As a boy, Christopher Owens was raised by a single mother, a follower of the nomadic religious cult Children of God. They skipped across continents — no telephones, no TV, no outside books — just their tight-knit community of hippie expatriates.
The Children of God taught Owens and the other kids in the cult to sing and play guitar on the street for spare change. That's partially how they supported themselves. It's also how Owens found a way out.
He turned his busking into a one-way ticket to Texas when he was 16.
Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 4:02 pm
The pride of Hoboken, N.J., and record collectors everywhere, Yo La Tengo is set to release its 13th studio album, Fade, on Jan. 15. The iconic indie-rock band visited World Cafe Live in Philadelphia on Friday to perform some of the best songs from the new record.
Bob Dylan has made some puzzling moves in his celebrated career, but the compilation that his record label recently released may be as odd as anything he's ever put out.
The compilation, 50th Anniversary Collection, is a limited-edition, four-CD set that was only released in Europe. It seems to have been designed by the label to exploit a recent change in European copyright law.
Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 8:11 am
With their debut album, Gorilla Manor, Local Natives' members skillfully combined triumphant harmonies with bone-shaking percussion in irresistible fashion. Now on their second release, Hummingbird (out Jan. 29), which was produced with the help of The National's Aaron Dessner in Brooklyn, they've returned with a pared-back approach, placing more emphasis on those sweeping dramatic moments.
Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 3:07 pm
More than 30 years have passed since the British band Graham Parker and the Rumour called it quits. While Parker never left music, he's always dismissed talk of a reunion with The Rumour — until now. The group is back with a new album, tour and high-profile film appearance.
Parker and The Rumour recorded and released their latest record, Three Chords Good, last year, and just wrapped up a handful of shows across Europe and the U.S. In addition to the album, the band also appeared as itself in Judd Apatow's latest movie, This Is 40.
The music of Mystical Weapons, a duo formed by Sean Lennon and Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier, is entirely improvised — made up on the fly without any agenda or deeper meaning in mind. But in the hands of video director and animator Martha Colburn, the group's latest single, "Colony Collapse Disorder," takes on apocalyptic themes with swirling religious symbolism.