CFP: The Legacy of Radiohead's 'The Bends' 20 Years On [Deadlines: 29 Jan / 12 Feb]

 
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Thursday, Jan 29, 2015
The minimalist funk of Frank Ocean's "Lost" gets a unique treatment in the hands of the cello/drums duo Live Footage, all of it captured on a GoPro camera.

Together, Topu Lyo (five string cello and effects) and Mike Thies (drums and keyboards) make up Live Footage, an experimental and eclectic outlet of musical exploration that the duo describes as “IDM: impressionistic dance music”. With this intriguing aesthetic, Live Footage have now taken to covering the music of Frank Ocean, namely the track “Lost”, off of 2012’s critically acclaimed channel ORANGE. Lyo and Thies’ dextrous musical skill and crafty ear for tinkering with melody are alive and well in this inspired take on “Lost”.


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Thursday, Jan 29, 2015
The latest video from the Ozark Mountains folk group Pawns or Kings, "Light Over the Ridge", is an intimate depiction of feeling at home -- just as you're about to leave it.

The folk music purveyed in by the quartet Pawns or Kings is certainly befitting of their native Ozark Mountains in the American Midwest. However, the group’s music takes on a curious light when one considers its origins: Pawns or Kings arose from the prog rock outfit the Race to Olvido. Listening to the former band’s newest album, 2014’s Pomme de Terre, it’s hard to imagine the music coming from the world of Dream Theater-esque shredding, but lo and behold these four musicians pulled the transition off.


Below you can watch the video for the Pomme de Terre tune “Light Over the Ridge”, which was filmed at a transitory moment in the life of Pawns or Kings.


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Thursday, Jan 29, 2015
Beatles-esque vocal harmonies meet clap-along rhythms in the latest number by the Los Angeles rock outfit Prima Donna, "Deathless".

In the press materials for their new album, Nine Lives and Forty-Fives, the Los Angeles rock band Prima Donna are described as having a “curriculum [that] includes musical road trips with Eddie and the Hot Rods, Adam Ant, D-Generation and even Green Day, who they supported on two arena tours on two continents.” The influences of those groups are certainly evident in Prima Donna’s music, but on their latest number, “Deathless”, their vocal harmonies bring to mind an influence that few if any rock bands can escape: the Beatles. With this track, Prima Donna tips their cap to their forebears while adding their own driving verve and energy, with some excellent work on the low end by the bass playing of “Lights Out” Levine.


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Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015
"Fight for What's Right" begins a six week long behind the scenes exclusive look at the new album by the rising UK sibling trio the Rua.

Having already picked up some attention in their native United Kingdom, the all-sibling trio the Rua, comprised of 22-year old Roseanna Brown (voice and guitar), 24-year old Alanna Brown (piano and backing vocals) and 19-year old Jonathan Brown (violin, guitar, vocals and backing vocals), is preparing to bring their music across the pond. The classically trained trio’s debut LP Essence is being prepared for a spring 2015 release in the States. Already, the Rua have earned comparisons to the likes of Fleetwood Mac from publications like Q Magazine, and the association is certainly not off. Emotionally resonant and harmonically arresting, these siblings have put their best foot forward with their debut LP.


While you wait for Essence‘s release date, tune into PopMatters over the next six weeks for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the writing and recording of the music. Each week, we’ll premiere a video that features the band explaining a particular song on the album. By the end of this series, you’ll have a pretty strong picture of this preternaturally talented young trio. While certain famous UK sibling acts gained their fame through public rivalries, these three use their familial rapport in the service of writing beautiful songs, with nary a hint of sibling competitiveness to be heard.


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Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015
Portland, Oregon neo-americana act Drunken Prayer pays tribute to the Band with the tender and curiously psychedelic duet "Evangeline".

The Band are one of the great rock acts of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Although that time is also associated with the rise of psychedelia, the music of the Band is anchored in the roots rock tradition—put simply, their music will never bring to mind any skies with diamonds. However, that doesn’t mean contemporary artists can’t take the music of that essential Band and throw in some psychedelic flourishes, just as the Portland, Oregon outfit Drunken Prayer has done with their cover of “Evangeline”, featuring Freakwater’s Janet Beveridge Bean on supporting vocals. The video to “Evangeline” features distinct washes of psychedelic color, an appropriately quirky, Pacific Northwest touch to this classic tune. For a slightly off-kilter take on America as only Portland can bring it, Drunken Prayer will do just the trick.


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