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When Simon Raymonde’s band Cocteau Twins split in 1997, he went on to found and record for his own label, Bella Union. His latest musical incarnation, with help from vocalist Stephanie Dosen, is Snowbird, and its sound picks up right where the Cocteau Twins left off more than a decade ago. Snowbird’s Moon is piano-based, and the lyrics evoke images of moonlit, frosty forests. Dosen’s vocals occasionally recall Raymonde’s other leading lady Elizabeth Fraser, but Dosen (smartly) never sounds like she’s going for an exact...
To me, most of today’s indie music feels like fluff: pop tarts and faux-alternative “stars” with songs that have no context and rarely any lyrical challenges. It seems like there’s a dearth of strong females who write catchy, strong rock music that deeply questions popular culture, femininity, misogyny, and women’s place in the world. But Brooklyn-based psychedelic R&B band Teen will restore your faith. Their second LP, The Way and Color, isn’t just a beautiful record—full of intellectual instrumentation and smart, hooky songs that sound...
What do swimming pools, sexual voyeurism, elevators, and eco-terrorist extraterrestrials have in common? They’re all the subjects of songs on Hotel Valentine, Cibo Matto’s first release in 15 years. Much of the album is written from the perspective of a wry ghost who haunts a hotel and delivers deadpan lines like, “I had some cheese and seedless grapes for lunch and floated around for the rest of the afternoon.” The band’s Japanese-born, N.Y.C.-based members, Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori, are musicians who seem to absorb every style...
If you’ve ever checked out the [ETC] category of Craigslist’s jobs section, you’ve seen them, interspersed between dog-walking gigs and ONLINE SURVEYS IN ALL CAPS: the ubiquitous call for egg donors. They’re looking for Jewish women, Asian women, East Indian and Italian women, women with blue eyes and high SAT scores. Most ads promise compensation in the $4,000 – $10,000 range, and in the summer of 2011, I was a postgrad who had just moved to New York City with only a thousand-dollar tax refund and...
From April 11 to August 24, the Brooklyn Museum will be featuring graffiti portraitist Swoon's installation Submerged Motherlands, a poignant work that focuses on climate change, and the disastrous effects of Hurricane Sandy and the Doggerland--a landmass that once connected Great Britain to Europe’s mainland before it was submerged by a tsunami. Swoon transformed the Brooklyn Museum’s Rotunda Gallery into a magnificent landscape with makeshift boats, rafts, and paper foliage to adorn an enormous tree, which is the focal point of the exhibit. Swoon is known for...
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