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Friday, Mar 27, 2015
British rock 'n' roller Scarlette stars in a flashy music video for her tune "6ft Woman", which runs through a stylish history of cinematic iconography.

Having already garnered attention in her native UK with placement on two BBC Radio 2 playlists for her singles “Crash & Burn” and “Elated”, Scarlette recently made a video—which you can watch exclusively below—of her tune “6ft Woman”, a loving tribute to both rock music and cinematic iconography. Essentially, the video is a snazzy collection of opening credit scenes, with all of the cool fonts that one can see on classic film posters.


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Friday, Mar 27, 2015
The dreamy and evocative piano ballad "Train Song" comes from Lady Lazarus' recently dropped LP, Miracles.

Not long after she finished recording Miracles, her third LP as Lady Lazarus, Melissa Ann Sweat moved to Joshua Tree, located in the California High Desert. The area’s musical legacy is well-documented; musicians such as Gram Parsons took quite a liking to the desert’s dry and seemingly mystical environs. For Sweat, the move to Joshua Tree facilitated the enhancing of her already well-established artistic profile. As tunes like the lovely “Train Song” evince, Lady Lazarus’ shift from comparatively lo-fi sounds to more potent balladry, due in part to trading out electronic keyboards for a baby grand piano and the addition of strings, French horn, and flute, has proven a boon to her songwriting process.


You can exclusively watch the “Train Song” video below, which adds to the song’s tender piano chords with visuals of Sweat and her partner holding each other close in the desert.


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Friday, Mar 27, 2015
Björk's New York City residency, about seven shows over two months plus a retrospective at MoMA, is a dream come true for fans and, fortunately at least, her live show delivers.

Björk, along with collaborator Arca, is currently nearing the end of a series of shows in New York City in support of her latest album, Vulnicura. After a couple of nights at Carnegie Hall and a couple at the new Brooklyn venue King’s Theater, Björk will wrap up the mini-residency at NY City Center (two performances remain). So far, every night has featured almost the entirety of Björk’s latest album Vulnicura, a breakup record, with the addition of the Alarm Will Sound string ensemble and Manu Delago on percussion. Although I had never seen Björk before, I know she’s a cutting edge artist on many levels—visually, fashionably, sonically. So it was no surprise to see some of her fans have a unique fashion sense of their own. Of course, their attire couldn’t be topped by Björk’s own—she had donned a unique spiky headdress from designer Maiko Takeda for the first half of her performance.


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Friday, Mar 27, 2015
The Chicago prog jam outfit Umphrey's McGee were given 12 hours in the legendary Abbey Road studios. The funky and groovy "Bad Friday" is one of the results of that fruitful time in the studio.

At the start of April, the Chicago progressive rock band Umphrey’s McGee will release The London Session. Normally, when session albums are released, their title is in the plural: The Abbey Road Sessions, for instance. However, in Umphrey’s McGee’s case, the singular case is quite deliberate. These reputable prog-jammers had but 12 hours in Abbey Road, meaning that they had to make the absolute most out of a limited timeframe. Save for the vocal tracks, which had to wait until the band’s return to the states (“They are exceptional and efficient, but they are merely mortal after all,” says the album’s press release), these guys recorded a whole LP’s worth of music in those 12 hours. The London Session marks the ninth Umphrey’s McGee studio outing, and it finds these nimble jam-ready musicians playing as sharply as they’ve ever been.


Below you can stream “Bad Friday”, the first song to be released from The London Session.


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Friday, Mar 27, 2015
What's for tea, darling? Darling, I said, What's for tea? It's a 1967 pop-art masterpiece. You're going to choke on it, too. A pioneer in the art of the concept album is this week's Counterbalance.

Klinger: Over the last four-plus years, we’ve talked about the Who twice, back when we were taking on the Great List in numerical order—two albums that are highly iconic, yet markedly different both from one another and from the Who’s earliest work. And no matter what relationship I’ve had with the Who over the years (and I’m on record as being back and forth with the group to degrees that alarm even me), I will always be a champion of their pre-Tommy work. That’s especially true of The Who Sell Out, which is currently the 312th most acclaimed album of all time and one that I return to fairly regularly. Released in late 1967, The Who Sell Out is an ingenious concept album that came out at a time before concept albums were de rigeur for artistes of a certain temperament.


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