Echo Bloom Stuns with their Live Performance Record ‘Blue Shift’

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With this being my first experience with Echo Bloom and their music, I am considerably awed by the never-ending beauty and power of the lyrical writing and eclectic arrangement of instrumentals in Blue Shift. An incredible, fun, humbling, emotional performance, Blue Shift illustrates what band-leader, guitarist and song-writer Kyle Evans terms “folk-estral” music. Intoning lyrics rich with biblical allusions– lending the album a subtle, overarching theme of personal spirituality– and backed by a variety of instruments such as the oboe, violin, and banjo, this live performance album is articulately and fantastically arranged, a truly magical experience.

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Deep Rock from Down Under – Tim Fontaine and Boroko

Tim Fontaine

Australian singer-songwriter Tim Fontaine saw a major transition of style and scenery in 2011 when he moved from Melbourne to New York City in committed pursuit of a music-making career. The addition of four other instrumentalists solidified Fontaine’s future as lead singer of Boroko, a project he says is “somewhere between a band and a solo project.”

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‘Hacia el Sol’ Has Sold Me On Allison Strong

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A little explanation regarding this review- I had initially meant to cover Allison Strong’s new single “One and Only,” but after an amazing conversation with the artist herself, and a few dozen plays of her single, I just needed to hear more of her beautiful, captivating music. Her truthful, relatable lyrics shine with Broadway strength vocals as she is accompanied by a symphonic variety of instruments and styles. Varying between …continue…

‘The Great Unknown’: What to Expect Next from Jukebox the Ghost

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Self-described piano pop group Jukebox the Ghost recently released a new single, “The Great Unknown,” in preparation for the release of their fourth full-length album this summer.  The album name has not yet been announced, but it’s sure to hold all the magic that has catapulted JTB to fame since the release of their debut album “Let Live and Let Ghosts” in 2008. “The Great Unknown” has a cohesive theme …continue…

Sarah McGowan, The Dirty Gems Unveil Fun, Passionate Singles

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Sarah McGowan’s “Williamsburg Boy” In her lament about a star-crossed crush on a hip “Williamsburg Boy,” Sarah McGowan shines in this new folk-pop single. With some humorous irony on the cheesiness of love songs- stopping, for example, midway to speak “I would literally fucking die [if he changed his hair]”- this upcoming singer proves that she not only has the talent to write relatable, lovable songs like Taylor Swift or …continue…

Tom Hansen’s New Art Form: The Book Concert

Tom Hansen, Remembering Our Oneness

Dr. Tom Hansen, retired academic and activist, will appear at Charlottesville’s Quest Bookshop on July 11th at 7PM to perform nine unique songs and spread his philosophy that human beings are “not just physical beings having an occasional spiritual experience.” Hansen’s rich voice, intricate melodies, and softly strummed guitar create a warmth in his music; believers in his spiritual ideas will no doubt take additional feelings of comfort from the lyrics Hansen presents with serene confidence. Each song is comprised of quotes from Hansen’s latest nonfiction work, Remembering Our Oneness, a continuation of his 1995 book Trying to Remember. “I contend that consciousness is the cause of the physical,” he says about his work, comparing it to the ideas of certain masters of quantum physics who use this spiritual idea to justify the existence of the universe.

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The Beatles in Hamburg: An Interview with Ian Inglis

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The most successful and influential pop group of all time, the Beatles landed in America in February 1964. By the time the Sixties came to an end, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr had taken the world by storm, not only becoming icons of popular culture, but also collectively creating an unprecedented legacy of hit singles and best-selling albums. It’s particularly telling that when Rolling Stone recently chose the top 500 albums of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was perched at the top, with Revolver, Rubber Soul and The White Album following close behind in the top ten.

Human Beings on Paper: Ab-Soul and Kendrick Lamar

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Soul: Just the mayhem. You know what I’m saying, the extra, extra pills. Things like that. People are easily influenced. I tell ‘em the blunt truth, then I’m just blurtin’ some shit out. Cause real is relative. Anyone who really knows knows that. Just speak to them. It’s just about making those connections.

Soul: People wanna learn man, everybody wanna learn. And you can do it in a way that can still be put it in a playlist for the homies. Nothing weird. No disrespect to Immortal Technique, just using him because you said it. But his stuff, it’s fucking brilliant. I can’t wait to meet him. He not trying to compromise, that’s really him. He probably don’t listen to this shit, because he probably feels this is like brainwash shit—because it probably really is, to the weak minded. But I’m just trying’ to be a chameleon, know what I mean? Trying to get this shit on across the board. Harmonize humanity, harmonize humanity.

Ready to Give an Answer: An interview with Pat Boone

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Born in 1934 and raised in Nashville, Tenn., Pat Boone was an unlikely candidate to be one of rock and roll’s first stars. A Bible-toting Christian since his early teens, Boone was the epitome of a clean-cut kid. He served as student body president his last year of high school and by the time he recorded “Ain’t That a Shame” in 1955, he had become a husband and father. His cover of Fats Domino was the first of a string of hits (eventually 38 in the Top 40) whose sheer commercial success was rivaled only by another Southern boy, Elvis Presley. Needless to say, the two performers had different images. While Elvis was perceived as only a prurient interest, Boone, affable and easy-going in style and song, had a safe, vanilla air that appealed to many parents.

A Tiny Pebble Hitting a Huge Pond – An Interview with Bruce Fein

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It’s very difficult to have a bad conversation with Bruce Fein. In his answers to my questions about deeply troubling current events, the constitutional lawyer showed why his expertise has been sought by everyone from the government of South Africa to Salon.com to Ronald Reagan. Fortunately for me, he’s good friends with our editor-in-chief, John Whitehead, who hosted him when Fein came into town from D.C. for a speaking engagement. The sun beat in through the blinds as the longtime allies chatted across a paper-cluttered desk.