fri 18/06/2021

Americana

Nomadland review - on the road in the American West

Fern (a luminous Frances McDormand) used to work in HR. Now, aged 62, she’s harvesting sugarbeets, hauling rocks, cleaning toilets in a trailer park and doing shifts in an Amazon warehouse. And she’s living out of her camper van, a shabby, lovingly...

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Album: Lambchop - Showtunes

Lambchop leader Kurt Wagner has suggested that the title of this album is semi literal: that he wanted to write “something akin” to classic, Great American Songbook show tunes, rather than his usual country-tinged style. If so, it’s for a rather...

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theartsdesk on Vinyl 64: Chet Baker, Lava La Rue, Bob Mould, Krust, The Yardbirds, The Fratellis and more

Things got out of hand at theartsdesk on Vinyl this month and these reviews run to 10,000 words. That's around a fifth of The Great Gatsby. It's because there's so much good music that deserves the words, from jazz to metal to pure electronic...

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Album: They're Calling Me Home - Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi

Now we are at the beginning of lockdown’s end and the gradual loosening of the pandemic’s grip on pretty well every aspect of our lives, what is perhaps one of the warmest and most uplifting of albums recorded under Covid conditions comes in the...

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Album: Ted Barnes - 17 Postcards

Ted Barnes is an outsider by design. Not in the sense of being wilfully awkward or outré – the music on his first solo album in almost 13 years years is gentle, harmonically rich, extremely accessible – but in that he has sidestepped standard career...

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Hughes, Manchester Collective, Lakeside Arts online review - creating the occasion

There’s an atmosphere of tender restraint through most of the programme created by Ruby Hughes and Manchester Collective for Lakeside Arts at the University of Nottingham. It was streamed live yesterday afternoon, and, as is the way with most...

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Disc of the Day 10th Anniversary: the level playing field

Theartsdesk is a labour of love. Bloody-mindedly run as a co-operative of journalists from the beginning, our obsession with maintaining a daily-updated platform for good culture writing has caused a good few grey and lost hairs over the years. But...

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Disc of the Day 10th Anniversary: Albums We Got Wrong

Continuing our week of pieces celebrating the 10th birthday of theartsdesk’s album reviews section, today it’s time to ‘fess up! Seven of our regular reviewers reflect on occasions when, in retrospect, their writing did not correctly sum up the...

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Disc of the Day Celebrates 10 Years of Album Reviews

Ten years ago yesterday, on Monday 14th February 2011, one of theartsdesk’s writers, Joe Muggs, reviewed an album called Paranormale Aktivitat, by an outfit called Zwischenwelt. It was the first ever Disc of the Day, a new slot inserted into...

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Album: Steve Earle & The Dukes - JT

Among the many tragic deaths last year was that of Justin Townes Earle, son of Steve Earle, who died in August, felled by the demons his father had vanquished but which Townes Van Zandt, the revered singer-songwriter after whom his daddy named him (...

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Albums of the Year 2020: Steve Earle & The Dukes - Ghosts of West Virginia

In this most dark and dislocating of years, music has sustained me as it always has. Balm, refuge, escape, retreat. A way of opting out of the daily horror show, often with familiar sounds – musicians and albums that have long been old friends,...

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Mary Chapin Carpenter, One Night Lonely livestream review - down-home and perfectly paced

Mary Chapin Carpenter’s Songs from Home has been an anchor-point almost since the beginning of lockdown for many people, all of us invited into the singer’s sun-dappled Virginia farmhouse, often the kitchen, where, accompanied by Angus the most...

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