Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Push the Sky Away
Bad Seeds Ltd.

It’s a little past midnight and you’re sitting in the corner booth in the classiest bar you could find on the seediest street in town. Tonight’s entertainment isn’t jazz, but that organ could fool you. It isn’t rock, but it is roll. It could be gospel, but it’s too sedate, and besides, this guy doesn’t look very holy. It’s the soundtrack to your 3 am stumbling and the hangover you know you’ll have in the morning if you don’t stop buying drinks, but you just got paid, so go for it. The more you imbibe, the sexier and more ominous that woman over there looks, or maybe that’s the music. Can’t quite tell anymore, alcohol is dulling your sense for the wordplay and lyricism in her hips, err, his voice, rather. The strings and electronics draped around the sparse guitar, bass and drums are weighing on you like this damn leather coat. Why are you still wearing that? You should buy another drink. Shit. Wallet’s empty. Better get home, buddy. Come back for you car keys tomorrow. Don’t get mugged. There’s a drone in your ears and a drone in your heart all the way home. Nice night…Oh, it’s practically morning. Enjoy the couch. She’s pissed. – Eric Pansen

Jamie Lidell
Jamie Lidell
Warp Records

Jamie Lidell brings the experimental electronic funk in his self-titled album. His vocals are tight and have a swing and sass that brings Prince to this writer’s mind. Various instruments and creative synthesized sounds give his tracks a range of flavors – from sweet and perky in “I’m Selfish,” to edgy and heavy in “What a Shame,” to jazzy and sultry in “Why_Ya_Why.” Ecstatic and eclectic, Jamie Lidell’s self-titled album is the electronic music lover’s box of chocolates. – Rafael Varela

The Lovely Bad Things
The Late Great Whatever
Volcom Entertainment

The Lovely Bad Things are definitely lovely and far from bad. Formed in 2009, the lively group started out as a punk garage band from the sunny streets of La Mirada, CA. After reading that they named their garage The Lovely Bad Pad, I knew this band would be far from typical. Their fast-paced, ear-jarring songs pay homage to their shared love of  The Pixies while other influences include Modest Mouse, The B-52s, and Sonic Youth. The album opens with a pure gem dubbed “Hear or Anywhere” which dives right into what they do best: ridiculously fast-paced, heavy guitar riffs. The album really reaches its sweet spot with “Fried Eyes,” “North Bend” and “Honeycomb Cocoon” which pair the harsh, male vocals with the sweet, breathy voice of Lauren Curtius.  – Emma Cramer

Reviews curated & edited by: JJ Posway