Elevate Difference

Reviews tagged eclectic

Secret Weirdo

Well, for a twenty-page minicomic that is filled with embarrassing stories about childhood, cat police, imaginary adventures, and an opening page offering “free hugs,” artist Lauren Barnett definitely set herself up for a difficult task. One of her biggest pet peeves as a female artist is having her comics be called cute.

Delancey Street

On her ninth record, Delancey Street, Rachael Sage once again embraces and pushes the boundaries of her signature sound: lush piano-based pop with plenty of passion and insightful lyrics. Each song tells a distinct story, capturing a moment in time (even if the meanings are sometimes ambiguous). The enigmatic “Everything Was Red” is one of my favorite tracks, although I’d be hard pressed to tell you what it’s about.


Before reviewing the album, I have to admit, Ani Difranco and Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, who are both major contributors to the project, definitely rake up the most counts on my iTunes top played lists. Bias. That said however, Anaïs Mitchell’s folk opera Hadestown is a masterful album in its own right, originally beginning in 2006 as a live show that toured New England with a cast of twenty-two performers.

Bad City

Saadi is in love with music. It's fun to guess where the loops and tracks come from on their debut album, Bad City. Their influences are far-ranging, and combine '70s dance, '80s synth, choir vocals, and traditional Arabic music. The title track is a solid dance anthem. The song's companion remix is particularly hot, too.

Good Problems

Ah, spring time on a New England college campus! I always forget what it’s like when everyone emerges out of the stacks of the library, poorly-lit dorms, and stuffy classrooms to congregate on the sunny main green.


Bitch’s second release, Blasted! is a bona fide labor or love, self-produced and fully funded by her loyal fan-base who labored themselves to the tune of $12,000. A ballsy, creative venture done by a few indie artists thus far, but pays off only for the truly original, passionate ones that appeal to music lovers with equal convictions.


Unmentionables is a striking collection of bold, in-your-face poetry that covers a variety of subjects using a type of broken-up and eclectic writing style. I found the poetry somewhat confusing, and though they focused on ordinary topics, like animals and nature, It was challenging to discern what they were all about.


“When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras,” admonishes the medical aphorism. There are some quiet percussive hoof beats in “Goodbye Little Song” and other tracks on Karl Blau's new twelve-song release, Zebra. “Waiting for the Wind” opens with bells that sound like wind chimes and a relaxing vibe. The tempo picks up on “Dark Sedan Returns,” but returns to a righteous sedateness.

Dear Science

Once upon a CMJ conference, I unexpectedly encountered TV On The Radio in concert. Crammed into what I think was the Bowery Ballroom, the eclectic men took the stage and took up their horns. The vision—and the music that followed—has haunted me for years. And yet, try as I might, I did not fall in love with Dear Science.

Saint Dymphna

Saint Dymphna is the patron of those stricken with mental illness or nervous system disorders, epileptics, mental health professionals, happy families, incest victims, and runaways. The saint was martyred by a recently widowed father. He’d made advances at her and she ran away to Belgium with her confessor, the court jester, and his wife. The elderly priest and Dymphna were slaughtered, but they don’t say what happened to the jester. St. Dymphna’s attributes include appearing praying in a cloud surrounded by lunatics wearing golden chains.

Inventions for the New Season

For the last decade Athens, Georgia has been a hotbed for bands that stray away from highly stylized music in favor of showcasing their art outside the boundaries of conformity.


Volta, the sixth studio album from Icelandic musician, Bjork, delivers the kind of offbeat, quirky music that only she could make. With its lo-fi sonics, Volta sounds less polished than some of Bjork's previous releases, which is refreshing.

Remixes Compiled

Ever since their first LP, Farenheight Fair Enough, I have enjoyed the graceful marriage of technology and music of the Chicago-based duo, Telefon Tel Aviv. They are described as producing “ambient techno” music. Regardless of categorization, Telefon Tel Aviv continues to be soulful and inventive. Put out by Hefty Records, their newest release, Remixes Compiled is an exciting collection of remixes from the past seven years. Organized chronologically, the album exhibits development from beginning to end.