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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.


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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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Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Tim Noyes, a.k.a. Handsome Ghost, ditches the indie folk of his earlier years and springs forward with a fresh take on poptronica via Color Study.

Having risked it all searching for success as an indie folk artist only to come up cold, Noyes decided to start with a completely fresh canvas and a new palette. His songwriting gift has never been in question as Noyes can write a great tune in any genre, but with his new Handsome Ghost project, he has really found his unique voice. Warm electronic beats and textures underpin gorgeous dreamy vocals that just seem to lift higher in every measure. This music feels organic, like it emerged fully formed into instantly memorable tunes.


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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Watch the award-winning documentary about the famed Burning Man festival right here on PopMatters. Spark: A Burning Man Story is available for streaming and purchase.

Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in a dusty windswept Nevada desert to build a temporary city, collaborating on a large-scale art and partying for a week before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams. Spark takes us behind the curtain with Burning Man organizers and participants, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. When ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the “default world”, we wonder which dreams can survive.


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Spark


Each year, 60,000 people from around the globe gather in a dusty windswept Nevada desert to build a temporary city, collaborating on a large-scale art and partying for a week before burning a giant effigy in a ritual frenzy. Rooted in principles of self-expression, self-reliance and community effort, Burning Man has grown famous for stirring ordinary people to shed their nine-to-five existence and act on their dreams. Spark takes us behind the curtain with Burning Man organizers and participants, revealing a year of unprecedented challenges and growth. When ideals of a new world based on freedom and inclusion collide with realities of the “default world”, we wonder which dreams can survive.


 



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Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Facing a brief crisis where they thought they may have reached the end as a band, Smoke Fairies emerge with a new album, better than ever and with a renewed focus on the craft of songwriting.

Between 2012 and now, Britain’s Smoke Fairies have gone back to the drawing board, re-assessing their writing techniques. “We scrapped lyrics right from the start if they were too flowery,” says Jessica Davies. “Unless the lyric really got to the point and said something, it got cut.” Katherine Blamire concurs: “As songwriters, I feel we’re really starting to sum things up properly, to nail them down. For me, it was a testament to how long we’ve been together that we could just say to each other ‘that’s shit.’ There really was no ego on this record.”


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