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by Joseph Kugelmass

5 Feb 2009

It turns out that you don’t have to throw out the old forms; you just have to inhabit them with passion. Here’s a guy (and, so far, one excellent guest poster) who’s just started a new music blog, and he’s doing it sort of the way you’d expect, with a best of 2008 and Nick Hornby style rhapsodies on single songs. The writing, though, just leaps off the page. It makes what you’re hearing sound weird and new again.

Here’s what he said about Deerhunter’s new album:

I can never seem to remember having listened to this album. I think it’s intended to be that way. The tracks blur together in memory, wrapped in a luscious, dream-like haze. The lyrics escape into faint echoes resounding around an absent center. There’s something hiding here, which refuses to stick in the net of the conscious mind. Microcastles is the residue of a trauma. No matter how vehemently Bradford Cox insists that nothing ever happened to him, every song vibrates under the sedimentary weight of an event, a faint pulse that never stops, that resounds with the constant tremor of Deerhunter’s guitars.

The rest is here.

by Sarah Zupko

5 Feb 2009

PopMattersMichael Frauenhofer raved about Bishop Allen’s last album The Broken String, saying it “plays like a greatest hits album, stacked deep with memorable highlights, corralling the gems from a year’s worth of monthly EPs into one 12-song disc.” We gave it a 9. So, expectations are high for the follow-up, Grrr…, releasing March 10th. Initial listens are promising, suggesting yet more infectious, hook-filled pop from these Brooklyn tunesmiths. “Dimmer” is the lead-off song on the record, a catchy, bouncy number.  Not surprisingly, “The Ancient Commonsense of Things” is also bouncy. “Bouncy” may be the very defining essence of these folks.

Bishop Allen
“Dimmer” [MP3]
     

“The Ancient Commonsense of Things” [MP3]
     

by PopMatters Staff

5 Feb 2009

As Michael Metivier said last year, “hearing an 80-plus-year-old man sing about disastrous young love, drinkin’ and murder, also adds a different dimension to the experience than hearing it from artists around the same age as the songs’ characters. It’s the wisdom of a life that has seen enough tragedy to understand that it remains both mysterious and inevitable, and worth singing about.” He’s talking about country music veteran and Grand Ole Opry member Charlie Louvin. Here’s a song from 2008’s Sings Murder Ballads & Disaster Songs.

Charlie Louvin
“Darling Corey” [MP3]
     

by Sarah Zupko

5 Feb 2009

Alela Diane’s follow-up to her 2006 debut The Pirate’s Gospel, To Be Still, releases February 17th on Rough Trade Records. The resolutely folky “Dry Grass & Shadows” gets a lovely, spare acoustic treatment in this “Dumbo West” session with affecting vocals and harmonies alongside minimalist guitar and mandolin plucking. I miss the pedal steel from the recorded version, but a strong tune proves less can still be more. (via Gorilla vs. Bear) Check out the utterly beautiful “White As Diamonds” on MP3 as well.

Alela Diane
“White As Diamonds” [MP3]
     

by PopMatters Staff

5 Feb 2009

Zeth Lundy thought pretty highly of Living Things’ 2005 effort, Ahead of the Lions, giving it an 8 and called it “a punishing, accessible hard rock record, a marriage of the rock ‘n’ roll fetish of the MC5’s Back in the U.S.A. with Nirvana’s wicked decibel annihilation”. The band’s newest album, Habeas Corpus, releases February 17th on Jive. “Let It Rain” is the first single, with the video directed by Floria Sigismondi (White Stripes, David Bowie, The Cure). Tour dates below.

TOUR DATES
2/3     Belly Up Tavern—Solana Beach, CA
2/4     Henry Fonda Theatre—Los Angeles, CA
2/5     The Fillmore—San Francisco, CA
2/6     The New Oasis—Reno, NV
2/7     Hard Rock Hotel & Casino—Las Vegas, NV
2/9     Martini Ranch—Scottsdale, AZ
2/10   The Rialto Theater—Tucson, AZ
2/12   Diamond Ballroom—Oklahoma City, OK
2/13   Midland Theater—Kansas City, MO (KRBZ-FM show; not EoDM)
2/14   The Blue Note—Columbia, MO
2/15   The Eagles Club—Milwaukee, WI
2/16   venue TBA—Columbus, OH (WWCD-FM show; not EoDM)
2/17   20th Century Theatre—Cincinnati, OH
2/18   Agora Ballroom—Cleveland, OH
2/19   Mr. Smalls Theatre—Pittsburgh, PA
2/20   Phoenix Concert Theatre—Toronto, ON

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Exposition Dumps Don't Need Dialogue in 'Virginia'

// Moving Pixels

"Virginia manages to have an exposition dump without wordy exposition.

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