music

Song of the Day: “Micheline”

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A standout record in Mark Kozelek’s long career is the critically-lauded 2014 release, Benji. The presence of everyday tragedies permeates the record and propels the keening voice of Kozelek, aka Sun Kil Moon. On “Micheline,” he offers us three stories whose sad endings are complicated by a rich, guitar-driven melody in a major key.

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Song of the Day: “The Singing Tree”

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According to the experimental folk artist Mike Cooper, there is a tree in Almuñécar, in Southern Spain, that used to attract hundreds of birds. It inspired him to write the “avante folk” song “The Singing Tree,” off his recently reissued double album Places I Know/The Machine Gun Co. The funky organ that permeates the song alludes to a melange of influences—including the free jazz of Ornette Coleman and Pharaoh Sanders—that drove Cooper’s music in a new direction in the early ’70s, when the track first came out.

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Sound & Vision #9: Brian McTear

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Music producer Brian McTear talks with Allyson McCabe about building a studio centered on relationships with musicians, his non-profit Weathervane, and the end of the DIY era.

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Song of the Day: “Fool”

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Perfume Genius is the stage moniker of Seattle-based artist Mike Hadreas, whose buzz-worthy new album reeks of deliberate, inspired songwriting and technical ability. Hadreas showcases his impressive vocal range on this beautiful track from the record, Too Bright, titled “Fool.” The deceptively flippant lyrics mask a melodic complexity that rewards us more and more with each subsequent listen.

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Sound & Vision #8: David Barnes

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In Sound & Vision #8, multimedia artist and performer David Barnes discusses his work with the band of Montreal, art as a career, and writing a graphic novel about a baby growing inside a pregnant male football player.

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Song of the Day: “Coronus, The Terminator”

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Four years ago, LA Weekly called Steven Ellison’s music “spiritual electronica.” Today, in the wake of his fifth release, Your Dead!, the artist known as Flying Lotus is still just as difficult to categorize. The experimental producer and beat-making virtuoso is known for creating hard-to-describe musical landscapes in the tradition of predecessors J-Dilla and Madlib.

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Swinging Modern Sounds #58: Crowdsourcing

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Music-obsessive activity, in general, appears to be about music. You could, on the surface, mistake it for being about music. But in fact what it is about is memory and love.

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Song of the Day: “Run Like A Girl”

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Lizzie Karr’s influences range from Ani DiFranco to James Brown. The Godfather of Soul’s funkiness is apparent in Karr’s latest single, “Run Like A Girl,” which trades DiFranco-style staccato verses for punchy horn lines. The Bay Area artist recently toured the Pacific Northwest in support of her new record Like It’s Bad.

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Song of the Day: “Passing Afternoon”

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The poetry of Sam Beam, otherwise known as Iron & Wine, can sometimes be lost behind the powerful folky melodies that take the forefront of his music. Iron & Wine has come a long way since its first labor of love, the low-fi album Beam recorded in his home studio in 2002, titled The Creek Drank the Cradle.

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Song of the Day: “I Start To Run”

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The arrival of chillier weather means that the joggers among us may need some encouragement to meet our goals. But even the exercise-averse will appreciate the driving mania of White Denim’s single, “I Start To Run.” The Austin, Texas-based four-piece showcase their impressive rock chops in this energizing track off their 2009 record, Fits.

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The Rumpus Interview with Owen Pallett

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Canadian musician Owen Pallett talks Tori Amos, perfectionism, percussion, and dark head spaces with Erin Lyndal Martin.

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Song of the Day: “Let Her Go”

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Mac Demarco’s voice and “slacker” guitar are the essence of “laid back.” The artist’s distinct sound is a far cry from other Montreal-based contemporaries like Arcade Fire.  His bubbly track “Let Her Go,” from sophomore album Salad Days, makes us picture a lazy summer day on the beach, while the lyrics propose an appropriately laissez faire spirit.

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Song of the Day: “What Light”

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Wilco has seen its fair share of adversity. The group, led by songwriter Jeff Tweedy, has picked up and dropped band members at various times between 1994 and 2004. However, its current iteration feels right. That cohesion is evident in the stirring artistic manifesto, “What Light,” from their Grammy-nominated 2007 album, Sky Blue Sky. Over a perfect harmony, Tweedy sings:

If the whole world’s singing your songs
And all of your paintings have been hung
Just remember what was yours is everyone’s from now on
And that’s not wrong or right
And you can struggle with it all you like
You’ll only get uptight
There’s a light
What light

Inside of you

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