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Remembering Tom Petty, 1950-2017

By Thomas Johnson, October 5 2017 — Tom Petty may have been the most casual of America’s rock icons. His career was mellow in comparison to his contemporaries. Next to Dylan’s generational tides and Springsteen’s Americana heroism, Petty’s suburban narratives seemed almost quaint. While the former two dealt in highways and badlands, Petty concerned himself…

New Music: Elijah Blake

By Thomas Johnson, October 18, 2017 — Since the 2011 releases of Frank Ocean’s Nostalgia, Ultra and The Weeknd’s House Of Balloons, R&B is easier to categorize than ever. Reductive copycats can generally be lumped into two groups — the irreverent, starkly personal sad-boy crooner à la Ocean or the Weeknd-esque clandestine self-destructive punk. Releases…

Arcade Fire energizes Saddledome with remarkable performance

By Thomas Johnson, October 17 2017 — Arcade Fire performed at the Saddledome on Oct. 12 following their summer release Everything Now. The “Infinite Content Tour” operates as a satirical critique of rampant consumerism, invasive marketing, content saturation and push notifications. Fittingly, the band soundtracked their own walk-on, spilling from the dressing room into the…

A eulogy for the iPod

By Thomas Johnson, October 10 2017 — The thought of you no longer singing me to work everyday and sleep every night, never crossed my mind. The happiness you gave burned greater than the laws of nature — eternal, above the concept of a lifespan. Yet still, I have to accept your death. My dear…

New Music: Open Mike Eagle

By Thomas Johnson, October 10 2017 — Los Angeles artist Open Mike Eagle once coined the genre ‘art rap,’ a loose term used to classify the avant-garde, often challenging brand of hip-hop stemming from fringe beat scenes. The music generally revolves around eclectic and unorthodox production and dense lyricism. Eagle’s fifth effort, Brick Body Kids Still…

New Music: September album wrap-up

By Thomas Johnson, September 28 2017 — The Outfit, TX — Fuel City Fuel City is a fictitious, claustrophobic and diesel-doused urban utopia of The Outfit, TX’s making. It sits somewhere between Atlanta’s futuristic strip-palace nocturnality, the unholy menace of a Memphis dungeon and Saturn’s sixth moon. The newest album by the Dallas ensemble sounds…

New Music: The National

By Thomas Johnson, September 15 2017 — Since their days as a middling quintet amid the New York garage rock boom that blossomed with The Strokes and Interpol, The National have been steadfast in their consistency. They’re like comfort food — chicken soup for the iPod. A progression exists with each album, but you generally…

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