A mélange of rock styles come together in the music of the Vanity, a young project based out of Austin, Texas. In songwriting and guitar tone, elements of mainstream indie come through, as do some undercurrents of the blues. But whatever one hears in the Vanity’s music, there’s no denying that these five guys are a rising talent in Austin’s bourgeoning music scene; things are only looking up for them.
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Andy McCluskey (OMD), Rob Kroehler (Ladylike), Jack Antonoff (fun.) and Andrew Dost (fun.) have formed a formidable pop collective for “A Million Stars”, a tune drenched in ‘80s sheen, which features on the soundtrack to the Jack Black and James Marsden comedy The D Train. McCluskey, Antonoff, and Dost harmonize together splendidly, no doubt due in part to the latter two’s proclivity for harmonized vocals in the music of fun. Above all else, though, it’s the stylistics of OMD that shine through most resoundingly on “A Million Stars”; both the chorus and the synths used throughout the tune are highly reminiscent of OMD’s most recent LP, 2013’s English Electric (which we here at PopMatters are big fans of).
In addition to his presence on “A Million Stars”, Dost is responsible for the original score to The D Train.
Fortunately for fans of both Wes Montgomery and great jazz music, the 2012 release Echoes of Indiana Avenue won’t be the last set of undiscovered tunes by Montgomery to grace the world. That LP is being followed up now by in the Beginning, a two-disc compilation that spans the year 1949 to 1958. Of the many features in this voluminous set, five tunes in particular stand out, each of which have been languishing in Sony Music Entertainment’s vaults for upwards of 60 years.
“Far Wes”, which you can here exclusively below, is one such discovery. Taken from a 1955 recording session at New York City’s Columbia Studios (where Miles Davis would later record Kind of Blue), the song is produced by the now reputable Quincy Jones, then an up-and-coming producer. At the end of “Far Wes”, you can hear recording engineer Frank Laico call out, “Quincy, there’s a call for you!”
In his 7 out of 10 PopMatters review of Blur’s “comeback” album The Magic Whip, their first since 2003’s Think Tank, Evan Sawdey writes, “All The Magic Whip tries to be is nothing more than the band in their purest form, deprived of all commercial considerations so that their eccentricities are all that remains. Well, guess what, boys? Mission accomplished.”
The all-too-easy to make generalization about the state of the Brooklyn music scene in 2015 is that it’s comprised of a bunch of white guy-led indie bands all trying to out-falsetto Thom Yorke. However, like any music scene, such sweeping generalizations don’t fully encompass the diversity of musical exploration that one can find if he really digs beneath the surface. Enter: Brooklyn Gypsies.