Today we reviewed New York ensemble Red Baraat‘s new album Bhangra Pirates and said “Bhangra Pirates is the most successful attempt to package that energy yet for Red Baraat, ecstatic and frenzied, turning each individual listening at home into a full audience.” In our book, that makes the record a PopMatters Pick as Red Baraat has finally managed to capture their astounding energy and virtuosity as performance artists on record.
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Mike Schiller: Somehow, Greg Dulli can recruit Har Mar Superstar for his video, infuse his song with a full horn section and finish it with a straight-up dance beat and extended falsetto notes, and it still sounds like he wrote the song at midnight by candlelight. That’s to his credit, of course—Dulli’s ability to find darkness in unexpected places is one of his great strengths. “Demon in Profile” is both classic and brand new for Afghan Whigs, as its big instrumentation and soaring vocal lines signal a new direction for the band even as it reaffirms their ability to find comfort underground. [8/10]
Tel-Aviv duo Lola Marsh occupy a space in between indie pop, indie folk, and electropop with their beautifully melodic, breezy songs. It’s a thoroughly modern and engaging approach to pop music that highlights the superb songwriting chops of Gil Landau and the enigmatic vocals of Yael Shoshana Cohen. Lola Marsh’s tunes have stormed the Hype Machine charts, and their future looks bright with their debut album coming sometime this spring or summer.
Peter Mulvey is a true musical craftsman, developing and refining his approach through genre experimentation and 25 years of hard work writing and playing all over the world. Even after 17 albums, Mulvey’s creative juices continue to flow strong. Noted singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco who has produced Mulvey’s new album says, “Mulvey has been honing his craft for many a decade, and it shows. He can play some badass guitar, sing to touch your heart, and write a song that will knock you down, and by knock you down, I mean lift you up.”
Mike Schiller: Subtlety is an underused skill in hip-hop, but Porter Ray has it down on “Past Life”. Over beautiful, hazy production, we get high-speed raps about everything but this moment. We hear about memories, we hear about dreams, we hear reminiscing about the past and looking toward the future. If it feels a little ethereal, that’s probably its intent. [7/10]
// Notes from the Road
"Philip Glass, the artistic director of the Tibet House benefits, celebrated his 80th birthday at this year's annual benefit with performances from Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Brittany Howard, Sufjan Stevens and more.READ the article