José Leguina & Gamlebyen – Booze and Jealousy
Tom Waits must have seemed positively outrageously bizarre by the time that he found his direction that involved blistering vocals and Italian cinema on acid musical direction. His influence has stretched far and wide, however, and now each big city has at least one person doing a version of Waits. Turns out that the drunken hipster serenades he was writing ended up being as influential as Bowie, Dylan, or Michael Jackson. Norway is no exception.
What has made Waits win this war of popularity in which he always seemed to start at a disadvantage? It’s worth noting that at early shows, playing a much more conservative version of the character he would later act out, he was booed by fans of Frank Zappa who found Waits’ writing to be too strange.
Perhaps it is a matter of good taste and the honesty of the music that translates regardless of time and place. José Leguina & Gamlebyen’s Booze and Jealousy is fighting a similar battle. The surf rock guitar tone and the bluesy song construction are taken into an avant-garde, nightmarish territory, but the tale of overindulgence, betrayal, and violence are as old as time itself.
Kate Vargas – Church of the Misdirection
Just what’s the main story of the day? Chances are that if you, like most people, are a responsible member of society, the tale will involve work, a few brief conversations and, if lucky, a few cups of coffee. Modern life isn’t very exciting, and it’s been designed that way for a reason. Not everyone can slide over life and death scenarios as if they were James Bond.
Stories are used to sell everything. We naturally react to stories. The ones that we understand persuade us to buy things, or buy into ideas. In a world with which we struggle to connect, stories more than ever help bring us the tranquility and sense of belonging that we crave.
Kate Vargas’s Church of the Misdirection sounds like a soundtrack to a movie about someone using storytelling to create a cult. Now, cults get a bad rap. But, how are their techniques different from those of a high-ranking brand? Vargas understands this. Beyond the interesting concept and set of lyrics, the exotic instrumentation and the singer’s distinctive, creaky vocals are likely to keep you interested in the story that she has to tell.