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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Thinking Of You...
Thrill Jockey

Country music may be the chosen soundtrack for the Bible-Belt-wearing American Religious Right, but Chicago's Freakwater have long existed at the opposite end of the theological musical spectrum, as befits a drinkin'-n'-cryin' combo, helmed by the sweet/sour vocals of co-authors Janet Beveridge Bean and Catherine Irwin, who've always had a fiercely independent, essentially punk-rock spirit to their lonesome-and-blue bluegrass. It's especially fitting given that they've shown themselves to be open acolytes of Woody Guthrie, whose best-known song ("This Land Is Your Land") was, on the books of the Bonneville Power Administration, both a tribute to hydroelectric power and a critical retort to Irving Berlin's hideous anthem "God Bless America." So far, Irwin's most glorious lyrical tribute to atheism's own brand of believing came with "Gone to Stay," from the fourth Freakwater record Old Paint, where she and Beveridge, in heavenly harmony, sing "There's nothing so pure as the kindness of an atheist/ A simple lack of unselfishness/ That never asks to be repaid." But, by Thinking of You…, Freakwater's seventh time around, Irwin's less sweet in her sentiments, croaking first, in "Loserville," "Why don't you fall down on your knees and pray?" as the most savage putdown; then, amidst rousing closing-number "Hi Ho Silver," she sardonically demands, "Tell me why your God is so divine." Given that that song's metaphors are about blood shed in vain, two wrongs not making a right, and a gung-ho notion of solving problems via violence, you can probably take it as being Irwin's anthem for the State of her Nation, the song even closing with a rousing horn section — courtesy of members of Califone, who do the fleshing-out and rolling-tape here — that comes on like a cavalry riding over the range. It's a grandstanding conclusion to a record that, in many senses, fails to match the thrills of previous Freakwater recordings. Coming six years, and two separate solo albums, after 1999's not-so-prophetic-now End Time, it reintroduces the outfit anew, born again musically more sedate, yet lyrically more searing.

by Anthony Carew

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