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by Evan Sawdey

3 May 2011


It certainly took Ben Ottewell a long time to get around to releasing a solo album.  Perhaps it was that first solo tour that threw people off ...

Indeed, while other members of the acclaimed rock outfit Gomez worked on side projects and solo albums during Gomez’s downtime, Ben Ottewell went a different route.  First, he spent a nice slice of the late 2000s doing solo acoustic tours just for the heck of it, playing a mixture of cover songs and Gomez staples, much to fans’ delight.  Yet Ottewell wound up enjoying the experience so much that he soon began prepping songs for his own solo effort, the result of which is the largely acoustic (and quietly beautiful) Shapes & Shadows, which was released earlier this year.

PopMatters caught up to Ottewell when he took his solo acoustic show Schuba’s out in Chicago, and he wound up discussing the genesis of his album, how he doesn’t really have any beef with the Second City, and how he is proud to not have to take on a normal job ...

by PopMatters Staff

2 May 2011


Black Lips
Arabia Mountain
(Vice)
Release: 7 June

Super producer Mark Ronson is behind the knobs for the latest release from Atlanta’s Black Lips. Arabia Mountain will release in early June as the band tour cross-country to promote their sixth full-length album.

by William Carl Ferleman

2 May 2011


The British actor and musician Hugh Laurie recently performed “Swanee River” and “You Don’t Know My Mind” on the BBC. In the U.S., Laurie is perhaps most recognized as the anti-social but unlikely miracle-working physician Gregory House on the hit TV series House. But Laurie also is a multi-instrumentalist, indeed a blues musician. He will release his first proper album, Let Them Talk, on 9 May in the UK.

 

by Kate Dries

29 Apr 2011


In a valiant attempt to stay hip and current (and probably because there were no Katy Perry songs left), this week’s Glee featured Duck Sauce’s “Barbra Streisand”. This bold move comes on the heels of last week’s stab at Lykke Li’s “I Follow Rivers”.

by Timothy Gabriele

29 Apr 2011


The self-titled debut of Friendly Fires was the choice of yours truly in PopMatter’s 2008 Slipped discs selection. Since then, the band has released an electro single (“Kiss of Life”), a split with the likeminded Holy Ghost! (not to be confused with the incredible ‘ardkore era Holy Ghost Inc.), submitted a Bugged Out mix, collaborated with Azari & III, and remixed Phoenix. All of these signs point to a more electronified Friendly Fires, but their lead single to their forthcoming Pala sounds like much of the same rock-band-as-stadium-ravers thing that defined their debut, though they’re perhaps more credible heirs to the “nu-rave” tag bequeathed upon the Klaxons (but who’d want that attacheed to them?). Nevertheless, the band has made this entertaining montage of acid’s second summer of love to go along with that single and somehow it begins to make sense.

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"Rainer Werner Fassbinder is the whole show.

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