Ani DiFranco – Which Side Are You On?
DiFranco will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and she seems to understand and accept that the audience she has gathered before her is the one who will still be there for the end of the show. “Amendment” is an angry, righteous sputter. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an amendment to give civil rights to women?” she asks, then answers herself sardonically: “that’s just redundant. Chicks got it good now; they can almost be President.” On the brooding, Nick Drake-like “Zoo,” which closes out the set, DiFranco seems to startle herself with new insights. “I think I’m what they call sensitive and easily thrown off my game,” she acknowledges, almost apologetically explaining that she can’t keep up with television because “all that shit and pettiness just makes me feel drained,” finally adding that she walks “past all my old self-loathing like I walk past animals in the zoo, trying not to really see them in a prison they didn’t choose.” Read the full review on SoundSpike
Skrillex – Bangarang
Skrillex is back with his third EP (I don’t count More Monsters and Sprites, it was just remixes ), and without a doubt, he brought his A game. It’s a seven track EP, each stuffed to the gills with pure Skrillex amazingness. Sonny Moore’s production is utterly unique; a totally distinctive style that occasionally avoids transitions altogether, preferring to just smack you in the face with his instantly recognizable distorted wobble bass. Read the full review on Salacious Sounds
Chimes of Freedom – The Songs of Bob Dylan
he music of Dylan and Guthrie has been used prominently in “Occupy” protests across this country and at game-changing political uprisings in other countries. And these projects surrounding their work come just in time for what looks to be an exceptionally volatile presidential election year, one that comes on the heels of last year’s Arab Spring protests that toppled long-entrenched repressive governments in several countries and helped foment myriad “Occupy” demonstrations in the U.S. and abroad.
Plus, both the Guthrie and Dylan projects tap a broad swath of artists from the pop music world, efforts that will likely draw attention across disparate genres, social and economic strata, gender, race and geographical boundaries.
The pairing of artist and beneficiary for the “Chimes of Freedom” project is a natural: Dylan released his first album in 1962, a short time after Amnesty began lobbying on behalf of prisoners of conscience. Both were informed by the conflicts between forces of totalitarianism and freedom during World War II and the consequent politics of the Cold War. Both found inspiration and validation in the politically minded music of Guthrie as well as that of Seeger, the Weavers and other folk revivalists who came to the fore in the ‘50s. Read the full review on The Boston Herald