1. Polvo, "Beggar's Bowl"

    July 13, 2009 6:03 PM EDT 0 0 0 After a 12-year hiatus from recording, the Chapel Hill, N.C., noise rock band Polvo is building upon the success of its 2008 reunion tour with a new album, "In Prism," due Sept. 8 on Merge Records. From the sound of the first single, " ...

  2. Plies, "Plenty Money"

    July 13, 2009 6:01 PM EDT 0 0 0 What recession? Plies has "Plenty Money," and the Fort Myers, Fla., rapper wants to "let the streets know." "What's in my pockets, dawg? Big face hundreds/ I'm kinda mad with you haters, I'm real disappointed/ ...

  3. Nelly Furtado, "Manos Al Aire"

    July 13, 2009 5:46 PM EDT 0 0 0 Nelly Furtado 's "Manos Al Aire," the first single off her upcoming Spanish-language debut, "Mi Plan," is a mix of gritty acoustic guitars and dance beats. At a succinct three minutes and 28 seconds, the track grabs the list ...

  4. Jon Balke, "Siwan"

    July 13, 2009 12:46 PM EDT 0 0 0 Rarely during the course of a listening year does a recording strike such emotional depth as the Norwegian keyboardist / conductor Jon Balke 's latest ECM outing, the cross-cultural masterpiece "SIWAN." With a large cast of improvisin ...

  5. Ceu, "Vagarosa"

    July 13, 2009 12:20 PM EDT 0 0 0 The Brazilian singer/songwriter Céu debuted in 2007 with a self-titled album that drew critical favor and made her an immediate player in the Brazilian music scene. She returns with "Vagarosa," a collection of 13 tunes that will surely fur ...

  6. Jonas Brothers, "Lines, Vines and Trying Times"

    July 13, 2009 12:15 PM EDT 0 0 0 It's come to this: The Jonas Brothers are writing lyrics that include the word "bitch." To be fair, the term is just implied in the song "Poison Ivy." The full lyric is "Everybody gets the itch/Everybody hates that...&q ...

  7. Vicki Yohe, "Reveal Your Glory - Live From The Cathedral"

    July 13, 2009 12:09 PM EDT 0 0 0 "Reveal Your Glory-Live From the Cathedral" represents a couple of firsts for the gospel artist Vicki Yohe: It's her debut album for Shanachie (following two releases on CeCe Winans ' PureSprings label) and her first live CD. Rec ...

  8. John Mellencamp, "Life Death Live and Freedom"

    July 13, 2009 12:04 PM EDT 0 0 0 Recorded live in 2008, "Life Death Live and Freedom" is a companion piece to John Mellencamp 's acclaimed "Life Death Love and Freedom." That said, "Live" stands on its own. The eight-song album is an honest-to-goo ...

  9. Killswitch Engage, "Killswitch Engage"

    July 13, 2009 12:01 PM EDT 0 0 0 The Massachusetts metalcore band Killswitch Engage wants for neither talent nor fans. But the band's new album (and second self-titled set) reveals that it could use a helping hand to introduce some diversity to its songwriting. Strangely, the ...

  10. Maxwell, "BLACKsummers'night"

    July 13, 2009 11:57 AM EDT 0 0 0 The adage goes: Time gone, time lost. But for R&B singer Maxwell , who has been on a hiatus from music since 2002, it's as if he never left. Full of heart-pounding melodies and true-to-life love stories, "BLACKsummers'night" ...

  11. Moby, "Wait For Me"

    July 13, 2009 11:54 AM EDT 0 0 0 An about-face from last year's dancefloor-ready "Last Night," Moby 's ninth studio album, "Wait for Me," is a study in melancholy. Listeners won't hear reverberating 4/4 kick drums, hooky choruses or cooing club gi ...

  12. Vicente Fernández, "Necesito De Ti"

    July 13, 2009 11:18 AM EDT 0 0 0 Following the extraordinary success of his 2007 studio set "Para Siempre" and the subsequent live album "Primera Fila," the ranchera icon Vicente Fernández returns to the studio with "Neccesito De Ti." With the title tr ...

  13. Levon Helm, "Electric Dirt"

    July 13, 2009 10:53 AM EDT 0 0 0 Much like Bob Dylan 's "Together Through Life," Levon Helm 's "Electric Dirt" is less a collection of songs than a fully formed little world. A sprightly, worthy sequel to 2007's Grammy Award-winning "Dirt Far ...

  14. Rob Thomas, "Cradlesong"

    July 13, 2009 10:46 AM EDT 0 0 0 Rob Thomas is a musical chameleon. From his early hits with Matchbox Twenty to his soulful work as a solo artist, the gifted singer/songwriter has a knack for crafting memorable melodies across the musical divide. On "Cradlesong," his foll ...

  15. Conor Oberst & Jenny Lewis / July 4, 2009 / New York (Battery Park)

    July 09, 2009 7:15 PM EDT 0 0 0 A sea of blankets spread across the shady grounds of Battery Park as concertgoers gathered on a beautiful Fourth of July afternoon to see Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band with Jenny Lewis. The free event, part of the summer-long NYC River to ...

  16. Sonic Youth / July 3, 2009 / New York (United Palace Theatre)

    July 09, 2009 6:46 PM EDT 0 0 0 After returning to its indie label roots with the June release of "The Eternal," Sonic Youth rang in Independence Day weekend in the same city where it began causing an alt-rock ruckus more than 30 years ago. This time, the quintessential ...

  17. Kurt Elling, "Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman)

    July 07, 2009 4:35 PM EDT 0 0 0 Kurt Elling has never shied away from a challenge-the nimble singer has carved a unique place for himself in the jazz pantheon, with a signature sound that cunningly combines blues, ballads and beat-inspired poetry. On his eighth outing as a leader ...

  18. Dale Ann Bradley, "Don't Turn Your Back"

    July 07, 2009 4:33 PM EDT 0 0 0 With a stunningly beautiful voice, Dale Ann Bradley has won the International Bluegrass Music Assn.'s female vocalist of the year honor in 2007 and 2008. Her sweet and soulful soprano breathes life into this wonderful collection of songs that r ...

  19. Omar Faruk Tekbilek, "Rare Elements"

    July 07, 2009 4:31 PM EDT 0 0 0 The Turkish-born musician Omar Faruk Tekbilek is also a composer, and his music is the inspiration for this remix disc, the second installment in 5 Points Records' remix series. Tekbilek is a Sufi, and therefore his approach to music is mystica ...

  20. The Dear Hunter, "Act III: Life And Death"

    July 07, 2009 4:16 PM EDT 0 0 0 The Boston-based Dear Hunter shares any number of parallels with the similarly named groups Deerhunter and Deerhoof , most notably an animal namesake and a penchant for dramatic, dissonant, style-shifting rock. But the Dear Hunter's war-themed ...

  21. Patterson Hood, "Murdering Oscar (And Other Love Songs)"

    July 07, 2009 4:14 PM EDT 0 0 0 This long-in-coming sophomore set from Patterson Hood , the prolific Drive-By Truckers frontman, hopscotches across time in a way that would make J.J. Abrams happy. It's grounded in tracks that predate the Truckers, songs that he wrote upon fir ...

  22. Regina Spektor, "Far"

    July 07, 2009 4:11 PM EDT 0 0 0 Rising from tiny Manhattan clubs where aspiring singer/ songwriters refused to drink folk-music syrup, Regina Spektor found her voice as a compelling and whimsical storyteller who uses experience and observation to craft indelible songs. With her th ...

  23. Wilco, "Wilco (The Album)"

    July 07, 2009 4:03 PM EDT 0 0 0 At first glance, it might seem odd that Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy would choose this point in his band's career to release a self-titled album. After all, Wilco has been through numerous personnel changes during the course of 15 years and seven ...

  24. Brad Paisley, "American Saturday Night"

    July 07, 2009 9:58 AM EDT 0 0 0 Brad Paisley, "American Saturday Night" Album Review ...

  25. Ginuwine, "Last Chance"

    June 26, 2009 10:13 AM EDT 0 0 0 Ginuwine, "Last Chance" Track Review ...

  26. Sonic Youth, "The Eternal"

    June 25, 2009 10:12 AM EDT 0 0 0 Sonic Youth, "The Eternal" Album Review ...

  27. Camera Obscura / June 22, 2009 / Philadelphia, PA (Theatre Of The Living Arts)

    June 24, 2009 7:04 PM EDT 0 0 0 When Camera Obscura performs, as it did at Philadelphia’s Theatre of the Living Arts on Monday night, it’s hard not to notice that the band’s six members rarely smile. The Glasgow outfit tackles its catalogue of austere indie pop with focused stares ...

  28. Little Joy / June 23, 2009 / New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom)

    June 24, 2009 6:30 PM EDT 0 0 0 For a band that some pegged as yet another Strokes side project, Little Joy managed just fine at its Bowery Ballroom performance Tuesday night (June 23). The sold-out show marked the last stop of the L.A. trio’s American tour, which it completed wit ...

  29. Beyonce / June 21, 2009 / New York (Madison Square Garden)

    June 23, 2009 5:54 PM EDT 0 0 0 Beyoncé brought all the fierceness that is Sasha –- her alter-ego -– and much more to the first stop of her North America “I Am…” tour at New York’s Madison Square Garden Sunday night (June 21). Kicking things off right into high gear, the first thi ...

  30. Ricardo Arjona / June 20, 2009 / Mexico City, MX (Audtiorio Nacional)

    June 23, 2009 3:32 PM EDT 0 0 0 Guatemalan singer/songwriter Ricardo Arjona’s “Quinto Piso” tour is a conceptual, mixed media piece that assaults all senses and cleverly blends film, performance art and theater with music. Featuring a complex, multi-level theatrical set with multi ...

  31. Charice, "Note to God"

    June 23, 2009 10:27 AM EDT 0 0 0 Charice, "Note to God" Track Review ...

  32. The-Dream, "Walkin' on the Moon"

    June 19, 2009 10:06 AM EDT 0 0 0 The-Dream, "Walkin' on the Moon" Track Review ...

  33. Plain White T’s / June 15, 2009 / New York, NY (Irving Plaza)

    June 18, 2009 8:20 PM EDT 0 0 0 Plain White T’s, the Chicago based pop-punk band that gave us the ubiquitous hit “Hey There Delilah,” has embarked on an extensive tour entitled “Three Part Harmony: A Show in Three Acts” to support its 2008 album, “Big Bad World.” After piling into ...

  34. Ciara, "Like a Surgeon"

    June 18, 2009 10:22 AM EDT 0 0 0 Ciara, "Like a Surgeon" Track Review ...

  35. Simon & Garfunkel / June 17, 2009 / Brisbane, Australia (Brisbane Entertainment Centre)

    June 17, 2009 7:42 PM EDT 0 0 0 Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel rolled back the years Wednesday night on the opening date of their Australian tour, with a set carrying all the old favorites, and a few surprises. As one would expect, there were no fireworks or bombast at the Brisbane ...

  36. Whitetree / June 6, 2009 / Los Angeles (Hotel Café)

    June 17, 2009 7:22 PM EDT 0 0 0 If you’re Italian, somewhat in tune with contemporary classical music or saw a lick of the NBA playoffs this year, chances are you’ve heard the music of Ludovico Einaudi. The 53-year old Italian composer, with more than 9 albums under his belt, is b ...

  37. Jordin Sparks, "Battlefield"

    June 16, 2009 11:13 AM EDT 0 0 0 Jordin Sparks, "Battlefield" Track Review ...

  38. The Black Eyed Peas, "The E.N.D."

    June 16, 2009 11:08 AM EDT 0 0 0 In an era of economic instability, it's nice to know the Black Eyed Peas still believe in truth in advertising: The acronym that forms the title of their latest stands for "The Energy Never Dies," and they more than make good on that ...

  39. Band Of Horses / June 11, 2009 / New York (Carnegie Hall)

    June 15, 2009 6:21 PM EDT 0 0 0 "This is the first time we've ever really done anything like this," proclaimed Band of Horses vocalist Ben Bridwell during he and his bandmates’ Special Acoustic Performance at Carnegie Hall. The indie ensemble chose a hallowed Manhat ...

  40. Elvis Costello & The Sugarcanes / June 10, 2009 / New York (Beacon Theatre)

    June 15, 2009 11:27 AM EDT 0 0 0 In his thirty-odd years of making music, Elvis Costello has tried on many sonic hats. Whether it’s Tin Pan Alley, straight up punk, reggae, Stax-style R&B, Tom Waits-style experimental pop, classical, opera, big band or New Orleans-style jazz, t ...

  41. David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland, "When Love Takes Over"

    June 15, 2009 10:16 AM EDT 0 0 0 David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland, "When Love Takes Over" Track Review ...

  42. Trace Adkins, "All I Ask for Anymore"

    June 12, 2009 9:01 AM EDT 0 0 0 Trace Adkins, "All I Ask for Anymore" Track Review ...

  43. Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood / June 10, 2009 / East Rutherford, NJ (IZOD Center)

    June 11, 2009 5:48 PM EDT 0 0 0 As the crowd filed into East Rutherford’s IZOD Center Wednesday night (June 10) the sounds of John Lennon, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix blared overhead, triggering already pent-up nostalgia and building the anticipation for the night’s double ...

  44. PJ Harvey and John Parish / June 9, 2009 / New York (Beacon Theatre)

    June 11, 2009 3:59 PM EDT 0 0 0 Polly Jean Harvey stepped onto the stage slowly, gracefully, and barefoot, donning a silk dress that billowed in the draft coming through the large doors of the Beacon Theatre Tuesday night (June 9). Despite fans screaming out her name and offering ...

  45. Santigold / June 9, 2009 / New York, NY (Terminal 5)

    June 11, 2009 2:36 PM EDT 0 0 0 “We were looking forward to this show the most,” said Santigold, nee Santi White, to the sold-out crowd at Terminal 5. “No city in the world does it like New York!” The 32-year-old singer graced the stage on Tuesday night (June 9) with openers and f ...

  46. The Black Eyed Peas, "I Gotta Feeling"

    June 11, 2009 9:06 AM EDT 0 0 0 The Black Eyed Peas, "I Gotta Feeling" Track Review ...

  47. Nine Inch Nails & Jane's Addiction / June 7, 2009 / Wantagh, NY (Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre)

    June 10, 2009 8:11 PM EDT 0 0 0 It was a breezy Sunday night (June 7) in Long Island, NY, and 15,000 black-clad rockers were congregating at the oceanside Jones Beach amphitheater, all of them ready to party like it's 1991. That was, of course, the year of Perry Ferrell' ...

  48. Linkin Park, "No Divide"

    June 10, 2009 11:55 AM EDT 0 0 0 Linkin Park, "No Divide" Track Review ...

  49. Cobra Starship Featuring Leighton Meester, "Good Girls Go Bad"

    June 10, 2009 9:08 AM EDT 0 0 0 Cobra Starship Featuring Leighton Meester, "Good Girls Go Bad" Track Review ...

  50. The Mars Volta, "Since We've Been Wrong"

    June 09, 2009 10:04 AM EDT 0 0 0 The Mars Volta, "Since We've Been Wrong" Track Review ...

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