neko case

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Neko Case: Live From Austin, Texas (Elite)

Neko Case: Live From Austin, Texas (Elite)

Although a belated release -- it was recorded in August 2003 -- there is some serendipity of timing: Case's 2006 Fox Confessor Brings The Flood popped up in many "best of the year" lists. On release I gave Fox five stars in the New Zealand Herald and in the end of year "best of" wrap-up wrote of it, "This typically...

Arthur and Yu: In Camera (Stomp)

Arthur and Yu: In Camera (Stomp)

On a first hearing I thought this would have been the album that Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood might have made if Nancy had been more like Elizabeth Montgomery in Bewitched and Lee more like Karl Wallinger from World Party. Sort of pop but not, as it were. There is a dreamy and disconcerting quality to much of this pairing of Seattle's...

Amy Speace and the Tearjerkers: Songs For Bright Street (Wildflower/Elite)

Amy Speace and the Tearjerkers: Songs For Bright Street (Wildflower/Elite)

Here is another album (like that by the wonderful Jimmy Norman, see tag) which has appeared long after its US release: this from singer-songwriter Speace came out mid-06. No matter, this alt.country/folk/Americana collection confirms why she has been a critics' favourite everywhere from Nashville to New York folk clubs. Speace has a classic...

Jenny Lewis: Acid Tongue (Lost Highway)

Jenny Lewis: Acid Tongue (Lost Highway)

Frankly I'm a bit ho-hum about too much of this by the woman who brought us the terrific Rabbit Fur Coat (with the Watson Twins). When it is good it is very, very good (the eerie alt.folk of Pretty Bird, the fragile Bad Man's World with stabbing cello, the dsriking title track) but then in other places she veers off into alt.rock (The Next...

Lisa Germano: Magic Neighbor (Young God Records)

Lisa Germano: Magic Neighbor (Young God Records)

Given that the cover art here is by Auckland's West Coast artist Dean Buchanan, we might guess that singer/violinist/composer Germano encountered his work when she was in New Zealand in April 2001 for Neil Finn's 7 Worlds Collide project. Certainly Buchanan's dark and mysterious work is appropriate here because Germano's music is much the...

Leslie Stevens and the Badgers: Roomful of Smoke (Fuse)

Leslie Stevens and the Badgers: Roomful of Smoke (Fuse)

Although a reviewer for America's No Depression said Stevens' voice reminded of Emmylou Harris' (although confusingly added “but you will never be confused it”) Harris' crystalline sound doesn't come to mind at all for me. (Maybe Melanie's high-pitched folksiness in places.) But this former LA punk has convincingly moved...

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