Let me tell you something. There are few people out there that are funnier than Paul F. Tompkins (please call him Garry) and Gillian Jacobs. Fewer still that have the kind of comedic chemistry they share. I really like seeing the two of them interact when they’ve dropped the characters and I have a feeling you’re going to too.
I remember the moment I really understood what folk music was about. I had long been immersed in the tradition of hearing a folk song and doing my best to remember it by ear then filling in the blanks with pieces of myself. But as I look back now I feel like I was stuck in a romanticized idea of folk music. It was when a friend, Nathan Godfrey, bought a digital recorder and said to me,
Marika Hackman has a penchant for a certain weight and with her new single “Deep Green” she has dialed into that. But the track, from her new EP, Deaf Heat, does not sit in a dark crevasse wallowing in its own shadowy aura. It’s dynamic, propelling itself with a more rhythmic arrangement than we’ve seen from her before, but the lyrical and melodic do not take a back set. It’s heavy, yes, but also open and thoughtful.
After CULA’s residency night last month we heard that this month’s was co-curated by Dorian Wood and there was very little thought that had to go into the decision to make it back. Fresh off a month long European tour Dorian combined forces with the Daniel Rosenboom Septet to create a collaboratively written performance at The Blue Whale in LA. The ebb and flow of the Daniel Rosenboom Septet’s energy played perfectly with the power that is inextricable from any performance from Dorian Wood, it was one of those things you watch with on thought rolling through your head in a mental loop, “This is something special.”
Everyone finds themselves at some point or another with a pop song stuck in their head that they just don’t want there. It’s not a mystery how it worms its way in there, a powerful personality with a danceable beat is the weakest spot in humanity’s intellectual defenses against our more animalistic selves. Lucky for us there are artists like Fielded that embody all the dynamism of arena-sized pop but use it to create something with heart.
Diana Cluck‘s voice has a relaxed kind of nimbleness to it. The tranquil lilt of her words can lead you to forget exactly how precisely she skips from one note to another, like a dancer curling her body into a shape that seems so natural you forget just how impossible that shape is. “Sara” the single of her new album titled Boneset, her seventh and first in eight years, is an absolutely perfect example of that vocal agility. But not to be overlooked is the masterful restraint and patience of the arrangement. The sound is organic but not sparse, unadorned but not simple.
Those of you familiar with Andy Daly from his appearances on Comedy Bang! Bang!, his Podcast Pilot Project, Reno 911, Drunk History, The Office… well, if you know him from any of those you may know that he’s taking the helm of his own show on Comedy Central titled Review. As Forrest MacNeil Daly takes on life’s most intense experiences, fully immersing himself in them, then he rates them on a five star scale.
Anna Meredith‘s label, Moshi Moshi, describes “Orlok” as “brilliantly bonkers” and those are just the right words for it. There’s no one out there straddling the worlds of classical and electronic composition like she does, how many people come to mind when you try to recall someone with work that spans effortlessly the gap between being Composer in Residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and boundary-pushing electronic music like “Orlock”. If you can think of one, email me. But in whatever case listen to this song. Put it on repeat.
That masked trio have been named. David Portner (aka Avey Tare) of Animal Collective, Angel Daradoorian, formerly of Dirty Projectors, and former drummer for Ponytail, Jeremy Hyman.
Now – you might call the reveal a little less than dramatic seeing as it’s not hard to place the voice on “Little Fang” and that …well the name of one of the members is in the band’s name. You may even question whether it was every really a secret at all (it wasn’t). It’s a real nice aesthetic though, is it not? I’ve had this track on repeat for a few days while out on the road and I’m really excited to finally get the chance to share it.
The relationship between American and English folk music is one of waves of influence over the past two or three odds centuries, shifting back and forth, muddling together. I’ve come across English versions predating my favorite traditional American folk songs (American / English). Johnny Flynn‘s “Country Mile” opens with a gritty guitar tone born in Chicago but the cadence in his voice are undeniably English. The influences as steeped in rambling as the heart of the track and the album as a whole.