(The Sounds of) Kaleidoscope

(The Sounds of) Kaleidoscope excel at producing that whirling, swirling D.C. (okay, mid-Atlantic, maybe even all the way up to Boston) indie sound. With ex-members of The Ropers and The Still joining founder Damien Taylor, and Lilys Kurt Heasley lending a helping hand, how could they not?
Your toes are gonna be tapping in no time. I guarantee it.

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Pilot to Gunner

Seaweed + Fugazi + Quicksand + Superchunk = Pilot to Gunner. Hey, this ain’t mathematics; no equation is perfect, but I’ll be damned if PtG aren’t channelling shards of four of my absolute favorite bands from the ’90s.

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The Dying Californian

The Dying Californian’s frayed alt-country ballads pack such subtly heartbreaking lyrics, you may find yourself hitting rewind the same way you used to with R.E.M.’s Murmur. Exhibit A, from “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”: “If you tell me you love me/It would be a bad thing/My heart would start wondering/About the songs it could sing.”

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The New Year

Even when The New Year keep themselves from cathartic explosions of guitar and drums, they still seem very close to losing it. Here’s hoping you woke up on the wrong side of the bed today and have been looking for the proper soundtrack to fit your mood.

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Lomax

Unfortunate for us Yanks, this gem hasn’t dropped on our side of the pond. Post-punk on its second time around. It’s not necessarily evident from these tracks, but this band’s politics are as sharp as their grooves. Gang of Four float your boat? Start downloading…

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Fridge

UK post-rock trio, not unlike Tortoise, prone to toy with electronic and sometimes jazzy improvisations. Although Fridge can sometimes resort to experimentation for experimentation’s sake, these tracks are a fine sampling of their more accessible work. FYI: Fridge has spawned two solo projects, Four Tet (Kieran Hebden) and Adem (Adem Ilhan).

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FLIN FLON

This is what drum ‘n’ bass should be. Yet another offering from Mr. Teenbeat himself, Mark Robinson. Nothing new to the viewers of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” where “Floods” serves as the opening music. (Not to be confused with Flin Flon, the sixth largest city in the Canadian province of Manitoba.)

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Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A Start

Come for the name (the cheat code for endless lives on the Nintendo classic Contra, fyi), stay for the thrilling emo…tional rollercoaster rides.

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The Hold Steady

“My name is Steve Perry, baby, people call me Circuit City…” Snarky rock ‘n’ roll anthems swirl around singer Craig Finn’s breathless, cynical wordplay. And then, just like that, they’re over…

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