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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014
These two films by Robert Z. Leonard are showcases for June Allyson, who uses her youthful visage to her strategic advantage.

Now available on demand from Warner Archive are two minor entertainments directed by the old and reliable Robert Z. Leonard, both of which showcase June Allyson. A short, pert, perky blonde with a smoky voice, Allyson accents her ability to pass as a teenager.


The Secret Heart follows Hollywood’s postwar vogue for pat Freudian psychology. In a carefully worked out script with a flashback for the complicated backstory, we learn that Lee Adams (Claudette Colbert) is a hardworking real estate agent in New York because she’s paying off debts incurred by her late husband (Richard Derr), a frustrated pianist who embezzled bank funds and killed himself while she was having a good time with his friend Chris (Walter Pidgeon). If that’s not enough, the real focus of the drama is Lee’s moody, 17-year-old stepdaughter Penny (Allyson, almost 30 in real life), who keeps her father’s spirit alive by playing piano and falling for Chris as a substitute daddy, without realizing he’s got his eye on her stepmama.


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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014
The natural and warm vocal interplay of the husband/wife duo Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou is captured tenderly in the duo's latest music video, "For a Minute There".

With a vocal harmony that hearkens back to the days of ‘70s folk and California rock (think Fleetwood Mac and Linda Rondstadt), the husband/wife duo Trevor Moss and Hannah-Lou craft tender and melodious tunes. Having spent the summer of 2014 touring with Tori Amos, the duo is already starting to make a name for itself in a big way following the release of its most recent LP, La ferme de fontenaille. One of the singles off that record, “For a Minute There”, now has a video, which you can watch below.


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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014
The neo-soul of the Maytags' latest number, "Cassius", is an inviting sample of what's to come on the group's forthcoming EP, Nova.

Des Moines, Iowa is no soul music capital by any stretch of the imagination. However, that hasn’t stopped the Des Moines-based band the Maytags from adopting the genre and making it their own. This band’s take on it is less ostentatious than many of soul’s classic records, and it has a decidedly contemporary feel, in contrast to groups such as St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Nevertheless, this is warm, inviting neo-soul that incorporates gentler touches of folk music to contrast with the horn arrangements. “Cassius”, a track off of the Maytags’ forthcoming EP Nova, is one such track, striking a balance between relaxed vocal delivery and at times ebullient musical arrangements.


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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014
The latest tune by the Philadelphia rock outfit Split/Red, "Road to Aguilares (for Rutilio Grande)", is dedicated to El Salvadorian liberation theologian Rutilio Grande.

Just last week, the Philadelphia rock group Split/Red dropped its newest LP, Serious Heft. The title is no joke; full to the brim with heavy guitar riffs and an eccentric songwriting approach not unlike the Mars Volta, the album grabs the listener by the throat and doesn’t let go.


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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014
Detroit duo TART release first music video for the darkly danceable, riff-laden "Lobbyist".

Mixing the grime with the glam is the stock and trade of Detroit duo TART. That paradigm is made clear in their first video, for the tune “Lobbyist” off their debut EP, Knots.


Pulling from Blondie-style New Wave and the Kills’ brand of minimalistic blues-punk, TART casts a bewitching brew of sounds. Both visually and audibly, Zee Bricker vamps it up in a range of vocal tones while guitarist Adam Michael Lee Padden goes wild with the riffing.


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