Brain Pickings

Posts Tagged ‘music’

23 MARCH, 2009

Monday Music Muse: Lisa Hannigan

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Dodging SXSW mediocrity, or what a floating head has to do with the BBC.

As we’re slowly digesting the usual mix of the good, the bad and the unfortunately mediocre from this year’s SXSW, we’ll spare you the latter two by focusing on the former: One of our favorite SXSW performers was actually an old indie favorite of ours.

Lisa Hannigan‘s brand of vocal delight and instrumental perfection is part Emiliana Torrini‘s charmingly off-quilter vibe, part Ingrid Michaelson‘s soft intensity, part the haunted harmonies of Fleet Foxes. In other words, Damien Rice and Vampire Weekend rolled into one big Y chromosome.


The Damien Rice comparison isn’t at all groundless. Lisa made her name accompanying Damien — they’ve recorded a number of fantastic duets, most notably the brilliant Cold Water. They even have a surprisingly well-directed video to their credit.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, the two parted ways nearly two years ago when Lisa left the band due to creative differences. But her first post-Damien solo album, Sea Sew, is superb — so we won’t go writing her off as a has-been piggybacker just yet.

Lisa’s SXSW performance of Lille was breathtaking — luckily for you, the track is a free download on Amazon, so do take advantage. And, while you’re at it, consider the Sea Sew album in its entirety — it’s excellent from start to finish, a rarity with album releases these days.

20 MARCH, 2009

Animation Gem: Brothers Grimm Meet Röyksopp

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What Grandma’s nutrition facts have to do with the aerodynamics of a retro Volkswagen van.

We’re going short and sweet today, with this brilliant interpretation of The Little Red Riding Hood, inspired by Röyksopp’s Remind Me.

Courtesy of Swedish animator Tomas Nilsson.

via Coudal

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16 MARCH, 2009

Monday Music Muse: Dan Auerbach

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Resurrecting rock, or what Southern porches have to do with Brooklyn hipsters.

Every once in a while, we wonder what happened to rock. Real, gritty, sung-from-the-back-of-a-smoky-bar rock. When did it stop being “in”? When did it steal candy from Brooklyn’s hipsters and get reported to the uncoolness police?

Luckily, we don’t subscribe to such regulations. Good music is good music. And Keep It Hid, the solo debut of Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach, is pure rock indulgence, good music supreme.

You can just see him pouring himself a somber glass of whiskey, sitting out on a Southern porch with his old guitar and a half-smoked cigarette hanging from the corner of his mouth, trying to unravel the paradox of melancholic anger while thinking of your sister in ways you don’t want anyone thinking about your sister.


With sound that’s part Johnny Cash, part Gnarls Barkley, part Lenny Kravitz’ infamous guitar, Keep It Hid takes real rock by the grimy collar and drags it out of its pop culture slump.

via Very Short List