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Home » Articles »   By Chris Parker
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Thursday, October 11,2012

Beth Orton is back at it

Folktronica singer rediscovers her groove with ‘Sugaring Season’

By Chris Parker
Beth Orton’s voice is the milky cloud of cream in your coffee gently dispersing like last light before the twilight. Her trilling coo is sweet and tender but also urgent and foreboding.
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Thursday, September 6,2012

Veteran perspective

Old 97s have been Too Far To Care and back

By Chris Parker
"We’ve neither burned out nor faded away. There must be a third option where you just keep plugging,” offers jovial Old 97’s frontman Rhett Miller.
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Thursday, August 30,2012

True love and music

Nicki Bluhm goes from grade school teacher to rising indie-folk star

By Chris Parker
Nicki Bluhm has a lot going for her. Her country-rock vocals recall the rootsy strut of Linda Ronstadt, while sweet and smooth like a crème brûlée.
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Thursday, August 16,2012

Sharon Van Etten finds road to happiness passes through ‘Tramp’

By Chris Parker
Completing an album can be like a life passage, closing one chapter and opening another. The third chapter in Sharon Van Etten’s recorded history, Tramp’s a haunting record that pushes out beyond the minimalist, emotionally raw folk of Van Etten’s first two albums.
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Thursday, August 9,2012

Musical Olympics

Andrew Bird recovers after stumbling on hurdles

By Chris Parker
If life’s a race, it’s certainly the hurdles. An experienced racer, Andrew Bird´s been going around the track since the mid-’90s, when he ran with acts like the “Hell”-ish Squirrel Nut Zippers and Bowl of Fire.
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Thursday, July 19,2012

Love’s labor

Langhorne Slim returns to the road after giving love a chance

By Chris Parker
Langhorne Slim had a good thing going. The nomadic roots rocker spent almost his entire adult life peddling his scuffling folk-blues odes to wastrels, scoundrels and lovelorn wanderers. In all that time since college, he’d managed to avoid ever paying rent.
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Thursday, June 14,2012

Special folk

Understated guitar god Richard Thompson thrives in the shade

By Chris Parker
For 45 years, Thompson has made music in various formations, never achieving more than modest commercial success, while critics have greeted his work with near-universal, bended-kneed genuflection. He uses a hybrid of pick and finger plucking, forging warm, rich folk tones abetted by a sinewy baritone.
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Thursday, June 7,2012

Sullied reputation

Dandy Warhols move clear of the past and get back to basics

By Chris Parker
“It’s not a documentary — or it shouldn’t be titled one because it uses footage that happened and footage that was re-enacted to tell a story the director wanted to tell. One that ultimately is a successful story, but is not true. And we’ve suffered from it,” says guitarist Peter Holmström.
Thursday, May 24,2012

Comedic birthing pool

Upright Citizens Brigade incubates top talent and the accompanying laughter

By Chris Parker
Putting comedy within anyone’s reach has been one of the goals of the Upright Citizens Brigade, a comedy troupe that enjoyed a run on Comedy Central from 1998 to 2000 and now operates theaters in Los Angeles and New York that have served as stepping stones for many comedic actors and writers. The company also tours the nation, putting on comedy shows coast-to-coast.
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Thursday, April 19,2012

Cracking wise

Das Racist breaks ankles with wicked intellectual crossovers

By Chris Parker
You might call them “culture warriors,” though you won’t find them armed with Bibles and picket signs. They’re not even that angry. New York rap trio Das Racist are more hipster wise-alecks battling mediocrity in witty verses lined in hip slang and carpeted with pop culture sediment.
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