Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Elizabeth Frazer
Moses EP
Rough Trade

Three versions of the same song, “Moses,” and all have a hushed, surreal atmosphere. They are basically ambient tencho with a beat, bittersweet to hear, as well as lovely. All three versions are recommended, simply because of their beauty. The proceeds from this EP go to the family of Jake Drake-Brockman, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in September of last year. Jake, along with Frazer’s partner, Damon Reece, play on all three versions, making this EP, and Frazer’s first solo recording, a tribute to him. And what a fine tribute it is. [www.elizabethfraser.com]
Andrea Weiss

Fucked Up
Couple Tracks, Singles 2002-2009

Fucked Up is a Toronto-based hardcore band that has put out many singles for different labels, two full-length albums, and Epics in Minutes, a singles comp from 2004. This comp collects hard to find singles and alternative takes spanning the years in the album title.

They are as melodic as classic Husker Du, as principled as Fugazi, as angry as prime Black Flag, with a sense of humor all their own, like “I Hate Summer” and “He’s So Frisky.” They are fun to listen to, to get some aggression out, or to start a revolution, like on “No Pasaran,” an anti-fascist commentary of the Spanish Civil War. The title is Spanish for “they will not pass” and the phrase over the years has become a rallying cry at leftist rallies.

This band was great from the get-go, and if their last single “No Epiphany “(fast version)” is any guide, this comp, will also be cool, as in fucking cool. [www.myspace.com/epicsinminutes]

Andrea Weiss

Basia Bulat
Heart of My Own
Rough Trade Records

Multi-instrumentalist Bulat sings like a cross between Joan Baez and Sandy Denny, with lyrics that bring to mind Dar Williams. She uses her voice to good effect to bring out the emotions in the songs, never over sings. Her guitar and autoharp playing, just two examples of the instruments she can play, is wonderful. She plays with grace and style. Her lyrics are traditional folk, but the modern twist is that they’re somewhat quirky, just like Dar Williams. Heart of My Own is a very good album, a nice mixture of folk and pop and recommended to folk music fans, and to anyone who likes good pop music. [www.myspace.com/basiabulat]
Andrea Weiss

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