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2008 Stories by Nicholas L. Hall

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  • The Hold Steady: Stay Positive

    published August 28, 2008

    "Me and my friends are like the drums on 'Lust for Life,'" sings Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, opening both "Constructive Summer" and fourth... More >>

  • Conor Oberst: Conor Oberst

    published August 21, 2008

    Conor Oberst's lyrics tend to be heavy-handed with metaphors and language in general, often reading like a hipper, more literate version of a... More >>

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    published July 17, 2008

    Back when glamour ruled Hollywood and gossip wasn't yet an industry, stars were expected to do it all. If you couldn't sing, dance and... More >>

  • Billy Bob Thornton

    published July 17, 2008

    Back when glamour ruled Hollywood and gossip wasn’t yet an industry, stars were expected to do it all. If you couldn’t sing, dance and... More >>

  • Cute Is What We Aim For

    published July 10, 2008

    Buffalo's Cute Is What We Aim For is likely the perfect 21st-century pop band. Almost purpose-built for short attention spans, CIWWAF focuses... More >>

  • RTX

    published July 3, 2008

    With her bohemian-friendly lineage and Rolling Stones sleaze-rock tendencies, RTX's Jennifer Herrema offered androgynous boy-girls the chance... More >>

  • The Defenestration Unit

    published June 5, 2008

    It's hard to preview a show by a group of musicians like the frequently expanding and/or contracting sextet that calls itself The... More >>

  • Murder by Death creates stunning, dark works that transcend the provocative name

    published May 22, 2008

    Murder by Death wants to be taken seriously. The Bloomington, Indiana-based quartet has been at it for the better part of a decade, and its... More >>

  • Streetlight Manifesto, with Dan Potthast and Zox

    published April 10, 2008

    Everybody indulges in a guilty pleasure or two. For some, it's eating mayonnaise with a spoon; for others, made-for-TV movies fit the bill. For... More >>

  • Casiotone for the Painfully Alone and Clue to Kalo, with Hearts of Animals

    published April 3, 2008

    When Owen Ashworth was just an unknown film school dropout recording minimalist pop in his bedroom for an audience of dozens, Casiotone for the... More >>

  • My Morning Jacket, Yo La Tengo

    published March 6, 2008

    Could there be a more perfectly conceived pairing than these two bands? Particularly early in their career — think covers album... More >>

  • Blitzen Trapper

    published February 28, 2008

    Did you ever wish that your favorite band would try dabbling in something different, maybe change it up every once in a while — perhaps... More >>

  • An open letter to Alanis Morissette

    published February 28, 2008

    Dear Alanis: This is your time to shine. That whole Jagged Little Pill thing was just a fluke, even if it did give us the... More >>

  • The Mighty Orq

    published February 21, 2008

    The Mighty Orq is a living, breathing piece of Texas's musical heritage. Although the band's music is firmly steeped in the dive-bar blues and... More >>

  • Joe Lally, Edie Sedgwich

    published February 21, 2008

    Former Fugazi bassist Joe Lally has been both blessed and cursed by working with Ian MacKaye. Anytime you can collaborate with a musician of... More >>

  • Hearts of Animals

    published February 7, 2008

    Even in a city whose musical denizens have a well-documented propensity for band-hopping, Mlee Marie Suprean is an especially prolific... More >>

  • Culturcide: Year One

    published January 31, 2008

    Culturcide was a pop band that liked to play around with noise. Sometimes that noise overwhelmed their pop's shimmer and spark; other times, it... More >>

  • The Fiery Furnaces

    published January 31, 2008

    Thank God Fiery Furnaces siblings Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger were never married. Lord knows they've got enough in common with the White... More >>

  • The Black Dahlia Murder, 3 Inches of Blood

    published January 24, 2008

    Check subtlety, pretense and the last decade at the door; Vancouver's 3 Inches of Blood don't want anything to do with them. Eschewing fads and... More >>

  • The Toasters

    published January 17, 2008

    For many people, ska died in the late '90s, around the time it graced the opening credits of the Daisy Fuentes-hosted incarnation of... More >>

  • The Seximals: Small Songs

    published January 3, 2008

    "And if I leave this town and move away, will it change the world at all?" muses the Seximals' Anthony Barilla on Small Songs' opening... More >>

  • Hootenanny

    published January 3, 2008

    The Skyline Network's Ryan Clark, former Hands Up Houston stalwart Anna Garza and Bright Man of Learning Ben Murphy want you to have a very... More >>

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