Call for Feature Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009
9 August 2009 - Schubas Tavern, Chicago / Words and Pictures by Kirstie Shanley

Fans of Scotland’s five-piece Trashcan Sinatras were thrilled last Sunday night to have the opportunity to see them playing songs again from their previous five studio albums as well as new material.  Devotees were also excited to be able to purchase their newest, soon to be officially released album, In the Music, which the band is planning on touring on more extensively in the fall.  Despite that The Trashcan Sinatras have technically been around for nearly 25 years, its members don’t seem worn down.  They haven’t lost their ability to be truly engaging live, finding a balance between subtlety and devoted cries.



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Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009
Three unique women vocalists from Australia, Oregon and Brooklyn carried a night of modern folk music that, as the headlining Alela Diane put it, made sense together.

Alela Diane, a Portland, Oregon transplant from Nevada City, California, took the spotlight at a packed Union Hall recently after sets from Melbourne, Australia’s Luluc and Bushwick’s own Sharon Van Etten.


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Thursday, Aug 20, 2009
Live @ Old American Can Factory / Words and Pictures by Thomas Hauner

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Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009
Words and Pictures by Thomas Hauner

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Tuesday, Aug 11, 2009
Words and Pictures by Thomas Hauner

African music, both traditional and contemporary, seems to be having a moment this summer in New York City. Artists like Oumou Sanger, Rokia Traore, Asa, Amadou and Mariam, and Tinariwen have enlightened ears with stunning cultural cadences. And this past week while ivy leaguers Vampire Weekend emulated West African guitars for rain-soaked teens at All Points West, virtuosos Béla Fleck and Toumani Diabaté played to a decidedly more traditional, and erudite, crowd. They came not only for the hour of acoustic duets between Fleck’s banjo and Diabaté’s kora, but also to view Throw Down Your Heart, a documentary (directed by Fleck’s half-brother Sascha Paladino) about Fleck’s 2005 journey to Africa tracing the banjo’s musical roots.


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