Almost full of nearly there and the slightly out of reach, March’s musical titles uproot fruitless pursuits. Whether agit-pop polemicist MARK STEWART’s sprawling, brawling two-fisted kismet, “The Politics of Envy,” or cosmic monsters DINOWALRUS’ wild-eyed psycho-dance party, “Best Behavior,” multicultural sonic explorers PINKUNOIZU’s, stretchable, fuzzed-out and eclectically textured, “Free Time!” or lonesome Romeos WATER LIAR’s, weathered wisdom, “Phantom Limbs,” unattainable objects of unbearable desire reap indelible jealousy and bittersweet celebrity.
Miniature Tigers - Mia Pharaoh
Album title: Mia Pharaoh
Record Label: Modern Art
Sprinting in cheeky beats and catchy hooks, MT’s luminous bubblegum gumbo stirs kitschy mischief into New Wave pop doo-wop, tie-dyed calypso heaven and foxy dance-floor swan songs. Gloriously euphoric, Mia,” speaks to angel lovers, dreamboat captains and unchallenged talisman, tapping into romance’s candid soft-heartedness and photo-shopping in love-blind conga lines. Tight and bright, the Tigers hit Chicago’s Schubas March 30th
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Gabriel and the Hounds - Kiss Full of Teeth
Album title: Kiss Full of Teeth
Record Label: Ernest Jenning Record Co
Communal collaborations coax magical madrigals from indie-rock epiphanies and singer-songwriter sympathies, “Kiss,” sits embroidered in butterfly flutes and branded in bold, swollen brass, a beautiful marriage of solitary thought and orchestrated flavors. Takka Takka’s Gabriel Levine’s harsh, narcoleptic guitars, twittering strings, whack-a-mole woodwinds and pratfall percussion journey from surf-rock noir to chamber-folk foliage, coloring flustered, rustic hubris from cathartic hearts.
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Margot and the Nuclear So and So's - Rot Gut Domestic
Album title: Rot Gut Domestic
Record Label: Mariel Recording Co
Vagabond sonnets cooked in flagrant disdain, bruised blues and reflective messages rock out over weak-kneed pleads as Margot’s outraged sages and micro-managed philandering pine, resign and chomp at the bit. Dungeon hungers rise and plunder while passionate crashes turn personal crisis into frontline reporting. “Rot,” stalks, hawks and unlocks a seething cauldron fostering spiky rock chops among staggered social lacerations,
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The Magnetic Fields - Love at the Bottom of the Sea
Album title: Love at the Bottom of the Sea
Record Label: Merge Recds
Understated plays of phonetic calisthenics elicit spooky amusements dipped in dry irony and tattered flattery. ‘Kinetic suggestions lighting disembodied follies, “Love,” embraces fun-factory retaliations manufacturing impeccable satanic semantics around intrepid mechanical insanity./ Pioneering professors expert at blithe swipes for gala salads tossing melodically-rich tidbits into three minutes or less synth-pop dollops, TMF play Chicago’s Vic Theater March 26th and 27th.
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Jennifer O'Connor - I Want What You Want
Album title: I Want What You Want
Record Label: Kiam Records
Solemn problems cast in modestly frolicking waltzes, direct declarations trimmed in simmering sentiments and cordial worries; lyrical sharp-shooter O’Connor monitors life’s knotted plots in plain-spoken hopes, discerning turns and slippery commitments. Distant but determined, guarded but genuine, “Want,” prompts buoyant voyages past unsettled passengers clutching unsorted baggage, focused bouquets of self-guided providence providing cautious folk-pop solace and pensive indie-rock tenderness.
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White Rabbits - Milk Famous
Album title: Milk Famous
Record Label: TBD Records
Glazed in beefy beats, ELO sunshine and Southern Comfort swagger, the air-drum, headphone-friendly, “Milk,” slathers cybernetic embellishments around its experimental center for non-stop jet-propelled alt-rock. The Rabbit’s flitting transistors, twitchy pedal-infected psychedelia and urgent bionic bop hurtles headlong between driving, intertwining grinds, shiny, high-beam beacons of sinful syncopation and glossy altered washes. WR plays Madison’s High Noon Saloon April 6th
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As winter fades March’s coffers offer kiss-off dismals like polyglot prophet TIM FITE’s final denial, “Ain’t Ain’t Ain’t,” a positive powerhouse of folk-rap, slasher pop and lo-fi hypno-rock. Farewells continue in unvarnished roustabouts PLANT & ANIMALS’ rabid, habit-forming, “The End of That,” fairy-blessed art songstress ELIZA RICKMAN’s acrobatic atlas, “O, You Sinners,” and acoustic beauties BOWERBIRDS’ transient tapestry, “The Clearing,” Madison transplant Freedy Johnston joins Dee Graham and Susan Cowsill as THE HOBART BROTHERS with LIL SISTER HOBART lassoes home-spun country-grunge inside the optimistic, “At Least We Have Each Other.”