a review of cool new music
by Jeff Pinzino
! Derek Webb – Stockholm Syndrome (Christian)
One of the most interesting recordings of the year, in any genre. Meticulously produced, with elegant pop songcraft over heavy drums and electronic samples – if you dug Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” you’ll be equally entranced with Webb’s sonic collage. The album has also become the center of serious controversy, as Webb’s label refused to release it as written due to inappropriate content (namely, he used the s-word in one song, and railed against the pervasive homophobia in conservative Christian circles). Whatever your religious persuasion (or lack thereof), you’ll appreciate this as art with a progressive, righteous vision.
Listen to the song that kicked off the controversy "What Matters More” on myspace.
Then spend the $8 for the uncensored album here. When someone sticks their neck out like he did, it’s important to show your support.
Bill Frisell – Disfarmer (jazz)
Frisell is a modern guitarist who paints American musical landscapes in shimmery watercolor. This collection was inspired by another artistic original: self-taught depression-era photographer Mike Disfarmer. Reverb-soaked guitar draws out folk and country styles to convey an American Gothic atmosphere, with fiddle and bass to fill out these instrumental portraits.
Listen to Bill Frisell “No One Gets In”
Eyedea & Abilities – By the Throat (rap)
Underground rap performed with a rock band tending toward an industrial sound. Lyrically, it’s dark, but thought-provoking. These mad scientists of hip hop are succeeding with some pretty daring experiments.
Listen to Eyedea & Abilities “Spin Cycle”
Blue Roses –Blue Roses (folk)
Echoes of Joni Mitchell come through in a beautiful voice and songs that defy easy chord structures. Piano and guitar alternate in backing these songs, with multi-layered vocals, and occasional strings or glockenspiel.
Listen to Blue Roses “Greatest Thoughts”
The Takers – Taker Easy (country)
Barroom country with electric guitars and ballads of hard living. Along with a sharp album of their own this week, The Takers also have an EP out with labelmate and Casual Listening fave Austin Lucas.
Listen to The Takers “Friends in Bottles”
Listen to Austin Lucas with The Takers “My Momma’s Son”
* highly recommended
! highest recommendation
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