Entries tagged with: mojo
by Bill Pearis
To say that the second album by North Carolina native Jonathan Wilson feels a bit like getting a free reflexology treatment and a small dose of diazepam combined is, accordingly, no criticism. This immersive double-length album is so languid that it might have its own gravitational field, pulling you earthwards to examine the sky in some detail, growing your hair out with every slowly unfurling guitar line. Even if you care nothing for the culture of Laurel Canyon, the Los Angeles crucible of stoned country-rock back in the 70s and Wilson's recent stomping ground, his unhurried, backward-glancing Gentle Spirit might speak to you, in a whisper laden with effects...Jonathan Wilson's Gentle Spirit made its way onto many Best of 2011 lists, coming in at #4 on MOJO's year end coverage (check out the full list below). Mind you, Wilson's music -- which recalls the heyday of early '70s Laurel Canyon -- is prime fodder for a magazine that has a Beatle on the cover at least once a year, but Gentle Spirit is a genuinely gorgeous album that exudes a West Coast vibe even in the coldest New York winter. Spotify users can listen to the album here.
...Wilson's prescription for our ills is simple: flutes, pianos, organs, guitars (acoustic and electric, and lots of them) and guests (even more of them). This album grew - very slowly - out of regular Wednesday night jam sessions that Wilson hosted at his old Laurel Canyon base...Jonathan Wilson is a producer, guitar-maker and veteran of Robbie Robertson's, Jackson Browne's and Elvis Costello's bands. Wilson's fellow Canyon noodlers included Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes (who doesn't appear on the album), plus a Jayhawk, bits of the Steve Miller Band and Andy Cabic of Vetiver, another bunch of psychedelically leaning longhairs, all of whom do. [The Observer]
Jonathan Wilson hits the East Coast next week, which will include three stops in NYC: he plays two nights at Mercury Lounge (an early show on January 19 and a late show on January 20 with Quilt) and then hits the Rock Shop on January 21. He also plays Philadelphia's World Cafe Live on January 18. Click through for those dates in list form (as well as European dates), plus a few music videos and MOJO's full 2011 list...
by Bill Pearis
Like every other UK music mag, MOJO published their Top Albums of 2010 list today. Your first reaction to their Album of the Year might be "Who is John Grant?" After hearing him you're likely to say "How have I not heard this before?"
Former frontman of The Czars, John Grant's solo debut, Queen of Denmark, came out back in April and features Midlake as his backing band. No surprise given the musicians involved, Queen of Denmark has a lush '70s sound somewhere between The Carpenters and Harry Nilsson (who he uncannily sounds like at times) with some pretty heavy lyrical themes. A little more info courtesy The Guardian:
Queen of Denmark is all about the 41-year-old Grant finally coming to terms with who he is. It's also the word-of-mouth hit of 2010, the ecstatic reviews that greeted its gentle soft rock melodies and grimly sardonic lyrics followed by a nomination for best breakthrough act at the Mojo awards earlier this month. Made with the assistance of acclaimed Texan folk rockers Midlake, who lent him their studio and nursed him through his emotional wobbles, it's offering Grant a first real chance of success: his previous band, the Czars, split in 2004 after struggling to muster even cult appeal. Text-book catharsis, Queen of Denmark manages to be frank, funny and sweet - much like Grant himself - while considering the origins of its author's crippled self-esteem. Growing up gay in a religious family in the midwest didn't help, nor did alcohol and drug abuse, nor difficulties in maintaining relationships. In fact, it was the demise of his most recent romantic entanglement that nudged him over the edge last autumn.You can stream the whole of Queen of Denmark at the bottom of this post via a widget and I highly suggest you do. And you can go see him live. Grant (minus Midlake) starts his first headlining tour next week, with two stops in NYC: an early show at Mercury Lounge on December 8 and The Rock Shop on December 11.
All John Grant tour dates, the streaming player and video for "I Wanna Go to Mars," plus MOJO's entire Top 50 Albums of 2010 list are after the jump.
"Authorities say an arrest in Scott County has made them more aware of a new kind of often abused substance -- something some call the "new marijuana."Video below...
Drug agents arrested Sytanya Darren Fells on Friday during a traffic stop on Highway 27 in Oneida. Fells is wanted in Knox County for felony theft and in Florida for felony grand larson.
Fells was a passenger in a camper bound for Bonnaroo. According to drug agents, a serach of the vehicle showed the driver, Larry Thurber, was carrying 38 Xaxax pills and "Mojo" - a synthetic herbal incense often used as an alternative to marijuana." [WBIR, Knoxville, TN]