Be better to your ears

Sheer Mag, live in Monterrey, MX on 3/17/16 — Photo by Eric Romero

New Releases

Out of the handful of recent releases that I’ve been digging, namely Japanese Breakfast’s Soft Sounds From Another Planet and Waxahatchee’s Out in the Storm, my favorite is Sheer Mag’s full-length debut Need To Feel Your Love. While there’s nothing quite as immediately explosive as some tracks across their first three EPs, Sheer Mag have crafted an album that works exquisitely as a whole. Subject matter oscillates between active resistance against oppression and love, while balancing Sheer Mag’s Thin Lizzy-meets-punk rock formula with a few excursions in disco territory. Plus, everything is still catchy as hell. …


A monthly guide to what you should be listening to

Photo by John Cunniff (CC BY 2.0)

Well, I finally made the big move to Brooklyn after ten years of living in Minneapolis. I’m going to miss a lot about Minneapolis and all the friends I made there, but I’m excited to be in a place with less chance of a May Day snow. I’m still recovering from the move, but there are a few great albums I’ve been listening to recently that deserve mention.

New Releases

Two Inch Astronaut and Chastity Belt are some of my current favorites and both bands released new albums on June 2. Two Inch Astronaut taps into the best kind of mid-90s indie…


A brief brief

Ver by Melchior Hamers (etching after a design by Cornelis de Wael); from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

If you don’t like reading, this is the month for you! I’m getting ready for a week-long trip to Kansas City followed by an imminent move to New York City. [Editor’s note: in regard to the latter, about fucking time.— DAW]

So, in lieu of my usual monthly roundup, for May I’m going with a playlist, still carefully curated, but minus the explanations and backstory. We’ve got some new and old, classic and obscure, local and global, long and short, all loosely tied together with tracks from the consistently spectacular Music From Memory label. Oh, and if you haven’t bought the new Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda album from Luaka Bop yet, get on that.

Garrett Karrberg is based in Minneapolis.


Notable music both new and old

Pile, A Hairshirt of Purpose

All My Favorite Bands Have New Albums

I’ve been overwhelmed with exciting new releases and discoveries lately and everything I spent time with in April was top-notch. Not even halfway through 2017 and it is shaping up to be an exceptionally good year for music. I’ve been spending most of my time with new albums from three of my all-time favorite bands, all of which I’ve previewed in my monthly roundups.

I already told you to listen to “Dogs,” which might be Pile’s best song, and A Hairshirt of Purpose, out now on Exploding in Sound, might be their best album. There are definitely songs off You’re…


Getting weird in the West Texas desert

My music listening for March was all about the Marfa Myths festival, so I want use my monthly roundup space to talk about what makes attending this event so great. The festival, now a few years old, was held March 9 to 12 in Marfa, Texas , a town whose fame far outstrips its size: 1,900 people and one stoplight — and really, the blinking red light is a glorified four-way stop sign. But largely due to the influence of Donald Judd, the town has also become a popular destination for artists and other creative, adventurous types, many of whom…


Your monthly music essentials

Pile and The New Year

I only discovered the greatness of both Pile and Bedhead in 2015, but I listened to both bands more than anything else that year and they are now two of my favorites. Pile is releasing their new album A Hairshirt of Purpose on March 31 and have shared two songs so far — “Texas” and “Dogs.” “Texas” is great, but “Dogs” is exceptional. The track builds upon Pile’s usual sound by incorporating strings and a carefully deployed restraint. As with many Pile songs, the music threatens to explode at numerous points, but here the band repeatedly pulls back to maintain…


Your monthly guide to what you should be listening to

Priests, live at Berserktown 2015 — Photo by Eric Romero

First off, welcome to the inaugural installment of The Poleax Monthly Music Roundup. I’m Garrett, I live in Minneapolis, and I work at the Electric Fetus record store. I’m on indefinite leave for a History PhD program at U of M. Now I write about music. At this site, I’ll be doing, among other things, this monthly recap of notable new (and old) music each month.

Mount Eerie — ”Death Is Real”

Okay, so now that we know each other, I’ve decided to start with perhaps the saddest song I’ve ever heard. Phil Elverum is one of my favorite musicians. He records as Mount Eerie and…

Garrett Karrberg

PhD dropout who now works in a record store and sometimes writes about music.

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