Music

Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards - "California Calling" (video) (premiere)

Photo: Louise Bichan

Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards create a stunning, forward-looking sound that charts a path for innovation in folk music.

Laura Cortese calls California home, although she earned her musical chops on the Boston roots music scene as she studied at the city's prestigious Berklee School of Music. Playing alongside artists such as Band of Horses, Pete Seeger, Rose Cousins, and Uncle Earl further honed Cortese's skills and now she has fully arrived with her band the Dance Cards. Back on 6 October, Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards released their debut recording California Calling, which features consummate musicianship, gorgeous vocals, and modern sonic arrangements married to the warmest of acoustic folk playing. It's a stunning, forward-looking sound that charts a path for further innovation in folk music.

The perfect way to discover this group's music is the title track "California Calling", which Cortese penned as a loving tribute to her home state. The song takes on new poignant meaning as the wildfires rage in the Golden State. Cortese says, "My heart is breaking for those affected by the wildfires in California. Our song 'California Calling' was intended as a love letter to California and now seems sadly prescient. I hope the song can serve as an anthem of hope and resilience that always characterized my home state.”

Today Laura Cortese and the Dance Cards are beginning their tour and it's a perfect chance to catch this rising folk band in concert.

TOUR DATES

10/19 Branchburg, Township, NJ, Rarity Valley Theater

10/20 Warren, RI, CommonFence Music

10/21 Portland, ME, One Longfellow Square

10/22 Cambridge, CA, Oberon

10/24 Berkeley, CA, Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse

10/25 Felton, CA, Don Quixote’s

10/26 Arcata, CA, Arcata Playhouse

10/27 Exclusive Video Screening & Live Performance - Portland, OR

10/28 Seattle, WA, Seattle Folk Lore Society

10/29 Los Angeles, CA, Hotel Cafe

11/05 Moab, UT, Moab Folk Fest

11/08 Saranac Lake, NY, Blue Seed Studios

11/09 Saratoga Springs, NY, Caffe lena

11/10 New York, NY, Rockwood 3

11/11 Easton, MD, Avalon Theater

11/12 Lancaster, PA, Tigh Mhary

11/16 Penninsula, OH, GAR Hall

11/18 Madison, WI, Crescendo Madison

11/19 Minneapolis, MN, Aster Cafe

11/29 Toronto, ON, The Burdock

12/01 Toronto, ON, Folk North Conference

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.

Keep reading... Show less
7

Very few of their peers surpass Eurythmics in terms of artistic vision, musicianship, songwriting, and creative audacity. This is the history of the seminal new wave group

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee's yearly announcement of the latest batch of potential inductees always generates the same reaction: a combination of sputtering outrage by fans of those deserving artists who've been shunned, and jubilation by fans of those who made the cut. The annual debate over the list of nominees is as inevitable as the announcement itself.

Keep reading... Show less

Barry Lyndon suggests that all violence—wars, duels, boxing, and the like—is nothing more than subterfuge for masculine insecurities and romantic adolescent notions, which in many ways come down to one and the same thing.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) crystalizes a rather nocturnal view of heterosexual, white masculinity that pervades much of Stanley Kubrick's films: after slithering from the primordial slime, we jockey for position in ceaseless turf wars over land, money, and women. Those wielding the largest bone/weapon claim the spoils. Despite our self-delusions about transcending our simian stirrings through our advanced technology and knowledge, we remain mired in our ancestral origins of brute force and domination—brilliantly condensed by Kubrick in one of the most famous cuts in cinematic history: a twirling bone ascends into the air only to cut to a graphic match of a space station. Ancient and modern technology collapse into a common denominator of possession, violence, and war.

Keep reading... Show less
10

This book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Marcelino Truong launched his autobiographical account of growing up in Saigon during the Vietnam War with the acclaimed graphic novel Such a Lovely Little War: Saigon 1961-63, originally published in French in 2012 and in English translation in 2016. That book concluded with his family's permanent relocation to London, England, as the chaos and bloodshed back home intensified.

Now Truong continues the tale with Saigon Calling: London 1963-75 (originally published in French in 2015), which follows the experiences of his family after they seek refuge in Europe. It offers a poignant illustration of what life was like for a family of refugees from the war, and from the perspective of young children (granted, Truong's family were a privileged and upper class set of refugees, well-connected with South Vietnamese and European elites). While relatives and friends struggle to survive amid the bombs and street warfare of Vietnam, the displaced narrator and his siblings find their attention consumed by the latest fashion and music trends in London. The book offers a poignant and jarring reminder not just of the resilience of the human spirit, but also of its ability to seek solace in the materiality of one's present.

Keep reading... Show less
8

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow shines on her impressive interpretation of Fontella Bass' classic track "Rescue Me".

Canadian soul singer Elise LeGrow pays tribute to the classic Chicago label Chess Records on her new album Playing Chess, which was produced by Steve Greenberg, Mike Mangini, and the legendary Betty Wright. Unlike many covers records, LeGrow and her team of musicians aimed to make new artistic statements with these songs as they stripped down the arrangements to feature leaner and modern interpretations. The clean and unfussy sound allows LeGrow's superb voice to have more room to roam. Meanwhile, these classic tunes take on new life when shown through LeGrow's lens.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image