Lots of Pavement fans are whetting their whistles as the first new solo music from band founder Stephen Malkmus hit the street this past week. I really like the new tracks I've heard from the just released Discretion Grove EP - definitely made to be played loud - so warm up those speakers, kids! Malkmus' new identity as a solo artist is staked out February 13 when Matador Records releases the new full-length album, which might or might not be entitled Swedish Reggae.

Two new smashingly nice independent seven-inch singles have just been released, thrusting their collective fist in the air to all those who fell in love with music the old-fashioned, organic way - dropping a needle on wax.

If you're a member of a young rock-and-roll band, that first show supporting somebody big can be nerve-wracking. So imagine being Miles and Daxx Nielsen of Harmony Riley on January 12, opening for the first time with Cheap Trick and ... dad?
Yes, Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen's two sons will be setting the table for him on eight East Coast dates in January.

The first half of December 28’s Chamber Music Quad Cities concert at the Davenport Unitarian Church followed the course of a well-scripted drama: An uneventful setup moved into a desperate middle section, followed by a triumphant conclusion.

January 28 promises an entertainment spectacle to live up to our new 21st Century mega-hype, with a superstar smackdown of the boy bands versus the snarling Boston rat mongrels. Super Bowl XXXV is serving up pre-game and halftime entertainment fireworks from 'N Sync, Sting, Bon Jovi, Styx, Ray Charles, and - dig this - recent Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductees Aerosmith.

Thom Yorke is clearly the king of 2000.
Looking over my list of favorite albums of 2000, I notice that the vocalist shows up three times: leading Radiohead through Kid A (obviously) but also doing duets on albums by Björk and PJ Harvey.

The proposed merger of AOL and media conglomerate Time Warner made it through the Federal Trade Commission this past week, but the fat lady can't squeak a peep before the blessing of their union is granted by the Federal Communications Commission.

As misnomers go, Wicked Liz & The Bellyswirls is a doozy.
First of all, there’s very little wicked about the vocal work of Wicked Liz, who goes by Liz Townsend when not on stage. She can growl in a most unmenacing way, but her voice generally runs from pop sweet to hearty.

In the "For Those About to Kraut-Rock" department: The Crippled Dick Hot Wax Records label has just released Popshopping, an intriguing compilation of original German advertising jingles from the 1960s and 1970s.

The second album from Shane Johnson’s Blue Train, Big Legged Women, starts off with a song that exists primarily as a framework for hot-licks blues. The words and vocals serve primarily as a break from the fiery work of the guitarist who lends his name to the band.

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