CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 29 Jan / 12 Feb]

 
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Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015
Nick Lutsko's 2013 debut LP is folky with an eccentric undercurrent. With his new album, however, he goes a little off the reservation; as "Predator" evinces, this is definitely for the better.

Etc. is a fitting title for the sophomore studio outing of the Chattanooga, Tennessee songwriter Nick Lutsko. Anyone familiar with the young artist from his 2013 debut recording Heart of Mold—well, let’s just say that anyone that thinks they already know the music of Lutsko should suspend whatever knowledge they might think they have. With Etc., Lutsko breaks out of the largely folksy trappings of his first record and dives headfirst into a colorful mélange of noise. Case in point: lead single “Predator” is a rock song that pays tribute to the beauty of chaos. Atop a funky bassline, Lutsko throws in some sludgy guitars, clipped beats, and an array of other sounds. As a preview of what’s to come on Etc., “Predator” reminds you to strap on your seatbelts—this is going to be an unexpected ride.


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Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015
The beautiful and hip environs of Portland, Oregon, a catchy tune, and a duo with real chemistry... Kool Stuff Katie's "Cars" has it all.

And who says Craiglist has to be completely sketchy? It certainly wasn’t in the case of the Portland, Oregon garage rock/pop duo Kool Stuff Katie, helmed by Shane Blem and Saren Oliver. The two met over the website, and have since then forged a creative union that’s as playful and quirky as the city in which they live. With a few curveballs added, the music video to the track “Cars”, taken from the duo’s self-titled debut, could be a Portlandia sketch in the waits. But, alas, the video chooses (wisely) to focus on the rapport between Blem and Oliver—and their pretty sweet ride, too.


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Tuesday, Jan 20, 2015
"Easy Mistake", the downcast and somber tune by the gravel-voiced David Corley, now has a somber black-and-white music video to complement its gruff folk sonic.

The low, ragged voice of David Corley is of the kind one would expect could only come from many years of experiencing life and putting it into song. With Corley, such a guess would be on the money. At 53, he has plenty of years to his name, and ever since he was 20 he’s been honing his songcraft into a distinctive voice. Surprisingly, however, Available Light, his recently released studio LP, marks his first full-length recording. That fact is stunning; Corley sounds like the kind of guy who’s been in the studio for decades, a consummate natural. Comparisons to songwriting greats like Tom Waits and Lou Reed aren’t far off. Tunes like Available Lights’ “Easy Mistake”, the video of which you can watch exclusively below, evoke the image of a weary songwriter looking back on all of his years in the world. His presence is a natural and authentic one, as any one of his songs evinces.


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Monday, Jan 19, 2015
Those interested in the American Sniper controversy ought to check out Dan Krauss' documentary The Kill Team, which similarly explores the dehumanization of war.

While American Sniper generates debate over its protagonist’s patriotism as well as remarkable box office returns, here’s another film that considers the dire effects of war on its soldiers. on PBS’ Independent Lens, Dan Krauss’ The Kill Team focuses on the Maywand District murders, committed by US soldiers in 2010, a case made notorious by a Rolling Stone article that included photos of the soldiers posing with corpses.


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Monday, Jan 19, 2015
The newest outing by the New Jersey singer/songwriter Ryan Hobler is a welcoming potpourri of folk stylings.

Folk music is one big tent in terms of stylistic diversity, a fact encapsulated nicely by the latest LP by the singer/songwriter Ryan Hobler. Produced by Andy Baldwin (Bjork, Saint Lucia, Wakey! Wakey!), The Elusive Yes runs the gamut of folk styles in 12 tracks. Hobler himself lists Paul Simon, Elliott Smith, and Nick Drake as formative influences on his music, but even more can be heard throughout this album, which you can stream exclusively below. “Bob vs. Jack vs. The World” takes Hobler’s affable tenor and marries it to a tune that wouldn’t sound out of place in a barn hoedown. The indie-friendly “Holding On With All Their Might” brings to mind the music of Sufjan Stevens. Best of all is the subtly brooding “See What You’re Doing to Me”, which adds a nice dash of noir to the variegated experimentation of The Elusive Yes. All in all, anyone that’s a fan of indie folk or the increasingly popular trend in acoustic music writ large will find something to like in this not-so-elusive album.


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