mon 27/05/2019

New Music Reviews

CD: Better Oblivion Community Center - Better Oblivion Community Center

Jo Southerd

In recent weeks, you may have noticed signs for the Better Oblivion Community Center, from billboards to park benches, all displaying a mysterious helpline telephone number. This was not some new community support project, but a surprise collaborative album from premier sad songwriters Phoebe Bridgers and Conor Oberst.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Rainbow Ffolly

Kieron Tyler

Learning that your band’s demos are being issued as an album must be infuriating. Add to that the discovery that the deal to release the LP was made without your knowledge. Then, there was the further surprise that the record was to be released by Parlophone, The Beatles’ label.

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Imagining Ireland, Barbican review - celebrating the Irish in England

Tim Cumming

Last spring, Imagining Ireland took a fresh, shamrock-free look at contemporary Ireland’s cultural scene, with spoken word and alt-folk mixing with indie rock and jazz, classical, gospel and rap, with the line-up led by Bell X1’s Paul Noonan and Lisa Hannigan.

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The Dandy Warhols, O2 Institute, Birmingham review - a silver jubilee jaunt with plenty of new tunes

Guy Oddy

This week, the Dandy Warhols rocked up in Birmingham to begin the UK leg of their 25th anniversary tour with a gig in the Institute’s shabby but beautiful main hall, with its dusty neo-classical alabaster reliefs and almost comically antiquated balconies.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Third Noise Principle

Kieron Tyler

A compilation on which Philip Glass and Terry Riley rub shoulders with Controlled Bleeding and Smegma is going to be interesting. Throw in Data-Bank-A, Dog as Master, NON and Suicide, and it becomes clear what’s striven for is an all-encompassing overview of something particular rather than a miscellany of random names included as attention-grabbers.

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Patti Smith, Roundhouse review – the priestess of punk has lost none of her power

Ellie Porter

“Don’t love me yet,” replies Patti Smith to the first of tonight’s many excitable shout-outs. “Who knows, after 20 minutes you might be gone!” An unlikely scenario, given that this show – part of the Roundhouse’s annual “In the Round” series, which also features Ronnie Spector and Shirley Collins – sold out in nanoseconds and is packed with rapt fans.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Charles Mingus

Kieron Tyler

Releases dedicated to previously unisssued live recordings can be tricky. The variables at play don’t necessarily ensure that what’s in the shops is worth investigating. The audio sources may be of sub-standard quality or capture an off night. Some live performances are by rote: touring acts can do the same set night after night and things get stale. Who wants to hear yet another version of a familiar composition or song? It goes on.

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Bang on a Can All-Stars, Kings Place review - a kaleidoscope of vibrant sound and vision

David Nice

Julia Wolfe, Caroline Shaw, Anna Þorvaldsdóttir: three names on quite a list I reeled off earlier this week when someone asked me why the compositions of Rebecca Saunders, in the news for winning the 250,000 Ernst von Siemens Music Prize, make me lose the will to live, and whom I’d choose instead.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Music is the Most Beautiful Language in the World

Kieron Tyler

The title comes from a slogan used in a 1920s newspaper ad for Weinberg’s, a gramophone, record and sheet music shop in Brick Lane. Readers saw the words in Yiddish though.

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Jon Savage's 1968

Kieron Tyler

Without the necessary distance, characterising last year through its pop music is a mug’s game. A gulf of 50 years would bring some perspective. Nonetheless, in spite of that interval there are difficulties in creating a fitting soundtrack to 1968 – especially when using its singles as the emblematic markers.

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