Media Roundup: Live Previews and Legal Matters (Baby)

What’s been going on in the world of music lately? Read on to get the scoop on your favorite artists, and start some discussion about current music-related events!

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You want weird?  We’ve got weird.  Bet you never thought you’d see the names James Iha, Taylor Hanson, Adam Schlesinger and Bun E. Carlos in the same sentence, did you?  Now what if we told you they were all members of a brand new supergroup called Tinted Windows?  Yeah.  Seriously.  

 

The members of Tinted Windows

The members of Tinted Windows

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Robert Plant and Alison Krauss are heading back to the studio to record the follow-up to their award-winning album, Raising Sand.  

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Hey Anglophiles! Want full coverage of the BRIT awards?  Point that mouse riiiiight here for photos, vids, results and more!

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Kings of Leon‘s Only By The Night album was a massive hit with fans and critics alike last year.  Eagerly anticipating new tunes from the Followill brothers?  The good news: the songs are indeed on their way.  The bad news: you’ll have to wait another year to hear them. 

 

Kings of Leon

Kings of Leon

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For a long time, if you wanted to make money being a musician, you had to set pen to paper and WRITE!  A new bill called The Performance Rights Act would ensure that studio musicians, band members and songwriters would all receive compensation in the form of radio airplay royalties for their work.  

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Naomi Klein, author of the brilliant book No Logo, is undoubtedly cringing at this latest perversion of art by the folks at Bacardi.  First SoCo, now this?  There was, however, an artistic victory worth noting regarding the estate of Jimi Hendrix and its battle with Hendrix Electric Vodka.  Baby steps…

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Want to get schooled in the fine art of maximizing sound quality from your headphones?  Look no further.  

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Thao Nguyen will hit the road with Samantha Crain!  Click here for the tour dates plus a video from the always amazing Miss Nguyen herself!  

 

Thao Nguyen

Thao Nguyen

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The Spinto Band was recently featured on Daytrotter.com, with free downloads.  _______________________________

Dane101’s Steve Furay pays tribute to the late legendary hip hop producer J Dilla.  

 

J Dilla

J Dilla

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The Grammy Awards are hardly relevant in the eyes of many music fans, but the increased presence of indie artists taking home awards this year has got to be a good thing, right?

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Fans of Noah and the Whale will want to check out this video (part 1 of a series) filmed for La Blogotheque.  Also, in case you missed our review of their gorgeous debut album, Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down, you can read it here.    

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The individual accused of threatening to kill Men At Work frontman Colin Hay was arrested in Los Angeles last week. Who can it beeeee now?  The band’s own guitarist, Ronald Strykert!  

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Calexico‘s Joey Burns recently took the time to participate in an interview for MOG TV.  

 

Calexico

Calexico

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On March 7th, alt-country singer-songwriter Haley Bonar will roll into Madison.  Get a preview of what’ll be in store at the show here, and while you’re at it, you can head over here to grab your tickets in advance!  

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And, naturally, when April 16th rolls around you’ll want to find yourself at the Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit‘s show at the High Noon Saloon.  Here are just a few reasons why. (Psst! Get tickets to the show now! ) 

 

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

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CD Review: Noah and the Whale, “Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down”

 

Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down

 

Like a soundtrack to some hip indie film about the awkward wonder of growing up and discovering the world, Noah and the Whale’s debut album Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down unfolds itself to reveal moments of sorrow, charm, confusion and hope, making for a pleasantly introspective and centering experience for the listener. Pitchfork be damned!

Right off the bat, set to springy, urgent Kimya Dawson-like acoustic guitar plucks, vocalist Charlie Fink ponders the big questions in “2 Atoms in a Molecule”:

And if love is just a game
Then how come it’s no fun?
If love is just a game
How come I’ve never won?
I guess maybe it’s possible I might be playing it wrong
And that’s why every time I roll the dice
I always come undone

Questions and conclusions–resignations, even–like these are scattered throughout Peaceful…, likely making it one of the most philosophical bodies of modern musical achievement that will sweep through your ears. Life, death and love are never far from the band’s consideration. Take an especially poignant verse from the closing track, “Hold My Hand As I’m Lowered” for instance:

O Death, do not feel like the victor
‘Cause my poor life makes you none the richer
Oh, your cold hands are clutching at cloth
I leave nothing on Earth that won’t rot

In “Give A Little Love,” the band updates the famous Golden Rule-inspired lines of giving what you get that The Beatles made famous in “The End”:

Well I know my death will not come
‘Til I breathe all the air out my lungs
‘Til my final tune is sung
That all is fleeting
Yeah, but all is good
And my love is my whole being
And I’ve shared what I could
But if you give a little love, you can get a little love of your own
Don’t break his heart

Brutal Spartan ideas in “Jocasta” (“When the baby’s born / Oh, let’s turn it to the snow”) are juxtaposed with the comfort and reassurance found in “Do What You Do” (“So if you trust what’s in your heart / Oh, what better can you do / Than if you do what you do / Yeah, you’ll do fine”).

Though Noah and the Whale frequently take on heavy subject matter in their lyrical compositions, the soothing musical backdrop of acoustic guitars, violins and rousing horns makes the meditative journey a gentle, enjoyable one that listeners will want to frequently make.

Hints of influence from artists such as the Magnetic Fields, Belle and Sebastian, Devendra Banhart, Rogue Wave, Fleet Foxes, The Boy Least Likely To, and Damien Jurado color Noah and the Whale’s lush melodies and charming approach to their art.

However much the band evokes memories of these other critically acclaimed indie folk gods, their unique mixture of Americana and British twee make their final sound something entirely their own. Peaceful… is a gorgeous, intelligent debut from a band that is sure to make big waves in the near future.

–Shelley Peckham

Check out the band’s official site, and their myspace.

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