It took a sinfully long time for Austin City Limits to induct Guy Clark into their esteemed hall of fame, but some artists don’t collect their due until it is too late.
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When New York’s Cardiknox talk about world domination, there is no maniacal laughter involved. There’s an intense passion that wants to push a dream forward. While the indie pop scene can be like an art show where people pick favorites, Thomas Dutton and Lonnie Angle have more than enough fight in them. When they dream of being larger than life kings and queens, what they really are saying is that they are truly serious about wanting to play Madison Square Garden.
When Tristan Eaton designed the artwork for Portrait, the duo’s debut album, there began to be a sense that something was concrete. Though the band had a couple songs and music videos under their belt, the process of a debut was something that made things real. Bigger prospects would then be hoped for. PopMatters had the chance to speak to the duo on their inspirations, song process, and, ultimately, how they condensed something giant into a beautifully small package.
First, a confession: I’ve never really understood the collective mourning when most artists die. Not to sound callous, but what exactly am I supposed to be mourning? I don’t personally know the artist in question. In the vast majority of the cases, said artist stopped making music that mattered to me years before his or her death. The actual act of passing does absolutely nothing to change my relationship to the artist. Bowie’s Station to Station sounds every bit as good as it did two years ago or 20 years ago.
Town Mountain‘s new album, Southern Crescent, released on April 1st via Todd Snider’s new record label, Lo Hi. We previously featured this IBMA Award winning band just prior to the release of Leave the Bottle. When we talked for this podcast at Revelator Coffee in Nashville during AmericanaFest, the band had not publicly announced the album and were shopping it around. Southern Crescent reflects the band’s loose, dance-able music, more reflective of their festival and club sets that a staid performing arts center straight-bluegrass set. I’m not sure if the Southern Crescent still runs from Atlanta to Boston like my relatives talked about taking to go “visit culture” in the Northeast, but I’m fairly sure it still runs down to New Orleans, where a more exhilarating culture has endured—an apt analogy for this album.
Amidst meeting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the surprise SNL appearance anchoring the performance of one of music’s ascendant stars, and taking his mainstream erotica soundtrack to the Oscars, one recent event has stood out as indicative of the Weeknd’s incredible metamorphosis from blog darling to ubiquity: a change in real estate. In a February Los Angeles Times article, it was revealed that the Weeknd, born Abel Tesfaye, no longer made his residence in Toronto, but instead lived in an LA condo. Having not left Toronto for virtually all of his first 21 years, the city can lay claim to birthing one of the greatest trilogies in music, and moving away signifies that era has ended. Now, this certainly isn’t surprising given his status, but instead makes this retrospective all the more necessary, as five years ago today, the Weeknd released his debut mixtape, House of Balloons.