Amy Ray Preps Solo Album For Summer Release
Atlanta-based songwriter, and perennial Indigo Girl, Amy Ray is set to release her third solo album on August 5th. Didn’t It Feel Kinder , the surprisingly brawny follow-up to 2004’s Prom, once again trades in Ray’s acoustic guitar for an electric, and reaffirms her position as one of the most striking voices in contemporary music. But what might come as a surprise this time out is that, for the very first time, Kinder finds Ray enlisting the aid of a producer for her solo work. It’s a choice that most certainly pays off. Fearless listener and multi-talented musician, Greg Griffith (The Butchies, Le Tigre), worked with Ray to incorporate a variety of sounds and influences to bring to life her most engaging, dynamic work yet.
From the clattering riot grrl bounce of “Blame Is A Killer,” to the reserved beauty of album-opener “Birds of A Feather,” Kinder is a record to which any listener can relate. And, and it wouldn’t be a Ray album if she didn’t bring along a few of her friends: former Butchies Kaia Wilson, Melissa York and Griffith, Madonna-collaborator Tomi Martin, Brandi Carlile and the indie-fried alt.country boys of Arizona.
MP3: Amy Ray – “Blame Is A Killer”
(image from Pitchfork‘s photo stream )
This past Friday, nearly three decades after playing their last show as a “group,” seminal No Wave provocateurs Teenage Jesus & The Jerks played 2 packed-to-the-rafters sets at New York’s Knitting Factory. This unlikely “one-night only reunion” occurred in conjunction with the release of the book No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York 1976-1980, a visual chronicle of the short-lived but highly influential movement by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and veteran critical gadfly Byron Coley [Forced Exposure, Spin, The Wire, and many many others]. A “definitive anthology” of the band titled Shut And Bleed is also scheduled to be released later this year via Atavistic Records. In addition to Teenage Jesus’ studio output, which was previously issued by Atavistic as a 12-track, 19-minute collection titled Everything in 1995, it will include previously unissued live recordings, as well as recordings by frontwoman Lydia Lunch’s concurrent project Beirut Slump.
As might be expected, the event drew a fairly impressive assemblage of personalities, from older folk who had seen Teenage Jesus the first time around, to sixteen year old kids who would have been in short pants when the group’s recordings first became somewhat readily available via reissues. The festivities kicked off at the opening of the accompanying gallery exhibit across the street at 73 Leonard St., where original flyers, photographs, magazines, and records were on display, and visitors could bump elbows with various members of bands like The Contortions and The Gynecologists while they perused the photographs. The two authors held court for a while before the oppressive heat and need for nicotine drove most in attendance out into the street prior to the doors being opened.
More after the jump.
Sharon Jones Rules The ‘Roo
Never ones to let a little heat slow them down, Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings brought the afternoon funk and soul party to Bonnaroo. After a half hour rain delay, the Dap-Kings hit the Which Stage under a brightly shining sun. Their 90 minute set spanned all three of their albums; from recent favorites, (“100 Days, 100 Nights”), to old cuts, “What Have You Done For Me Lately” and everything in between.
Midway through the set, Sharon launched into her dance explosion with bare feet, making the Dap-Kings laugh when she warned us that she was afraid of getting splinters onstage. Luckily, all the fans had to worry about was getting grass stains on their bare feet while we all had a “bonnaroo” (Cajun slang for “a really good time”).
Pictures after the jump!
Immortal Tech Passin’ Specs On The 3rd World
The 3rd World / Viper / BUY
Whoosh! Did you just see little Timmy sprint past at blazing speed, screaming for his mommy? Could’ve been anything that scared him. Anything. But push play on Immortal Technique‘s Third World –an album so vicious and intense that it can’t help but destroy everything in its path, one track at a time– and you have a valid reasoning for Timmy’s b-line.
Politically and socially embittered, Third World addresses everything from prejudice in “Harlem Renaissance” to bottom-up coups in the tribal-sounding title cut, where Tech preaches, “I’m from where they overthrow democratic leaders, not for the people, but for the Wall Street Journal readers.” Strong words from an emcee clearly angry enough to tangle –via intellect or fist– with anyone that may so choose. Amazingly, whether you’re on the same ideological wavelength, or whether you accidentally confuse the word “f*ck” with a common word like “and” (yes, they are used almost the same number of times), Third World has an incredibly infectious quality to it. The album, out on Viper Records, can transform the happiest Hippie into the Incredible Hulk instantly. Try to listen without spitting along with I-T. Impossible.
Stream various tracks here.