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Iron & Wine & A Western Killing Spree Rendered as Cinematic Poetry

Mr. Sam Beam, better known as Iron & Wine, made the wise decision some years ago to homestead right around here. And so this week we get an unusual two-night offering from Iron & Wine: Tomorrow night (7/28) Iron & Wine hosts (?) or otherwise presents a special Movie Night at the Paramount, featuring the 1973 film Badlands (itself the work of another hill country denizen, Terence Malick). And the following night (7/29), along with Calexico, he'll perform as part of a benefit for both MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) and HAAM (Health Alliance for Austin Musicians). All good reasons to absorb some hill country genius. 

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NYC Dandies play countrying music: My Cousin, The Emperor

My Cousin, The Emperor is like a country version of Pavement. They have nuances of a lo-fi 90s band, mixed with a country acoustic twang. And the fact that the band dresses like total dandies is mesmerizing.  The pluck of a banjo is always best when done by Steve Martin or someone wearing a newsboy cap and a waistcoat. This good old country quartet has created a debut album that is a modern Dixieland treasure. My Cousin, The Emperor is to country what Back to the Future III is to cowboy movies, for their mixture of country with other genres makes country more accessible to those who hate it. My Cousin, The Emperor definitely has the power to convert the skeptics. - CS

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NYC Artists on the Rise: Elephant Parade

Elephant Parade is kinda cutesy, kinda sappy, kinda heavy in the pseudo-folk guitar strumming. But Estelle’s vocals really are the major touchstone: something syrupy, pliable, wrapping around those little accents of keys or horns, the tricky little drumbeats. We’re a little slow on the uptake, here – they’ve been putting out music for the better part of five years. The duo makes for an easy listen – sort of like The Blow not on blow – with flighty, sometimes light-hearted lyrics that resonate once in a while. The kind of limitless DIY that takes you to a meadow and an open sky, and now and then there’s an awesome animal traipsing about. - DWE


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Best of NYC #15: Dinosaur Feathers, now touring the US

We continue our "Best of NYC Countdown", covering every day one of the artists that made our Year End Best of NYC list (a chart compiled by a jury comprised of local bloggers, music writers, promoters, record store personnel, DJs, and our writers and readers).

Dinosaur Feathers are a quirky, different kind of pop -- both undeniably and instantly likeable. There’s a lively looseness about the Beach Boysie and XTC-type musical arrangements that come across as laid-back and cool, rather than sloppy. Strip away all these strange goodies accompanying the songs, and at the bare fruit revealed is smart pop-island music, clearly influenced by now-extinct dinosaurs of the 60’s. Only a band with a warped tropical mindset, fusing fun and talent, could produce such passionately diverse music (check out “Vendela Vida”), all while retaining an anchored uniqueness. Failing to get excited about Dinosaur Feathers is not an option. The band is currently busy touring the US, they'll be back home in late August with a show at Littlefield on the 28. - Paul Dunn

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Mourning Anna Log Eulogizes at KFN July 27

Mourning Anna Log (awesome fuckin’ band name!), the solo project of Ed “Dead Bird” Burke is bringing his beautiful weirdness to Kung Fu Necktie tonight. His sound is one of quite calming down-tempo electronica that glitches and glides on a wave of lush polyrhythmic beats created by chopped and screwed drum and vocal samples assembled to perfection. The songs remind me of glitch DJ Gold Panda or a bit less aggressive Squarepusher. Dead Bird is part of the West Philly collective The Manhattan Projekt, a DIY non-profit record label slash promotion company. Oh and birdman insists on you listening to his songs with headphones so I played them from my PC laptop speakers on low. But really I busted out my monster headphones and shit am I happy I did, these songs certainly do “bump”. Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 Front St., 8pm, $8, 21+ - Adam G.
 

 

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