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Thursday, Jan 30, 2014
A moody, passionate ode to the city of lights, "Paris" remains one of Anna Domino's many overlooked gems.

Anna Domino’s Mysteries of America (1990) went largely unnoticed by the general public (like much of her other work). It was a shame, since the album contained some of the most beautiful compositions put together by a recording artist at that time. Today the album still stands the test of time, its ethereal, autumnal warmth radiating the kind of gentle sensuality reserved for Eric Rohmer films. Americas’ most gorgeous number was “Paris”, a lovely paean to the city of lights that featured the most popular elements of chanson (chiming guitars, accordion) and was built upon a circular, hypnotic rhythm of Latin percussion.


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Wednesday, Jan 29, 2014
A menacing grind of factory-churning beats, "Paraffin" is Ruby's chilling account of love and sex, female praying mantis-style.

Ruby’s erotically-charged shuffle of downtempo grooves, distorted guitar breaks and menacing sways of dark, curdled jazz opened up a new vein of post-feminist angst on their debut album, Salt Peter (1995). Scottish singer and songwriter Lesley Rankine, who had just signed off on her duties as vocalist for the bluesy thrash punk outfit Silverfish, traded in the shrieks and screams for a voluptuous timbre of deep, sensual warmth that still belied the bitterness of her past musical incarnation.


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Tuesday, Jan 28, 2014
French actress Isabelle Adjani's curious exploration of love and death in a pop song co-written by the legendary Serge Gainsbourg is visualized as a cold, erotic dream, courtesy of Luc Besson.

Iconic French actress Isabelle Adjani made a name for herself early on in her life, taking the lead in François Truffaut’s The Story of Adele H, a role that would earn the actress her first Academy award nomination in 1976 and bring her to the attention of cinema-goers worldwide. Adjani continued her streak in highly successful films and gained notoriety as one of the world’s most skilled actresses whose deeply nuanced and textured performances belied the impossible beauty of her icy, cool and mysterious exterior.


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Wednesday, Nov 27, 2013
Squeezing in another listening session for 2013 -- 17 new songs with notes and a music history quiz

There’s plenty of new music around to create one more playlist for 2013. New bands such as the Wild Feathers and Love Inks make an appearance in this compilation while established groups such as Travis, Luscious Jackson and Mazzy Star return to the new music fold. Also back for another round are the Naked and Famous, Cults, Tennis, and Phantogram, while remixers RAC composed some songs of their own. Arctic Monkeys returns to its rock roots, Okkervil River finds a wider musical net with a nostalgic theme, and Broken Bells provide a glimpse of the next album. Check out all this and more, plus a quiz about the longevity of some of the bands.


** Extra credit if you can name every band that existed in the ‘90s—with bonus points for ones that hark back to the ‘80s (answer at the end of this post).


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Thursday, Nov 14, 2013
Celebrate the change of seasons by queuing up 16 new songs with background notes, including Sigur Rós, MGMT, Yuck, and HAERTS.

New music releases have been dropping like fall leaves, filling up another playlist ready for consumption. There are selections from albums by steadfast indie bands such as MGMT, Yuck and of Montreal plus iconic masters Sigur Rós and Moby. New bands HAERTS and Generationals impress with debuts while Gauntlet Hair unfortunately call it quits. Plus check out singles from Arcade Fire, Dr. Dog and TV on the Radio.


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