Psychedelic rock is like the aurora borealis of popular music. It dazzles then disappears, flares then flickers out. The genre seems to lie latent just long enough so that each wave can astonish anew, offering new generations a conduit to another place in time.
Band of Horses
"Acoustic at the Ryman"
The best part of Band of Horses' first concert album is the feeling that you're listening to these talented musicians perform their heartfelt tunes within the walls of your own home -- but with much better acoustics.
The thing about Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott is that each project comes with the feeling that you're joining a show already in progress. That's true of their latest studio release, "Memories and Moments," which comes a full decade after their first.
"Five Spanish Songs"
In 2011, Dan Bejar (voice and vision behind Destoyer) announced he was done with rock 'n' roll. In September of this year, he said he was done with the English language. That didn't leave a lot of directions for his music.
When I think of my favorite Arcade Fire songs, with "Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)" and "Rebellion (Lies)" sitting at the top of the list, I find a common thread links them: compared to other Arcade Fire songs, they're the more danceable, more full cuts. I'm a sucker for synths, and Arcade Fire knows how to use them.
"The Electric Lady" and Janelle Monae's debut full-length before it, "The ArchAndroid," take place in a distant, dystopian world where a totalitarian regime called "The Great Divide" has forced humans to wear cages on their heads and uses time travel to suppress freedom and love.