While I’m still sinking my teeth into In Colour, the latest release from Jamie xx, English producer-extraordinaire and namesake to the bedroom pop duo the xx, I thought I would revisit and hopefully bring people who aren’t familiar to the 2011 remix classic We’re New Here.
Now I’ve never been huge on remixes or remix culture, this is an undeniably unique and interesting album. Jamie xx took spoken-word legend Gil Scott-Heron’s late career gem, I’m New Here, and remixed it for the dance club. It’s incredibly, soulful, unique, and song-for-song irresistible. Scott-Heron’s gruff, soulful voice works as the perfect counterpoint to Jamie xx’s bouncing, colorful rhythms. It’s electronic dance music with the feverish case of the blues.
To check it out, just use your streaming service of choice or just be bold and buy it on iTunes, Amazon or vinyl. I don’t think you’ll regret it.
Jazz: The TV Mini-Series
Directed by Ken Burns
I’ve heard people talk time and time again about Ken Burns documentaries, but I’m actually not sure I’d ever seen one. Burns is sort of PBS’s documentarian extraordinaire, as he has done documentary series on everything America including baseball, the Civil War, national parks, and much more. Burns is so patriotic in his work, I bet there is a 12-part series on apple pie coming soon. Describing jazz as the only true American art form, it makes total sense that Burns would cover it at some point. The series is actually 14 years old, so you may ask why we are covering it now. Well it seems like Netflix grants new life to all sorts of content (old documentaries, classic TV series, and even TED Talks), this nearly 20 hour documentary series is now available to watch in a click from your queue. Jazz is an extraordinary beginner’s to jazz and its importance in American history.
Continue reading “Netflix Corner: Ken Burns’ Jazz Series”
Now Here is Nowhere
Let’s start the new year at LxL by rewinding the clock 10 years. In 2004, Dallas psych-rock band the Secret Machines released their full-length debut, Now Here is Nowhere, to very little fanfare, but the album stands out as one of the best albums of that year. The reason I have chosen to highlight this album is the recent passing of their lead singer and one of two brothers in the band, Benjamin Curtis, who died of a rare Lymphoma cancer on December 30th. So as a way of highlighting his career, I thought I would cover his best album. And that’s not a small statement for a man involved in 3 noteworthy bands, Tripping Daisies, the Secret Machines, and School of Seven Bells. So onto the album.
Continue reading “Secret Machines Retro Review: Now Here is Nowhere”
In last weeks Top Ten list I made the assertion that Chris Isaak’s 1995 album, Forever Blue, is one of the most underrated albums of the 90’s. Known best for 1989 smash hit “Wicked Games”, Isaak has had a surprisingly enduring career in making quality music, even if he is less and less recognized. It is certainly time for Chris Isaak to get more recognition of LxL, rather than just a passing reference in a Top Ten list.
Continue reading “Retro Review: Chris Isaak – Forever Blue”
Sunday night, at the same time of all the tomfoolery of the VMAs, Minneapolis rock legends the Replacements returned to the stage for the first time in 22 years with a straight-up workmanlike attitude. Rather than twerking it for the boys and girls like Miley Cyrus, the Replacements busted out 23 songs at Toronto’s Riot Fest, including music spanning their whole career. Based on the videos I’ve seen, it looks like Paul Westerberg and the gang didn’t miss a hitch after the 22 year hiatus.
Continue reading “Retro Review: The Replacements “Answering Machine””
Half Way Home
It’s usually pretty unlikely that video of a live show catches my eye online, as most video footage fails to capture the fullness of the live experience. But Angel Olsen has proved one of the exceptions, the St. Louis born but Chicago-based singer/songwriter has a voice and the songwriting chops to knock you out, even through the doldrums of Youtube. Not only that, but being associated with folk troubadour Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy) and sounding a bit like Joanna Newsom, Olsen sounds like she was pretty much made to make fellow LxLer Austin cry tears of joy. I went back this weekend to check out her 2012 sophomore album Half Way Home, and find it, and her, to be a clear, simple beautiful voice amidst a sea of gimmicks and irony that fill the current music scene.
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I am without a computer for the short term, and therefore am unable to download new music. So, from me, you will get retro reviews and other posts that don’t require me having the pulse on all the new releases. Hopefully, in the meantime, you can stick with me and enjoy what I have to offer. My first offering along these lines is Titus’ Andronicus’ 2010 masterstroke The Monitor, which I admittedly never came to fully appreciate until the release of their 2012 album, Local Business. In preparation for the release of Local Business, I decided I needed to dig back into The Monitor as research. What I found was at that particular point in my life, The Monitor struck a very different chord with me than it did in 2010. In short, with all the the great releases of 2012 and all the great pre-2012 music in my iTunes library, The Monitor easily my most listened to album of 2012.
Continue reading “Retro Review: Titus Andronicus’ The Monitor”