Beach House: Bloom

Beach House established a sound for itself comparable to no other with its third and then best album, Teen Dream (2010). The Baltimore duo, made up of Victoria Legrand (vocals and keyboard) and Alex Scally (guitar), landed on a gloriously outlandish sound in their last album that, for its ethereal quality, has since filed the band … Continue reading

Watch the Throne: Gig Review

As two podiums rise above the standing audience in darkness, the sonic tremors of “H.A.M” start up on the speakers, flickers of accompanying laser-light above our heads. Kanye West emerges in a swath of blue light, pouncing on the beat like a predator, spitting his verse in a leather Givenchy t-shirt and gold chains around … Continue reading

Mad Men, Season 5, Episode 8: “Lady Lazarus”

Last week’s episode of Mad Men, “Lady Lazarus” is probably the most important of the series to date, and therefore, automatically, the most significant of any series currently on television. Namely, other than its standard excellence, it’s because they played the Beatles. It’s a widely acknowledged fact, or so I’ve read, that licensing rights to the … Continue reading

Lana Del Rey: Born To Die

When Lana Del Rey emerged last year with “Video Games”, looking and sounding like a 1960s singer – one critic called her ‘a self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra’ – it was as though out of nowhere. It must have been the illusion of her beautiful song; the melancholic church chimes, tender trickles of harp, the looming, grey-cloud … Continue reading

Drake: Take Care

Henry James wrote in The Portrait of a Lady, ‘Live as you like best, and your character will take care of itself.’ With sophomore LP, Take Care, it’s clear that Drake – drink in hand, chips on the table and eye on the girl over there (or, maybe that girl over there) – is doing just … Continue reading

Lykke Li at Camden Roundhouse, 01/11/11

Before Lykke Li’s grand entrance, bouts of smoke fill the Roundhouse stage to the tranquil close of “I Know Places”, its swelled pangs of guitar fading out against the syncopated drum beat that is the pulse of Wounded Rhymes. This is the calm before the storm as Li surges onto stage with “Jerome”, performed with … Continue reading

Amy Winehouse: We Only Said Goodbye With Words

Shortly after hearing the sad news about Amy Winehouse’s death yesterday, I remembered a profile I wrote about her, a shorter version of which was published for a feature on “Musical Enigmas” in Cub magazine in January 2011. Here is the full, revised version. When she’s not punching her fans or spitting on them, in … Continue reading

Gaga goes Google

“The web is what you make of it.” And so is the new Google Chrome advert with Lady Gaga. It would be incorrect to say that the Chrome advert features, or even stars, Lady Gaga; it’s really a Lady Gaga advert – promoting her new single, The Edge of Glory and the image of her as an internet-savvy superstar – with a … Continue reading