Album Review

A chat with the singer/songwriter the week of her debut album release!

If you were a frequent client of Green Apple Books in the Inner Richmond, and especially if you attended their live music series, then perhaps you’re already familiar with singer/songwriter Ronnie Carrier. Though she moved to Portland last year, her guitar twangin’, foot stompin’ music, filled with literary depths, can now flood your home/phone/computer speakers via her full-length album debut, Lost In The Eclectic, which comes out Friday, April 7th (with an upcoming SF show on 4/14). I had the fantastic opportunity to ask her a few questions after listening to the new album:

First of all, it’s so great to see (and hear) your first full length album, “Lost In The Eclectic”, come to fruition. How do you feel now that it’s completed?

Thank you! The first word that comes to mind is “relieved”, but also there’s a side of nervous excitement. I’m very proud of this album – now that I’m presenting it, I get to find out how the story translates to the people who listen to my music. I’m excited to hear what listeners get out of this, and I hope it is something worthwhile.

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jenny lewis the voyager

Jenny Lewis is back!  And, she’s brought herself with her.  The Voyager is Lewis’ first solo record in six years, and appropriately named due to the long journey the new collection of songs took to find themselves together on a record.  Since Rilo Kiley officially split in 2011, Lewis involved her talented musicianship in a few endeavors, meanwhile she dealt with a long bout with insomnia and the death of her father.  The Voyager is a pronouncement of her strength and resilience.  The record enshrouds brutal honesty and confessions within a blanket of summer pop jangles and melodious hooks.

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warpandweft

Not many musicians have the longevity to release nine full-length studio albums.  Laura Veirs is one of the few.  The Portland, OR resident has been producing a constant flow of beautiful folk rock and delicately woven lyrical tales since 1999.  It’s only appropriate, then, that Veirs’ new effort, Warp and Weft, is aptly named using the terms for the crossing threads in weaving.  It is tightly constructed, contemplative but also commentative, and weaves together vivid images and stories of lives long gone and some yet to pass.

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edward sharpe

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros is the self-titled third full-length album from the 10-person folk rock group.  It’s fitting that the group’s third album is self-titled, since it emits a level of musical maturity that signals that they’ve finally found their authentic stride.  Their super popular debut album, Up From Below, was filled with songs that were heard all over the radio and in commercials, movies, and just about everywhere one looked.  Yet Up From Below felt forced, as if the group jumped onto the folk revival bandwagon late and inserted as many trending characteristics as they could.  The same level of mass consumption didn’t occur with the second album, Here, but it nevertheless catered to a fan base eager to hear catchy choruses and jangling folk-rock melodies.  With Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the group has merged catchy hooks with natural sounding music composition.  The songs don’t feel contrived.  Sure, the album still carries a dose of pretentiousness that the group will never be able to shake. However, frontman Alex Ebert feels more at home here, embracing the rawness and eclectic range of influences and tones, and the band is able to follow suit, creating what may end up being one of the best albums of the year.

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Coma Cinema Posthumous Release

“Closer than before / on the edge of being / the same fuck up as before / dying in a secret”, Mat Cothran (aka Coma Cinema) mumbles out on the opening track of his fourth full-length album, Posthumous Release.  The South Carolina native spills out seemingly half-conscious lyrics throughout the twelve short tracks, as if he is reading scribbled notes directly out of a diary.  The music does not stray far from Cothran’s melancholic roots, though this time recorded with a higher production value.  The question is — how does the higher quality change the feel of Coma Cinema’s output, formerly lo-fi, that fans are accustomed to?

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bleached

It’s hard not to go overboard with the metaphors, but someone took diamond cutting tools and applied them to Mika Miko. The result? Bleached.

I always enjoyed Mika Miko, and seeing them at Nickel City was one of the better shows I’d attended, because there’s little better than playing NBA Jam while they’re yelling into telephones in the other room. So I was excited to hear what Jennifer and Jessica Clavin had been up to since then. It turns out they’ve been brought back from the experimental punked-up cliff, and are now best suited on a ticket with Brilliant Colors or the latest Go-Go’s reunion. Cheers.

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Album Review: The Corin Tucker Band – 1,000 Years

October 11, 2010

The Corin Tucker Band – 1,000 Years. Corin Tucker was one-third of one of the greatest bands the world has ever known. In Sleater-Kinney, she made powerful, personal music strong enough to restore a person’s conviction in themselves or rock-and-roll or both. Her voice arced through speakers and rock clubs like the weapon in a […]

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Album Review: Marnie Stern – Marnie Stern

October 8, 2010

I’ve been following Marnie Stern’s career nearly from the get-go. Her first record, In Advance Of The Broken Arm, is still one of my all time favorite records, and hardly a week goes by without giving it a listen. I enjoyed her second record, This Is It and I Am It and You Are It […]

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Album Review: Hole – “Nobody’s Daughter”

April 29, 2010
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHJc_NZ2aWQ”

I have always considered myself a big Courtney Love fan. I know that sounds bizarre to many, but I’ve followed her long, strange career like some follow their favorite sports teams (or so I’m told). It just so happens that Courtney is like one of those sports teams that has far more failures than triumphs, […]

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Album Review: Shelby Lynne – Tears, Lies, And Alibis

April 21, 2010

Shelby Lynne, one of the most defiantly self-sufficient female recording artists of her generation, has returned with yet another collection of sparse, intimate country/folk/blues/soul. Tears, Lies, and Alibis is written by Lynne, produced by Lynne, and — for the first time — released on Lynne’s own label, Everso Records. The woman has been dicked over […]

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