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Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015
Bobby Womack is one of the many artists Van Morrison selected to re-interpret his classic songs for his new duets album.

In the vein of Ray Charles’ classic collaborative album Genius Loves Company, Northern Ireland songwriter Van Morrison has teamed up with a host of musicians for his forthcoming album Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue. Unlike Charles, however, who took songs from the pop, jazz, and blues standard repertoire, Morrison selected singers that he felt would best offer new interpretations of his own songs. Those who stepped up to the plate include Michael Buble, Steve Winwood, Natalie Cole, Mark Knopfler, Taj Mahal, Joss Stone, and his daughter Shana Morrison.


The newest cut to be released from the duet sessions is Van Morrison and Bobby Womack’s take on “Some Peace of Mind”, taken from Morrison’s 1991 LP Hymns to the Silence.


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Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015
The final installment of PopMatters' six week series on the UK up-and-comers of the Rua concludes with an upbeat number about moving on and being confident in oneself, "I'm OK".

For the past six weeks, PopMatters has debuted video track-by-track breakdowns of the music of the Rua, an all-sibling trio comprised of 22-year old Roseanna Brown (voice and guitar), 24-year old Alanna Brown (piano and backing vocals) and 19-year old Jonathan Brown (violin, guitar, vocals and backing vocals). With their emotive and often epic brand of pop, the Rua have already made a splash in their native United Kingdom with their debut LP Essence. In just two short weeks, that record will make its way stateside.


In this final look behind the scenes of Essence, the trio explains a bit about the song “I’m OK”, an appropriately upbeat and forward-looking way to end this exclusive look at the music of Essence.


Tagged as: pop, rock, the rua
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Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015
As the silent era was ending, Hollywood turned out slick, predictable, pleasingly made entertainments punched out of perfect formulas. Two examples, The Cossacks and Why Be Good?, are newly available from Warner Archive.

The Cossacks is allegedly based on Leo Tolstoy’s novel, but Frances Marion’s adaptation is pure Hollywood. The Cossacks are described as “simple as children”, a society where the men go off to fight Turks and come home to carouse while women work the fields. The chief, called the Ataman (Ernest Torrence), is ashamed to have a “woman man” for a son. Lukashka (John Gilbert) lounges at home with his shirt open, helps his mother lift heavy burdens, and doesn’t bother going to war. It’s just a phase. When his manhood is humiliated sufficiently by the whole village, he proves himself in the latest skirmish by killing ten Turks and discovering blood isn’t so bad.


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Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015
Catchy guitar riffs and political acumen make up the new tune by the Denton, Texas outfit the Demigs, "Melamine".

The ‘90s indie vibe is strong with the Demigs, a rock group that hails from Denton, Texas. This vibe is quite apparent on the tune “Melamine”, a clean guitar-driven number off of their forthcoming double LP, the 20-song Welcome to Hard Times. With sonic corollaries that include ones atypical to the indie realm, namely the New Zealand-based “kiwi rock” of groups like the Clean and the 3-Ds, the Demigs have a distinctive sound that’s matched by their political savvy. In addition to the issues tackled by “Melamine” specifically (read more on that below), the quartet has also taken a stance against fracking in their native Texas.


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Wednesday, Mar 4, 2015
For a series perpetually on the verge of cancellation, it managed to carve out a special place in the television landscape.

There are some shows that come out fully formed right out of the gate. And then there are those that take a little time to find themselves. Parks and Recreation may have had a somewhat rocky first season, but when it found its voice in its second season, there was no stopping it from becoming the best comedy on television.


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