MoJo Author Feeds: Jon Young | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/authors/10618 http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en Romance Is a "Cold Hammer" for Chanteuse Cate Le Bon http://www.motherjones.com/media/2016/04/music-review-crab-day-cate-le-bon <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gnZh4E0_7KM" width="630"></iframe><br> Cate Le Bon<br><em>Crab Day</em><br> Drag City</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/CateLeBon_CrabDay_INLINE.jpg"><div class="caption">Courtesy of Drag City Records</div> </div> <p><br> With her stiff, quasi-Teutonic delivery and spare, Velvet Underground-inflected guitar rock, you might think the Welsh-born Cate Le Bon (no relation to Duran Duran's Simon) is trying to channel the zombie chanteuse Nico on her fourth album. But listen closely to the sneakily addictive <em>Crab Day</em> and it starts to feel more like an affectionate update than a dutiful purist homage. There's a wry, raised-eyebrow quality to Le Bon's reserved vocals that hints at a playful streak in "I'm a Dirty Attic," where she murmurs languidly, "I want to make sense with you." Doing an about-face, she offers a somber meditation worthy of Bryan Ferry on the lovely ballad "Love Is Not Love," regarding romance as a "cold hammer" and sighing, "I don't know how to love you right." From wacky ("Wonderful") to heartfelt ("I Was Born on the Wrong Day"), <em>Crab Day</em> is an emotional roller-coaster ride well worth taking.</p></body></html> Media Music Music Mondays Tue, 03 May 2016 17:44:50 +0000 Jon Young 302951 at http://www.motherjones.com Summer Flake's Electric Folk Casts a Powerful Spell http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/04/music-review-hello-friends-summer-flake <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KqdMEHO2fPU" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Summer Flake<br><em>Hello Friends</em><br> Rice Is Nice Records</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/summerflake_albumart_INLINE.jpg"><div class="caption"><strong>Courtesy of Grandstand Media/Rice Is Nice Records</strong></div> </div> <p><br> Australia's Stephanie Craise, who records as Summer Flake, makes electric folk music that's both mammoth and intimate. Her sweet-and-sour combination of frayed guitars and dreamy, overdubbed voices has a bracing sizzle, with sentimental melodies tugging at the heartstrings to amplify the drama. If <em>Hello Friends</em> feels like eavesdropping on someone's aching reveries, it never achieves the creepy oversharing quality sometimes heard in confessional pop, thanks to Craise's vibrant sense of songcraft. Check out "So Long" and "Make Your Way Back to Me," both five-minute-plus epics that benefit from their extended running time by allowing her to slowly cast a powerful spell. Following last year's tantalizing, albeit tentative, <em>Time Rolls By </em>EP, this arresting album marks an exciting leap forward. Bravo!</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Music Mondays Mon, 25 Apr 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Jon Young 302591 at http://www.motherjones.com The Playful Grace of Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/04/music-review-dois-amigos-caetano-veloso-and-gilberto-gil <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9pcGm1Htye0" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Caetano Veloso &amp; Gilberto Gil<br><em>Dois Amigos, Um Seculo de Musica: Multishow Live</em><br> Nonesuch</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/caetano_gil_INLINE.jpg"><div class="caption">Nonesuch Records</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The great Brazilian singer-songwriters Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil go back a half-century together. Spearheading the Tropicalia movement, which blended traditional and modern pop music, they ran afoul of the country's authoritarian government in the '60s, leading to brief imprisonment and then exile, though both eventually came home to continue their brilliant careers. But you don't have to know ancient history (or Portuguese) to appreciate this wonderful live album, drawn from their joint 2015 tour. Performing together and separately, with just their acoustic guitars for support, Veloso and Gil epitomize playful grace and warm camaraderie on these entrancing, deftly melodic songs. Both have aged well and blend beautifully: Caetano possesses the sweeter, smoother voice, while Gilberto is a deeper, slightly raspier singer. <em>Dois Amigos</em> is a lovely introduction to&mdash;or triumphant reminder of&mdash;two remarkable artists.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Music Mondays Mon, 18 Apr 2016 10:00:15 +0000 Jon Young 301586 at http://www.motherjones.com Upbeat and High Lonesome With Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/04/music-review-little-windows-teddy-thompson-and-kelly-jones <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GnwUaEe6fxg" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Teddy Thompson &amp; Kelly Jones<br><em>Little Windows</em><br> Cooking Vinyl</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/teddythompsonkellyjones_INLINE_0.jpg"><div class="caption">Missing Piece Group</div> </div> <p>George and Tammy&hellip;Porter and Dolly&hellip;Teddy and Kelly? Teddy Thompson (son of Richard and Linda) and Kelly Jones have a ways to go before they're recognized as the next great male-female duo, but this winning twosome is off to a fine start with <em>Little Windows</em>. Blending their plaintive voices in seamless, high-lonesome harmonies that would do the Everly Brothers proud, they explore love's many complications in memorable country-pop tunes both jaunty ("Wondering") and mournful ("I Thought That We Said Goodbye"). Long on atmosphere and short on pandering nostalgia, despite an old-school vibe, songs like the dreamy 3:00 a.m. ballad "Don't Remind Me" would inspire goosebumps in any era. Here's to a long partnership!<br> &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Music Mondays Mon, 11 Apr 2016 10:00:11 +0000 Jon Young 301581 at http://www.motherjones.com Alt-Country's Robbie Fulks Sings of Quiet Desperation http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/04/music-review-upland-stories-robbie-fulks <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="450" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/236846145&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;visual=true" width="100%"></iframe></p> <p>Robbie Fulks<br><em>Upland Stories</em><br> Bloodshot</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/robbiefulks_inline.jpg"><div class="caption">Courtesy of Bloodshot Records</div> </div> <p><br> During his stellar two-decade-plus career, alt-country mainstay Robbie Fulks has played everything from a smartass provocateur who once serenaded Nashville in the snarky ditty "Fuck This Town" to a reverent curator who celebrated the old masters with the covers album <em>13 Hillbilly Giants</em>. On the sobering and typically excellent <em>Upland Stories</em> he plays it straight, telling austere tales of quiet desperation and glimmering hope like "Never Come Home" and "America Is a Hard Religion," which draw inspiration from such literary lights as James Agee and Flannery O'Connor. (No need to worry about Profound Artist Syndrome, however; he couldn't strike a pretentious note if his life depended on it.) Fulks' spare acoustic guitar, enhanced by understated fiddle, steel guitar and the like, provide the perfect backdrop for his tender twang of a voice, allowing these thoughtful songs to be experienced in all their empathetic, insightful brilliance.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Music Mondays Wed, 06 Apr 2016 10:00:19 +0000 Jon Young 300971 at http://www.motherjones.com Here's Everything Elvis Presley Released in His Lifetime http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/04/music-review-album-collection-elvis-presley <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wf_TRHww9vc" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Elvis Presley<br><em>The Album Collection</em><br> RCA Records/Legacy Recordings</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/elvis_inline.jpg"><div class="caption">Courtesy of Sony Music</div> </div> <p>Massive, intriguing, and riddled with contradictions, this 60-disc extravaganza collects every album Elvis Presley released during his lifetime, offering the ultimate chronicle of The King's wildly fluctuating artistic fortunes over the course of 22 years. Among the contents: the great early works, 17 soundtracks, ranging from rousing (<em>King Creole</em>) to dreadful (<em>Clambake</em>), way too many live albums, especially as Elvis lost interest in the studio during the second half of his career, and a clutch of absolutely essential greatest hits collections. Accompanied by a 300-page hardcover book full of cool pictures and session info, <em>The Album Collection</em> features two agreeably silly Christmas albums, the gospel gem <em>His Hand in Mine</em>, Presley's late-'60s return to greatness on his TV special and subsequent classic Memphis sessions, and his slow physical and musical decline in the '70s, concluding with the weary <em>Moody Blue</em>. While three discs of odds and ends try to gather up the relevant leftovers, there's no single disc devoted to the landmark Sun rockabilly recordings that put him on the map in the first place; those are scattered across some of the '50s albums in slapdash fashion. That caveat aside, this behemoth of a set is hard to resist.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Music Mondays Tue, 05 Apr 2016 10:00:17 +0000 Jon Young 300976 at http://www.motherjones.com Gaz Coombes' Dramatic Power Pop http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/03/music-review-matador <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0UnwC8ywo0M" width="630"></iframe><br> Gaz Coombes<br><em>Matador</em><br> Hot Fruit Recordings/Kobalt Label Services</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/gazcoombes_inline.jpg"><div class="caption">Courtesy of Nasty Little Man</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As leader of the groovy British trio Supergrass, Gaz Coombes was responsible for insanely catchy tunes that blended the muscular force of heavy metal with the insistent charm of vintage power pop. Even if you don't know the band's classic "Caught by the Fuzz" by name, you&rsquo;ve surely heard (and probably loved) it. On his own, Coombes has added new elements to his arsenal without abandoning his strengths. Finally getting a proper Stateside release after being available elsewhere last year, his enthralling second solo album finds the lad exploring his epic tendencies, crafting sweeping pieces that nod more than a little to Queen and David Bowie at their grandiose '70s best. (There's even a song entitled "The Girl Who Fell to Earth"). Oddly, however, <em>Matador</em> never feels self-indulgent, thanks to Coombes' unpretentious, slightly raspy singing and unfailing knack for twisty, inventive melodies. Two fine live tracks tacked on as a bonus prove Coombes isn't just a creature of the studio, but his high drama requires no apologies.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Music Mondays Mon, 04 Apr 2016 18:35:07 +0000 Jon Young 300426 at http://www.motherjones.com Roots Singer Terri Binion's "Long Way Back to Feeling Good" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/03/music-review-dori-freeman-dori-freeman-and-day-after-night-terri-binion <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zTjqf0NeEzE" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Terri Binion<br><em>The Day After the Night Before</em><br> Self-Released</p> <p>Roots-music purism can sometimes engender the dreariest kind of snobbery, but there's still something wonderful about the right combination of a passionate voice and simple acoustic guitar. Exhibit A: <em>The Day After the Night Before</em>, the first album in nearly 15 years from Orlando, Fla.-based Terri Binion. Don't be fooled by her gentle delivery. This deceptively devastating work hums with raw emotion, recounting Binion's "long way back to feeling good" following the death of her wife and subsequent legal travails in a state that refuses to recognize same-sex marriage. Tasteful dashes of fiddle, steel guitar and the like add subtle color, but her eloquent simplicity is richly rewarding, with or without embellishment.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/R5wS01SM22g" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Dori Freeman<br><em>Dori Freeman</em><br> Free Dirt</p> <p>Hailing from rural Galax, Va., Dori Freeman spins forlorn tales of love never won and love lost on her graceful self-titled debut. With a big assist from singer-songwriter Teddy Thompson (Richard's son), who produces and contributes mournful harmonies, she could pass for an old-school folkie ("You Say"), a honky-tonk country queen ("Go on Lovin'") or even an aspiring pop princess ("Tell Me"), so supple and engaging is her easy, confident voice. Keep an eye on Freeman, and you can claim you were an early adapter when she makes it big.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Music Mondays Tue, 29 Mar 2016 17:51:27 +0000 Jon Young 300431 at http://www.motherjones.com Grant-Lee Phillips' "The Narrows" Skillfully Mines Americana Turf http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/03/music-review-narrows-grant-lee-phillips <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9CiHSbYQdxU" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Grant-Lee Phillips<br><em>The Narrows</em><br> Yep Roc</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/GrantLeePhillips_TheNarrows_inline.jpg"><div class="caption">Yep Roc Records</div> </div> <p><br> Criminally underappreciated, Grant-Lee Phillips is one of the more versatile singers around. As frontman of the band Grant Lee Buffalo in the '90s, he could conjure a T. Rex glam-rock vibe without breaking a sweat. Today, on <em>The Narrows</em>, Phillips skillfully mines Americana turf, mixing muscular country rockers and sparse folk that echoes Woody Guthrie. While his weary, weathered intensity can evoke Bruce Springsteen's acoustic works, there's none of the Boss' self-conscious striving for mythic significance. Thoughtful, precisely detailed stories of struggle and occasional triumph such as "Yellow Weeds" and "Taking on Weight in Hot Springs" linger in the mind like a great short story. <em>The Narrows</em> should have a long shelf life.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Music Mondays Sun, 27 Mar 2016 10:00:34 +0000 Jon Young 299886 at http://www.motherjones.com Iggy Pop's Menacing "Post Pop Depression" http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2016/03/music-review-post-pop-depression-iggy-pop <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zMBQMQfrPso" width="630"></iframe></p> <p>Iggy Pop<br><em>Post Pop Depression</em><br> Rekords Rekords/Loma Vista/Caroline International</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/IggyPop_album_inline.jpg"><div class="caption">Nasty Little Man</div> </div> <p><br> Rightly credited as one of punk's founding fathers, the force of nature known as Iggy Pop is also a superior crooner, capable of channeling Frank Sinatra or Jim Morrison with un-ironic verve. That gift is on full display in <em>Post Pop Depression</em>, a collaboration with Queens of the Stone Age leader Josh Homme that proves to be a perfect fit. Iggy's knack for brooding balladry meshes surprisingly well with the Queens' style of epic melodies on such gems as the ominous "Break Into Your Heart," a love song doused in menace, and the jumpy "Gardenia," which echoes his classic late-'70s albums with David Bowie. As usual, Iggy muses on the meaning of life and his looming mortality muttering, "Death is a pill that's hard to swallow," in "American Valhalla," a blunt reflection given extra poignancy by his friend's recent passing. Now in his late 60s, Iggy periodically insists that he's going to quit rock'n'roll, but if <em>Post Pop Depression</em> proves to be his parting shot, he's leaving on a high note.</p></body></html> Mixed Media Music Music Mondays Sat, 26 Mar 2016 10:00:18 +0000 Jon Young 299881 at http://www.motherjones.com