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Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010

Since her 2005 debut album, Victim of Truth, nu-soul songstress Nneka has been compared to Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and a whole host of other passionate R&B, reggae and hip-hop heavyweights. After its release, Truth garnered critical acclaim overseas, eventually being named by The Times (UK) as one of 2006’s most “criminally overlooked albums” stating it “as good as The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.” Having yet to make her stamp in the States, Nneka made her U.S. debut this past November at Joe’s Pub in New York City and is now currently touring the country in support of her first American release, Concrete Jungle, which came out out on 2 February.


Born and raised in the Delta region of Nigeria, Nneka moved to Germany at the age of 19 to study anthropology and to pursue a career in singing.



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Thursday, Feb 11, 2010
by Kevin Amorim / Newsday (MCT)

The supergroup—that pop-music phenomenon where already-famous musicians collaborate to create a new, sometimes short-lived band—is still alive and well.


Just last year, several supergroups went supernova—from the hard-rocking and unfortunately named Chickenfoot (Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony, Red Hot Chili Pepper Chad Smith and guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani) to the power-poppy Tinted Windows (Hanson’s Taylor Hanson, Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha, Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger and Cheap Trick’s Bun E. Carlos).


Included in that list is the classic alt-rock trio Them Crooked Vultures—Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl from Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme.


Here are 10 other supergroups, by era.


—Kevin Amorim / Newsday (MCT)


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Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Jamie Lidell
Compass
(Warp)
Releasing: 18 May


Beck and Feist are just two of the musical luminaries stepping in for an assist on UK blue-eyed soul meister Jamie Lidell’s new platter due out in May. This goes beyond the casual guest appearance, as both Beck and Feist wrote tunes with Lidell for Compass. Oh, and some folks from Wilco and Grizzly Bear turned up too. This should be a good one and here’s a stream to whet the appetite.



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Thursday, Feb 4, 2010

It’s no doubt that my favorite album from 2009 was M. Ward’s sensitive and unassuming Hold Time. Every time I listen to it, I’m romantically transported to a perfect sunset circa 1960 and Ward seems to be a fan of that era as well. I’ve read various articles about his fascination with old-timey analog recording tools and instruments. Listening to his music always provides a soulful escape from what can be an all-too-modern collage of noise and images out in the world. 


As is often the case, I have one of M. Ward’s songs in my head. The song is a cover of Buddy Holly’s 1958 single, “Rave On”. The song was actually first recorded by Sonny West, but made popular by Holly. I’m not a Buddy Holly expert, but it’s always interesting to connect the dots with some internet research. So I’ve included Holly’s “Rave On” below, followed by a young Waylon Jennings riffing on the tune with mariachi horns, a rare John Lennon cover of the same song and, finally, M. Ward’s 2009 version.



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Friday, Jan 29, 2010

Dreams in Static
Serene Poetic
Shempseed
Releasing: 2 Februrary


Where experimental hip-hop meets psychedelic rock, you will find Dreams in Static, a Brooklyn-based duo on the verge of releasing their debut album, Serene Poetic. Awash in layered harmonies, sharp analog synths, reverbed guitars, and dense drumbeats, the record—which will be released on 2 February—is as peaceful as it is haunting.


Dreams in Static is the brainchild of Diwon, a hip-hop producer from New York, and Dugans, a guitarist from Texas. For this project, the two combine their respective musical backgrounds to form one cohesive sound. Diwon, who plays drums and synths on the record, is deeply influenced by his Yemenite background (where his mother’s family originates). By blending a Middle Eastern flair with a classic hip-hop sound, he provides the backbone to Serene Poetic. Dugans adds his own flair with ambient guitar riffs, amplified by a unique brand of effects, to perfectly complement Diwon’s dark beats. While Serene Poetic may be all instrumental, there are also plans to release an album with vocals in the near future.


SONG LIST
01 If on a Winter
02 The Ineffable
03 Day/Night
04 Notes From Under
05 Invisible Man
06 The Border/The Sun
07 Theta
08 Magic Carpet
09 Heartbreaking Work
10 American Pastoral
11 Befallen By Dreams
12 Kingdom Come
13 Lost/Forgotten
14 Standing in Shadows
15 Recurrent Dreams
16 Waking
17 Crescent Shape
18 Murmered Rhymes
19 Eighty Six
20 A Farewell Too
21 Disquietude
22 What You Did feat. Dov


 


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