Music

The Drugstore Cowboys: Chapter 3006

Electroclash or industrial, either way, there's a little too much drugstore and not enough cowboy here.


The Drugstore Cowboys

Chapter 3006

Label: Lujo
US Release Date: 2006-10-10
UK Release Date: Available as import
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The duo that is the Drugstore Cowboys might have been to a couple of drugstores in their time, but they aren't western at all. The programming of this album brings to mind the Beta Band at their craziest, or Air if they began wearing more vampire capes during performances. Audibly unnerving at times, Philippe Grenade and Jeff Scott try to capture the electroclash fad with "Horror Flick, Scene 1: Introduction to Chaos" and the somewhat more refined "These Clouds Will Never Catch Us". But after a minute or so of this, you start looking at your watch or wondering how long this is going to continue. And using 9/11 audio snippets discussing "jumpers" won't create too many admirers either. For a few songs, there is a vibe that sounds like Trent Reznor on his moodier, less industrial days, as is the case with "Penguin Tuxes at the Disco Bar", with the almost obligatory "screamo" lines added in. The same can be said for "Mind of a Sales Man", but "Eulogy to a Friendly Foe" is a far better effort, resembling a darker Depeche Mode. Generally, though, this is an album best left on the shelf or, perhaps more appropriately, left in Mr. Grenade's mind. Need more proof? Check out "Only Fire Drives Away the Rats!".

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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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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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