Angel Olsen Review: Half Way Home

Angel Olsen

Half Way Home

Angel Olsen Half Way Home review album cover art

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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Top Ten Thursday: Folk University – A Primer in Folk Music

folk music

Today, we are looking at the top ten folk artists of all time.  I think at the end of piecing this list together, none of us were particularly happy that some of our individual favorites didn’t make it.  But that’s what happens when three individuals make a list this comprehensive.  Setting that aside, let’s venture into the wonderful world of folk music through a little exercise I like to call Folk University – or Folk U.  Sorry about the bad pun, but I couldn’t help myself this time.

Folk music has a lot of definitions, so we tried to stick to artists that have a wealth of material that would widely be considered “folk music”.  This cut a couple borderline people out, but thus is the process of trying to form these lists.  Each of the next ten artists holds a special place in our heart for one reason or another.  Let us know who we left out, and who some of your favorite folkies are.  Enjoy!

10.  Nick Drake

nick drake

Nick Drake burned extremely bright for a few years before dying of a drug overdose. He remains mysterious in almost all ways except for his talent, highlighted by his breathy vocals and vocal style that Trey Anastasio has clearly taken a few cues from.

Folk U Mandatory Listening:  “One of These Things First”
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Top Ten Thursday: Brilliant Babes of Song (Our Favorite Female Singer-Songwriters)

Female Musician

There is nothing that turns me on more than a hot female musician, and in turn, there is nothing better than writing an entire article dedicated to these women of music. This list is partially in honor to the brilliant new efforts put forth by Fiona Apple, as well as inspiration from recently seeing acts such as Feist and St. Vincent, and topped off by the new Cat Power track that served as an announcement for her forthcoming album that will be released later in the year. This was one of our toughest lists we have compiled yet, and we all felt very strongly about the artists chosen. Unfortunately acts like St. Vincent, and Karen O were not able to be taken into consideration due to the fact that a majority of there compositions are collaborative efforts. Nonetheless, we feel very strongly that the ladies listed below are worthy of the praise they have received, and in some cases, worthy of more.
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