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Tuesday, May 3, 2011
One of Gomez's talented vocalists sits down with PopMatters to discuss his new solo album, his regret about not touring Australia, and explains how he's got no beef with Chicago ...

It certainly took Ben Ottewell a long time to get around to releasing a solo album.  Perhaps it was that first solo tour that threw people off ...


Indeed, while other members of the acclaimed rock outfit Gomez worked on side projects and solo albums during Gomez’s downtime, Ben Ottewell went a different route.  First, he spent a nice slice of the late 2000s doing solo acoustic tours just for the heck of it, playing a mixture of cover songs and Gomez staples, much to fans’ delight.  Yet Ottewell wound up enjoying the experience so much that he soon began prepping songs for his own solo effort, the result of which is the largely acoustic (and quietly beautiful) Shapes & Shadows, which was released earlier this year.


PopMatters caught up to Ottewell when he took his solo acoustic show Schuba’s out in Chicago, and he wound up discussing the genesis of his album, how he doesn’t really have any beef with the Second City, and how he is proud to not have to take on a normal job ...



Tagged as: ben ottewell, gomez
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Wednesday, Apr 27, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
Argentina's Soema Montenegro possesses the chops to be one of the latter day vocal greats and her expansive sound seems bound for the stages of Carnegie Hall and the world's fine concert venues.

Argentina’s Soema Montenegro has a haunting and virtuosic voice, one that can utter shivering hushed tones before effortlessly letting loose a plaintive wail. It’s an exceptionally powerful instrument and Montenegro is wise to fully showcase it on her recordings, matching that voice with spare and atmospheric instrumentation that allows her singing all the room it needs. La Blogoteque called her “the best singer on the whole planet” and while that might be a bit premature given that Montenegro is only now on the verge of releasing her second record, we can certainly understand and appreciate the enthusiasm. Montenegro does possess the chops to be one of the latter day vocal greats and her expansive sound seems bound for the stages of Carnegie Hall and the world’s fine concert venues. Montenegro’s second LP and first US album, Passionaria, will be releasing this May via Western Vinyl and we are pleased to present the online premiere of “Cuando Pasa” today. For an even more extensive look at this intriguing young artist, check out the mini-film from Vincent Moon’s “Take Away Show”.



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Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
UK dubstep group Magnetic Man just hit US shores with their debut and are about to play Coachella, while pioneering London dubstep producer Benga remixes their hit, "Perfect Stranger".

The UK dubstep group Magnetic Man is on a tear lately, with the hype reaching a fever pitch as they unleash their self-titled debut album this week via iTunes, with the deluxe CD package arriving on US shores May 10th. Magnetic Man will be burning up the stage at Coachella in just a few days, looking to ratchet up the heat on an already successful young career. Magnetic Man features collaborations with a host of luminaries, including Ms. Dynamite (sure wish she’d put out another album soon), John Legend, and Katy B, who handles the vocals on “Perfect Stranger”. In another honor for the group, pioneering London dubstep producer Benga remixes this glorious dance tune, which we have the pleasure of sharing with you today.



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Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
French-duo Gentlemen Drivers offer up a brain-stimulating visual adventure that is equal parts creepy, strange and obscure for "Valdor".

Check out the latest offering from French-duo Gentlemen Drivers—a brain-stimulating visual adventure that is equal parts creepy, strange and obscure for their track “Valdor”, which appears on a recently released EP out with Because Music (Justice, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Daft Punk’s Electroma, Jarvis Cocker, Manu Chao, The Klaxons, Metronomy). The video was directed by Allen Cordell, best known for his work with Cloud Nothings, Beach House, Tobacco. The group has a full-length release slated for the fall.



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Wednesday, Apr 13, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
Diego Garcia, the former frontman of Elefant, releases his solo debut this week, an album written to heal a broken heart.

Diego Garcia, the former frontman of Elefant, releases his solo debut this week via Nacional Records. Laura is already doing well at radio, with perennial trendsetting KCRW playing tracks often and the artist has also snagged an upcoming Starbucks “Pick of the Week”, which should substantially raise his profile as folks pick up those little download cards while waiting in line for their lattes. The album was inspired by a break-up, always good for inspiring songwriting. “I made the record to survive,” Garcia says. “I had to heal my heart. In other words, I had to get my girl back. It was time to write a record that only my story could tell. Artists like Sandro, Roberto Carlos and Julio Iglesias were early pioneers in what I like to refer to as a movement of romanticism in music. It only made sense for me to pick up where they left off.”



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