Danish pop group The Asteroids Galaxy Tour have returned with a spacey (as one might expect with a name like The Asteroids Galaxy Tour), but still danceable, musical collage that breaks new ground for them and still sticks to their signature style. The duo of singer Mette Lindberg and instrumentalist Lars Iversen makes evocative electronic music that is made warmer by Lindberg’s delightful singing voice. She sings like Björk and Billie Holiday and Christina Amphlett were put in a juicer with a little honey. Kind of.
It is difficult to categorize Stephen Emmer’s International Blue (produced by Tony Visconti). It’s an orchestral chamber pop album that showcases some of the finest baritone singers currently in the UK (Ultravox’s Midge Ure, Heaven 17’s Glenn Gregory, Furlined’s Neil Crossley, and Cousteau’s Liam McKahey). It’s not exactly orchestra music, and it’s not exactly pop, but what it really sounds like is a soundtrack for a moody mid-1960s film, the kind where the actors wear amazingly fashionable clothes in primary colors and stare seriously off into the distance. It’s a fine album to mark the slide from late summer into autumn.
I turned on Elvis Costello’s Spectacle for Neko Case, but after it was over, I was a Jesse Winchester fan. Like so many who found him from Spectacle, Jesse Winchester felt like my own special secret, this wonderful, warm singer who drew me in and disarmed me with his completely singular voice.
No one sounds like Jesse Winchester. Warmth is the word I keep coming back to when describing his voice, like a warm blanket and a cup of tea, or strong reliable windows against a storm. He’s soothing. His voice is buoyant and gentle. He imbues his songs with honesty and can take simple phrases and make them magical. Unfortunately, he passed away in April of this year. He was one of a kind.
I fully expected to enjoy the debut EP from The Fauntleroys, a new collaboration (I’m not using the word “supergroup” because it’s just embarrassing on principle) from Ivan Julian (founding member of the Voidoids), Linda Pitmon (Zuzu’s Petals, The Baseball Project), Nicholas Tremulis (Chicago-based soul iconoclast), and Alejandro Escovedo (Rank and File, The Nuns, and an amazing solo career). What I didn’t expect was to love Below The Pink Pony as much as I do. It’s six fantastic, loose, throwback songs done by stellar musicians who are obviously having a great time.
Sometimes I will look at a film differently depending on how it is made, obstacles that were overcome during production, or something as seemingly insignificant as maybe a story behind it. I wouldn’t say Locke falls under any of the categories but it is a film that stands out from the rest.
Owing as much to Emerson, Lake and Palmer as they do to John Carpenter and Fabio Frizzi, Detroit instrumental synth-rockers Voyag3r (pronounced “Voyager Three”), create harrowing sci-fi soundtracks for non-existent films. Their first full-length release is called Doom Fortress, and it is precisely as happy as it sounds.
Roughly a million years ago, or probably closer to 12, my new friend Dave and I were chatting with Sloan’s Andrew Scott after a show and Dave asked if perhaps one day Sloan might do something like KISS did in 1978: each member release a solo album at the same time and they could have matching covers and see whose sells the best. Andrew replied, laconically, “Oh, Jay would fucking love that.” (I’m not paraphrasing there; I’m pretty sure that’s what he said exactly.)
By Ben van D
Hillary Clinton giving birth to a fully-grown and wailing Brian Wilson in the passenger seat of a bulletproof deuce coup might seem unlikely. Perhaps no more likely than bleached California coast pop sprouting up from the heart of land-locked Arkansas. However unlikely, somehow Fayetteville’s SW/MM/NG make it seem natural with their debut offering Feel Not Bad.
Who thought the Cabin Fever movies would keep going? I didn’t. I enjoyed the original Cabin Fever because Eli Roth was blending old school horror with a modern touch and it was a blast. Roth made a throwback film without calling it a throwback and succeeded in many ways. He left this franchise alone but continued making films like Hostel. Ti West stepped up to the plate next and made a sequel called Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever. This movie went into a different direction but kept the comedy and gore and did so in a way that it didn’t feel like much of a sequel aside from recurring characters. Even though Ti West disowns the film I still think it is a great addition to the franchise.
I’m pretty sure most people would agree that The Thing is one of the best monster flicks out there. Since its release there hasn’t been anything like it. Just a few years ago there was a The Thing prequel that I enjoyed to an extent, but it is flawed and doesn’t even come close to the original. Of course, we get decent monster flicks every now and again but John Carpenter made something very special with The Thing.