Simone White traffics in shadows. Her songs are a blurry series of murmurs, sighs and whispers wrapped up in a soft blanket of sparse acoustic guitar and muted percussion. The Echo Park singer is best known for touring with Andrew Bird and being a part of Damon Albarn's Honest Jon's Revue in 2008; "The Beep Beep Song," from her 2007 album, I Am the Man, was used in several European car commercials. The Hawaii native continues to cast fragile spells on her new CD, Silver Silver, such as the aptly titled "Never Be That Tough," where her delicate voice is wreathed in ethereal harmonies. White even anticipates the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy when she coos on the title track, "Wide, wide ocean tide/busted banks gone and swallowed my pride." --Falling James
Might as well come right out with it: Australian band Tame Impala's Lonerism is as good as people say, and as psychedelic as people say, and as "refreshing" and "retro-but-not-retro," and every other word floating around out there in the online adjective-o-sphere. It's Sgt. Pepper or S.F. Sorrow with synths, sure, but that's a reverent compliment. The songs here seem like they came into existence perfectly formed, with every twist and surprise and loop-the-loop coming just when your subconscious demands it. One of the best things about the psychedelic classics of the olden '60s days is the way those bands pushed luck and inspiration and modern technology to their limits, and that's just what Tame Impala does in 2012. Head music's not dead! -- Chris Ziegler
See also: Tame Impala On The Meaning of 'Lonerism'
Saturday, November 17
The barks of Ghostlimb band leader Justin Smith pack just as much bite and snarl as those of his other band, grindcore outfit Graf Orlock. With Ghostlimb, though, there is equal emphasis on song structure, so you can get caught up in shouting along with catchy choruses as you mosh your ass off. The newest record from this beacon of L.A.'s hardcore scene, Confluence, is tightly packed with stellar metallic riffs, mixed within a melodic hardcore shell. The subject matter is a bit more grounded in reality than Graf Orlock's signature action-movie-inspired flights of fancy. Ghostlimb doesn't troll in tough-guy hardcore either. Lyrically, the group has a strong emotional core that feels inclusive and welcoming for everyone ready to unleash their demons in the pit. -- Jason Roche