Thursday, August 21, 2008

It is the music that matters...

A week away from my blog seems a long time. I have returned from a few days away but, unlike last year, I am back home when I intended and fully functional. This evening a different problem presented; I returned home from work, intent on adding some new blog material, only to discover that my street had no electricity and even vinyl won't play without that!

While my recent meanderings were limited to nowhere exotic, rather the comforting familiarity of North Yorkshire in good company, that doesn't mean that I have spent the last week entirely isolated from the world of new music and, also importantly, music that is merely new to me.
It does possibly mean that such music has no obvious connection, and this is an album and artist that I have never heard before, but it appears to make sense to buy it so it is now on order!

Alternative/indie music from North America is currently on fine form and this is just one album amongst many that holds promise. It is certainly not a new phenomenon but it is also true that music and politics share a lot in common. They know what they are up against - European music - and although this might seem a rather strange comment they are rising, vainglorious, to the challenge and that is exactly what is needed right now.

It is, like politics, a situation far more complicated than it might seem and this is why music has spawned a rash of sub-genres that, while we might disagree about the names we give them, share certain common values. To anyone reading this without some prior knowledge the term "anti-folk" is about as helpful as toothache and, in any case, it is also near impossible to define as it can present as different things in different cases. Given that there are too many sub-genres this is a particularly unhelpful situation that merely hinders communication but it is one quite unsurprising.
While I'm on this topic and, as I forgot to mention that Kira Fontana is from California, I might also mention Carrie Rodriguez.

She is from New York and as well as playing her, rather more folk-influenced, songs she also plays a mean fiddle! This, her second solo album, was released in the US on 5th August 2008 by Manhattan Records but, as of now, seems to have no full release in the UK or Europe.

It is just the music that matters!

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