Music Review: Vertical Scratchers

Vertical Scratchers Daughter of Everything ???? Alternative The debut release of alt-rock group Vertical Scratchers is a confident collection of spunky tracks, thanks to the established music careers of members John Schmersal and Christian Beaulieu, both veterans of multiple indie punk acts.

Music Review: Angel Olsen

Angel Olsen Burn Your Fire For No Witness ???? Folk When Angel Olsen took the the shadowy stage at the Fletcher Opera Theatre during last year’s Hopscotch festival, she was met with reverent silence. Solely accompanied by her reverb-soaked Danelectro guitar, Olsen’s high and lonesome wavering was amplified but the venue’s airy stillness.

	Michael Taylor performs as Hiss Golden Messenger

Looking to the past to create a presence

As Hiss Golden Messenger, Michael Taylor leans heavily on American music traditions, but bends them heavily with his own style. When Michael Taylor of Durham’s Hiss Golden Messenger first released Bad Debt in 2010, the soft-spoken, intimate record did not reach a large audience. With most of the record’s supply burned in a warehouse fire during the London riots of 2010, the “lost” LP created a mysterious smoke around the origins of Taylor’s experimental folk project.

Music Review: Cloud Becomes Your Hand

Cloud Becomes Your Hand Rocks or Cakes ???? Rock Brooklyn-based band Cloud Becomes Your Hand’s debut album Rocks or Cakes is an experimental and colorful 36 minute journey. While the record might not be for everyone, the band pushes the envelope of what rock can be in terms of instrumentation and song structure.

Movie Review: The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie ????1/2 Everything is awesome! From the variety of beloved characters to the long line of jokes, “The Lego Movie” sets the bar high for animated movies in 2014. The film is cinematically dazzling with stop-motion animation that shows off several Lego worlds and some impressive action sequences.

Movie Review: The Monuments Men

The Monuments Men ?1/2 Despite flaunting a stellar cast and being based on an inspiring true story, “The Monuments Men” is a disappointing, unsatisfying film with a serious case of an identity crisis.

Music Review: Odesza

Odesza My Friends Never Die ??1/2 Electronic pop Odesza is an electronic production duo from Seattle consisting of Harrison Mills (aka Catacomkid) and Clayton Knight (aka BeachesBeaches). Its new EP My Friends Never Die sticks to its familiar sound of long, dubstep-influenced bass lines, choppy, pitched vocal samples, and trap-influenced crunchy drum lines that create dream-like soundscapes with an interesting dub twist.

Music Review: Broken Bells

Broken Bells After the Disco ????1/2 Rock Shrouded in doubt after three long years of waiting, the rock duo Broken Bells is back with its second full-length LP, After the Disco. And while remnants of the group’s style from its self-titled release still remain, major shifts in the band’s artistry are evident.