Avoid Black Friday’s Mad Rush, Go Visit Your Local Record Store Instead

St. Vincent. (Photo: Renata Raksha/Courtesy of the artist)
St. Vincent. (Photo: Renata Raksha/Courtesy of the artist)

While the Christmas, er, holiday season seems to creep earlier and earlier into the fall each year, for most the day after Thanksgiving marks the official start of the mayhem. Black Friday is that special day synonymous with mobs of shoppers hungry for a good deal at those massive big box retail stores. But what if you’re like me, and unwilling to line up in the bitter cold before midnight, take an elbow to the gut rushing through the doors, or get clawed in the face over a giant TV or gadget? Maybe it’s a good time to visit that local record store instead.

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High Ends’ Woozy And ‘Intoxicated’ Animated World

High Ends' album, Super Class, is out now.
High Ends’ album, Super Class, is out now.

One would think that after years of constant touring, a hiatus between albums would be a welcome respite to decompress from music — or at least allow time to catch up on a little TV. For Yukon Blonde frontman Jeffrey Innes, it meant getting back to work, writing songs intended for a new collaborative project. But when his friends ended up being busy on the road, the Vancouver songwriter instead recorded the songs himself under a new moniker, High Ends.

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Electric Youth’s ‘Runaway’ Captures The Cinematic Feeling Of Young Love

Electric Youth's album, Innerworld, is out now. (Chris Muir/Courtesy of the artist)
Electric Youth’s album, Innerworld, is out now. (Chris Muir/Courtesy of the artist)

Electric Youth first won over scores of fans with “A Real Hero” — a collaboration with French musician David Grellier (a.k.a. College) — which was prominently featured twice in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Ryan Gosling-starring 2011 film Drive.

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NPR Heavy Rotation: Bully, ‘Milkman’

Bully's EP is out now.
Bully’s EP is out now.

I wrote this short capsule review of “Milkman” by Bully — an excellent new band I first came across during this year’s CMJ Music Marathon, in a crazy early noon slot at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg. You can read that over at NPR Music’s Heavy Rotation.

Below, you can find the longer version.

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First Listen: Mr. Gnome, ‘The Heart Of A Dark Star’

Mr. Ghome's The Heart Of A Dark Star.
Mr. Ghome’s The Heart Of A Dark Star.

This was originally written for NPR Music’s First Listen series. Read the rest over at NPR Music or Soundcheck.

For a record about journeying deep inside the darkest recesses of the mind, there’s nothing introverted about the Cleveland duo Mr. Gnome’s new album, The Heart Of A Dark Star. Named for an evocative phrase in a Neil Gaiman book, The Heart Of A Dark Star is a bold and blustery hurricane of guitars, organs and voices, all swirling around in the night air.