Music

Sally Crewe & the Sudden Moves: Your Nearest Exit May Be Behind You

Whip-smart lyrics, jagged guitar and a skanking stop-start rhythm section fuel an infectious blast of streamlined indie-pop that brings to mind the cool swagger of early Joe Jackson.


Sally Crewe & the Sudden Moves

Your Nearest Exit May Be Behind You

Label: 8-Track Mind
US Release Date: 2009-01-27
UK Release Date: Unavailable
Website
Amazon
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Cars and boys, the primary lyrical interests (read obsessions) that fueled the staccato post-punk engine of singer/guitarist Sally Crewe's two previous long players, Drive It Like You Stole It (2003) and Shortly After Take-Off (2005), are still in evidence on Your Nearest Exit May Be Behind You. This time around, however, relationships take a front seat, while the automobile is used less as a metaphor for love than an escape pod from life's troubles. One notable exception is Crewe's wonderful ode to her Lotus Elise on "Call the Police". Backed by her ever-changing band the Sudden Moves, which consists here of George Duron on drums and bassist Matt Baab (since replaced by Tommy Keene), Crewe, the Austin-based ex-pat from Yorkshire, has delivered another infectious blast of streamlined indie-pop that brings to mind the cool swagger of early Joe Jackson. Jagged guitar and a skanking stop-start rhythm section provide the foundation for Crewe's whip-smart lyrics such as the catchy lovelorn lines found on "Magnet" ("You're like a magnet / I'm just a little paper clip"), one of the albums many highlights. Great stuff!

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To be a migrant worker in America is to relearn the basic skills of living. Imagine doing that in your 60s and 70s, when you thought you'd be retired.


Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

There's been much hand-wringing over the state of the American economy in recent years. After the 2008 financial crisis upended middle-class families, we now live with regular media reports of recovery and growth -- as well as rising inequality and decreased social mobility. We ponder what kind of future we're creating for our children, while generally failing to consider who has already fallen between the gaps.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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Here comes another Kompakt Pop Ambient collection to make life just a little more bearable.

Another (extremely rough) year has come and gone, which means that the German electronic music label Kompakt gets to roll out their annual Total and Pop Ambient compilations for us all.

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Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11
Amazon
iTunes

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

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