Music

The Future Kings of Nowhere: The Future Kings of Nowhere

A promising debut from this North Carolina band of acoustic indie rockers.


The Future Kings of Nowhere

The Future Kings of Nowhere

Label: 307 Knox
US Release Date: 2007-06-23
UK Release Date: Unavailable
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Durham, North Carolina band the Future Kings of Nowhere take acoustic Americana and strap it to indie rock's fun and reckless engine. Album opener "Lather, Rinse, Repeat" has irrepressible energy and some trickily catchy chord changes. "Never" is more straight-ahead, but just as propulsive, and "C Is for Heartache" nods to the folk-punk of the Femmes. Punched up with horns, closing track "Paper Napkins" saves one of TFKoN's very best cuts for last. On a few songs, however, the band sound a bit too much like Bright Eyes, especially with regards to singer Shayne O'Neill's cadence and melodic choices. Still, if you're going to borrow from anyone on the scene, Conor Oberst's style is a very fine choice. Another point of distraction is that O'Neill occasionally wanders distractingly out of tune ("What You Don't Know Might Kill Me" being the biggest offender). Other than those quibbles, The Future Kings of Nowhere is a solid debut of exuberant, rural-tinged pop music. This is one of those first albums that's best described as "promising" rather than "fully realized", but this new band is well on its way.

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Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century

Publisher: W. W. Norton
Author: Jessica Bruder
Publication date: 2017-09
Amazon

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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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