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Banter Review: The Afghan Whigs at Wonder Ballroom, November 2


Here's the deal: concert reviews are pretty perfunctory, self-indulgent exercises in so-called music criticism. There are enough people taking pictures of or taping big live shows and then uploading those images to the Web that you can see for yourself whether it was a success or not. And if you really wanted to go, wouldn't you have gone? So instead of giving you a blow-by-blow account of the   More
Monday, November 5, 2012 by ROBERT HAM

Deep Cuts: Jens Lekman, "The World Moves On"


Today, we're bringing back Deep Cuts, a feature wherein we zero in on one song by an artist and dig into that song's meaning and inspiration with its creator. In the five years between Jens Lekman's last two albums, quite a lot happened to the Swedish singer-songwriter. Most notably, the 31-year-old moved to Melbourne, Australia, and e...   More
Friday, November 2, 2012 by ROBERT HAM

Album Review: Nucular Aminals

Start From an End (Self-Released)

Album Reviews
[MISSPELLED BUT UNBOWED] The path Nucular Aminals took to get their third album out was a fraught one. The quartet had planned to travel to Chicago to work with illustrious recording engineer Stev   More
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 ROBERT HAM

Album Review: Litanic Mask

Litanic Mask (Fast Weapons)

Album Reviews
[NIGHTPLAY] Litanic Mask certainly knows how to create and sustain a mood throughout an album. I put the duo’s self-titled record on repeat for a few hours and was surprised at how often it move   More
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 ROBERT HAM

Outer Worlds #1: Jazz Reaches Out


Outer Worlds is a new biweekly column from one of WW's regular music writers, Robert Ham, that will explore those artists, albums and genres which sometimes get short shrift within the pages of our print edition—those musical outliers that work outside the pop music continuum. Jazz is a genre that is never far from my mind, but it ha...   More
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 by ROBERT HAM

Album Review: Cars & Trains

We Are All Fire (Circle Into Square)

Album Reviews
[ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC] Even if the press materials for We Are All Fire didn’t explicitly talk about how the album centers on the theme of family, and even if Tom Filepp, the man behind Cars & Tr   More
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 ROBERT HAM

Album Review: Death Songs

Sung Inside a House (Post-Consumer)

Album Reviews
[SOUL FOR REAL] The Shaky Hands were never known for dynamism. The band’s four albums had a strangely flat quality that Nick Delffs and company only ever surmounted when playing live. But hear   More
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 ROBERT HAM

Check Out the Lineup for the 2013 Portland Jazz Festival


If you were lucky enough to catch the soul scorching set by Matthew Shipp Trio at Jimmy Mak's last night, you were also given the inside track on the lineup for the 2013 Portland Jazz Festival. Managing Director Don Lucoff took the stage and rattled off a quite impressive st...   More
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 by ROBERT HAM

From Obscuro to Hero

Sixto Rodriguez rises from the record bin of history.

Music Stories
Sixto Rodriguez is having his moment in the limelight. Finally.  The 70-year-old singer-songwriter from Detroit has been touring regularly since the beginning of the year, playing festivals   More
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 ROBERT HAM

Album Review: The Wishermen

Drawing Purple Orbits (Alan Jones Academy Of Music)

Album Reviews
[JAZZ] “Cool jazz” once meant exuding a marked restraint and letting delicate, simple melodies unfold naturally. Nowadays, most young players equate “cool” with “hip” and work tirele   More
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 ROBERT HAM
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