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Music

Smile Smile

Listen Up
Intentionally simple, the Dallas duo Smile Smile spotlights each discrete element of a song, enabling the plainspoken emotion of harmony to speak for itself.


Sufjan Stevens

Listen Up
Indie songsmith Sufjan Stevens may be known more for ambition than follow-through.



Dirty Diversion

The Red Herrings do right by raw, loud punk-blues.
JIMMY FOWLER
The label “garage band” may have fallen out of fashion years ago, but that doesn’t mean rockers no longer practice the art.


Michelle Mayfield

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The title of Michelle Mayfield’s most recent c.d. comes from a Ralph Waldo Emerson line: “What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.” What’s within Mayfield seems to b...



Regina Spektor

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While half-dozing on the couch recently, I faintly overheard Jay Leno introduce his night’s musical guest. Never heard of her.


The Village Voice

Hearsay
For the past 15 years, the voice of local music for Star-Telegram readers has been Malcolm Mayhew. He was here when The Toadies and The Old 97′s blew up in the early ’90s, and up until the past couple of years, when...



The Burning Hotels

The Show
The Burning Hotels often get compared to The Killers. But the local quartet does the disco-rock darlings somewhat differently, chiefly by stressing melancholy over angry arrogance and by stripping glam of its cocksure poses to ...


The Damnwells

Listen Up
The Damnwells have come a long way since recording their debut c.d., the stripped-down Bastards of the Beat, in a mini-storage unit in Manhattan. They produced their new album, Air Stereo, in a real studio, and it’s so clutte...



It’s Hip to Be Square

Hearsay
I love hipsters, I really do. I know I make fun of ‘em a lot, saying they’re too cool for school, that they’re way too predictable, and that they’re really just grown-up mama’s boys.


Jason Boland & the Stragglers

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Jason Boland & the Stragglers promote themselves as country outlaws, but if their new c.d. is any indication, they might be in a transition period.