Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:18 pm
Armed with a Golden Panda talisman and his iconic Flying V guitar, My Morning Jacket singer Jim James recently took the stage in front of a small Santa Monica, Calif., audience to perform several songs from his solo album debut, Regions of Light and Sound of God. With some tracks spanning nearly nine and a half minutes, James took the audience on one journey after another — including this one, "State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)."
Musicians have a long history of turning tragedy into art. From Neil Young's stirring indictment against the shooting of Kent State students in the 1970 song "Ohio," to the countless tributes and musical memorials to 9-11, artists often feel a need to make sense of the senseless and offer comfort through song.
Little Comets, a trio from Newcastle upon Tyne, England, recently released its U.S. debut, Life Is Elsewhere. Described early in its career as a British Vampire Weekend, the band smoothly incorporates tricky percussive rhythms and Afrobeat-tinged guitars.
Somehow this young Dutch musician has managed to capture an aesthetic that happened 20 years before he was born. Jacco Gardner makes music in the spirit of early 1960s baroque pop bands, such as The Left Banke (a group that featured a harpsichord) or late '60s Kinks, and certainly The Zombies from their Odessey and Oracle period. Gardner channels these sounds on a new song and trippy video called "The End Of August."