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Latest Blog Posts

by Jonathan Frahm

19 Sep 2017

Derek Hoke's new  song "Destination Unknown" is soothing, pastoral Americana reflecting an adventurous night's drive.

Photo: Scott Simontacchi

For the last seven years, Derek Hoke has found himself as the host of $2 Tuesdays at the 5 Spot in Nashville. There, he’s hosted the likes of artists like Shovels & Rope, Nikki Lane, Margo Price, and many others.

A consummate singer-songwriter in his own right, Hoke has been putting out albums since 2009. It wasn’t until more recently that his blend of roots stylings began to bubble towards the top alongside his contemporaries.

by Sarah Zupko

19 Sep 2017

Brooklyn soul singer  Bette Smith is a major new voice in soul music and her single "I Found Love" burns the house down with its incendiary heat.

Photo: Shervin Lainez

Brooklyn’s Bette Smith possesses a one of a kind voice, deeply drenched in hot soul of the nearly incendiary Southern type. That voice could rock the biggest of stages and move mountains if it had to. Smith has a bit of an old-school vibe, but her music is thoroughly contemporary because we all know that great soul music is timeless and always relevant.

by Chelsea Phillips-Carr

19 Sep 2017

The Shape  of Water comes off as uninformed political correctness, which is more detrimental to its cause than it is progressive.

Doug Jones and Sally Hawkins (IMDB)

Lacking the sense of fun and creative character design that made his past films somewhat bearable, Guillermo del Toro’s latest feature, The Shape of Water (viewed at Toronto International Film Festival 2017) has almost nothing within it of interest. Opening with a voice-over describing “the princess without voice”, the film sets itself up in the realm of the fairytale. But rather than engaging with the genre in a meaningful way, del Toro’s film is boring, broad, and unoriginal, without any magic or charm.

by Evan Sawdey

19 Sep 2017

For their ninth  studio album, acclaimed Malian duo Amadou & Miriam integrate synths into their sound while displaying an overt love of Pink Floyd.

Photo: Hassan Hajjaj

For their ninth full-length album, the Malian duo of Amadou and Miriam have a trick up their sleeve.

Not a duo that settles for a routine (having brought on Manu Chao for their 2005 breakthrough Dimanche À Bamako and worked with a great deal of Western artists like TV On the Radio and Santigold on their 2012 effort Folila), some fans were wondering what the famed married couple were looking to transform their blues-meets-African-rock sound that has so become their signature over the years.

by Jonathan Frahm

19 Sep 2017

Blazing Americana inspired  by a lust for adventure and an escape from the usual routine.

The Sound of Ghosts was initially comprised of spouses James and Anna Orbison alongside guitarist Ernesto Rivas. Since their founding in 2014, the LA-based folk-rockers have expanded their sound considerably with the contributions of drummer Jon Sarna and multi-instrumentalist Phoebe Silva.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

TIFF 2017: 'The Shape of Water'

// Notes from the Road

"The Shape of Water comes off as uninformed political correctness, which is more detrimental to its cause than it is progressive.

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