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For the soundtrack for Todd Haynes' strange Bob Dylan biopic, the producers have assembled a very interesting cast of important, talented, mostly left-of-the-dial performers. The results are - well - strange but satisfying overall.

He's indie rock's answer to Tom Petty... he keeps the loose, Stones-y vibe alive... he's the one and only Chuck Prophet, and he's just released another collection of cool tunes called Soap & Water.

Artist To Watch November 2007, indie folk-rock starlet Ingrid Michaelson may be compared to artists Fiona Apple and Regina Spektor, but she has definitely staked out her own territory in the music industry.

Ya wanna know what "magic" is? It's what happens to his fans every time Bruce Springsteen releases a new album. From the initial response to this new album - Magic - from these aforementioned fans (yeah, I'm one, too...), it sounds like everybody's satisfied.

After a couple of very fine Neil Young concert releases, we now have a brand new album from the ageless master. Chrome Dreams II represents a return to from, at least from one of the Neil Young's we've been presented with over the years.

Perhaps only the fantasy duo of King Kong and Bambi could be a more bizarre pairing than Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Yet on Raising Sand, their haunting and brilliant collaboration, the Led Zeppelin screamer and Nashville's most hypnotic song whisperer seem made for each other. This, however, is not the howling Plant of "Whole Lotta Love," but a far more precise and softer singer than even the one who emerged with Dreamland (2002).

The brand new Steve Earle album - Washington Square Serenade - is all about New York City. It's also about an established artist combining all of his considerable attributes to create a very un-ironic and enjoyable disc. It's the best thing Earle's done since - oh - I'd say I'm Alright over 10 years ago.

For her new album, Joni Mitchell has chosen to look back upon one of her most interesting musical periods, in my opinion. Shine reminds me a lot of her mid-70's albums like Hejira or Don Juan's Reckless Daughter. Time will tell how well this stands up to her classic material, but it sounds very good so far.

Having already seen these guys live a couple of times, I can attest to the fact that Sea Wolf is a tremendous live act (go see them if you get a chance - you will not be disappointed). On their debut album Leaves In The River, many of the same attributes that make them so interesting live (tension, interesting instrumentation, intensity, etc.) make this a very, very good debut album.

It wasn't easy to successfully follow-up her debut album Eye To The Telescope, but Scottish singer/songwriter K.T. Tunstall has done a pretty fair job on Drastic Fantastic. Her strength on this album - as it was on the debut - is her ability to write engaging pop songs that don't venture too far into the pop song jungle. You don't have to be ashamed to say that you dig K.T. Tunstall.

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