

Unfamiliar to the likes of Morrissey, I embarked on the close study of "Years of Refusal," Morrissey's tenth solo release. One would fi gure that choosing an artist one is utterly unfamiliar with for a good evaluation would be a chore, but I was feeling ambitious.

Album Review

Lily Allen's debut album "Alright, Still" was a playful romp through love and carefree life via London. It garnered her acclaim in both Europe and the States and ushered her into stardom (Common even had her on one of his "Finding Forever" tracks). The album was catchy, fun and simple.

ANDREW BIRD: ‘NOBLE BEAST’

There seems to be a lot of themes with 2009's bigger releases so far: Animal Collective, Loney Dear, Andrew Bird. Animals, right? Well, yeah, that's the obvious one. But the slightly more clandestine theme seems to be growth. Animal Collective delved deeper into their melodic nautical.

Album Review

When I fi rst heard of the band Loney, Dear I thought 'Lonely Dear, what an interesting name.' But I was quickly corrected in my Googling of the nonexistent band Lonely Dear and redirected to Loney, Dear (comma and all). It's diffi cult enough to have a band name that sounds exactly like something that it's not, but now the band has taken their ambiguity to the next level: they've changed their name.

Animal Collective: ‘Merriweather Post Pavilion’

Generally this is how a band's musical career will go: They put out their first album, it's poppy, full of hits and pretty straightforward. Their next album is a lot like the first, but not quite as good since they're still using the same basic styles and sounds.

Albums to be released promise good sounds

2008 was a good year for music. There were a lot of great debut releases, some great albums from well known artists and even a few from bands that were long thought dead (excluding, of course, "Chinese Democracy"). The big themes seemed to be 80s' influenced electronic and mellow, often eerie, folk.

Outlook bright for ski team

Bringing together all of the different elements of a ski program is a tough feat to accomplish. The ski team essentially consists of four different teams: men's alpine, women's alpine, men's nordic and women's nordic. Altogether, these four teams end up being about the same size as the hockey team.

Top Ten Albums of 2008

It was a year of great debut albums and one with a lot of love for the 80s. Tracks from each album will be played from noon until two on Edge Essentials, Dec. 5. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago If Iron & Wine met TV on the Radio in the forest and joined forces they would be Bon Iver.

Nick Thorburn gets into yet another band

Band: Reefer Album: Reefer 3 1/2 out of 5 stars Perhaps earlier this year you read my review for Human Highway's album Moody Motorcycle. If so, then I don't really need much of an introduction to the main guy behind Reefer. But just in case you missed it, here goes the abridged version: Canadian musician Nick Thorburn is or was in the following bands: The Unicorns, Th' Corn Gangg, Islands, Human Highway and now the Hawaiian indie pop escapade Reefer.

Animated sequel doesn’t crash and burn

3.5 out of 5 stars Animated sequels are always a crapshoot. Did the producers rush to capitalize on a previous success to try and make more money in the ripe field of family entertainment, only to deliver a lackluster film that is quickly forgotten? Or did they really tap into the good parts of the first film because they understood what made it different in a good way? "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" is not one such sequel that will have audiences asking just those questions.