Music

Kingsley Flood - 'Another Other' (album stream) (premiere)

Photo: Michael D. Spencer

Kingsley Flood is one of those bands that matter as they address race, identity and class issues in a serious way in their music.

Kingsley Flood is one of those bands that matter as they address race, identity and class issues in a serious way in their music. It's music with something important to say, like the Clash, all backed with with a hard-charging folk-inflected rock sound. Frontman Naseem Khuri is a Palestinian American, which gives him a strong vantage point to examine these issues and his wife is a speechwriter for President Obama. The band used a year-long PledgeMusic campaign to fund their latest album, Another Other, releasing today. That allowed the group the time and space to create the best music of their career as they labored long and hard to get things just as they wanted them on Another Other.

Khuri says, "this album flowed from this experience I kept having as a kid -- I'd want to leave the confines of my nice suburb and venture into Boston, and some adult -- parent, teacher, etc. -- would warn me about going past this one particular bridge. It took me a while. Years later I would spend many drunken nights sleeping on a friend's porch in that neighborhood to learn that "it's not safe there" meant "they're not like us".

"I wanted to tell that story, in the context of my own. I was always a bit confused: on one hand, I came from a nice suburb and had privilege. On the other, I was Palestinian-American and felt like an 'other' that I was warned about (yes, even by my parents). It took this album to figure out that tension. And writing an album was cheaper than therapy.

"I haven't really written like this before, in such a confessional way. Yes, I've always tackled pretty miserable topics like poverty and class -- I'm working on the whole 'love' thing -- but I've told other people's stories. Here I wanted to be a little selfish and narcissistic, maybe in a nod to this election year..."

Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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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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