Posts Tagged magnetic fields

The Week That Was (10-02-2010): Toro Y Moi; A Single Man; Efterklang; The Soft Pack; Electrik Six…

Another busy week packed with good records, it began with promising duo’s Toro Y Moi –one of the purveyors of the trendy glo-fi sound- launching their debut album “Causers Of This”, which amply fulfils all the expectations surrounding them.

From Austin, Texas, Shearwater the side, folk-tinged project of some Okkervil River members are previewing their sixth album “The Golden Archipelago” through the usual NPR first listening page.

Back in the UK, the former singer from Test Icicles, Lightspeed Champion, is streaming his second opus “Life Is Sweet, Nice To Meet You” through my Space.

The band formerly known as The Muslims finally released their long awaited first work under their new name The Soft Pack. Their eponymous debut comes full of garage rock pills as energetic as their new single “C’mon”. More name changes, two members of Supergrass have reformed as The Hot Rats. The first work under their new moniker, “Turn Ons”, also hit the shops. Both are available in Spotify.

On the veterans front, Sade returned after a decade of absence with their sixth album “Soldier Of Love”, which doesn’t offer a big departure from Sade Adu’s trademark silky sound, but is collecting rave reviews, maybe due to that long hiatus they like to leave in between records. You can also listen to it in spotify. Another music legend, Peter Gabriel, after offering different teasers over the past few weeks, has also made available to listen in full “Scratch my back”, his covers album that includes tracks by Radiohead, Bon Iver and Arcade Fire among others.

In the world music front an excellent look at the French Caribbean music during the sixties and early seventies, somehow outshined by the better known offer coming from neighbours Cuba and Jamaica. The album “Tumbelé: Bigine, Afro & Sounds From The French Caribbean, 1963-74” is one of the most enjoyable compilations of the moment. Elsewhere, two African giants, Ali Farka Toure & Toumani Diabate join forces again in the critically acclaimed “Ali & Toumani

Among the most notable songs of the week we have to mention “Compass”, Jamie Lidell’s first taster from his star-studded new album. Retro-soul queen Sharon Jones returns with her Dap-Kings –who have been busy becoming the backing band for many pop artists going for that old-fashioned soulful sound. “I Learned The Hard Way” is another slice of their typical classic vibe. Last, but not least, ex-Beta Band frontman Steve Mason has also offered a first glance into his solo project, “Boys Outside”, a surprising collaboration with electro-pop producer Richard X.

Steve Mason – All Come Down by DominoRecordCo

And while the week was busy for new releases, it has been on the quiet front for free stuff. Among the most recommendable, “Modern Drift” by Danish reverb lovers Efterklang, who celebrated being signed by 4AD by giving away the first single taken from ther imminent work for the iconic label “Magic Chairs”.

Many live sessions of bands plugging their latest albums were also up for grabs: Midlake made available, first to the Guardian readers and then to all their fans, their “Denton Sessions”, a live showcase of songs taken from their recent “The Courage Of Others”; Ted Leo & The Pharmacists, keep on building up the expectations surrounding their forthcoming “The Brutalist Bricks” with a whole live for NPR internet radio. Vampire Weekend visited “La Blogotheque” for one of their “Soirees De Poche“. And everybody’s favourite live sessions website “Daytrotter” had two new guests: Beach House – on an hyperactive stride promoting their very fine “Teen Dream” album- and lo-fi LA punk duo No Age, previewing some new material on their set. All of them available free for your own listening pleasure.

This week the toast among film buffs was divided between the first trailer of “Toy Story 3”; the announcement of the full Berlinale program; news about a documentary about Stephen Merritt and The Magnetic fields called “Strange Powers” and rumours of Penelope Cruz joining both the cast of Pirates Of The Caribbean 4 and the long and illustrious list of female leads of Lars Von Trier’s films –the Spanish actress is rumoured to be the star of “Melancholia”, in which the controversial Danish director tackles the catastrophe genre after trying luck with horror, through a story about the Earth being about to collide with Planet Melancholia.

Other than that, we’ve only watched a new movie this week; but it fully deserved the title of “Movie of the week”. “A Single Man” is the much talked-about debut as a film director of fashion guru Tom Ford. What was expected to be a mere exercise of style have turned out to be a finely balanced, emotional work for which Colin Firth has been nominated for an Oscar. Ford adapts a short story by Christopher Isherwood exploring the feelings of loss and grief that an expat British professor, based in 60’s California, goes through after losing his male partner of 16 years in an accident. Colin Firth’s career best performance is nicely complemented by a cast that includes Julianne Moore in the role of his ex-flame and closest friend –we still in shock by the fact she was snubbed from this year’s Oscar nominations- Matthew Goode and Nicholas Hoyt. A simple, yet very elegant cinematography, that subtly changes trying to underline the emotional ups and downs of the main character, complements an effective screenplay and gives shape to Ford’s more than promising first feature.

And the return of Electrik Six – fresh from winning the Rober award for Best R&B artist- with “I’m that chick” is our video of the week. The all-female four piece leaves behind their collection of winks to Prince & TLC’s contemporary brand of soul and embarks on a new, ultra modern direction for the second volume of “How to be a lady”, hoping this time they won’t be as criminally overlooked as they were with the first instalment.

Other interesting videos were provided courtesy of acclaimed Brits Wild Beasts; Swedish pop-folkies First Aid Kid; Veteran US bands Eels and Spoon and Brooklyn singer-songwriter St. Vincent.

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REVIEW 2008: HONORARY MENTIONS – 10 NEAR RETURNS TO FORM


LAMBCHOP-Slipped Dissolved And Loosed

“Their best record for a decade” (sometimes stretched up to two) was one of the most repeated mottos by musical reviewers this year, showing the huge number of veteran glories, mostly from the nineties and the eighties, that polished their decaying careers once again, pushed in many cases by the live circuit’s good health and growing demand for established names. None of the following Academy’s heroes from the past gave their best shot in 2008, but at least they generated welcome signs of creative recovery.

“Su mejor disco en una década” (a veces se estiraba hasta dos) se ha convertido en una de las cantinelas más repetidas durante el año por la crítica musical para constatar la cantidad de veteranas glorias, mayormente de los noventa y ochenta, que volvían a dar lustre a sus decaídas carreras, motivados en muchos casos por el empuje que la buena salud de los circuitos del directo y su creciente demanda de músicos consagrados proporcionaba. Ninguno de los siguientes héroes del pasado de la Academia nos obsequió con su mejor esfuerzo, pero todos ofrecían señales inequívocas de recuperación creativa. Read the rest of this entry »

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