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Friday, Jan 30, 2009

There isn’t much to Morrissey’s new music video for the first single off his forthcoming album Years of Refusal. Moz strikes dramatic poses as he and his band play in an empty white room and a couple of cute dogs wander around. For some reason the drummer somersaults over his drum kit just like he did in the video for “All You Need Is Me”. It wasn’t particularly impressive the first time. The video is still strangely enjoyable though and the song is great so it’s well worth checking out. Also, is he wearing make-up?



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Thursday, Jan 29, 2009

Staff Benda Bilili croon beautiful harmonies accompanied by spare but perfectly suited instrumentation. This Congolese group of street musicians is comprised four elderly singer/guitarists and a young rhythm section, highlighted by a 17-year-old player of the one-string electric lute that he constructed himself from a tin can. These are musicians of extremely humble means who create startling warm and vital music from the barest of resources. Making their story even more poignant is that these artists are paraplegics and polio victims. It’s a compelling story for sure, but the music is superb enough to speak for itself. Crammed Discs will release Staff Benda Bilili’s debut in the US on April 7th. In the meantime, check out the first video, “Polio”, and a short documentary about the group.



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Thursday, Jan 29, 2009

Asthmatic Kitty can do no wrong.  Watch for Fol Chen’s Part I: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made when it drops on February 17th, 2009. This is already the second video for the album, directed by one Nancy Jean Tucker.


Fol Chen
The Believers (Clifford Lidell Remix) [MP3]
     



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Thursday, Jan 29, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

J. Tillman
James Blues [MP3] from Vacilando Territory Blues [20 January]
     


Steel on Steel [MP3]  from Vacilando Territory Blues [20 January]
     


Buy at iTunes Music Store


Youth Group
All This Will Pass [MP3] from This Night Is Ours [7 April]
     


Mazes
I Have Laid in the Darkness of Doubt [MP3] from Mazes [3 March]
     


Ra Ra Riot
Ghost Under Sun (Passion Pit remix) [MP3]
     



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Thursday, Jan 29, 2009

I’ve been enjoying Southeast Engine’s new record, From the Forest to the Sea (Misra Records), all week. The pastoral pop blended with classic indie rock, a bit of British Invasion harmony and Band/Byrdsian rootiness makes their new album a pretty addicting proposition. “Black Gold” is the first video off said release and has the band posing as tourists in Washington DC. Look for the album the week of February 17th and the PopMatters review then as well.



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