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RIFF’d: Aloe Blacc’s ‘Lift Your Spirit’

The past few years have been big for Aloe Blacc. He’s gone from a relatively obscure player in R&B to being a star on the rise with his music being heard by millions. It’s been […]

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Listing: 5 Darkly Poignant Lyrics from St. Vincent’s ‘St. Vincent’

St. Vincent‘s return comes with a new look, but also with a heavy dose of distorted, synthesized funk. It’s a bit weirder than her past fare, but she actually seems to be getting new converts […]

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RIFF’d: Angel Olsen’s ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’

Angel Olsen doesn’t run from her experiences. She buckles down and finds inspiration in them, channeling whatever unrequited emotions there are into song. It’s not an altogether groundbreaking technique, but one that she’s grown with […]

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Spotlight: Jen Wood

Twelve years ago, emotional-downtempo producer Dntel pleased his cult fanbase by wrangling some guest vocals out of future-O.C.-darling Ben Gibbard. The resulting track would be so well loved, it would inspire them to form an indie-tronic pet […]

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Mudhoney; Photo: Karl Ernest

Streetside: Sub Pop Turns 25 in Seattle; July 13

Sub Pop Records can now legally rent a car. By some accounts, the label is actually 27 years old, but this free, block-party-style festival dubbed the ‘Silver Jubilee‘ officially marked 25 years for the brand that […]

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Photo: Jeff Min

Streetside: Yuna Embraces Chicago’s Takin’ It To The Streets Fest with Regal Grace; June 15

Organized by the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), the 15th annual Takin’ It the Streets Fest in Chicago is one of the few celebrations where music takes a definitive backseat to social politics. Across the […]

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Listing: 5 Gimmick-Free Gems from She & Him’s ‘Volume 3′

She & Him are nothing if not an aesthetic wonder – before lyricist and frontwoman Zooey Deschanel was Fox’s “New Girl,” she was still a full-time “manic pixie dream girl” in just about every previous […]

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shouting matches maybe 2

Spotlight: The Shouting Matches

Justin Vernon is no stranger to mystique. While his breakthrough debut album as Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago, tugged everyone’s heartstrings with Vernon’s oddly-masculine falsetto, the music was overshadowed by its romantic, backwoodsy legend. […]

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Streetside: The Gospel According to Jim James at Chicago’s Vic Theatre; April 20

It’s been nearly five years since Jim James fell off the front of an Iowa stage and shook whatever demons were plaguing him out of the shadows – the catalyst that serves as the ethos for […]

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Photo: Jeff Min

Streetside: Mac DeMarco Strums Through Chicago’s Empty Bottle; March 21

Mac DeMarco is a born performer, a musical vanguard with a commanding presence – confident and cool, but self-deprecating as all hell. If he wasn’t a musician he’d be a stand-up comic or maybe a […]

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