The all-too-easy to make generalization about the state of the Brooklyn music scene in 2015 is that it’s comprised of a bunch of white guy-led indie bands all trying to out-falsetto Thom Yorke. However, like any music scene, such sweeping generalizations don’t fully encompass the diversity of musical exploration that one can find if he really digs beneath the surface. Enter: Brooklyn Gypsies.
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Having garnered props from BBC’s Gary Crowley, Oasis’ Liam Gallagher, and the Jesus and Mary Chain (who they have supported in live gigs), Wakefield, UK’s the Incredible Magpie Band have already made a distinct impression prior to the release of their debut LP, Introducing, which is out next week. These chaps sound like they just rolled out of a time capsule buried in the ‘60s, with the sounds and tropes of the UK pop scene of the era well imbued. Yet the band doesn’t merely go for the default Beatlemania poses; it also injects a modern indie sensibility into the proceedings, resulting in a record that has its feet firmly planted both in its own time and the past.
Back in March, Arcade Fire member Will Butler dropped his debut solo LP, Policy. While that record is a clear inheritor of the omnivorous musical predilections of those indie giants, in his latest video Butler strips things down to a simple and cozy arrangement. This is because Butler is among the latests artists to take to London’s Black Cab Sessions, wherein an artist or band plays a song in the back of a London cab—while it is moving. Certainly not the most comfortable of environs for a musician trying to focus on playing a tune, but Butler makes it work with his performance of “Madonna”, also known as “Madonna Can’t Save Me Now”.
Scottish-Australian singer/songwriter Colin Hay is perhaps best known as a member of the Australian rock outfit Men at Work, or more recently as the dude who randomly appeared on Scrubs at any given moment. Most importantly, though, he’s an alive-and-thriving musician that just released his 12th solo record, Next Year People. Hay will soon begin touring the album in the US for a second time, following an almost entirely sold out initial run, this time joined by the Barenaked Ladies and the Violent Femmes. (For tour dates and more, visit his official website.)
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar was made for IMAX and 3D, so watching it flat on a regular TV is like watching a regular movie on your laptop. Yet it’s still eye-poppingly beautiful even in a less impressive format.
The 40-minute nature documentary profiles several species of the odd and diverse primates known as lemurs, who are found only on the large island of Madagascar after going extinct in the rest of Africa somewhere around 60 million years ago. Although narrator Morgan Freeman, Dr. Patricia Wright, and other primatologists discuss how cute and adorable the furry critters are, nobody points out that they’re also strange and spooky, so let it be said here.