An interview with Lela Lee
An interview with Ryan Obermeyer
If you love violence and are curious about how many times Jesus can topple over, bleed profusely, and be savagely crushed under his cross, rent this.
Take a handful of power chords, slightly countrified; add a half-spoken male vocal, and mix with a dash of slightly drunken, slightly horny revelations.
Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione twist out thick, sometimes jazzy, sometimes waltzing, syncopated and minor-key music, redolent of pantomime and German cabaret.
Too many tracks ramble in aimless, “Aren’t I cute and pissed?” pseudo-poetry with cuckoo noises and blips and squiggly noise acting as accompaniment.
Singer Liz Enthusiasm calls it as she sees it while ticky-tocky blips and bomps back her up like the “demo” button on that old mini keyboard.
Calling itself fuzz-folk, Rural Electric uses megaphone-style distortion and minor-key harmonies to evoke a wistful place where we lean up against our memories.
Take equal measures of Roger Waters, world music, and goofy optimism, and stir. Place in a small, artsy venue and add aging hippie audience.
Mix Blondie with John Mayer, hop on a bike and chew some gum. Funky with a heartbroken voice and ’80s hooks: Somewhere between folk, rock, and Talking Heads.
An interview with Matthew West
As all Rasputina albums should be: Reeking of mold and moss, terrible, rusting metal tools and the fascination of limb loss.
Spacey blips and tones, something like Moby meets Enya, with Suzanne Vega-like floating soprano vocals.
There are almost no refrains or singable lines. Dissonant chords, whispers, high squeaks, and line after line about love and disillusionment and The Man.
With steady, heart-bearing emotion washing through the notes like a young Michael Stipe, Tim Hort has created the R.E.M. album we’ve all been wishing for since Out of Time.
There is something inherently stirring about that Billie Joe (of Green Day) virile slacker-collegiate sound certain singer boys seem to have, and Pensive has it.
Rob knows how to write good pop with a touch of rockin’ country twang. He does it with energy and a smile, and throws in some gentle slow jazz sounds and even a little funk for good measure.
Imagine Blue Öyster Cult meet The Moody Blues, soulfully singing “I don’t talk to no one but myself” and occasionally slowing it down with a folksy ballad. I don’t have hard proof, but I smell a Renaissance Faire somewhere in here.
With something of The Cardigans’ coming-of-age melancholy and vulnerably out-of-tune harmonies, it’s obvious why Joint Custody was a staple on the college festival circuit.
Those who know what “They Might Be” means will be very interested in this. Songs about mix tapes, a math prof rock star, and schizophrenics appear with singable pop harmonies galore.
I want to know what these kids will come up with when they have their own head-on collisions with teen angst, not just tribute angst for some outgrown rocker.
Chicks love damaged goods, and apparently, so does Interscope. So the drug-recovered dudes got a second chance.
With Burt Bacharach arrangements, hearts and flowers lyrics, and baby-girl voice, Paula Kelley is an alt-pop siren calling out to shaggy-haired college boys.
With the hushed commands “relax..” and “come here….”, powder-voiced axegirl Jane Jensen rocks hard, a fetishy little doll whispering over grinding chords.
The production is smooth, the rough-fuzzed guitars are sexy. The lyrics are a work in progress. Perhaps tweaking the prescription could set things right.
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