Leni Stern (‘4’ album, out June 19th) – ITW #25

Legendary guitarist Leni Stern releases her forthcoming album ‘4’  on June 19th. ‘4’ is an album recorded with three other musicians and featuring an appearance of her husband Mike Stern.

As our readers know, we love jazz! Beyond our love for this genre, this album and this interview demonstrate once again Leni Stern’s intercultural intelligence and musical thoughtfulness.

Find our two favorite songs off ‘4’ in this article, plus a video of Leni and Mike playing together.

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Beauty Pill, Please Advise - Album review by Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture

Beauty Pill, Please Advise – ALBUM REVIEW #25

Chicago has been under the spotlight on this blog for a series of recent reviews, but now is the time to bring Washington D.C. on the forefront with Beauty Pill’s not-so-enigmatic album Please Advise, out now on Northern Spy Records.  

Marketing being what it is, personal choices are often induced by the attractiveness of an album cover. Something deeper attracted us this time. If you haven’t missed our guide to Miles Davis, you know how much we love the man and the music. The album title, Please Advise, is actually made of the two words who sealed Bitches Brew’s naming.

Now, this might be quite a futile reason too. Nonetheless, we’re glad that this potential futility led us to discover the music of Beauty Pill, a band which has been active since 2001 but unheard of since 2015.

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Album review of NIIKA's Close But Not Too Close by Marc Louis-Boyard

NIIKA, Close But Not Too Close – ALBUM REVIEW #24

Albums like NIIKA’s Close But Not Too Close are the reviewer’s most disconcerting challenges. Listening to this album is like opening a treasure made of so many valuables that the whole sensorial experience is paradoxically unspeakable.

That being said, let us not use this unspeakable reality as an excuse. Pleasures of this kind, when kept, are nothing but halved in the end. 

The artist’s promise is the following:

A genre-bending, continent-crossing, soft explosion of intimate indie, soul, and dirty pop. 

Let’s see how Chicago’s vibrant scene managed to conquer our soul again, before next time, as it is usually a matter of days.

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Mark E Smith of The Fall by Montecruz Foto

WHERE TO BEGIN WITH… The Fall (music band)

A guide to the music of The Fall is much needed once the novice is confronted to the dizzying immensity of Mark E. Smith’s prolificacy.

Smith’s quote “If it’s me and yer granny on bongos, it’s the Fall” is quite close to reality, and if the result can be sometimes confusing, Mark’s art is never deprived of interest. That’s why we asked the members of the Facebook group Mark E Smith & The Fall: It’s not Repetition, it’s Discipline to write a few lines about their favorite songs, in their own words.

Alexander, Erik, Steve, Andy, thank you very much for your time and generosity of soul. Main picture courtesy of Montecruz Foto.

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Shadow Talk LP by Cafe Racer, album review by Marc Louis-Boyard for Slow Culture

Cafe Racer, Shadow Talk LP – ALBUM REVIEW #23

Shadow Talk LP is Cafe Racer’s second album, succeeding to the contemplative Famous Dust. These two albums are worlds apart, but not in a trial and error fashion.

Avid readers and followers of this blog already enjoyed a past Friday Feature introducing ‘Faces’, the second single out of Shadow Talk LP. This track was, after all, nothing but a majestuous tree concealing a dense, immense forest of sounds.

Born Yesterday Records’ name is now to us what the “seen on TV’ sticker was to older generations. A label of trust, a promise of full satisfaction. Challenge completed.

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