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by Matt Cibula

26 Mar 2010

1.0 Mention that I was up late when I came up with these ideas, kind of a disclaimer. (“Dreamin’ when I wrote this / So sue me if it goes astray,” etc.)

1.1 Note that I was listening to Norah Jones and had an epiphany about her and someone else.

2.0 Note general critical intransigence about Norah Jones, how they started out worshiping her genre-blend of pop jazz country soul, then started to deride her as too soft too slow too unfocused.

2.1 For my money her best work was third album Not Too Late as she flashed a sense of humor, got political, and loosened up a bit.

2.2 But interesting that not much buzz attended last year’s The Fall, mostly just mentioned and ignored.

2.3 Maybe because of its weirdo lead single “Chasing Pirates”; not exactly “Don’t Know Why”; was it soft rock? was it her big pop move?

2.4 Also hard to get hold of. Song about insomnia, confusion, loss of control. Norah Jones not in control?

by Thomas Hauner

26 Mar 2010

Regina Carter played the role of reverent interpreter, anthropologist and musical diplomat Tuesday night at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the first night of a residency in support of her forthcoming album, Reverse Thread.  The album, a new collection of African folk songs arranged by and reinterpreted for her new ensemble (also called Reverse Thread), is another excursion into new sonic frontiers, providing “the opportunity to explore and celebrate a tiny portion of music that moved me”, Carter said.  Enabled by a MacArthur fellowship to follow her muse, Carter’s Reverse Thread resonates with her confident yet lyrical tone, albeit in the refreshingly new context of the African diaspora.

by Jennifer Cooke

26 Mar 2010

The only thing more buzz-generating for an artist than having a video directed by Johnny Depp is to have that video banned. Sheffield workhorses Babybird (of “You’re Gorgeous” fame) have the singular good fortune of Depp’s friendship, which led to his playing guitar on the single “Unloveable”, and then directing the video. It’s depiction of frontman Stephen Jones’ hanging has met with some controversy, which can only benefit Babybird. And since “Unloveable” is a great song and “You’re Gorgeous” came out way back in 1996, let’s hope so.

by Alex Suskind

26 Mar 2010

Marina and the Diamonds
The Family Jewels
(Chop Shop/679)
Releasing: 22 February (UK) / 25 May (US)

On Marina Diamandis’ MySpace, she asks herself a simple yet penetrating question, one any young artist who is looking to build a fan base without having to submit to the confines of the tabloid mainstream might ask themselves: “Can you be within popular culture without becoming it?”

The query could be considered rhetorical. However, after close inspection of Diamandis’ lyrics, you slowly begin to think otherwise. (Case in point: on her song “Hollywood” she boasts “I’m obsessed with the mess that’s America”.) Marina Diamandis, better known as Marina and the Diamonds (she is a solo act; the Diamonds is a reference to her fans), is a burgeoning singer-songwriter of Greek-Welsh descent who has already made a big splash on the UK pop music scene. Her first studio album, The Family Jewels, debuted at number five on the Britain charts back in February. The record will see its US release on May 25.

SONG LIST
01 Are You Satisfied?
02 Shampain
03 I Am Not a Robot
04 Girls
05 Mowgli’s Road
06 Obsessions
07 Hollywood
08 The Outsider
09 Hermit the Frog
10 Oh No! 
11 Rootless
12 Numb
13 Guilty
14 The Family Jewels (iTunes Bonus Track)

by Sarah Zupko

26 Mar 2010

And you thought trees were just… trees. Apparently they can also be musical instruments, at least when some human is banging on them with various implements. Diego Stocco creates an electronic sounding tune from loops he generates by tapping, flicking and, yes, bowing certain bits of a little bonsai tree. It’s actually rather good.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

How It Slips Away: 'The Breaking Point' Crosses Hemingway With Noir

// Short Ends and Leader

"Whether we've seen or read the story before, we ache for these sympathetic, floundering people presented to us gravely and without cynicism, even when cynical themselves.

READ the article