Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 4:31 pm
Siblings Ian, Eric, and Brittany Hölljes — three of the four lead singers in the American folk-rock band Delta Rae — first learned the power of a good story when their parents read them mythological tales. In fact, the band's name is inspired by a fictional story the Hölljes' mother intended to write. Flash forward to 2012, and the band has put those lessons to good use.
It's hard to write a biography of an artist with as many career and relationship arcs as Leonard Cohen has experienced in his 78 years on Earth. But that's exactly what celebrated music journalist Sylvie Simmons has done with I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen.
Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 1:28 pm
Fusing vintage garage-rock and pop with modern punk, the San Francisco band The Fresh & Onlys has enjoyed a rapid rise, touring across Europe and North America and performing at its hometown Noise Pop festival.
Led by Tim Cohen and Shayde Sartin, the band recently released the accessibly psychedelic Long Slow Dance (Mexican Summer). Listen to two of its songs on this installment of World Cafe: Next, and don't miss the video for "Presence of Mind."
Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 2:03 pm
Father John Misty is a character — literally. A persona invented by singer-songwriter Josh Tillman, Father John Misty is there to showcase Tillman's rock-friendly side. In 2008, Tillman joined the Seattle folk-rock band Fleet Foxes as its drummer. After leaving the band at the beginning of the year, he loaded his van and hit the road.
The New Jersey band Titus Andronicus doesn't shy away from big ideas: It's named for Shakespeare's first tragedy, and its last record (2010's The Monitor) is a concept album drawing on the history of the Civil War. The group's big, shambling rock 'n' roll doesn't mess around with the everyday, opting instead for life-and-death urgency.
Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 4:49 pm
Legendary songwriter and producer John Cale is back with ShiftyAdventures in Nookie World, his 15th solo album and first since 2005. Cale shape-shifts often throughout the record, channeling a discotheque in the Danger Mouse-produced "I Wanna Talk 2 U," picking an acoustic guitar throughout "Living With You" and venturing into folklore in "Sandman (Flying Dutchman)." Post-punk, hip-hop and everything in between comes into play at one point or another.
Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:19 pm
Singer-songwriter Ben Schneider is the creative force behind the rhythmically inventive folk-pop band Lord Huron. The band started out as a multimedia solo project, but it now includes Mark Barry on percussion and vocals, Miguel Briseno on bass and percussion, Brett Farkas on guitar and vocals, and Tom Renaud on guitar and vocals.
After a three-year stint as a touring pianist with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, California native Aaron Embry struck out on his own. Embry wrote his solo debut, Tiny Prayers, while on the band's Railroad Revival Tour, crafting bare-bones acoustic melodies that recall the work of Embry's past collaborators, including Elliott Smith and Willie Nelson.
With the shoegaze band Slowdive, the country-rock group Mojave 3 and his own solo albums, Neil Halstead has carved out a 25-year career just outside the pop mainstream. When he was only 17, Halstead helped start Slowdive, which morphed into Mojave 3, which then released a string of highly celebrated albums that merge jangly alt-country with dusky indie-pop.
After the pioneering glam-rock band Mott the Hoople dissolved in 1974, Ian Hunter kicked off a solo career that stalled in the '80s. It took the death of Hunter's close friend and Spiders From Mars guitarist Mick Ronson in 1993 to reinvigorate his music career. But one thing has remained constant: Whether with Mott the Hoople or in politically charged albums nearly 40 years into his career, Hunter has never held back.