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Friday, Mar 13, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

Foreign Born releases Person to Person on 23 June. Here’s what Secretly Canadian says about their band: “It’s been said that Foreign Born is an anthem band without “the” fist-pumping anthem, which may be true. And this is OK, because the trade-off is for an album far more cerebral and sustaining. The thing with summer anthems is that they only last a summer, Foreign Born delivers the soundtrack for the backyard BBQ of the ages.”


Foreign Born
“Vacationing People” [MP3]
     



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Friday, Mar 13, 2009

Like the Langsley School Music Project before them, there will inevitably come a day when the PS22 Chorus of Brooklyn, NY will come to cut an album. They’ve already received the blessings of Neil Finn and Tori Amos, whose songs the elementary school singers have admirably covered (their instructor Gregg Breinberg is a huge fan) and they’ve become somewhat of a viral phenomena online.  I’m not saying that this hypothetical disc will be anything less than splendid, but the optimum way to listen them still seems to be exactly as YouTube presents it—filmed with standard home video equipment in the midst of a crowd. In the age of melisma and Pro Tools, the most moving thing about PS22 is the pure simplicity and devotion intrinsic in their craft. There’s no room for pretension. It’s music stripped to its core essence. The video camera mic captures the extent to which this is often a lost art to those of us who are old, jaded, cynical, and/or too caught up in the whirlwind of culture to realize what we’re losing. That is, we’re too busy listening to music to enjoy music.


Their latest video is a cover of The Velvet Underground and Nico’s “I’ll Be Your Mirror” and I fucking swear this thing could end the recession.



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Thursday, Mar 12, 2009

We discovered Mike Farris two years ago at the Americana Music Festival where he put on a show that knocked our socks off. His 2007 album Salvation in Lights is just as good as his live and it clocked in at number 13 on our best music of 2007 list. Here’s what I said back then and still holds true with everything Farris does: “Ranging from straight-on gospel to blues and Stax-style soul, the record is grounded in Farris’ faith and his sublime musicianship. There’s a real New Orleans feel to the bulk of these tunes, as Dixielandesque horns pop in and out of songs, adding to the delightful Southern stew.”


Farris has a new live album releasing in April called SHOUT! Live featuring the McCrary Sisters. The performances are culled from his scorching Sunday night shows in Nashville at the Station Inn as part of the Sunday Night Shout series. Check out the EPK for the new release and learn more about this unbelievably talented artist.


 



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Thursday, Mar 12, 2009

“Freak Folk” was a Trojan Horse of a subgenre, introducing few lasting acts amongst scattered wispy remains. As CocoRosie, Sierra and Bianca Casady present a divisive united front. The sisters have inspired both intense devotion and dismissal, but it seems they are here to stay. Their intentionally over-the-top public statements, zany costumes and occasional mullets combine to sometimes distract from seriously innovative sonic concoctions. Joanna Newsom’s voice is an acquired taste but she comes with a sophistication factor that makes her a safe listen. CocoRosie isn’t having any of that, and as a result its audience is smaller and reviews less glowing.


This new video, posted on YouTube but originally appearing on Whitecanvas, allows the viewer a short glimpse into the world of the Casady sisters. The interview starts with fairies, moves to St. Francis of Assisi and wraps up by finally briefly hinting at the new album. It has been nearly a year since the “God Has a Voice, She Speaks Through Me” single was released, so any new mention of the album is noteworthy. And as with everything else CocoRosie releases, there is a skewed sincerity at the heart of this video.


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Thursday, Mar 12, 2009
by PopMatters Staff

Eight years ago this week, French electro group Daft Punk released Discovery, their follow-up to 1997’s Homework. Q gave the record five stars and we thought pretty highly of it too. The album spawned five singles and “Face to Face” went on to hit #1 on the Billboard club chart years later in 2004.


Daft Punk - “One More Time” [single released: 5 December 2000]


Daft Punk - “Aerodynamic” [single released: 28 March 2001]


Daft Punk - “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” [single released: 13 October 2001]


Daft Punk - “Face to Face” [single released: 10 October 2003]


Daft Punk - “Something About Us” [single released: 14 November 2003]


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