American Aquarium – Live in Raleigh

americanaquarium

North Carolina’s American Aquarium has certainly made the most of their tenacious touring and effective self-promotion over the past few years. With their last two studio albums, Dances for the Lonely and Small Town Hymns possessing an irresistibly comfortable blend of country and rock, and the band’s live shows having gained a reputation for being […]

Heartless Bastards – Arrow

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There’s something unexplainably exhilarating about a rapid and dramatic change in temperature.  In Russia and Scandinavia they go from a hot sauna to a leap into freezing cold water.  Where I grew up in the Midwest, we’d go from a hot, sweaty mosh pit in a club with ear-ringing decibels to the subzero outdoor environs […]

Mayer’s Picks: Best Songs of 2011

I posted a best songs list for the first half of 2011 back in July (here). Rather than replicate that list for my full year review, consider this the addendum — the best songs from the second half of the year. When My Time Comes, Barnstar! (from the self-released C’Mon!) I somehow missed this song […]

Mason Jennings – Minnesota

Mason Minnesota Album

Mason Jennings’ latest effort, Minnesota, is a lyrical romp with Jennings’ characteristic musical hooks that teeter on the edge of sappy but that work for him.  Every song on Minnesota is worth the listen.  The multi-instrumental Jennings opens with the subdued piano-based ballad “Bitter Heart” followed immediately with “Raindrops on the Kitchen Floor,” a retro […]

Q & A – Maps & Atlases

mapsandatlases

Chicago-based four-piece Maps & Atlases aren’t a math-rock band. O.K., good, we’ve got that out of the way now. Sure, there are some rather math-y elements to the band’s indie-folk informed sound, but not to the extent where those intricacies define their overall sonic contributions in the way that many would have one believe. While […]

Nick 13

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By now, surely it’s no secret that country and punk go together about as good as peanut butter and chocolate. And typically, when these two classic American forms of music are welded together, the result seems to resemble a harder, thrashing product. Of course, the overall ethos attached to artists that practice either style in […]

Readers’ Pick: My Morning Jacket, “Circuital”

My Morning Jacket, Circuital

READERS PICK: MAY 2011 Twangville readers picked My Morning Jacket‘s Circuital as their favorite album of May 2011. If there’s anyone out there redefining classic rock it’s Jim James and My Morning Jacket. Circuital the band’s sixth LP takes me back to 70’s era Pink Floyd where sound was used to paint vivid pictures of […]