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  1. Craig Finn: Clear Heart Full Eyes2012/02/10

    Clear Heart Full Eyes is the first solo effort from the Hold Steady's singer and lyricist Craig Finn. Is it an exercise in egoism? Is it a true departure from the successful Hold Steady form? We discuss!
  2. Kathleen Edwards: Voyageur2012/01/31

    Voyageur, the latest from Kathleen Edwards, shows the influence of a new producer (think Bon Iver). But how does this record stack up against her earlier, more alt-country efforts? We discuss.
  3. Dex Romweber Duo: Is That You In The Blue?2011/08/10

    Drop everything. This is the most kickass album you've heard all year. "Is That You In The Blue?" is the second record for the brother-sister duo, and it's clear here why Dex was a -- or the -- major influence on Jack White. Just drop everything, listen to the podcast and get yourselves at least 10 percent cooler.
  4. Bon Iver: Bon Iver2011/08/03

    The eponymous second full-length release from Wisconsin-based Justin Vernon, performing as Bon Iver, is a departure for the critically acclaimed rocker. Do we dig it? Yes, Meh, and Meh-Plus.
  5. Iceage: New Brigade2011/06/23

    New Brigade is the first album from Iceage, a bunch of Danish kids from, surprisingly, Denmark. Is it punk? Some of us think so. Some of us, not so much. But regardless of label, is it worth a listen? Tune in and find out.
  6. The Antlers: Burst Apart2011/06/14

    Burst Apart is the second full-length record from Brooklyn-based The Antlers, and it's on our short list of albums of the year.
  7. Amanda Shires: Carrying Lightning2011/06/01

    Amanda Shires, a Texas singer-songwriter with a flair for fiddle and ukulele, has us generally all a-swoon over Carrying Lightning, her most recent release.
  8. Fleet Foxes -- Helplessness Blues2011/05/27

    Helplessness Blues, the second full-length record from Fleet Foxes, is a smart and challenging blend of folk and pop, old and new. Whether you love it or not, you won't regret giving it a go.
  9. TV On The Radio: Nine Types Of Light2011/05/16

    Nine Types Of Light, the latest from Brooklyn's TV On The Radio, is a mix of beats, hooks and surprising emotional depth and complexity -- or so we would have you believe.
  10. Wye Oak: Civilian2011/04/28

    Civilian, the third effort from Baltimore duo Wye Oak, has us divided, and animated. It's a unique sound, to be sure -- not quite folk or rock but ... well, listen in as we try to describe it and devolve into name-calling.
  11. Destroyer: Kaputt2011/03/29

    Canadian indie rocker Dan Bejar has us all a-dazzle with Kaputt, the latest from his Destroyer project. While he's a member of the New Pornographers, we find similarities in this effort with those of bands such as Roxy Music and Prefab Sprout. Take a listen; you won't be disappointed.
  12. Roky Erickson with Okkervil River: True Love Cast Out All Evil2011/03/14

    It's a collaboration borne of Austin, Texas-based musicians -- Roky Erickson, a pioneer of psychedelic rock, and Okkervil River, critical darlings of the indie-rock set who have performed with The Decemberists, the New Pornographers, The National and others. The result? Listen up.
  13. The Decemberists: The King Is Dead2011/03/07

    The King Is Dead, the latest from The Decemberists, features familiar themes and voices (and guitars, in the case of R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, who joins). Or is it a departure? And is it charming or repulsive? For such a great record, we really can't agree on much.
  14. The Top 10 Records of 20102010/12/20

    Your friends at Soundcheck have consulted and agree: 2010 has been one of the best years for music in at least a decade. From Frightened Rabbit and Beach House to The National and Rush, there's been something for just about everyone. Here, we give you our top 10 records of the year, and one added honorable mention that really put a ribbon on it. Thanks for listening!
  15. Superchunk: Majesty Shredding2010/12/15

    Majesty Shredding, the long-awaited ninth album from old-schoolers Superchunk, rocks pretty hard. But is that a good thing? We shred through the cheese.
  16. Robyn: Body Talk -- The best in dance pop?2010/12/06

    Swedish dance-pop phenom Robyn recently released Body Talk, actually a trilogy of EPs released during 2010. As far as electronic dance records go, we agree that Robyn is doing it better than anyone else these days -- including Lady Gaga. That's right. Oh, and she uses a lot of four-letter words, so, you know, fair warning.
  17. Cee Lo Green: F**k You -- The best song of 2010?2010/11/30

    Sure, F**k You is a terrific single -- but how does the rest of Cee Lo's latest record, The Lady Killer, measure up? How about among the best of 2010? You heard that right.
  18. OFF! Punk rock returns!2010/11/22

    Old-school punkers OFF! are releasing a collection of 16 songs in under 18 minutes that prove punk is alive and well. Or, is this just more evidence that punk died decades ago, despite this effort from former members of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Burning Brides and others to reclaim their glory days? Fair warning about some colorful language here.
  19. Warpaint: The Fool2010/11/15

    The Fool, the first full-length effort from the L.A. all-female quartet Warpaint, is a dreamy blend of texture and tone. We approve -- and not only because we, too, are a dreamy blend of texture and tone.
  20. Grinderman: Grinderman 2 -- A whole lot of rock.2010/11/10

    Grinderman is the band that succeeds Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, in that it comprises Nick Cave and former members of the Bad Seeds. So is this just another Bad Seeds record, or something new? Check it out, dear listeners.
  21. Philip Selway: Familial2010/10/04

    Radiohead drummer Philip Selway has offered a record of his own: Familial, a quiet and nearly percussion-free effort that is nuanced and introspective. Some of us may find it a wee bit boring, but there's a backstory to it that makes all the difference.
  22. Damien Jurado and Richard Swift: Two Dudes, Two Records2010/09/26

    Damien Jurado's solo album St. Bartlett was produced by Richard Swift, himself a successful independent singer-songwriter. The duo spent a few days together at the end of August and banged out another record of cover songs, written by acts as diverse as John Denver and Kraftwerk, and they make them completely their own. Confused? We unravel it all.
  23. Best Coast: Crazy For You, But Are We Crazy About This Record?2010/09/20

    Crazy For You, the latest from Best Coast, is awash in good vibes and reverb. Is it too much, or too little, of a good thing? You podcast pals engage in a triumphant discussion.
  24. Mavis Staples: You Are Not Alone2010/09/14

    You Are Not Alone, the latest from gospel legend Mavis Staples, adds just the right amount of Now to a whole good lotta Then.
  25. Villagers: Becoming A Jackal2010/06/08

    Becoming A Jackal, the full-length debut from Villagers, is lyrically rich, thematically brilliant and musically delightful. Don't miss it -- or this equally rich, brilliant and delightful podcast about the record.
  26. Band of Horses: Infinite Arms2010/06/01

    Infinite Arms, the follow-up to 2007's Cease To Begin, features Ben Bridwell's latest lineup as Band Of Horses. We like it, on the whole, but that doesn't stop us from picking some nits. We also welcome our colleague Jenna Carlesso to the podcast fold.
  27. The National: High Violet2010/05/24

    High Violet, the latest from The National, is getting crazy buzz, but how does it stack up to 2007's Boxer? And, regardless of that, is it worth listening to? We tell you!
  28. Das Racist: Shut Up, Dude. Whut?2010/04/29

    Brooklyn duo Das Racist has released a mixtape called Shut Up, Dude. Dudes, it's awesome. It takes rap to a very smart place with wicked rhymes and devastating -- but wry and entertaining -- social commentary. What's not to love? Well, it's Regine's last podcast. That's not to love.
  29. MGMT: Congratulations, You've Made A Lousy Record2010/04/23

    Congratulations, the latest from hipster-darlings MGMT, is a record that deserves nothing of the sort, according to at least two of us.
  30. Ted Leo And The Pharmacists: Brutalist Bricks2010/04/19

    The latest from Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, The Brutalist Bricks, definitely qualifies as ass-kicking rock-and-roll. But how does it stack up to the band's previous efforts?
  31. Frightened Rabbit: Yet Another Superb Record. Thanks, 2010!2010/04/06

    The Winter Of Mixed Drinks, the latest record from Scottish band Frightened Rabbit, is one of the best records we've heard this year. Heck, it's one of the best records we've heard in a very long time.
  32. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: Punk blues at its best, whatever that is2010/03/30

    The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, led by the former Pussy Galore frontman, hit New York City in 1990. To celebrate its first 10 years, the Explosion has released a greatest hits record titled Dirty Shirt Rock and Roll. It's awesome sexy, or it's just terrible noise masquerading as art rock. We discuss -- and we might even use some totally appropriate dirty words.
  33. Norah Jones: S'Norah No More2010/03/15

    Norah Jones' latest record, The Fall, released in -- uh, the fall, shows her development since 2002's knockout Come Away With Me. But how do they compare? Can they compare?
  34. Joanna Newsom: A Whole Lot Of Newsom2010/03/08

    Joanna Newsom has blessed us with three records' worth of ... well, listen to the podcast and hear our take on exactly what these 18 songs are.
  35. Shearwater: Most Epic Album Ever?2010/02/23

    The Golden Archipelago, the latest record from Austin band Shearwater, is an epic trip through islands of the earth and of the mind. The drums pound, the voices soar, the music crescendos and we swoon.
  36. Charlotte Gainsbourg: Not bad for a Beck record2010/02/19

    IRM is a record from French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg. Or is it a Beck record sung by a French actress? In any event, is it worth a listen? At least one of us thinks so.
  37. Beach House: Teen Dream2010/02/08

    Teen Dream, the third album from Baltimore dream-pop duo Beach House, is going to be one of the best albums of the year. Can we say that in February? Oh yes.
  38. Vampire Weekend: Contra2010/02/01

    Vampire Weekend's first record was all that. Is their second record all that too, or is it all this?
  39. Rihanna: Good Girl Or Bad?2010/01/26
    Her November album "Rated R" was one of the most anticipated releases in the waning months of 2009, but did Rihanna's latest live up to the hype?

    One of us thinks yes, one is more lukewarm and one didn't really care. But which is which?
  40. Lady Gaga: Huge.2010/01/15

    Lady Gaga is huge and tremendous, and she proves it with Fame Monster. We are, to varying degrees, in awe.
  41. Joe Pernice: A record, and a book!2009/10/04
    It Feels So Good When I Stop is both a book and a record by Joe Pernice, but you don't have to dig one to get the other. They're both terrific.
  42. Amanda Blank -- We love you too!2009/09/20
    Amanda Blank's latest, I Love You, pretty well summarizes how we feel about HER. How about that! And only some of us were drinking.
  43. Dirty Projectors: A new direction in pop music?2009/07/19
    Bitte Orca, the latest from DaveLongstreth's Dirty Projectors project, is a remarkable effort -- in no small part for its dense arrangements, or its sparse arrangements, depending on your point of view. WNPR's Anthony Fantano joins us for a bacchanal of musical geekery.
  44. Black Eyed Peas: (We Wish It Were) The E.N.D.2009/07/06
    The latest offering from the Black Eyed Peas has us on the same derisive and page. What a piece of junk.
  45. Goodbye, Michael Jackson2009/06/28
    Michael Jackson is dead -- what has he left behind? Your SoundCheck pals have a rather animated discussion.
  46. Richard Swift: The Atlantic Oceam2009/06/22
    Richard Swift's latest record is called The Atlantic Ocean. That's about what separates our opinions of it.
  47. Sonic Youth: Eternal Art Rock2009/06/12
    Sonic Youth has returned to an independent label for its latest record, The Eternal. But is it a return to the band's roots?
  48. Green Day2009/05/26
    Green Day's latest, 21st Century Breakdown, begs the question: Is Green Day still punk?
  49. Beirut / Realpeople2009/04/03
    Zach Condon is a man of many musical methods. His latest project(s) is (are) a double-EP comprising Beirut's March of the Zapotec and Realpeople's Holland. If you think that's confusing, wait until you hear the music.
  50. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart2009/03/12
    There has been a lot of buzz surrounding The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Their self-titled album might inspire games of "spot the influence," but we agree that the buzz is well-earned.
  51. Franz Ferdinand: Tonight, or the 1970s, or the '80s, or the '60's ...2009/02/12
    Franz Ferdinand is back with a strong follow up to their first two albums, but how does this one stack up? We decide, in a PG-13 kind of way.
  52. Bruce Springsteen: Mortal, or Bob Dylan?2009/02/05
    We join Rolling Stone, Barack Obama and the rest of the free world in heaping praise upon Bruce Springsteen's latest, "Working On A Dream."
    But we do it in our own special way.
  53. Kanye West: 808s and 1959s2009/01/15
    Kanye West's latest, 808s and Heartbreak, has been hailed as one of the best albums of the year. We politely agree with each other until SOMEONE compares it to Kind Of Blue. Oh no you dint!
  54. Britney Spears, in under a minute2009/01/06
    The most recent comeback album from Britney Spears would probably take, what, 45 minutes or something to listen to all the way through. We do it for you in less than a minute.
  55. Ryan Adams: Cardinology2008/11/25
    Cardinology is the latest from Ryan Adams, a prolific and sometimes-troubled troubador. He gets three thumbs-up from us.
  56. The Cool Kids: Bake Sale2008/11/18
    The latest offering from the duo The Cool Kids creates quite a stir in the Soundcheck studio and incites actual physical violence among your hosts. Guess who wins!
  57. A Conversation With Winterpills2008/10/23
    Central Chambers, the third album from Northampton, Mass.-based band Winterpills, is eloquent, charming and complex. So are Philip Price and Flora Reed, two members of the band who sat down with us in a Northampton cafe this week to talk about the record.
  58. Girl Talk: Feed The Animals2008/10/19
    Is "Feed The Animals" from Girl Talk a moment of musical genius or pure shameless theft? We agree, more or less.
  59. Metallica: Death Magnetic2008/10/07
    Death Magnetic marks a return to form for Metallica -- but does that make anyone want to listen to it? We say: Yes!
  60. Miley Cyrus: Breakout -- Marketing, or music?2008/09/25
    Is "Breakout," the new record from Miley Cyrus, a decent collection of music, or is it just a piece of Disney? We have an animated discussion.
  61. Calexico: Carried To Dust2008/09/09
    The latest from Calexico -- best roadtrip album ever, or death by cactus? You decide.
  62. The Hold Steady: Stay Positive2008/07/10
    Stay Positive? Hard to do anything but after listening to The Hold Steady's awesome new record.
  63. N*E*R*D: Seeing Sounds2008/06/24
    Seeing Sounds, the latest from N*E*R*D, elicits -- shall we say -- differing opinions from the wags at SoundCheck.
  64. Nine Inch Nails: Free!2008/06/15
    Trent Reznor, creative force behind Nine Inch Nails, has had a lot of creative freedom lately with his liberation from any major record label. So he's spent a lot of time composing at his computer and distributing the product -- free, online. The results? We discuss.
  65. Mates Of State: Re-Arrange Us2008/05/15
    Mates Of State -- the husband-and-wife duo of Jason Hammel and Kori Gardner -- sit down with us and talk about the new record and how it came together. That's infant daughter June on back-up hiccups.
  66. The Roots: Rising Down2008/05/06
    The Roots have released "Rising Down," the follow-up to 2006's "Game Theory." Are they still the most socially conscious hip-hop group on earth? Listen up.
  67. Nick Lowe: The Jesus of Cool at a Certain Age2008/04/29
    From his 1978 album Jesus Of Cool to last year's At My Age, Nick Lowe has had a long and varied career. That's a good thing.
  68. The Black Keys: Attack And Release2008/04/15
    A new sound and new instruments from The Black Keys -- but does it measure up?
  69. REM: Accelerate2008/04/08
    Accelerate marks the long-awaited return from seminal alt-rockers R.E.M. But is it as good as 1987's Document? Listen up and find out.
  70. Jazz: Past, Present and Future2008/03/04
    Info (Show/Hide)
  71. Saint Bernadette2008/02/25
    Info (Show/Hide)
  72. The Magnetic Fields - Distortion2008/02/12
    Distortion is the latest from The Magnetic Fields, and it's quite a departure from the band's 2004 album, "i".
    We argue entertainingly about the relative merits.
  73. "Stoner" Rock2008/02/04
    Is "stoner" rock making a comeback? Or has it never left? Bands like Black Mountain and Dead Meadow carry the banner with new records.
  74. Gogol Bordello: Super Taranta!2007/08/01
    Super Taranta! is the latest from Gogol Bordello.
  75. John Vanderslice: Emerald City2007/07/26
    Emerald City is the sixth studio album from John Vanderslice.
    We love it.
  76. Spoon: Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga2007/07/18
    Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga is Spoon's sixth album.
  77. The White Stripes: Icky Thump2007/07/12
    Icky Thump is the latest album from The White Stripes.
  78. The Beastie Boys: The Mix-Up2007/06/27
    The Mix-Up, the new album from The Beastie Boys, is an all-instrumental funk fest.
  79. The Summer of Love2007/06/20
    It's been 40 years since the Beatles released Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, and judging by the renewed adulation it's received in recent weeks, you'd think it was the only important record released during the Summer of Love.
    We beg to differ.
  80. The National2007/06/13
    "Boxer" is the fourth album from The National.
  81. Feist2007/06/07
    The Reminder is the third solo album from Canadian singer Feist.
  82. Elliott Smith2007/05/24
    New Moon is a collection of 24 tracks that Elliott Smith recorded between 1994 and 1997.
  83. Björk2007/05/17
    Björk's sixth studio album, Volta, was released May 8.
  84. Wilco2007/05/10
    "Sky Blue Sky" is the latest album from Wilco, out May 15.
  85. Dinosaur Jr.2007/05/03
    Dinosaur Jr.'s latest album, "Beyond," was released April 30.
  86. The Last Town Chorus2007/04/27
    Wire Waltz, by The Last Town Chorus, was released March 6.
  87. Fountains Of Wayne2007/04/19
    Traffic And Weather was released April 3, 2007.
  88. The Gaskets2007/04/12
    The Gaskets, a two-man electro-pop band, performed at SXSW and recently in Hartford, Conn.
  89. Kings of Leon2007/03/30
    The third album from Kings of Leon, "Because Of The Times," is set to be released April 3.
  90. LCD Soundsystem2007/03/21
    Sound Of Silver is the second full-length CD from LCD Soundsystem, the brainchild of techno-punk James Murphy.
  91. Modest Mouse2007/03/20
    Modest Mouse's new album "We Were Dead Before The Ship Even Sank" was released on March 20, 2007.
  92. The Arcade Fire2007/03/08
    The Arcade Fire's second album, Neon Bible, was released earlier this month.
  93. Son Volt2007/03/07
    Son Volt's new album The Search - Advanced was released March 6.
Soundcheck Podcast
The new music podcast from your friends at The Hartford Courant

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