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Frontiers Blog

Author Dan Loughry

  • Dan Loughry

    Music Correspondent

 

New Release Tuesday, June 3, 2014: Miranda Lambert, Bob Mould, Die Antwoord and More

A Broadway Cast Recording and some Heavy Metal make my list this week—two genres I tend to resist—as does the usual suspects: alt-rock, indie, electro, even some country. In other words, eclectic (morning or otherwise).

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New Release Tuesday, May 27, 2014: Owen Pallett, Neil Young, Mariah Carey and More

It really is a smorgasbord this week, from the openly gay Owen Pallett and his ever richer experimental pop to the new standard-bearers for Southern Rock, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires, to Sharon Van Etten’s indie songwriter ascension to the refreshed retro of Little Barrie. And much, much more.

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The Irrepressibles Craft Something Beautiful from the Struggle

After captivating audiences throughout Europe, theatrical art-rock ensemble The Irrepressibles have plans to come stateside for the band’s very first tour—that is, once a visa is secured. (It’s been almost comical, the hoops the band has had to jump through to play for its American fans!) We briefly chatted with the group’s composer, Jamie McDermott, about his recent series of EPs, making music as a gay man and what he most looks forward to upon reaching American soil.

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Tori Amos Redefines What it Means to Be ‘Age-Appropriate’ on New Album

Long an unrepentant songwriter herself, Tori Amos has recently released her 14th record, aptly titled Unrepentant Geraldines, a glorious exercise in aging gracefully. (The eight-time Grammy-nominated artist is now 50 years old.) On the eve of the album’s release, Frontiers sat down for a brief chat with the iconoclastic, influential performer.

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New Release Tuesday, May 13, 2014: Michael Jackson, Blondie, Tori Amos

It’s a wordy one this week, featuring a dead icon, female icons and future icons—and a bunch of other stuff.

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New Release Tuesday, May 6, 2014: Brian Eno, Lily Allen, Lykke Li and More

My only regret about not writing a blog last week was missing the chance to write about the Old 97’s. So guess what? They’re in my top spot this week, followed by a bunch of Brits, a gang of ladies, and a songwriter from New Zealand royalty.

Old 97’s – Most Messed UpRhett Miller and his alternative country crew’s tenth is one of their best. It’s the most rocking, most country of their career – so if you don’t respond to those genres, avoid it. However, if you like sharp narrative tunes with cutting, often funny lyrics and a layer of self-reflection that borders on TMI, they could be your new favorite old band. Starting with an honest, celebratory, and self-effacing ode to the rock and roll lifestyle (“Longer Than You’ve Been Alive”) and ending on a crushing thrasher about fucked up lifers (the title track), they make their case for the pros and cons of journeyman musicians. Couldn’t find any individual tracks to sample, but you can watch the press EPK. 

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New Relase Tuesday: April 22, 2014

A truly diverse week – an Aussie rapper, Disney club kids, and a rock-pop outfit headed by a newly self-outed frontman are merely three of our nine featured releases this week.

Iggy Azalea – The New Classic. The Australian-born rapper Iggy Azalea can throw a lot of shade, and she may need to in order to defend her debut The New Classic. Issues of authenticity are big in rap, so who does this white girl from Mullumbimby think she is? She’s lived in the U.S. for 8 years, her native accent is nowhere to be heard, and – if you didn’t know better – you’d think she was brought up in the Atlanta scene (it’s one of the many places she’s lived). Whether she’s for real or just a fantastic actress giving a master-class performance, her debut is a sonic delight: hip-hop meshed with electro, nasty about love and sharp about self-worth. “Don’t Need Y’all” – a title here – is her modus operandi. And though she might love the dick (“Bounce”), she’s not selling herself for your pleasure. “Fuck Love” – another title – spells it out profanely and succinctly: “You can’t break my heart, you can’t take my pride. Oh no, that love shit, I won’t do it: fuck love give me diamonds.

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New Release Tuesday: April 15, 2014

Short and sweet this week; just got back from Coachella and still recuperating from the dust storm and an unexpected illness. Top spot: The Afghan Whigs, who tore it up on Friday and are now (whether they like it or not) the elder statesmen of rock. Also, Courtney Barnett (whom I missed due to said illness), an Aimee Mann/Ted Leo side project, and a few others.

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Our Guide to Coachella 2014, Day Three

Day Three of Coachella seems the most eclectic to me this year. I hope I don’t get whiplash running from stage to stage and genre to genre when the fifteenth annual event comes to its end.

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Our Guide to Coachella 2014, Day Two

Brits out the wazoo on Day Two at Coachella, so perfect your best fake English accent and get thee to Indio stat.

The British singer Laura Mvula suffers from crippling stage fright, which I sincerely hope does not strike her before her maiden Coachella set. This unclassifiable artist – parts Nina SimoneBjörkRoberta FlackSadeAntony Hegarty and many more – is an exciting and singular new voice on the musical landscape. The performance clips I’ve seen of her online – “Diamonds,” the magnificent “Is There Anybody Out There?” – belie her claim. She’s poised, natural, effortless, and the perfect balm to the external circus of Coachella that will be going on around her.

Like The Preatures playing on Day One, the London-based BANKS (né Jillian Banks) comes to the Indio Valley on the back of only two acclaimed EPs. Her mien is electro-soul, a bit like Feist standing in forJames Blake, smooth as well as dynamic, with the added bonus of a strong, assured voice. Her love lament “Waiting Game” is a good place to start to determine whether you want to check out her live bona fides. I get the sense that the girl can really bring it.

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