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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Britrock's Kaiser Chiefs returned this year with a new record and just recently they stopped by Guitar Center to record some live performances of their new songs.

Here we have Kaiser Chiefs taking an acoustic turn through Education, Education, Education & War‘s “Bows & Arrows”. If it’s possible, this take is a bit of a mellower affair than the very electric album version. The At: Guitar Center with Nic Harcourt podcast includes live performance clips, as well as engaging interview portions where the artists discuss the creation of their music.


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Wednesday, Apr 23, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Tex Ritter's granddaughter Carly Ritter emerges as a promising young Americana artist with her self-titled debut from Vanguard Records.

Carly Ritter grew up in a musical home with her parents large collection of rock ‘n’ roll records. But it’s when she decided to explore her grandfather’s traditional forms of country music that she truly found her voice. In college while majoring in philosophy, Ritter spent her senior year “in the basement of the music library scouring sheet music for all these old folk songs, spirituals, blues and country songs.” That devotion has paid off with this fine debut. Teaming with Ry Cooder, his son and his son’s wife among others, Ritter now offers up Carly Ritter.


Today we are premiering the video for the single “It Don’t Come Easy”, which Ritter says “speaks to the tension between wanting love and at the same time wanting freedom.” Ritter adds, “I adore ‘It Don’t Come Easy,’ which Juliette wrote and asked me to add a verse. It’s a kind of sad song that speaks to some of the challenges of love. I played it recently at an open mic, and afterwards a man came up to me crying; he told me he had some kind of catharsis when he heard it. That’s one of the great things about sad songs.”



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Monday, Apr 21, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
Ottawa’s Stand Up and Say No is headed up by Andre Nault, the rare musician who manages to remain as devoted to making music as he is about raising his family.

Nault was pretty much headed out of the music scene after too many dates playing to small and unappreciative crowds. Then, his songwriting gift for a good hook and a catchy melody was discovered by a Los Angeles licensing company and he started getting jobs writing jingles. And he kept making his music too. Stand Up and Say No‘s new record is the Assuming Loyal EP releasing on May 6th.


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Monday, Apr 21, 2014
Frankenstein drunk dials his Bride in new video.

Back on March 25, singer/songwriter Robby Hecht released his eponymous third album. It’s a stunner, in the grand tradition of perennial favorites like Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Shawn Colvin. One of the songs, “Soon I Was Sleeping”, steps a little bit outside of Hecht’s normal folk borders and into country ballad terrain. But, hey, the guy lives in Nashville, so it was bound to happen at some point.


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Friday, Apr 18, 2014
by PopMatters Staff
British singer Shirin brings glampop back front and center, but she can rock too and sounds like the next in the line of great UK dancepop divas.

Shirin‘s debut release is the EP Good Girls Always Surrender and “Take a Bullet” is the first single. The tune is a real dancefloor filler with bangin’ beats and powerful vocals.


Shirin says, “the writing process for ‘Take a Bullet’ happened so quickly for me. I remember sitting in the studio with Michael Stockwell and he had this guitar riff playing round and round, which is the opening riff for the song, and I was thinking ‘this feels like a real movie soundtrack song.’ I had all these images playing out in my mind like I was in a Western film sitting in a saloon, and then the chorus kicks in and it’s like a brawl is happening. It felt really epic and the first like that came to me was “Bang, Bang, Bang Honey, shot you down, down.”


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