by Mike Corrigan and Joel Smith & r & & lt;a href= & quot;http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=rQy1MLe70wI & amp;offerid=78941.455215550 & amp;type=10 & amp;subid= & quot; &
The Makers & lt;/a & Everybody Rise! **** & r & Pete Townshend was right: The music must change. And no one knows that better than a band that's been around for more than a handful of years. If for no other reason, the Makers get props for successfully finding a way out of one of rock's most infamous dead-ends (garage) and for never pandering to the expectations of their audience. Everybody Rise (their first for Kill Rock Stars) is another evolutionary step forward -- and it's surprising how big a step it is. Repeated listenings will tell, but from here, this sounds like the band's most confident, soulful and unselfconsciously fun album to date.
The songs are here, too ("Good As Gold" and the Mersey Beat "Run With Me Tonight" are only the beginning). The ferocious opener, "Matter of Degrees," serves notice that this Northwest rock fortress is stronger than ever. It also sets up the album's running theme: self-empowerment. When singer Michael Maker implores, "Everyone get on your feet / 'Cause I know you can take the heat," you can't help but want to join the movement. -- Mike Corrigan
& lt;a href= & quot;http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=rQy1MLe70wI & amp;offerid=78941.455215568 & amp;type=10 & amp;subid= & quot; & Langhorne Slim & lt;/a & When The Sun's Gone Down **** & r & I download a lot of new music off of salon.com's daily music blog. It's a crapshoot. Some of it's boring, some of it's overly abstract, some of it's just derivative. I came across "In the Midnight," by someone calling himself Langhorne Slim and figured I'd give it a shot.
I was riveted. I'd never heard old-timey music sound so modern. Slim -- a suit-wearing, bowler cap-donning, neo-folk, East Village Manhattanite -- lays down a solid foundation of bluegrass sound (frenetic guitar, pumping bass, jittery banjo, some percussion) and then does something utterly strange with it: He lets rip with a voice that's more Violent Femmes than Bill Monroe. Tearing his throat to pieces, he screams, rasps and wails over the jumping banjo, the hand claps, the group chorus. It sounds like the best church service you've never been to.
And it turns out that that one song was no fluke. Though perhaps constrained by its commitment to the old-time sound, When the Sun's Gone Down is a gem, a big tent revival of a record. Pour yourself some moonshine and dance. -- Joel Smith