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Black Belt, From, Dustin O'Halloran

Black Belt --"Road Crew" from Two Minutes to Midnight on Novoton

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What if you kidnapped Pete Townshend, Iggy Pop and Otis Redding, put them in a small cabin, force fed them cheap beer and greasy food, and -- under the supervision of Josh Homme -- made them solve the great rock’n’roll riddle? You might come up with something similar to the diverse, yet straight-forward, soundscapes of Swedish power trio Black Belt -- big fuzzy guitars, fat ass bass, rolling drums, dirty denim, sweet soul and tons of swagger.

With one foot running the working class meanstreets of the '60s, the other foot placed firmly in the black soil of the south, Black Belt proove that it’s still possible to create a stir by rolling that old rock in yet another direction. With their largest production to date, the band both roars and crumbles, whispers and cuddles -- although they never lose trace of the chorus-driven nerve that made them a name in the first place.

From --"Fall on Me" -- a PopMatters exclusive

Sure, From is a four-letter F-word. It suits the band just fine. No song is precious. Nothing aims for utter seriousness. And it's not a bad thing to infuse some rawness into arty abstraction. In the fall of 2004, designer Roni Brunn launched From in Los Angeles, and the lineup has been fluid since. Brunn sings and writes all the music; production and performance duties are shared. From's sound began with the unexpecedly fecund pairing of the Stone Roses and early Madonna. Ride, Oasis, Primal Scream, and, of course, the Beatles have also influenced both the feel and the song writing. The lyrics reflect Brunn's multinational displacement, playful sobriety, and boy-crazy attachments: very specific yet simultaneously intutitive.

Dustin O'Halloran --"Opus 63" from the Marie Antoinette soundtrack, and "Opus 23" from Piano Solos Vol. 2

Piano Solos Vol. 2 is the beautiful new instrumental work from Dustin O' Halloran. Dustin recently attracted the attention of renowned music supervisor Brian Reitzell, who asked O'Halloran to assist in the score of Sofia Coppola's epic historical drama, Marie Antoinette. Two of the compositions on this new release, as well as Opus 17 from Dustin's first Piano Solos album, appear on the Marie Antoinette soundtrack.

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