ALARM's 51 Favorite Albums of 2013

ALARM’s 51 Favorite Albums of 2013

Saving the best for last, we’ve chosen our 51 favorite albums of 2013, pulled from the acclaimed and the unsung — some of the best as well as most boundary-pushing releases from rock and beyond.

ALARM's 50 Favorite Songs of 2012

ALARM’s 50 (+5) Favorite Songs of 2012

Last month ALARM presented its 50 favorite albums of 2012, an eclectic, rock-heavy selection of discs that were in steady rotation in our downtown-Chicago premises. Now, to give some love to tunes that were left out, we have our 50 (+5) favorite songs of last year — singles, B-sides, EP standouts, soundtrack cuts, and more.

ALARM's 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

ALARM’s 50 Favorite Albums of 2012

Another year, another torrential downpour of albums across our desks. As always, we encountered way too much amazing music, from Meshuggah to The Mars Volta, Converge, Killer Mike, P.O.S, and many more.

Janel & Anthony

Review: Janel & Anthony’s Where is Home

Janel & Anthony: Where is Home

Janel & Anthony: Where is Home (Cuneiform, 5/22/12)

“Big Sur”

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A dynamic DC duo versed in the East, the West, and the rest, Janel & Anthony is cellist Janel Leppin and guitarist Anthony Pirog. Together, they’ve studied and performed everything from surf rock to jazz, modern classical, and Hindustani ragas, and those assorted influences mesh into one beautiful, indecipherable whole on Where is Home, their second full-length album.


Guest Spot: Gutbucket explains how to argue about food

GutbucketGutbucket: Flock (Cuneiform, 2/22/11)

Gutbucket: “4 9 8”

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Brooklyn-based jazz-rock quartet Gutbucket released its fifth album, Flock, in February on Cuneiform. The band takes its name from the term “gutbucket,” which means to play jazz in a particularly exuberant or expressive style, and it claims that its unconventional style has been “injecting a shot of glorious spazmitude into the minimalist cool of the New York downtown scene” for the past 10 years.

Gutbucket’s off-the-wall music is the result of its members’ distinct contributions and, inevitably, artistic disagreements and compromises. When it comes to food, Gutbucket engages in a similar, hotly contested discourse. So whet your appetite and embrace the taste-bud-inspired tongue lashings with Gutbucket’s culinary treatise, “How to Argue About Food.”

How to Argue About Food
by Gutbucket

Most bands break up. It’s a fact. Rock bands do this quite a bit, and it’s often not very friendly. Jazz bands might be a bit more civil about it, or perhaps not. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been in a band before, so this is not unfamiliar terrain.

Take three or more humans engaged in a creative endeavor, and ideas, visions, aesthetics, and more will clash. So how do you handle this?

Well, Gutbucket has the answer.

Forget about consensus. Don’t pretend you will agree. Embrace the friction, disagreement, discomfort, and argumentative spirit.

But please have other outlets and arenas besides your music in which to behave this way.

That’s why Gutbucket chooses to argue, debate, dissect, and regularly disagree about food. Yes, food. We are a band of music nerds who spend most of our time talking about food instead of music.

100 Unheralded Albums from 2010

Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases, leaving no genre unexplored in our list of this year’s overlooked gems.