Thursday, March 6, 2008

Casual Listening 3-7-08

Casual Listening

a review of cool new music

by Jeff Pinzino

March 7, 2008

* Toumast – Ishumar (world)

Toumast is a prime example of Bedouin Blues, music made by nomads in the African Sahara. The music has eerie similarities to American blues – repetitive guitar lines with bent “blue” notes and a swung tempo – despite being a clearly African form. The Touareg are a dispossessed people, and the depth of emotion here parallels the weep and moan of more familiar blues.

* Los Tigres del Norte– Raíces (world)

One of the most veteran Norteño bands takes a turn at classic Mexican tunes. I can’t say that I’m familiar with most of these songs (yet), but there’s a bite to this band’s sound that’s more compelling than your typical accordion conjunto. The material’s great, and the sound grows on you.

White Hinterland – Phylactery Factory (rock)

Sweet songs with a twist of melancholy, White Hinterland pairs lounge-inspired piano with everything from violin, to vibraphone, to electric organ to ukelele. Luminous vocal work seals the package.

Mia Doi Todd – Gea (folk)

Todd evokes great deep-voice chanteuses from Joni Mitchell to Astrud Gilberto. Spare, beautiful arrangements keep the focus on her voice and subtle acoustic guitar work. Pensive and heartfelt.

The King Blues – Under the Fog (rock)

British punk reggae. Drives with irresistible energy through loping tempos. Politically committed, loud, and fun – The Clash would be proud.

Bauhaus – Go Away White (rock)

Thick distortion and heavy bass lines focus a great set of rock & roll. While they tend to be associated with Goth, this album displays a debt to groups like Iggy and the Stooges that were more edgy than spooky.

In the blog this week: Black Crowes / Howlin Rain cage match, Flogging Molly

* highly recommended

! highest recommendation

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