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by Devin Mainville

15 Nov 2010


Tim Kasher, who has spent the last two decades with Cursive and the Good Life, released his first solo album The Game of Monogamy on October 5th of this year. The album highlights the thematic, lyrical songwriting that has kept Kasher on the radar of music critics since 1997. The Game of Monogamy is equal parts catchy pop, grand orchestral arrangements, and stark instrumentation. The theme that ties these songs together is one of rocky relationships and the dark sides of marriage.

Kasher’s Daytrotter sessions are available at daytrotter.com. This session includes the The Game of Monogamy tracks “Bad, Bad Dreams”, “The Prodigal Husband”, “No Fireworks”, and a cover of David Bowie’s “Soul Love”.

Kasher is in the middle of a national tour supporting the album that will last until December 17, 2010.

by Eric Allen Been

15 Nov 2010


Henryk Górecki, the celebrated Polish composer whose compositions ranged from discordant avant-garde works to conventional harmonic arrangements, died on 12 November 2010, in Katowice, Poland. He was 76.

A noted pioneer of minimalist compositional techniques—though he adopted a more florid mode of expression when he began investigating religious themes in his later works—Górecki was perhaps best known for his 1976 work Symphony No. 3, or the “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs.”

Though a somber piece that explored such issues as war and loss, “Symphony of Sorrowful Songs” became an improbable crossover hit in 1992 when a recording of the more than 15-year-old third symphony was released to memorialize the victims of the Holocaust. The recording, put out by the record label Nonesuch, cracked into Britain’s top 10 pop music chart and went on to sell more than 1 million copies worldwide.

Though Górecki was often at lager heads with his country, perhaps most famously when he resigned in 1979 from his professor of composition post to protest the then communist government’s rebuff of a visit by Pope John Paul II, the composer was awarded Poland’s most prestigious award last month, the Order of the White Eagle.

In a remembrance posted on Nonesuch’s website, the Kronos Quartet’s David Harrington, who worked with the composer in his later years, stated the following: “There is no one who can replace Henryk Górecki in the world of music. Many others have created beautiful, passionate, even exalted music. But Henryk found a way forward and beyond, through thickets of styles and fashions, that resonates of the single human being in communion with the power of the universe.”

by J.C. Sciaccotta

15 Nov 2010


From Bob Dylan to Sufjan Stevens, it seems as though everyone’s taking a crack at Christmas these days. Now Annie Lennox is getting in on the festivities, with her first-ever holiday album, A Christmas Cornucopia, out November 16 via Decca.

Of course, the former Eurythmics vocalist isn’t one to rely on chintzy arrangements of holiday standards, instead offering an eclectic take on carols from the German, French, and British traditions. Songs include the dark lullaby “Lullay Lullay”, which alludes to the killing of the first-born children by King Herod, as well as her stunning reinterpretation of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, which essentially becomes a tribal march.

The newly released music video for “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is equally inventive, incorporating elements of the pagan British Christmas to create a somewhat disturbing/oddly psychedelic effect.

Being the good soul that she is, all proceeds from the Lennox-penned “Universal Child” will go towards the SING campaign, her humanitarian organization founded to raise awareness and support for the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.

by Devin Mainville

12 Nov 2010


OK Go has made a name for themselves with their one-take, live action music videos. These videos, which have included choreographed dances on treadmills (“Here I Go Again”) and with trained dogs (“White Knuckles”), have given OK Go the title of the most downloaded band in history; their clips have been viewed more than 125,000,000 times. Well, the boys are at it again with yet another landmark video for their song, “Last Leaf”. They have left behind the style they revolutionized of the one-take routines and have opted for an animated venture. The band teamed up with Nadeem Mazen and Ali Mohammad, founders of the Serious Business Design, to create a fabulous stop action animation video featuring pieces of toast.  Each second of the video is a sequence of fifteen Samsung NX100 photographs, which OK Go shot with Mazen, Mohammad and a crew of interns.

OK Go will be promoting this innovative new video on the TODAY Show, Thursday November 18th by premiering a video they shot with the hosts of the show. They will also be featured in a special segment about YouTube sensations. The band is also on tour, to support their newest album, Of the Blue Colour of the Sky, through the fall.

by PopMatters Staff

12 Nov 2010


Jesse Harris largely pays the bills playing guitar for Norah Jones, but he’s also an accomplished solo artist in his own right. This past August, the New York singer-songwriter gave us Through the Night, which PopMatters’ Jennifer Cooke described as “introspective, jazzy pop, but the through-line in all of his work seems to be a pared-down, unfussy approach to music that clearly comes from the heart.” Today, we offer an exclusive download from the album, the über mellow “It’s a Long Way Just to Say Hello”, with the lovely Brazilian jazz touches.

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