this week’s music | 29 march 2013

This post is a round up of music featured in The Marcus Reader over the course of this past week.


Christophe Thockler | Vimeo

Black Books: Favorite Place

Favorite Place
Taken from the new EP ‘Aquarena’ by Black Books

10 000 photos
1 km of thread
350 reels of thread
73 000 embroidery stitches
6 kg of scraps of fabric
100 needles and sewing pins



Lindsey Zoladz | Pitchfork | Amazon

Sugar, spice, and overnighters in dank Italian jail cells– these are the things that Dum Dum Girls‘ first record was made of. Equal parts girl-group gloss and brash punk energy, I Will Be paired the tinny jangle of Psychocandy-coated guitars with lead singer Dee Dee’s exquisitely aloof vocals to create a vibe of timelessly cool abandon. It sounded like a girl gang had kicked the authority figures out of the principal’s office, barricaded the doors, and taken to blasting their delinquent anthems like “Bhang Bhang, I’m a Burnout” and “Jail La La” over the school’s loudspeaker.

The Dum Dums might have been the baddest girls on the scene, but they certainly weren’t the only ones . . . Some time around the third Vivian Girls LP, you couldn’t help but wonder: Will any of these groups be bold enough to move forward? Will any of them stick around long enough to, well, grow up?

Only in Dreams is the first record of this wave able to form an answer to that question, and for that it feels admirably bold. Spurred by the death of Dee Dee’s mother and the separation anxiety she felt while she and her husband (Crocodiles’ Brandon Welchez) were touring with their respective bands, it’s a statement of thematic maturity and emotional depth we’ve not yet heard from Dum Dum Girls– nor many of their contemporaries. It builds on the momentum of this year’s terrific and shimmery He Gets Me High EP, but it’s even more of a hi-fi affirmation (“It’s cool to record in [an] actual studio and use real mics,” Dee Dee said recently) and an introduction of a whole new set of influences (Mazzy Star, the Pretenders) in the band’s sound.




Jack Goodstein | Blogcritics | 24 September 2012 | Amazon

Elizabeth Shepherd has the kind of breathy twinkling voice that can be alluringly sexy in one song and kittenishly playful in another, but whichever the choice, it is a voice that she uses to make that song distinctively her own. She is a jazz singer who can shape a lyric with the best of them. Rewind, her fourth studio album, has the singer more often known for her own original compositions, showing off her chops with a dozen tunes mixing some well known standards with some more obscure pieces. If the songs aren’t originals, her interpretations are, original and exciting both.

From the first tune, a stunning take on the sultry standard “Love for Sale” to the Duke Ellington classic “Prelude to a Kiss” which turns up as a duet with Denzal Sinclaire to end the album, she has made these songs her own.




Caroline Sullivan | The Guardian | 24 September 2008 | Amazon

For inspiration, McKay has returned to her 70s childhood – specifically, to the point just before soul transmuted into disco, when lubricious funk, a searing vocal and lyrics with a message were all crammed into three catchy minutes. McKay is exercised by teen parenthood, project housing and money’s pernicious effect, and she’s as urgent and direct as the backing tracks are horn-spattered and upbeat. Jackson Avenue stands out for its Philly-soul funkiness, but is by no means the only winner on this very likable return.




Joe Mitchell | Stereo Subversion | 6 May 2010

Doubtless, if Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Dr. Polidori, and Lord Byron were to reunite for their dark summer of 1816 on Lake Geneva, Rasputina could well be the house band. However, I think Rasputina would politely decline the invitation. They have their own scene to make.



What we you listening to this week?


6 thoughts on “this week’s music | 29 march 2013

    • Thanks, I’m glad you like it. Before you get carried away, take a look around. The Marcus Reader is a general reader blog heavy on economics, science and current affairs. But there is usually an album featured every day and lots of great art and design.


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