Monday, August 27, 2007

A Little Lost...



Arthur Russell – A Little Lost

"Arthur Russell was a musical wanderer best known as a disco producer, but understanding his place in the history of disco calls for a renegotiation of terms. For one thing, Russell followed an unlikely path to the dance floor. Before moving to New York in 1973 at the age of 22, he had lived in a Buddhist commune and studied Indian music in California. His early years in the city included a stay with Allen Ginsberg, an East Village address shared by punk maestro Richard Hell, and collaborations with Philip Glass and John Cage. He ran with filmmakers, painters, performance artists. His most beloved instrument, then and throughout his career, was the cello—not the first instrument one asks to dance to.

By the time Russell died of AIDS in 1992, he had already been forgotten; although he played an important role in disco, conventional history of the genre has never accounted for much more than bright lights and big clubs, where opulent dance music served as a soundtrack to showy social scenes. That is now changing, thanks in part to two new collections of Russell's work. The new discs—The World of Arthur Russell, a survey of his dance music, and Calling Out of Context, a set of previously unreleased pop songs—show Russell to be an artist worthy of rescue. They also shine light on a disco milieu now regarded as a critical flashpoint in music history.
(By Andy Battaglia)
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Jens Lekman – A Little Lost

"Sweden's Jens Lekman emerged from relative obscurity to quickly establish himself as the darling of the global indie pop set, winning widespread acclaim from fans and critics for his uncommonly witty and well-crafted pop songs. Born February 6, 1981, in Gothenburg, Sweden, Lekman exhibited little interest in music as a child, but at 14 was recruited to play bass in a friend's cover band. Within weeks he was writing his own original material, quickly accumulating hundreds of songs. Assuming the alias Rocky Dennis (borrowed from the disfigured protagonist of the 1985 American film Mask), Lekman recorded and released a series of limited-edition CD-Rs beginning with 2001's The Budgie-Album. A year later, he compiled a collection of highlights and mailed the sole copy to the U.S. indie label Secretly Canadian, but remained largely unknown until the 2003 EP Maple Leaves became something of a cause célèbre on Internet file-sharing services." (allmusic.com)

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