Music

Love Light Orchestra - "Love and Happiness" (audio) (premiere)

Love Light Orchestra recall the glory days of Memphis soul and blues on "Love and Happiness".

Acclaimed Memphis vocalist John Nemeth's latest project sees him joining forces with some of Tennessee's finest soul musicians. The ten-piece collective, called the Love Light Orchestra, brings their audience back to the era of 1960s R&B.;


Complete with guitar, bass, drums, keys, and a horn quintet, the band achieves what they set out to do in their mission statement with Nemeth's passionate vocals steering them home. This much is indicative on their latest single, a fiery cover of Al Green's "Love & Happiness". In their interpretation of the song, the Love Light Orchestra rearranges it into a swinging, blues-laden affair that allows the entire band to show off their chops.

The band was co-founded by Marc Franklin, a song arranger and trumpeter. Franklin tells PopMatters that "Teenie's guitar line from 'Love and Happiness' always reminded me of the intro to 'Fables of Faubus' by Charles Mingus. So I kinda built the arrangement based on making that guitar line swing, and I gave what is normally a quiet and loose intro, a big Bobby Bland-style treatment. The rest just fell into place."

Love Light Orchestra's self-titled debut album releases on 17 November via Blue Barrel Records. It was produced in a live setting by Matt Ross-Spang (Margo Price, Jason Isbell) that fully captures the soaring spirit of the band.

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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