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The Lagniappe Sessions :: Benjamin Booker covers Furry Lewis / Otis Redding

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Lagniappe (la·gniappe) noun ˈlan-ˌyap,’ – 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus. In 2012 I wrote about a young guy living in New Orleans who had just released a set of self-recorded demos. His name was Benjamin Booker. Like his voice, they were raw, […]

The Residents :: Santa Dog & Residue of The Residents

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

“Do you ever… wonder who you are?” A cartoonish voice asks this question on “Aircraft Damage,” a track from The Residents’ first official release in 1972 called Santa Dog. It’s a curious debut EP, a heterogeneous mixture of deconstructoid musical satire and homespun concrète experimentalism. The aesthetic is grotesque and subversive, a spooky pop culture mélange […]

Jack Name :: Light Show

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Jack Name’s Light Show is shadow music. The outline is familiar but the insides are dark and unknowable. From certain angles, the shape distorts into a giant’s proportions. From others vantages, the shadow dwindles. “I could be anybody/ God knows I’ve got my shadow,” sings John Webster Adams, the man behind the see-through moniker of […]

Tinariwen :: Emmaar

Monday, February 24th, 2014

Tinariwen’s music speaks for Kel Tamashek, the Tuaregs, and their desert home, the “tenere.” The typical descriptor of “desert blues,” suggests a genre defined by it’s point of origin, but how linked are music and place, really? This music—of which Tinariwen are storied masters—clearly resonates with listeners across the world, and the Tuaregs are nomads […]

Purple Snow: Forecasting The Minneapolis Sound

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Prince is the Artist: a virtuoso, a maverick, a symbol. The Purple One’s genius has transformed the man into a musical hero and a legendary performer. If Prince is a somewhat inscrutable artist today, ensconced in Paisley Park, the Twin Cities provided a palpable point of origin for the myth, the hometown scene of a […]

Tal National : Kaani

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Tal National is one of Niamey, Niger’s chief party bands, a powerhouse team of musicians who stage nightly marathon shows and summon a rich, cosmopolitan cipher of West African styles. Elaborate melodies blossom into intricate latticeworks of many guitars and eventually settle into a mesmerizing, repetitive groove.  That groove is a maximalist representation full of […]

Hailu Mergia :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

“The sound is good… the sound is modern and old fashioned. The melodies are very nice melodies, so because of this, everybody had some kind of…. nostalgia.” That’s how Hailu Mergia describes the sound of his album Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument, the most recent release on the Awesome Tapes From Africa label. In short, […]

Bill Callahan :: Dream River

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Dream River is a display of Callahan’s peak powers, a masterpiece work documenting Callahan’s aesthetic as a refined craft. Over his 20 plus years of making music, his voice has matured, deepened, become more controlled. The farther back one listens into his catalogue, back into the Smog years, Callahan’s lyrical tone and delivery are more […]

Daughn Gibson :: The AD Interview

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Last year, Daughn Gibson (née Josh Martin) debuted All Hell, a mysterious record by a deep-voiced, monikered singer that unfolds in an arresting whirl of loops and twang. The songs on All Hell are moody and disorienting in that the music is culled from a handful of disparate styles and sounds. Propulsive electronica and country […]