The Bird & the Bee: Recreational Love (Album Review)

No one does pop better than The Bird & the Bee. Inara George and co. make a very welcome return with the July 17th release of their new album, Recreational Love. You can stream the entire album via Spotify below.



“Young and Dumb” opens the album with The Bird & the Bee’s unmistakablly signature, insanely catchy indie-pop sound with a nice piano flourish at the end.

“Doctor” is a clever satire on our modern pill-popping culture with the refrain “Doctor give me pills or give me love.” The B&B take their cybered 80s nostalgia to a new level with some E Street sax embellishments.

The Office Spacesque video for “Will You Dance?” (see below) features comedian Patton Oswald and The Big Bang Theory‘s Simon Helberg.

The moody undercurrent of “We’re Coming to You” makes it the standout track.

Recreational Love ends with the lovely lullaby “Lovey Dovey.”



Buy @ Amazon

The Bird & the Bee Official Site

Heart: Live at The Clay Center (Concert Review)

Charleston, WV — As the home of Chuck Yeager, West Virginia is accustomed to legends breaking the sound barrier. That was no sonic boom that shook The Clay Center tonight, however, it was the supersonic, aerodynamic voice of Heart’s Ann Wilson….

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Florence + the Machine: How Big How Blue How Beautiful (Album Review)

Florence + the Machine’s third studio release, How Big How Blue How Beautiful is possibly the most aptly titled album ever with its big, brassy orchestral sound, beautiful vocals and wistful, poetic lyrics.



I am teaching myself how to be free.

Lungs and Ceremonials are among my all-time favorite albums and this new collection is a very worthy followup. I purchased the Target version of the album (yes a physical CD in a brick and mortar store!), which contains two exclusive additional tracks plus the Deluxe Edition’s four bonus tracks for a total of eighteen new Florence songs.

How Big How Blue How Beautiful bursts open with the singles “Ship to Wreck” and “What Kind of Man” before sliding into the gorgeously symphonic title track.

Standout tracks “Queen of Peace” and “Various Storms & Saints” recall the exquisite, operatic pop drama of Ceremonials before “Delilah” dances in.

The demo “Which Witch” is such a dazzling, intricately constructed piece of wonderment, it boggles my mind that it’s only a bonus track. It’s unfathomable that a song this good was not considered worthy of inclusion on the final album tracklist. Whether you purhase the Deluxe Edition as a whole or the individual mp3, you need to hear “Which Witch.”

The two Target bonus tracks are lovely, especially the finale “Conductor.” The song uses a symphony metaphor for a turbulent relationship and ends with the line “I am the orchestra, the conductor too. My heart is a concert hall and I filled it with you.”

With three magnificent albums under her belt, Florence Welch and her machine have cemented their place as my favorite modern band.

Florence + the Machine Official Site

Ben Folds: Live in South Bend (Concert Review)

By: Jen “Coble” Hopper

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Saturday night, Ben Folds joined the South Bend Symphony Orchestra in celebrating the City’s 150th anniversary with a concert well-suited to fans of both classical and pop music.

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Amanda Palmer: “The Art of Asking” (Book Review)

Part memoir, part love story and all funny and inspiring. Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art of Asking, is like a long letter from a dear old friend.

The Dresden Dolls, The Brigade, The Rebellyon, Kickstarter…it’s quite a trip down memory lane for those of us who’ve been enamoured with Amanda’s music since the “A is for Accident” demo songs first popped up online.

The book is about much more than the music, however, as the ever open-book Amanda shares details about her background, her art, her beloved friend Anthony and her romance with author Neil Gaiman.

Amanda’s candid, “take the donut” to be a Living Statue mantra in The Art of Asking gave me courage to turn my Muruch.com for RAINN benefit album dream into a reality and reminded me of why The Dresden Dolls are my all-time favorite band. There’s never been anyone like Amanda Palmer and I doubt there ever will be.

Buy Book @ Amazon

Amanda Palmer on Muruch.com for RAINN Benefit Album

Amanda Palmer Official Site