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The Panic Basket

Hard Bread (Self-released)
Ken Shimamoto
Here’s the first recorded result of a collaboration between electronics wizard Darryl Wood (ex-Confusatron and ex-Parasite Lost) and Darrin Kobetich, solo acoustic guitar virtuoso who’s jammed bluegrass with the Blackland R...


The Dangits

Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (Self-released)
Ken Shimamoto
I’d resigned myself to the fact that nobody around the Metromess plays real, unhyphenated rock ’n’ roll anymore — you know, that blues-based music with a backbeat Chuck Berry said you can’t lose?



Nels Cline Singers

Initiate (Cryptogramophone Records)
Ken Shimamoto
A musician I know put it thus: “Nels Cline is a warlock!” While I doubt the Wilco guitarist is conversant in the dark arts, I agree that his instrumental prowess approaches the supernatural.


The Slack

The Deep End (Idol Records)
Caroline Collier
On The Deep End, The Slack offers a little something for every pop-rock fan. No matter what your favorite band is, it’s probably sonically quoted somewhere here. At least Dallasite frontman Chris Holt and his three bandmates ...



Johnny Butler

Solo (Self-released)
Ken Shimamoto
While solo saxophone recitals are a time-honored tradition in the avant-jazz field (think Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell), the addition of looping technology — long beloved of rock guitarists — is a relatively new wrinkle...


Tobias Gebb and Unit 7

Free At Last (Yummy House Records)
Ken Shimamoto
Tobias Gebb is a Manhattan-born-and-bred drummer who leads a band in the style of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. That long-lived, drummer-led unit that was the gold standard of straight-ahead jazz from the ’50s (when Blakey ...



Transient Songs

Cave Syndrome (Indian Casino Records)
Ken Shimamoto
This full-length debut effort by a Seattle-based ensemble built around Haltom City expat and former Hasslehorse member John Frum marks a significant step forward from 2008′s Plantation To Your Youth EP. In some ways, Cave...


The Burning Hotels

Novels
Caroline Collier
A maelstrom of cymbals and aggressive, feverish guitars, Novels sets a hectic pace from the get-go. A chaotic feeling pervades the 37 minutes and 11 songs, but an underlying mathematical genius rules. Every note complements eve...



The Juke Jumpers

Ken Shimamoto
When I first hit the Fort back in ’78, Robert Ealey’s New Bluebird Night Club seemed like a hipster utopia, where TCU kids and their parents – parents who might have partied at the Skyliner Ballroom in the ear...


Drug Mountain

Ken Shimamoto
One wonders if Lester Bangs was foreseeing this when he wrote that rock ‘n’ roll is a “raw wail from the bottom of the guts.” Recorded by redoubtable noise maven Steve Albini in his Chicago lair last sum...