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Tuesday, Aug 13, 2013
Josh Ritter wraps up his Summer tour this week, including a show at the esteemed Toad's Place, before heading out again for Fall acoustic shows.

Earlier this year, when PopMatters spoke with Josh Ritter, we noted that the “more plain-spoken lyrics and stripped-down musical arrangements” from his new album Beast In Its Tracks are “winning Ritter new fans”.


So if you haven’t heard him before, get a taste via this legal download of a live show recording from earlier this year. You can listen to and download a recording from Hamilton College at Archive.org. Once you do, you’ll probably want to see Ritter right away, so we’ve helpfully posted his remaining Summer tour dates, plus his stretch of acoustic shows in the Fall, below. If a whole download isn’t appealing and you only have time for one song, I highly recommend “A Certain Light”—a video with a live rendition and the song’s lyrics are posted below.


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Friday, Aug 9, 2013
by PopMatters Staff
Chris Flemmons won't just be coming to a venue near you, but he's bringing the show right to you if you're picked as a host for the Baptist Generals Living Room Tour.

The Baptist Generals’ Chris Flemmons won’t just be coming to a venue near you, but he’s planning on bringing the show right to you, if you win a contest to have him play an acoustic set in your very own home. Running from September 16 through October 15, 2013, the Baptist Generals Living Room Tour is a collaboration with the Undertow Music Collective, which has sponsored similar events with likes of David Bazan, Damien Jurado, and Califone. For details on how to host your very own Chris Flemmons performance, visit the Undertow site.


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Thursday, Aug 8, 2013
The blossoming, dramatic third single from Julia Holter's Loud City Song expands her former largely synthetic style in an organic, classic-sounding direction.

What Julia Holter calls the “heart” of her third record (and Domino debut) Loud City Song, third single “Maxim’s I,” starts in a mass of cymbals and blossoms into a fecund, organic piece of slow-moving, ever-ascending classic pop. The dramatic, six-minute song (compulsively repeatable, due in part to its Ouroboros-like structure, with those same cymbals closing the track) gives Holter space to showcase her already strong vocals in a less claustrophobic environment. The track’s live instrumentation lends lines like “What of hearts, and diamonds?” a vocal pop bigness unusual to much of her older material, and the strength of her unlayered, all-but-effects-free voice shows a growing sense of artistic confidence. Here’s hoping that Holter took as much care with Loud City Song‘s other organs as she did with its heart.



Tagged as: domino, julia holter
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Tuesday, Aug 6, 2013
Another song off of MGMT’s third self-titled album, due September 17 via Columbia Records.

The MGMT duo that is Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser has released a video for “Your Life Is a Lie”. It’s a trippy collage of visuals both mundane (birthday cake, boy choir and band flyer) and bizarre (singing skeletons and an early fax machine) full of colorful characters as directed by Tom Kuntz. As the words of this solid psych rock song are spelled out on various surfaces, a playful accent beat is illustrated by kicking things, bouncing a playground ball and even eating a banana.


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Tuesday, Jul 30, 2013
The Australian duo known as Jagwar Ma released their debut album, Howlin, just last month, but it’s already being buzzed about as a possible choice for end of the year “Best of 2013” lists.

According to their label, Mom + Pop Music, Gabriel Winterfield and Jono Ma went about “creating a sound that would capture their love of contemporary electronica and classic American Soul”. The album was recorded last year in an empty farm two hours south of Paris, with an 808 (a low tech drum machine), a Fender Jaguar, a pair of vintage Neve console channels and a laptop.


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