I’m so happy to hear my beloved Dresden Doll get all creepy and goth again! If, like me, you adore The Dresden Doll’s “Perfect Fit,” Amanda’s string-infused Bowie tribute, the Stranger Things theme, The Legendary Pink Dots (duh, it is Edward Ka-Spel after all), and Bauhaus, this is the album for you. If you don’t like them, well, I question your music taste and you should probably move on.
The standout track is “The Jack of Hands.” Other favorites are “Beyond the Beach,” “The Shock of Kontakt,” and “The Changing Room.”
The entire I Can Spin a Rainbow album is a delightfully eerie, spreading shadow.
Natasha Yoon’s beautifully written novel, The Sun is Also a Star, is a modern star-crossed love story.
Yoon’s Romeo & Juliet protagonists are a Korean-American boy, Daniel, and a Jamaican-American girl, Natasha, who meet and fall in love in NYC on the day her undocumented immigrant family us scheduled to be deported.
Their irresistable and incredibly moving romance-against-the-odds (and their families) is told in a unique spin on the split narrative. Most chapters are told in either Daniel’s or Natasha’s voice, with intermittent chapters delving into characters they meet and are affected by during the novel’s very romantic and dramatic day.
I highly recommend this exquisitely engaging book, especially to fans of Eleanor & Park or Before Sunrise.
Saul Williams continues to frustrate my writer’s pen (ok, keyboard) with his brilliance and artistry. How can one capture in mere words the expertly, intricately woven tapestry of experimental sound, song and poetry that is his new album, MartyrLoserKing?
Created during Saul’s travels throughout Eastern Europe, Africa, and America, the album centers on a fictional hacktivist in the third world country of Burundi. However, knowledge of this concept is not required to enjoy and admire the album as a whole or its individual tracks.
Even after repeated listens, my head still spins trying to pin down just one element of the album, of any individual song, to describe, yet there isn’t ever just one element at play here.
Every note of this album churns punked up, politically, socially and historically conscious spoken word poetry, hip hop, EDM, Industrial rock, soul, classical and jazz piano, and steampunk clockwork gear sound effects like a musical genre-welding time machine.
This cornucopia of genius is most evident in the astounding standout singles “Horn of the Clock Bike,” “They Think Like They Book Say” and “The Noise Came From Here.”
Other tracks of note are “Ashes,” “The Bear/Coltan as Cotton,” “Burundi” (feat. Emily Kokal of Warpaint) and the aptly titled “All Coltrane Solos at Once.”
Saul will perform at a record release show at Rough Trade in Brooklyn NY on February 2nd before embarking on his European Tour…
Feb 2 – New York, NY – Rough Trade
Feb 8 – Toronto – Tattoo
Feb 9 – London, UK – Rough Trade
Feb 13 – Bristol, UK – BBC Radio 6 Music Festival
Feb 19 – Montreal, QC – Kanaval Kanpe
Mar 3 – Bristol, UK – The Lantern
Mar 4 – Cardiff, UK – Clwb Ifor Bach
Mar 5 – Liverpool, UK – Kitchen Street
Mar 6 – London, UK – The Garage
Mar 8 – Oslo, Norway – Bla
Mar 9 – Turku, Norway – Klubi
Mar 10 – Helsinki, Finland – Elmun Baari
Mar 11 – Tampere, Finland – Klubi
Mar 12 – Jyvaskyla, Finland – Lutakko
Mar 13 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Melkweg
Mar 15 – Riorges, France – Salle du Grand Marais
Mar 16 – Vaulx en Velin, France – A Vaulx Jazz
Mar 17 – Fribourg, Switzerland – Fri-Son
Mar 18 – Geneve, Switzerland – La Graviere
Mar 19 – Bale, Switzerland – La Caserne
Mar 20 – Zurich, Switzerland – Moods
Mar 22 – Antwerp, Belgium – Arenberg Theatre
Mar 23 – The Hague, Netherlands – Paard Van Troje
Mar 24 – Sally-Lez-Lannoy, France – Salle Clovis Defrenne
Mar 25 – Niort, France – Le Camji
Mar 26 – St Nazaire, France – Le Vip
April 9 – Iowa City, IA – Mission Creek Festival
Jun 12 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Based in Maine with Appalachian and Southern musical roots, The Ghosts of Johnson City describe their debut album, Am I Born to Die?, as “simple and soulful versions of old mountain music, Civil War songs, coal-mining melodies, disaster chronicles, haunting murder ballads and tunes of love and loss in times of poverty.” It’s as if they recorded this dark, haunting, beautiful Americana (by way of Appalachian folk) collection just for me…
Seminal hiphop group Public Enemy proves it’s possible for music legends to modernize without compromise. Chuck D and co. expertly return in full force fierceness and authenticity with their new album, Man Plans God Laughs.
From the chilling opening track “No Sympathy From the Devil” through the powerful title track, the clever twist of Rolling Stones in “Honky Tonk Rules” and the standout track “Corplantationopoly,” Public Enemy masterfully spins a mindblowingly wide range of samples as they examine everything from police shootings to the current state of the music industry.
You can watch the title track video and stream the album in its entirety via Spotify below, buy it on CD or vinyl at Amazon or buy the mp3s exclusively at RCS music.