This category contains 74 posts

North Country Blues

For capturing and being propelled by the ferocious talent of two of the most interesting musicians of our generation, this truly deserves to be canonised alongside such other great concert films as Scorsese’s The Last Waltz and Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense. Continue reading

Here Lies Love

David Byrne & Fatboy Slim—Here Lies Love Nonesuch Reviewed by Hugh Lilly Former Talking Heads front man David Byrne is a master collaborator: his work with Brian Eno—most recently 2008’s Everything That Happens Will Happen Today—has been continually inventive, and “Knotty Pine,” his contribution (with Dirty Projectors) to last year’s Red Hot aids-awareness compilation, Dark … Continue reading

Inertia Creeps: Post-rock and The Album Leaf’s A Chorus of Storytellers

The Album Leaf—A Chorus of Storytellers SubPop Review by Hugh Lilly Post-rock is a fluid genre that’s hard to define, but it’s widely agreed that bands like Japan’s mono and the Toronto octet Do Make Say Think (dmst) are currently the movement’s flag-bearers. Characterised by chord progressions, melodies and harmonies, unusual instrumentation and rhythms not … Continue reading

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards By Hugh Lilly The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held its 82nd annual awards ceremony on Sunday March 8th. After opening with a song-and-dance number from TV actor Neil Patrick Harris—part of the night’s “Old Hollywood” theme—hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin got down to the business end … Continue reading

The Cøpenhagen Harmonies

Efterklang—Magic Chairs (4ad, January 2009) Review by Hugh Lilly The fourth full-length LP from this Danish four-piece—best described as The Postal Service meets The Polyphonic Spree—ditches the dark atmosphere of their previous albums in favour of a much lighter, more poppier sound but thankfully retains the classical and avant-garde influences for which they are known, … Continue reading

Collaboratrice Consummate

Charlotte Gainsbourg—IRM (Because Music, December 2009) Review by Hugh Lilly The title of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s third album in as many decades was inspired by the sound (and French initialisation) of an MRI machine, and the title track, second in the running order, feels like it was recorded inside of one, which is just as horrendous … Continue reading

This Bitter Earth / On The Nature of Daylight

Max Richter’s piece “On the Nature of Daylight” is hauntingly beautiful by itself, but when, in the closing titles of Shutter Island, it’s combined with Dinah Washington’s “This Bitter Earth,” it takes on tremendous new dimensions:

Bach in Time

Bach in Time The Cello Suites by Eric Siblin (Atlantic Monthly Press) Review by Hugh Lilly Johann Sebastian Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello are among the most beautiful pieces ever composed for the instrument. The arpeggiated chords in the opening bars of the first suite are the best-known measures of all the suites, and … Continue reading

time it was, oh what a time it was

Dirty Projectors performing at Brookyln’s Pool Parties in July 2009 Sean O’Neal at the Onion A.V. Club, on one of my favourite records of the year, Bitte Orca, and the decade that was: There’s no better yardstick for measuring the artistic leaps and bounds of the past decade than with an evolutionary chart of “New … Continue reading

A Delightfully Wild Rumpus

Karen O. & The Kids—Where The Wild Things Are (DCG/Interscope Records, 2009) Earlier this decade, Karen Orzolek, the front woman of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs better known with her last name initialised, recorded a series of acoustic demos at her home and burned them to a CD as a gift for the producer and TV … Continue reading


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