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Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
The '90s are back! With Meshell Ndegeocello, Courtney Love, Tori Amos and now Veruca Salt all on the cusp of releasing new records this year, this '90s music fanboy's heart is about to explode.

Something seriously dramatic happened with Veruca Salt back in 1998 that forced Nina Gordon to exit the band, leaving Louise Post all alone to take the helm. And while Nina’s solo career never felt like her, and Louise’s version of Veruca Salt did its best, there is no comparing the original quartet that rocked our little hearts with American Thighs and Eight Arms to Hold You.


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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Britrock's Kaiser Chiefs returned this year with a new record and just recently they stopped by Guitar Center to record some live performances of their new songs.

Here we have Kaiser Chiefs taking an acoustic turn through Education, Education, Education & War‘s “Bows & Arrows”. If it’s possible, this take is a bit of a mellower affair than the very electric album version. The At: Guitar Center with Nic Harcourt podcast includes live performance clips, as well as engaging interview portions where the artists discuss the creation of their music.


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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Tex Ritter's granddaughter Carly Ritter emerges as a promising young Americana artist with her self-titled debut from Vanguard Records.

Carly Ritter grew up in a musical home with her parents large collection of rock ‘n’ roll records. But it’s when she decided to explore her grandfather’s traditional forms of country music that she truly found her voice. In college while majoring in philosophy, Ritter spent her senior year “in the basement of the music library scouring sheet music for all these old folk songs, spirituals, blues and country songs.” That devotion has paid off with this fine debut. Teaming with Ry Cooder, his son and his son’s wife among others, Ritter now offers up Carly Ritter.


Today we are premiering the video for the single “It Don’t Come Easy”, which Ritter says “speaks to the tension between wanting love and at the same time wanting freedom.” Ritter adds, “I adore ‘It Don’t Come Easy,’ which Juliette wrote and asked me to add a verse. It’s a kind of sad song that speaks to some of the challenges of love. I played it recently at an open mic, and afterwards a man came up to me crying; he told me he had some kind of catharsis when he heard it. That’s one of the great things about sad songs.”



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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Los Angeles backpack rapper Pigeon John returns with his sixth studio album next Tuesday, but we have the goods for you today.

Pigeon John grew up listening to pop as much as hip-hop and he brings that broad sensibility to his work, creating songs that are fiercely independent of any genre expectations. That musical exploration and curiosity always renders Pigeon John’s records as intriguing listens.


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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
Seventeen new songs with notes to welcome spring at last.

With spring finally making an appearance, there’s plenty of news songs for another playlist thanks to the constant renewal of the music scene. Bands such as Cage the Elephant, Wye Oak and Real Estate are back with album releases along with Future Islands and Lost in the Trees. Female voices abound on this playlist, from Annie Clark of St. Vincent and Kelis, to Courtney Barnett, Sharon Van Etten and Monica Birkenes of Mr. Little Jeans.  Also check out new music from veteran bands Elbow and Maximo Park, along with indie heavyweight Beck.


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