Enigmatic New York singer-songwriter Rachael Sage returns this May with her 10th career album releasing via her own successful indie label, MPress Records. Haunted By You (May 22) is a captivating song cycle about passion, desire and romance, both the glorious highs and the depressing lows. Sage took a different approach with this new set of tunes, penning them all on guitar, not her primary instrument, both to prove she could do it and to shake things up. The material was written during a period of her life when she went through a number of relationships in short order, both breaking hearts and being on the receiving end as well. As Sage explains, “I fell recklessly in and out of love multiple times while writing this record. I broke a couple hearts… and I also had my heart broken pretty badly.” Today we bring you the online premiere of album track one “Invisible Light”, a song that expresses romantic longing and the endless search to find a real soulmate.
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If some records sound like night drives through the city, while others order windows thrown open and the outside—all air and light and summer’s scent—let in, then perhaps we’re ready for the post-video age. Because you really don’t need to see the accompanying clip for “Three Colours Red” by Lonely Drifter Karen. Quite the opposite. In fact, this is the second video I’ve seen this week that isn’t a patch on the tune.
I mean, what are videos for these days; they’re rarely more than sharp-cornered pacifiers: there to keep us quiet while we drool over our laptops. Surely, all we need are ears, and some God given daylight this time of year, and everything should be – in the words of Quagmire – “Hot diggity!”
“It started with the Army of Guardians patrolling the streets,” says Mitra Khalatbari, “constantly restricting, humiliating, and beating young people.” As she remembers the beginnings of resistance in her home country, the Iranian journalist is at once proud and sad. For as her memories bring her back to the elections of 2009 and the cruel oppressions that followed, Khalatbari, like other interviewees in The Green Wave, is stunned by the betrayal and brutality of her government, the government that not so many years ago was born of resistance to another inhumane regime. Ali Samadi Ahadi’s remarkable documentary underscores the horrific irony that the current Islamic Republic was born, in 1979, in response to the Shah’s abuses, and also makes clear the many contexts of the crisis, the history that made it possible and the lack of international that has allowed the crisis to persist. The first film of at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in DC, The Green Wave screens on 18 April, followed by a Q&A with Faraz Sanei, of Human Rights Watch Middle East.
See PopMatters’ review.
Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars - Radio Salone by Cumbancha
For a group that emerged from the horrors of the Sierra Leonean civil war, band leader Reuben Koroma and the Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars create music that is surprisingly life-affirming and optimistic. Perhaps that’s what has really made them so appealing to audiences worldwide as well as with cynical music critics. The music is simply irresistible and infectious and embraces all that is best in the human spirit. For their third record, the group decamped to Brooklyn to record out of the Dunham Studios with Victor Axelrod (founding member of stellar bands Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, and the Easy Star All-Stars) as producer.
Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars went for a naturalistic sound using analog recording with mid-‘70s mics and 16-track tape. That lent the process a feel of spontaneity and warmness ideal for these complex tunes, as well as evoking the golden era of Afrobeat. Radio Salone releases April 24th via Cumbancha. You can pre-order now via Amazon.
Frontman Reuben Koroma chats with PopMatters about the album’s creation, the documentary that brought the group world-wide exposure and working with Victor Axelrod…
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"This week we take a look at the themes and politics of This Is the Police.READ the article