On The Road with Alexander and The Grapes

Last summer, Florida-based Alexander and The Grapes released their debut full length record Hemispheres via New Granada. Its 12-song tracklist offers a deeply personal and reflective vignette of frontman Alexander Charos. Now, nearly 10 months since its release, the band is touring venues across the East Coast, and will be performing alongside Boston’s Pretty & Nice this […]

Introducing Marques Toliver

New York busker and self-made man of soul, Marques Toliver is a talented musician, singer, songwriter and producer. Originally from Daytona Beach, Florida, Toliver is currently based in London, where he works as an editor of his own magazine, Love is the Law, with regular guest editor, English model Daisy Lowe. As well as writing, editing and performing, […]

TBJ’s Favorite Records of 2012: Jack White

Blunderbuss: the vulnerable masterpiece that debuts Jack White’s singer-guitarist personality at its fullest. It’s hard to listen to the album without thinking about it in the context of his live performances. Jack White has been making a reputation for himself for over fifteen years as a blues-guitarist-gone-Appalachian-folk-punk rocker. It all started with The White Stripes, where the […]

TBJ’s Favorite Records of 2012: Alabama Shakes

The Athens, Alabama-based quartet, Alabama Shakes, began their music careers by playing shaggy Led Zeppelin covers around the dive bars of Limestone County in 2009. Brittany Howard, Zac Cockrell, Steve Johnson and Heath Fogg came to prominence following a successful show at CMJ Festival in October 2011, after which Jon Pareles of The New York Times compared Howard’s singing […]

The Music Tapes’ Imaginary Voices and Circuses

The last time I saw Julian Koster, the main man behind The Music Tapes, we were sitting in a field in Cambridge, MA near Harvard with a circle of other people. He told us about how the animated feature film he planned to make with DreamWorks about a story he wrote called “Second Imaginary Symphony […]

What’s It Take to Be A Decent Lover?

“I just wanna be where the honey is sweetest,” is the mindset of The Decent Lovers’ singer/songwriter Elijah Wyman. A man who, in 2007, became deathly ill and received  a kidney transplant from label-mate/collaborator Jason Rozens. Apart from internal organs, the two also swap beats and song ideas in the band’s overlooked April 2012 release, Quit Trying. Asheville, […]

Lotus Plaza and the Liberation of Yellow Balloons

You stand out in the open of a plaza that’s shaped like a lotus, looking at your shoes as you let go of a handfull of yellow balloons. It’s a gray day. So much of a gray day that the sky actually seems to be green. As the bunch of rubber, helium and ribbon transcends […]

How the Dead Live

Lost in the Trees’ Ari Picker turns tragedy into triumph on second LP.  The year before releasing the band’s debut on Anti- Records, Lost in the Trees‘ frontman, Ari Picker, experienced a severe loss when his mother took her own life. Though not always advisable, there are occasions when considering the inspiration for a record […]

An Evening with Mr. M and The Great Lambchop

The following is a review of Lambchop’s latest album, Mr. M. This article treats the album as if it were a person. The narrative draws inspiration from the experience the writer had while listening to the album. The strings swelled as he sat at the piano with his back to an audience that was chatting […]

Emperor X: Musical Scientist and Multidimensional Explorer

Some records have lyrics so ambiguously specific that one can’t help but notice hints of a storyline or something that ties all the mysterious pieces together. Such albums inspire listeners to spin the record endlessly, trying to decode the messages into some kind of concrete interpretation or narrative. Emperor X‘s latest album Western Teleport (Bar/None) […]