Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New "old" Limes...great stuff

Limes is Shawn Cripps' extremely loose-knit, blues-slouching, garage-rocking project, usually with Harlan T. Bobo in tow, sometimes with other Memphis-area players. I reviewed his third (but first readily available) CD Rhinestone River last year for Dusted. Now Goner has repackaged his first two CDRs which are, if it's even possible, rawer and more relaxed than Rhinestone. This is great, great stuff, and if you like bands like the Oblivians, Ty Segall, the Reigning Sound etc., but think they're just too damned antsy and quick, hah, have I got a record for you.

Here's a link to "5 Years" on Soundcloud.

John Hiatt and I are both Hoosiers

...which broke the ice a little in one of those annoying, big-ticket interviews where the subject is doing 4-5 in a row at 15 minute intervals and trying to say as little as possible off the script. There was a huge rush on this, supposedly so we could get it up around the release date, which was (ahem), almost a month ago. Anyway, nice guy.

Hot Licks and Fast Cars: The John Hiatt interview
By Jennifer Kelly 31 August 2011

John Hiatt has loved racecars almost as long as he’s loved the guitar. The songwriter first picked up a guitar at the age of 11 and has had his songs covered by artists as diverse as Three Dog Night, Bob Dylan, Linda Ronstadt, Iggy Pop, and Bonnie Raitt. Still, he grew up in Indianapolis in the 1960s with the roar of the track in his ears and his head.

“The Indy 500 was such a big deal,” he remembers. “The whole month of May was devoted to it. My buddies and I would go out two or three times during practice weeks and then to all the qualifying matches. We were just totally enamored by the whole deal. In those days it was the all the front engine Offenhausers, but just the sound of one of those on the straightaway…” His voice trails off in a reverie of adrenaline, exhaust and decibels. “I just loved that stuff. And the race car drivers were every bit as heroic as Otis Redding or Lightning Hopkins or any of the music heroes that I had.”


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Marissa Nadler's self-titled

Yeah, so I was kind of thinking about the hurricane on my run yesterday, along with some other things have gone wrong recently, and listening to Marissa Nadler, because it was the only Dusted record I had, at the moment, that was already out and could be reviewed and run quickly...and the whole thing ran together in a kind of odd review that's up today...

Marissa Nadler
Marissa Nadler
Box of Cedar

he morning after the hurricane, sunlight streams down on stagnant pools of mud, dapples through the branches of broken, 100-year-old trees, glistens on gravel-strewn, washed out stretches of road. Marissa Nadler, meanwhile, sings on the headphones, scattering the same brilliance on a different, more human kind of ruin, her voice alternatingly piercing and dusky soft as it traverses storm-wracked emotional territories. It takes a minute, given the extreme prettiness of the melody, to recognize that Nadler is, on the opening “In Your Lair, Bear,” singing about a hurricane in someone’s veins in the sweetest, most placating tones of the folk singer’s handbook. How appropriate, you think, as you step over a mess of blown-down sticks and leaves, that when the storm finally breaks, Nadler would be there to sing it down softly, folding it like velvet into a memory chest.


"The Sun Always Reminds Me of You"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Yellow Ostrich

We survived the hurricane...actually, it was just a really nasty, wet day yesterday, no flooding or big branches down, no loss of power, at least not here. (And we lose power all the time, sometimes for no evident reason.)

Meanwhile, Blurt ran my review of Yellow Ostrich's debut The Mistress on Friday.

Yellow Ostrich
The Mistress

n "WHALE," Alex Schaaf's reedy tenor weaves up and around itself, layered in harmonies, offset by intricate counterparts, punctuated by raucous, celebratory bursts of percussion and offhand scribbles of guitar. The best moments of The Mistress, "WHALE" included, are like this - driven by complicated, multiply-overdubbed melodies that are both home-tape rough and baroquely ornate.

Schaaf is a native of Wisconsin currently residing in Brooklyn, who wrote and arranged the songs for this debut album in his bedroom. More recently, though, he's augmented his Yellow Ostrich project with Fool's Gold percussionist (and ex-We Are Scientists' drummer) Michael Tapper, and Beirut multi-instrumentalist John Natchez. Actually, Beirut is a decent reference point for Schaaf's creaky yet evocative vocal style, and when he breaks free of the elaborate arrangements, he sounds like a happier, less ethnically curious Zach Condon. Still, as a pure indie pop singer, as for instance in the laid-back "I'll Run", there's nothing very remarkable about Schaaf. It's only in the album's busiest, most multi-layered arrangements that his songs take off.



Friday, August 26, 2011

Razika's Program 91

Got kind of a bitchy review of the new Nordic, dance-pop sensation Razika...I don't insist that all my Dusted records be good but I kind of expect them to be interesting.


Program 91
Smalltown Supersound

If you’re over 25, you can’t avoid feeling a little pervy listening to Program 91, the fresh-voiced, indie-ska-dance debut from a band of Norwegian 20-year-old women. Its bright, dewy textures suggest hopes as yet undashed, excitement not yet turned blasé, heartbreaks that are — even as they hurt — kind of a rush. The songs can’t wait to get wherever they’re going, can’t wait to find out what’s next, can’t be bothered to self-examine. The sense of youth is so palpable, you can almost smell the Clearasil. Even “Vondt I Hjertet,” which, by the way, translates as “Pain in Heart”, bounds ahead on borrowed Phil Spector drum booms, fidgets and twitches with upbeat-heavy guitars. The pain is no more than a sad face emoticon in a fleeting text message. The optimism floods through this song like a hormone surge at a high school cafeteria table. If you are anywhere past college, this is not for you, not anymore, and spending too much time on Program 91 feels like ogling the short shorts parade as the girls get off the school bus. (This, and also the album under review, is probably more fun if you’re male.)


"Nytt Pa Nytt"

Avos...guitar duets

The Tompkins Square label does a really fantastic job of finding great acoustic guitar players, whether they are old-school Takoma-style pickers from the 1960s languishing in obscurity or new jack hot shots with fingers in other pots, musically speaking...that is, indie rock and so forth. Their latest effort is the latter kind of phenomenon, offering guitar duets from James Elkington and Nathan Salsburg.

Elkington is best known for his work with the wry, sardonic Zincs, as well as experimental post-Americana outfit the Horse's Ha (with Janet Bean from Freakwater). He also played guitar on Jon Langford's Skull Orchard.

Nathan Salsburg is the traditionalist of the pair, an archivist and producer for the Alan Lomax Archive, curator of the Twos & Fews vernacular-music imprint on Drag City Records, and host of the "Root Hog Or Die" program on East Village Radio. He also played on Imaginational Anthem 3.

The album is mostly traditional picking with some late-Fahey-ish experiments in noise and found sound folded in. The label is offering "The Queue Outside the Night Museum" as a sample, but I can't figure out how to embed it. Go here to listen in.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Male Bonding’s Endless Now

Here’s another shot of super fun, fuzzily melodic, punk rock from England…the band, in question, Male Bonding, comes from London, and Endless Now is record #2…though the first for me. They don’t really sound like the Thermals, but they give off that kind of vibe, tough but fizzy, engaging but by no means bubblegum.

Here’s “Tame the Sun” the first track off the album.

They’re touring the East Coast right now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011
Glasslands, Brooklyn NY

Sunday, August 28, 2011
Kung Fu Necktie, Philadelphia PA

Monday, August 29, 2011
Mercury Lounge, New York City NY

Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Brighton Music Hall, Boston MA

Thursday, September 1, 2011
Il Motore, Montreal QC

Friday, September 2, 2011
Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto Canada

Saturday, September 3, 2011
Magic Stick, Detroit MI

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Varsity, Minneapolis MN

Thursday, September 8, 2011
Subterranean, Chicago IL

Friday, September 9, 2011
Grog Shop, Cleveland Heights OH

Saturday, September 10, 2011
Red Palace, Washington DC

Saturday, September 24, 2011
Cavern (UK), Exter United Kingdom

Sunday, September 25, 2011
Globe (UK), Cardiff United Kingdom

Monday, September 26, 2011
Shipping Forecast, Liverpool United Kingdom

Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Victoria Pub, Birmingham United Kingdom

Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Ruby Lounge, Manchester United Kingdom

Thursday, September 29, 2011
Admiral (UK), Glasgow United Kingdom

Friday, September 30, 2011
Other Rooms, Newcastle United Kingdom

Saturday, October 1, 2011
Brudenell Social, Leeds United Kingdom

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Botanique, Brussels Belgium

Wednesday, October 5, 2011
OT301 , Amsterdam n/a

Thursday, October 6, 2011
Incubate Festival, Tilburg Netherlands

Friday, October 7, 2011
Fleche D'Or, Paris France

Saturday, October 8, 2011
FESTSAAL, Berlin Germany

Monday, October 10, 2011
59:1 , Munich Germany

Thursday, October 13, 2011
ISC Club, Bern Switzerland

Friday, October 14, 2011
Aeronef, Lille France

Monday, October 17, 2011
Garage (UK), London United Kingdom

Saturday, October 22, 2011
Chop Suey, Seattle WA
City Arts Festival!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Arrica Rose's Let Alone Sea

Another surprise from a record that looks like dime-a-dozen, standard-issue female-centric songwriter pop, but actually stands a good head or two taller than the competition. Arrica has a lovely, slightly hoarse soprano, full of shadow and nuance, touched at the edges with blues. Her songs are world-weary beauties, a sigh and a shrug built into airy melodies...and her band, the dot dot dots (as in Arrica Rose and the ...) is quite good, too, in a casual, natural way. There are quite a few comparisons floating around for Arrica's voice, but I'm thinking Cyndi Lauper for the rasp, Lisa Germano for the floating clarity.

Here's the video of Arrica's oddball mash-up of the first-ever song played on MTV plus Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World." (This is, BTW, probably the weakest song on the album, but that's what she's leading with.)

I like "If the World Won't Bend," better, don't you?

And, just for fun, the Buggles' version of "Video Killed the Radio Star"

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Vacation in NYC

Hey, I went on vacation. I went to New York City for four days and had a really FABULOUS time. Here are some of the highlights:

Got stuck in an epic thunderstorm at the corner of Houston and Broadway Friday night, watched the kids run screeching through the night, pelting rain, wind enough to turn umbrellas inside out...went, soaking wet, to Otto for a fantastic dinner.

Ate guinness gelato at laboratorio del gelato...when it melted, it was just like beer, only sweet and kind of milky.

Saw "Araby" a song cycle by Church of Betty band-leader Chris Rael, based on James Joyce's Dubliners, one song for each story, ending with a really lovely one, based on "the Dead," which is the only one I know at all, and only because of the movie. It was part of the fringe festival.

Saw "The Bardy Bunch" an unholy mash-up of the Brady Bunch, the Partridge Family and most of Shakespeare's tragedies, also at the fringe, kudos to the actress who played Jan as, among others, Ophelia. Now I can't get that Partridge Family song, "I Think I Love You" out of my head.

Korean barbecue at Kangsuh

Getting upgraded at our hotel to a better room, one with a terrace, drinking beer on said terrace before going out...this is how the rich people live all the time apparently.

Hearing Rakim while running around Central Park.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mikal Cronin

I've been seriously digging the upcoming album from sometime Ty Segall compadre Mikal Cronin. It's a lot like Ty's work, fuzzy, rough and melodic, like a Beatles song viewed through a really cracked, really dirty mirror.

The money track appears to be the one called "apathy," here courtesy of Pitchfork, enjoy...

I'm going away to NYC for a few days, for the Fringe Festival and to see some friends and eat well. I'm not bringing the laptop, so will probably not be posting, though I'll have email if you want to say hi.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fool's Gold, Leave No Trace

My review of the hotly tipped second album by Afro-pop Fool's Gold ran yesterday at Blurt. Too much pop, not enough Afro in a nutshell...

Fool's Gold
Leave No Trace

Since the self-titled 2009 debut, polyglot multinational Fool's Gold has streamlined from a rough-dozen players to a core of five, shifted its main lyrical language from Hebrew to English, and tested its desert blues chops in a tour with Tinariwen. The result, depending on how you look at it, is either conventional indie pop songs criss-crossed with interlocking Afro-Caribbean guitar lines, or polyrhythmic African jams that just happen to be slathered over with pop. Leave No Trace, then, is an interesting hybrid, not without charm, but certainly not without heavily hyped contemporaries either (i.e., Vampire Weekend, Ruby Suns, etc.).


“Street Clothes”

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

P.G. Six's Starry Mind

My review of the really quite enjoyable new Starry Mind, by sometime Tower Recordings guitarist P.G. Six runs today at Dusted.

P.G. Six
Starry Mind
Drag City

Four years ago, in his review of P.G. Six’s last album Slightly Sorry, Dusted’s Bill Meyer mentioned in passing that he’d seen the artist indulge his rock side, tossing aside his customary restraint and commun[ing] with his inner Crazy Horse.” With Starry Mind, Pat Gubler commits to tape these amplified, full-band endeavors, following fellow Tower Recordings vet Matt Valentine into distorted, Neil Young-ish country rock territories. Yet where Valentine gets lost in the drift, spinning out slouching, meandering, spiritually charged, electrically enhanced ragas, Gubler is ever the craftsman. His rock gardens are carefully tended, the buzz-saw drone of amp stacks hemmed in by flowery melodies, the twining ambivalence of tremolo trained up tidy lattices. Even in his most headlong, hurtling, chaos-embracing guitar breaks – the exhilarating coda to “Palace”, the droning, feedback-blurred duel with Tara Key in “Letter,” for instance – Gubler knows exactly where he left the song, and can make his way back there, neatly, easily, without a mark on him.



Monday, August 15, 2011

Get Help

I'm so excited about this feature finally running, because it reminds me of the old days at Splendid, when I ran features and could write about anything I wanted to. I didn't realize how lucky this made me, to be able to interview bands that no one else cared about (at the time, some of them became pretty big later, some didn't)...but the years since Splendid folded have been a long slog through the realities of music industry marketing and relevance and trendiness...Anyway, here's one more feature of a band that may never hit it big, but which is, nonetheless, very much worth noticing.

Labor of Love: Interview with Tony Skalicky and Mike Ingenthron of Get Help
By Jennifer Kelly 15 August 2011

Sometimes a band is a band from the beginning. Sometimes it starts as the tiniest spark of an idea, a good feeling, or even the warmth and understanding between two old friends.

Get Help is more the latter kind of band, a joint project between Tony Skalicky, who is better known for his work with the Beatings, and Mike Ingenthron, who has done time in Strikes Again. Now, with their second album The Good Green Earth out, the two have an actual band – drummer Gene D’Avolio and bassist John Vann Atta. Still, when they began a few years ago, they mostly just had each other, some shared ideas about R.E.M. and Guided by Voices, and an extended, musical email conversation.


"It's Only In Your Head"

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Collections of Colonies of Bees

Another review up late Friday afternoon at Blurt, this one of the experimental post-rock outfit Collections of Colonies of Bees.

Collections of Colonies of Bees

Last year, Collections of Colonies of Bees joined with fellow Wisconsinite Justin Vernon (aka Bon Iver) in their Volcano Choir joint effort, an odd, evocative album that spliced Vernon's haunting falsetto with the pointillist complexity of this avant rock outfit. With Giving, the band returns to its pounding, instrumental grooves, eschewing voices altogether, except for a short, computer-altered interlude in "Lawns." Unlike thoughtful, occasionally melancholy Unmap, Giving bursts with adrenalized optimism at every turn. Cruising at blur speed over rhythmic, repetitive landscapes, its four tracks convey a sense of rising possibility. You can't listen without a slight quickening of pulse, a subtle uptick in confidence.



Friday, August 12, 2011


Highly Publicized Digital Boxing Match is a skronky, ebulliant romp through the lands lying between jazz and math rock. It's by a band called Afuche, currently a five piece, headquarted in Brooklyn and led by Ruben Sindo and Zach Ryalls. Working with voice, keyboards, bass, guitar, baritone sax and drums, they create intricate, propulsive rhythms, blurts of irrepressible dissonance and ecstasies of improvisatory transport. The record will immediately remind you of Cuneiform label-mates Curlew, Upsilon Acrux, Bill Brovold and others. Tune-Yards, who seem to be becoming ubiquitous, make a guest appearance on this track, called "Danice Marino".

There are also two tracks titled, respectively, "Here's to Toast" and "Here's to Here's to Toast." A toast to toast. Indeed.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Apache Dropout

I've been hearing a lot of bands from Indiana lately...a lot of really strange, interesting ones, to the point where I'm starting to wonder if I was really paying attention back there in good old Fort Wayne...anyway, this is another one, Apache Dropout, from Bloomington, who ply a crazed, psychedelic, soul garage kind of trade. I believe there are connections to the late, great John Wilkes Booze, but not exactly sure what they are. Paul Mahern of Zero Boys produced. It's on Family Vinyard, which normally releases more in the free-jazz, experimental improv vein, but don't let that scare you. This is the good stuff, rock 'n roll style.

The band is, very generously, making the whole album available on Bandcamp, so what's stopping you?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Thee Ohsees' Castlemania

Who is better at Cramps'-style, monster-haunted garage rock than the Ohsees' John Dwyer? No one, that's who.

A review of the new one, up today at Dusted.

Thee Oh Sees
In the Red

The art for Castlemania shows a scarred, green goblin hand grasping a Playskool toy telephone, sharpened monster fingernails closing on an earpiece meant for toddler babble. In a way, it’s the album’s aesthetic in a nutshell, an antic, super-simplified sense of play juxtaposed with death and decay in a cartoon version of the danse macabre. Ohsees mainstay John Patrick Dwyer jitters St. Vitus style though manic 1960s pop landscapes, his grin either the pure pleasure of garage rock abandon or the way lips pull back from a rotting skull – or maybe both.


"I Need Seed"

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Beirut streaming...

I've been really enjoying Rip Tide, the new album from 20-something phenom, Zach Condon, especially the second half.

Check it out if you want. NPR is streaming the whole thing.

Mister Heavenly

There are a few indie rock types that I'm genuinely fond of them is Ryan Kattner, aka Honus Honus from Man Man. I wrote one of the first reviews of Man Man's first album and caught them playing in front of about 20 people, early on, at the Flywheel. (They practically burnt the place down.) Now they're a lot bigger, but Ryan's always been really nice to me...I've interviewed him twice so far, and I'd do it again any time.

I also have to say that I don't get the hostility that this band seems to generate, among certain kinds of music fans (I believe I'm the only one at Dusted who doesn't hate them fiercely). Sure Man Man is theatrical, and I think that riles up some people who think they like genuine-ness over artifice. But, holy shit, all music is theater. Man Man just takes it a little further, and anyway, it's fun to watch.

Man Man has fallen somewhat off my radar lately, mostly due to success (they're on Anti-, whose people have never been very impressed with my credentials, such as they are). I still haven't heard the new one. However, I do have a copy of the new Mister Heavenly, a side project of Kattner's with Nick Thornburn from Islands (and, if you want to go back a little further, Unicorns) and Joe Plummer from Modest Mouse. It's a bit more indie and less frenetic than Man Man, but not so terribly different. The new record, called Out of Love is coming in late August on Sub Pop.

Here's "Bronx Sniper"

Monday, August 8, 2011


Posted about this last week because I thought there was next to no chance of my being able to review it...but surprise, I got an assignment from Blurt just afterwards, and now my review is up on the site.

Family & Friends

Serengeti, the Chicago-born, LA-based rapper David Cohn, inhabits nearly a dozen different personas on his Family & Friends and sheds additional sympathetic light on a large cast of bystanders. Whether he's embodying the exhausted bigamist of "Goddamit" or the wistful young man connecting with his dad through drugs on "Long Ears" or the washed-up UFC gladiator in "The Whip", he observes without judging. Friends & Family is more like a short-story collection than poetry, though it has its share of arresting lines.



Saturday, August 6, 2011


Texas psych apparently doesn't begin and end with Black Angels, Explosions in the Sky and grandpa Roky. this new self-titled EP from Denton's Sundress evokes big sky-drones and chilly new-wave influenced psych anthemry. There's as much U2 and Radiohead DNA in it as Spaceman 3, and Wayne Coyne is supposed to be a big fan.

Anyway, it's good stuff. Have a taste if you're so inclined...


Sort of epic, don't you think?

the EP, just six songs, is a self-release out August 16, but you can find out more about it at the band's website.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Borrowed Beams of Light

Another really busy week..I've got an interview with Wooden Shjips in the works, another with John Hiatt in the pipeline, and a ton of paid work that none of you want to hear about. Meanwhile, here's a review of baroque pop Borrowed Beams of Light, whose first album takes the 15th century encrypted Voynich manuscript as its inspiration.

Borrowed Beams of Light
Stellar Hoax
Speakertree / World Records

Borrowed Beams of Light’s first full-length bursts with exuberance. Adam Brock and Nathan Walsh, at various points, pound piano keys, bang on cymbals, and break into giddy wordless spates of “ah-ah-ahs” and “whoa-oh-ohs.” There’s a caffeinated jitter just under the surface on even the tenderest, feyest indie-pop intervals of Stellar Hoax, even in the luminous, waltz-time “Nightwatch.” Elsewhere in the faster tunes, you can hear a hint of Danielson’s existential glee in the way that Brock’s voice frays at the high end into sheer vibrating euphoria.


You can stream the whole album here.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dum Dum Girls

I've been kind of on a Dum Dum Girls kick lately, starting, belatedly (it was under a big pile of stuff) with the spring-release EP He Gets Me High and moving just these week to the upcoming full-length Only in Dreams. I have not, in general, been very impressed with the current crop of girl-fronted garage poppers...except maybe for Sandwitches, which I like a lot. However, Dum Dum Girls has a couple of advantages over the hoard of Vivian Girls look-alikes in that singer Dee Dee has a great tender-tough voice, very much in the tradition of Chrissie Hynde, and she writes some really good, girl-group-flavored songs.

You can get the first single "Coming Down" direct from Sub Pop, but you have to enter your email somewhere and who wants to do that? Fortunately every online music magazine in the universe is mirroring the cut, so here it is courtesy of Gorilla Vs. Bear. It's slow and glorious and drenched, per the style of the day, in dreamy reverb...but killer, yeah?

"Coming Down"

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Almost forgot about this one, a review of the new Singer album, Mindreading, out now on Drag City. The review ran last week at Blurt when I wasn't paying attention...


(Drag City)

Three mainstays of Chicago's avant-garde offer another round of lavishly vocalized, synthetically orchestrated almost-pop. Mindreading is considerably more lush and accessible than 2008's Unhistories, though not exactly easy listening. Here listeners slip down silky bolt-holes, sleek bits of melody slipping through fingers as they seek some sort of grip on Singer's intricacies.

Singer is down to three members, drone-ambient/noise artist Robert A.A. Lowe, and Adam and Ben Vida. Todd Rittman (ex of US Maple), who contributed to Unhistories, has exited to pursue his D. Rider project, taking with him, perhaps, the noisier, more unsettling elements of Singer's sound. The remaining three musicians muster a variety of synths, guitars, percussion and voices - the name is Singer, after all - to create cerebral, faintly sensual landscapes that borrow from classic soul, prog, drone and pop.


"New Bad Teeth"

Is and Of The

Is and Of The is a terrible band name. See I have to bold it just so it doesn't get lost in the paragraph and it means nothing, doesn't even make sense as a phrase. (It's also nearly impossible to Google.) Even so, this one-man project from Philadelphian Drew Bandos is well worth checking out. The new album, with the equally opaque title Heads Phased for Dreamless Sleep, is lovely, oblique, evocative, slipping by in textures that are not quite ambiences, not quite songs but somewhere in between. The bio at Mush Records cites Boards of Canada and Do Make Say Think as reference points, but to me, it sounds like the otherworldly sound meshes of Function, the more unstructured, softer endeavors of Mogwai.

Mush has put track #3, "Sleepless Dream" up for free downloading.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Robert Ellis

Half country, half folk...and guess which half I like better?

Robert Ellis
(New West)

Houston songwriter Robert Ellis splits his sophomore album right down the middle, with one half of Photographs dedicated to sensitive, enlightened, modern-day folk pop, the other to straight-on, bootkicking and somewhat misogynist country. It's a bit of a Jeckyl and Hyde act, with Ellis happy to drive his ex to the airport for parts unknown on Jansch-like "Friends Like That," and even ready to chip in to redecorate in the mildly rollicking, extremely domesticated "Two Cans of Paint." Yet by side two, he's put on a bad-ass country hat, dragging himself home stinking drunk and belligerent in "What's In It For Me?" and threatening real harm if his girl steps out on "No Fun."


This is one of the country songs.

"What's In It For Me"

Monday, August 1, 2011

Austra interview

Hey, look, another interview running at PopMatters. How awesome is that?

This one is with Katie Stelmanis, she of the great big voice in dance pop Austra, who have an album called Feel It Break out on Domino now.

Brave New Voice: An Interview with Austra’s Katie Stelmanis
By Jennifer Kelly 1 August 2011

“I’m drawn to pop music, but I’m not drawn to pop music that’s too simple. You know, there has to be something new or something for my brain to think about,” says Katie Stelmanis, the powerfully voiced singer for Toronto synth phenomenon Austra.

Feel It Break, Stelmanis’ first album as Austra is a case in point. Its buoyant choruses and pristine dance riffs clearly belong to a pop tradition, but its complex vocal interplays and intricate arrangements reach beyond these boundaries. The Guardian’s Michael Hann observed, “Stelmanis is mannered enough to keep listeners on their toes, without tipping over into being irritating, adding a dash of spice to a record capable of intriguing both art and pop crowds.”