Music

Tempo No Tempo: Repetition

If danceable, catchy songs are what you’re after than the Bay Area quartet should be an enticing prospect.


Tempo No Tempo

Repetition

Label: Double Negative
US Release Date: 2007-11-13
UK Release Date: Unavailable
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What you make of Tempo No Tempo’s second EP may well depend on your stance towards new music as a whole. If danceable, catchy songs are what you’re after than the Bay Area quartet should be an enticing prospect, but if originality and ingenuity are prerequisites of your taste then Repetitions may well fall short. Of the five tracks here the title-track is perhaps the strongest, reminiscent of Cold War Kids’ steely swagger, though Tyler McCauley’s vocals are unable to match those of the effortlessly debonair Nathan Willett. "Irregular Heartbearts" is more indicative of Tempo No Tempo's first offering The Get Down, its jerky, danceable post-punk likely to provoke painful memories for those still mourning the demise of Q and Not U. Elsewhere, "Narrowed Scopes and Sharpened Knives" is an interesting blend of brazenly uncool keyboards and Chris Cadena's more urbane vocals (which, at times, stray a little too close to the Bravery for comfort), held together by an effective dance-punk beat, while the uncharacteristic sedation of "Headlights" thankfully adds another shade to Tempo No Tempo's palette. The end result of all of this is an enjoyable, raw-sounding collection of songs; no more, no less. It won't change your life, but it should just about get you dancing. What's more, given the progress shown on Repetitions from its more immature, less adventurous predecessor, Tempo No Tempo's next offering should at the very least be worth a look-in.

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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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Music

The World of Captain Beefheart: An Interview with Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx

Gary Lucas and Nona Hendryx (photo © Michael DelSol courtesy of Howlin' Wuelf Media)

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From the opening bars of "Suction Prints", we knew we had entered The World of Captain Beefheart and that was exactly where we wanted to be. There it was, that unmistakable fast 'n bulbous sound, the sudden shifts of meter and tempo, the slithery and stinging slide guitar in tandem with propulsive bass, the polyrhythmic drumming giving the music a swing unlike any other rock band.

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From Haircut 100 to his own modern pop stylings, Nick Heyward is loving this new phase of his career, experimenting with genre with the giddy glee of a true pop music nerd.

In 1982, Nick Heyward was a major star in the UK.

As the leader of pop sensations Haircut 100, he found himself loved by every teenage girl in the land. It's easy to see why, as Haircut 100 were a group of chaps so wholesome, they could have stepped from the pages of Lisa Simpson's "Non-Threatening Boys" magazine. They resembled a Benetton knitwear advert and played a type of quirky, pop-funk that propelled them into every transistor radio in Great Britain.

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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.

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

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