Bound by compromise, our dance through life contains a fair share of side steps. Not surprisingly, February’s winter’s grip holds pensive, bartering musical releases. While art-folk composer BASIA BULAT’s carousing, “Heart of My Own,” jive, indie-anarchists LOS CAMPENSINOS’ smarmy, “Romance is Boring,” and noble soul-rockers TINDERSTICKS’ Sisyphean, “Falling Down A Mountain,” suggest sullen survivors, the season’s bittersweet titles herald talented realists packing reasons to believe in a promising new year.
Go Find - Everybody Knows It’s Gonna Happen Only Not Tonight
Album title: Everybody Knows It’s Gonna Happen Only Not Tonight
Record Label: Morr Music
Acoustic accoutrements caress and undress TGF’s self-assured purrs of passive indulgence. Belgian’s poignant playboys radiate super-sleuth cool as ultra-polished gloss beguiles, gliding seamlessly through spotless bedroom pop. Calculator smart and compassionately savvy, “Not Tonight,” swims in measured leisure; warm, confiding synthesizers pressed and ready to pounce.
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Lindstrom & Christabelle - Real Life Is No Cool
Album title: Real Life Is No Cool
Record Label: Feedelity Recordings
Sequined sequences and programmed pandemonium yield funky disco struts, swooning grooves and intoxicating non-stop dance-pop. Nordic maestro Lindstrom’s machine-tooled moxie finds a soul-mate in Christabelle’s sensual vocals to make luxurious flirts slink, sweat and sashay. Flippy, trippy, club-dizzy fantasies, “Real Life,” turn relentlessly inventive dimensions into an audio odyssey.
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Lindstrom & Christabelle online:
AM - Future Sons & Daughters
Album title: Future Sons & Daughters
Record Label: Filter U.S.
Cozy consolation from sweet-talking tunes, AM skips, dips and cozies up with revitalized nostalgia. Laid-back enlightenment straddling singer-songwriter folk, sunshine rock and blue-eyed soul circa early seventies, “Future,” fires up smoky, hip-swiveling riffs conjured from snappy brass, deep-fried bass, cantering congas and sly, knowing vocals stretching familiar formulas into tasty upbeat treats.
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Puerto Muerto - Drumming For Pistols
Album title: Drumming For Pistols
Record Label: Fire Records
Bruised serenades, galloping punk-rockabilly foxtrots and ragged border town blues lock and tumble into a circus of shadowy cadaver ballads and brooding, alt-rock burlesques. Brilliantly desolate, Puerto Muerto’s scratchy erratic cantina concertos concoct bombastic flaunts between moody, consuming regrets while, “Drumming,” furtively teases and wails; banshee-riddled stomps vamping alongside foreboding, late-night sympathies.
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Puerto Muerto online:
Local Natives - Gorilla Manor
Album title: Gorilla Manor
Record Label: Frenchkiss Records
Beach Boys blessed, L.A.‘s Local Natives engage the ears in genuine rhythmic ingenuity - spirited hoedowns equally inviting, intriguing and entertaining, spiraling barbershop chops integrated into tightly-knitted drum circle blissfulness. A hook-filled ride smoothly somersaulting into playfully cosmic pop; uplifting enthusiasm bathes, “Gorilla,” in campfire choirs, irresistibly jubilant licks bobbing around cheerfully twisted lyrics.
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Local Natives online:
Jatun - Blanket of Ash
Album title: Blanket of Ash
Record Label: Other Electricities
Mammoth swells and wordless vertigo, heavenly fades snap, crackle and pop in Jatun’s stellar noise fest. Aural spelunking, “Blanket,” buzzes with grizzled sizzle, hovering over bold, smoldering, char-broiled electronics, forging and foraging under plummeting cascades and seething dreams. Channeling ambience into unwavering space-rock intensity, Jatun’s saturated abstractions subtly morph into intricate, factory packages.
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Winter break ends and Southern Wisconsin’s live music starts up again. February hosts CRACKER unplugged, back to back nights of LOTUS, the farewell show of Madison’s smart aleck, art-punk rockers THE GERMAN ART STUDENTS and a rare appearance from Philly’s up and coming industrial groove-meisters COLD CAVE. Minneapolis’ incisive EYEDEA & ABILITIES and Norway’s cavalier SONDRE LERCHE pass this way as do outstanding singer-songwriters LAURA VEIRS and RICKIE LEE JONES.