Music

First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: Lydia Loveless, 'Somewhere Else'

Lydia Loveless' new album, Somewhere Else, comes out Feb. 18.
Patrick Crawford Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:11 am

"Take me far from this tainted world where statistics murder dreams, where art, beauty, love, everything's money," begins a quote printed inside the packaging for the latest album by singer-songwriter Lydia Loveless. The words belong to 19th-century French symbolist-decadent poet Paul Verlaine — not a common touchstone among country-rockers, although the sentiment is one most musicians have likely felt. (It gets nicely echoed in a poem Eric Church recites on his latest record).

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First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: Lost In The Trees, 'Past Life'

Lost In The Trees' new album, Past Life, comes out Feb. 18.
DL Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:10 am

Lost in the Trees founder Ari Picker studied film composition at the Berklee School of Music — an alternate career path that couldn't be better suited to the music he makes now. A film composer, even more than a bandleader, creates work with a constant awareness of the audience's reaction to it, and thus has a keener sense of how to craft that reaction.

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First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: Angel Olsen, 'Burn Your Fire For No Witness'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:53 am

Angel Olsen has made an unforgettable and entrancing record. Burn Your Fire for No Witness is the musical equivalent of a deep, questioning stare from a lover, and what draws me to her voice is its peaceful, subtle touch. It has me leaning in to listen. Leonard Cohen does that, too, and it's a fine line to walk between pale and enchanting. These are delicate songs, with lyrics stripped to their essence.

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First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: AJ Davila, 'Terror Amor'

AJ Davila's new album, Terror Amor, comes out Feb. 18.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:11 am

On Alt.Latino, the show I co-host with Felix Contreras, we talk a lot about crossing over: who goes from the Latin world into the U.S. "mainstream," and under what cultural terms and conditions. For those of us who live and breathe Latin music, it can be frustrating that in U.S. pop culture, Latin music is often associated with Shakira and Ricky Martin. Don't get me wrong: I'm a sucker for Latin pop, especially back when Shakira was headbanging. But what irks us a bit is that so much of what makes it from Latin America onto the U.S. pop-culture radar lacks teeth; it has no edge.

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First Listen
7:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

First Listen: St. Paul And The Broken Bones, 'Half The City'

St. Paul and the Broken Bones' new album, Half the City, comes out Feb. 18.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 10:08 am

About a year ago, I saw St. Paul and the Broken Bones perform at a tiny club in Tuscaloosa, Ala., called the Green Bar. The Birmingham band's six members squeezed onto the stage, looking like ragtag school kids. Singer Paul Janeway, nerd-tastic in spectacles and a Sunday suit, unfurled a handkerchief. He started to croon, then shout and wail.

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