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Brian Raftery


  • How Led Zeppelin's 'The Song Remains the Same' Captured Band's Wild Peak

    Live album, accompanying film documented end of draining, debauched 1973 tour

    • Music
  • How Led Zeppelin Embraced Trippy Folk Side on 'III'

    Viking war cries, California folk and visions of England's past: album was a critical and commercial low point when originally released on October 5th, 1970

    • Music
  • Love's Crushing Diamond

    The opening moments of Love's Crushing Diamond are awash in heartsick strings and wind-struck chimes; it sounds less like a band tuning up than a dust-strewn shack shaking itself awake. That fragile quality is preserved throughout the debut from Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist Jordan Lee, who has an alpine voice and a nature-lovin' heart. "Golden Wake" turns […]

    • Music
  • Black Panties

    On his past two albums, R&B's most shameless lover man abandoned his shtick in favor of lovelorn, PG-rated retro soul. But the 2011 throat surgery that saved R. Kelly's voice clearly also reignited his libido, because on Black Panties, he stops lighting candles and starts dipping his wick. "Gonna go down on my knees/And ask […]

    • Music
  • You Were Right

    On Brendan Benson's sixth solo album, the FM-gold guru — and occasional Jack White collaborator — turns into a dark-hearted relationship expert, spinning tales full of curb-kicked exes and embittered beaus (sample fun-time title: "She's Trying to Poison Me"). But it's a testament to his power-pop prowess that even his most downcast tunes are adamantly […]

    • Music
  • Uncanney Valley

    For some indie-rock fans, the Dismemberment Plan have always been the band that got away: too noisy to win over bookish brainiacs, but too smart (and too subtly funny) to convert cool-kid cred dispensers. A decade after breaking up, DP find themselves firmly in step with our attention-disordered, hypernostalgic times. The endlessly hooky Valley veers […]

    • Music
  • Tally All the Things That You Broke

    On last winter's neck-jerkingly fast Light Up Gold – one of the year's best debuts – Brooklyn's Parquet Courts sounded like apostles of Jonathan Richman and the Minutemen, mixing smart-stoner musings with turtle-jaw-tight playing. This EP is leaner and looser: "You've Got Me Wonderin' Now" is a speedy heartbreak lament underscored by kids' flute, while […]

    • Music
  • I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams

    Onstage, the members of this execrably named Nashville outfit come off like college sketch-troupe goofs who just downed some 40s, broke into a Guitar Center and decided to celebrate by holding the loudest, messiest shred-off known to man. But Rich proves there are chops beneath the slop: "Lite Dream" starts as a dank sweat-along anthem […]

    • Music
  • Jason Sudeikis Envisions Life After 'Saturday Night Live'

    The highly demanded 'Horrible Bosses' star is poised for a big leap forward

    • TV & Movies
  • Michael Jackson: The Unlikely King of Rock

    How studio perfectionism and a killer Van Halen solo made the pop icon a hero to a generation of rockers

    • Music