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by Comfort Clinton

6 Feb 2012

Dailymotion, the internet’s second largest video destination, which boasts 1.2 billion video views worldwide, introduced its latest offshoot: Music in Motion on February 1st. The new music movement will emphasize pairing music with charity causes, and will feature unique artist presentations, as well as exclusive playlists created by various artists. The focus of the debut series for Music in Motion is music from protest movements, and so fittingly, Hal Willner’s Freedom Rides Concert: Music of the Civil Rights Movement inaugurates the franchise.

Willner’s concert event, which took place on September 15th as a benefit for the Clinton Foundation, served to honor the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders who, facing certain racism and adversity, courageously rode interstate buses all over the nation to protest segregation policies. As Lenny Kaye put it, the event was to “celebrate some very brave people who went down South at a very critical time in the Civil Rights Movement and put their lives on the line”.

by Comfort Clinton

6 Feb 2012

M.I.A.’s new single “Bad Girls” hit airwaves on January 31st when the song premiered on Pitchfork to positive reviews, including a declaration that “her pop instincts and talents remain as sharp as ever”. That’s saying a lot for someone who has been nominated for an Oscar and two Grammys, hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the ten defining artists of the 2000’s decade, and labeled one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. 

While we have to wait until summer for her fourth album to drop, as of Friday, the heart pounding video for “Bad Girls” is available exclusively on VICE’s new original music channel Noisey, on YouTube. The video, directed by Romain Gavras (also director of M.I.A.’s “Born Free” video), was shot on location in Ouarzazate, Morocco and the cultural influences are obvious. As Black Book Mag noted, it has the markings of M.I.A’s past work: “Punjabi-tinged production, deadpan delivery, booming drums, lyrics about having sex in cars, etc.”, not to mention a beat that you can’t help but nod your head to.

by Comfort Clinton

3 Feb 2012

The Dø (pronounced “doh”) is an indie folk/pop duet whose sound is as diverse as their members’ nationalities. The band is comprised of two members, Olivia Merilahti, who hails from Helsinki and Dan Levy, from Paris. The two collaborated to release their first studio-produced album, A Mouthful in 2008, which went on to top the French charts and earn rave reviews from critics. Their sophomore album, Both Ways Open Jaws dropped in 2011, and garnered much critical acclaim and audience attention. The Times even went so far as to call it “a late contender for album of the year”.

Citing influences that include Jimi Hendrix, Ella Fitzgerald, Eminem and The Wu Tang Clan, the Dø’s sound is incredibly varied. With elements ranging from classical to hip-hop, the Dø defy classification, as they prove with their cover of Janelle Monaé’s “Tightrope”, a song that once claimed the position of number eight on Rolling Stone’s Best Singles of 2010 list. While the original starts out fast and upbeat, the Dø cover builds to its climax slowly and, clocking in at just over nine minutes, includes an instrumental featuring sliding electric guitar and pulsating drumbeats. The vibe varies from blues to rock to a few things in between, and is tied together by Olivia Merilahti’s excellent wailing vocals, sure to become a fixture on the indie pop scene.

by John Bergstrom

3 Feb 2012

Back in 2004, the Washington, DC-based indie band Cartel generated a lot of buzz with the moody, Echo & the Bunnymen-esque “Fleets”. Then, they discovered a rock band from Georgia had dibs on the Cartel name. So, Cartel became the Cedars. They released an excellent EP, Another Season, in 2007. Rightly figuring that if such a strong, Coldplay-if-Coldplay-was-three-times-better effort wouldn’t get them a proper record deal, nothing would, they split.

Now, they are back, under the name Ms. Director, with a seven-track EP, Santo Domingo. The overall sound hasn’t changed much, and that’s a good thing. The guitars and keyboards are a bit more hazy, but the muscular rhythm section and Brian Leatherman’s beguiling voice hold it all down. Let’s hope the third name is the charm. Have a listen to Santo Domingo via Bandcamp, and download it there or from iTunes.


by Sachyn Mital

2 Feb 2012

On January 17th, Nneka previewed a few of her new songs in New York’s tiny club, Cielo. The line was long to get in when the doors opened for the free show since the bouncers were strict about checking coats. It even creating some difficulty for Nneka and her friends but it wasn’t long after that she began her short, intimate performance.

Shortly after, she announced a proper US tour to support the US release of her latest album, Soul is Heavy out at the end of February.

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