Seattle’s Lindsay Fuller was raised in Alabama, a state that births more soulful singers per capita than anyplace else in the country. So, yeah, the woman can belt a tune and make you really feel the lyrics too, which matters a hell of a lot when you pen lines as heartfelt as “Oh libby, you take my breath away / Lure me to my grave / But our history remains.” Fuller’s latest album, You, Anniversary, released back in March and her music has been praised by both the Indigo Girls and Dave Matthews, but her sound belongs more in the Southern Gothic camp of artists as diverse as Gillian Welch and Nick Cave. “Libby” is the record’s latest single and the tune is a haunting number about the many people of Libby, Montana suffering from lung disease as a result of asbestos poisoning from vermiculite mining in the area. The music is dark and, yes, the subject is death, but Fuller manages to infuse passion for living in every nook of the song.
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Rolling Stones’ singer, Mick Jagger, hosted Saturday Night Live’s season finale, and it wasn’t a downer at all. Jagger deftly participated in skits, but furthermore performed songs with Jeff Beck, Arcade Fire, and Foo Fighters. During his monologue he cheerfully poked fun at his own sense of pride; and he played “The Last Time” with Arcade Fire. But the best song of the evening, by far, had to be his bluesy take on the U.S. presidential election—which notably featured Jeff Beck on guitar.
James Apollo’s upcoming June 5th EP release, Little War, Little Less, features six tunes based on themes of the American West and was produced by none other than Damien Jurado. The album has an immediacy meant to capture the energy of Apollo’s live shows, so they recorded the songs in one to two takes in Washington’s Cascade Mountains. Meanwhile the songs themselves were penned out in the Utah Canyons to achieve that authentic Western feel. “Big Dipper” is actually a tune by Built to Spill, but Apollo felt it fit so perfectly with the tone of Little War, Little Less that it’s covered on the album. Below, you can the actual live recording of “Big Dipper” from album sessions.
It’s hard to deny the grassroots appeal of an event which began life as an indie-pop house party in 1996 before going full-on festival in 2007 with the very first NYC Popfest. The event has since featured an early performance by the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the first ever live show by the Drums, the first NYC performance of Sweden’s Radio Dept. and shows by a bevy of pure pop bands stretching back into the glory days of the C86 scene.
The 2012 incarnation is set to swarm the city from Thursday, May 17 (last night) through Sunday, May 20, with good vibes all across the city and bands from all over the world. On Friday night, the party happens at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, with a show headlined by Saturday Looks Good to Me, with support from Catnaps, Orca Team, Cola Jet Set and Wild Moccasins. Nearby, Cameo Gallery will host the after party.
Okay, it took me two plays – but I’m onside with Sparro’s latest, ‘I Wish I Never Met You’. First time round: Hmmm. Second time: The sun came out and I was up in the ether. Fair dues, this, the second single from SS’s forthcoming album Return to Paradise (out this June), is hardly a quantum leap on from his—admittedly sublime and rather fantastic—debut, but so what. This kind of gorgeousness doesn’t just grow on trees.
Where Sparro’s initial 2008 material was at least a third enthralled to earliest Prince, this time around, at least on the strength of “I Wish I’d Never Met You”, he’s shifted sideways into that parallel dawn of the ‘80s electronic soul-funk groove. The classic but all too often overlooked days and thrills of SOS Band and Chaka Khan, which, by introducing conspicuous electronics into soul and funk’s ready-made form, led the way from disco’s end into the beginnings of Chicago house.
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