A cute, moody, young Russian guy singing lyrics with political undertones (the title translates to “Do not forget, do not forgive”, a major slogan of hacktivist collective Anonymous), all set to an elegantly powerful indie electronic groove — how could I not love this? Video after the jump.
Lovely, jangly new indie pop single from Swedish group Alpaca Sports. Video after the jump.
2013 is off to a great start with this barn-burner from Manchester, England art-rockers Everything Everything. Video after the jump.
This is not to be missed – and the last show is next Wednesday, and the seats are selling fast! Ella Fitzgerald once called Marilyn Maye “the greatest white female singer in the world.” That’s no exaggeration; she may be the only singer alive who combines a great vocal instrument with interpretative flair and savoir faire equal to Ella’s own. There are younger singers who might posses more powerful voices but I can think of no other singer who possesses Maye’s combination of interpretive ability, rhythmic verve, and vocal range – at 84, her voice is the envy of singers 40 years her junior.
Back in the days when Justin Bond mostly performed as Kiki DuRane of Kiki & Herb, that deranged duo would always do Christmas shows that were the most hilariously blasphemous and vitriolic thing in town. Now that Justin Vivian Bond has shed the DuRane persona and stands ever more firmly center stage (and in the center of the gender specturm), v’s Christmas show naturally takes a much different form.
In “Snow Angel”, this year’s Christmas show, JVB’s own persona is plenty big enough and v’s wit is spontaneous, an acidly funny stream of consciousness – what do you know, hilarious blasphemy and vitriol still come pretty naturally to Justin! The stories v tells now are more personal; now, instead of toying with Kiki’s complicated fictional relationship with Christianity, Bond can actually put v’s own pagan ambivalence about Christmas at the heart of the show. And the music can be performed with less irony and greater feeling – after singing Jay-Z and Kanye’s “Made in America”, JVB specifically said “I hate post-rap irony, so I did my best to be sincere.”
There’s a lot of songs by Melanie Safka (of “Brand New Key” and “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)” fame), and Melanie’s dangerously earnest passion defines the tone of this act. The musical backing from Brett Every on piano and Nath Ann Carrera on guitar is sophisticated, warm and rich. Amber Martin on backing vocals can stand up to Bond’s titanic vocal power, a very tall order. There’s nothing particularly jazzy about the arrangements – if anything they are redolent of folk rock and chamber pop – but there is a powerful sense of improvisational give and take.
Bond is one of the most original and potent performers of our time, whom I think everybody should see at least once. Or more often – there’s something new and freshly rewarding about every single performance.
For tickets, click here.
For more reviews and interviews by Jonathan Warman, see his blog Drama Queen.