Ani DiFranco, The Essex Green, The Church...

by PopMatters Staff

4 May 2006


Ani DiFranco—"Two Little Girls"
From Carnegie Hall 4.6.02 on Righteous Babe
Ani DiFranco’s live shows are legendary, whether performing with a six-piece band or standing alone with her guitar, but some shows stand out from the rest. Ani’s historic 2002 solo performance at Carnegie Hall is one of those. The ecstatic vibrancy of that evening is captured on Righteous Babe Records’ latest release, Carnegie Hall 4.6.02

The Essex Green—"Don’t Know Why (You Stay)"
From Cannibal Sea on Merge Records
The Essex Green blend the old with the new, incorporating the country rock mood of The Byrds, the Greenwich Village balladry of Fred Neil and the acoustic pop harmonizing of the Mamas and The Papas. Add a little of the pure pop perfection of The Monkees to traces of contemporary artists such as The Shins, The Hidden Cameras and Jens Lekman and you have The Essex Green’s recipe for timeless pop that is classic without being retro.

The Church —"Unified Field"
From Uninvited, Like the Clouds on Cooking Vinyl
Art-rock band The Church make music as they desire, without regard for current trend, trusting in the traditional virtues of talent, chemistry and good taste to guide them, an approach that has served them well for over 20 years.  The band has remained one of the world’s most innovative and enigmatic groups justifying praises from the press including “Best guitar band on earth”, “Sonic perfection”, “Sounds that caress the senses.”

Lambchop —"The Distance From Her to There"
From The Decline of Country & Western Civilization Part II: The Woodwind Years on Merge Records
Lambchop make music that defies easy categorization. They make uniquely American music, fluid in nature, grand in scope, made up of a musical melting pot of styles, influences, talent and experience. You can hear all of these on their latest album, a career-spanning compilation of singles, compilation tracks and unreleased gems called The Decline of Country & Western Civilization, Part II

Michael Meldrum —"Forget It"
From Open Ended Question on Righteous Babe Records
Open Ended Question showcases Michael Meldrum’s rich musical background with tracks that range from jubilant New Orleans romps to somber folk ballads. Breezy summer tunes and gritty roadhouse blues become intriguing neighbors to Indian themes and meditative chants, while Meldrum’s honest tales of bars and empty streets make for sincere, accessible songs filled with emotion and interwoven with religious imagery.

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