Vagrant Journalism

Published pieces from the past, the present and of the potential future.

Archive for July, 2009

6 July 09 – Regina Spektor ‘Far’

Posted by Christina on July 6, 2009

far-cover-artThis was quite the enchanting album. I had never really delved into the Regina Spektor sphere before I did this review and it was an interesting ride to say the least. Her voice is so unique and the content of her instrumentation and lyrics were nothing like I had heard. I’ll have to really spend some time with this five album strong discography of hers after this.

Ground Control Magazine: Regina Spektor ‘Far’

ARTIST: Regina Spektor – [Album]
DATE: 07-06-09
REVIEW BY: Christina Nersesian
LABEL: Warner/Sire

Regina Spektor’s latest release is undoubtedly a testament to her limitless creativity. Her fifth full-length studio album to date, Far is an absolute thrilling 13-track voyage through the inexhaustible psyche of one of the most imaginative and versatile songstresses of our time. Warbling vocals and a stylistic signature all her own, the quirky qualities of phonetic track titles, unorthodox pronunciations and pleasantly unusual content provide fodder for success to repeat the reception of her chart-topping 2006 release, Begin to Hope.

The album kicks off with “The Calculation,” an overall uplifting tune and surprise love song with a polka-esque introduction. Dark matters of the innards of emotional complexities along with the simplistic naïveté transform computers into child’s play and macaroni art. Already, this track is quite the attention grabber. It’s a universally palatable tune that not only displays her musical capabilities but stands to be a pretty sweet hip-swaying jam as well.

An unconventional lovelorn song, “Folding Chair” presents syncopated beats, a dancey feel-good piano with mirrored guitar staccato, a sock-hop kind of clap and a pretty uncanny dolphin impression. Toes in the sand and yearning for love in the air, this song invokes fading images of a 1950s coastline—silver bullet trailers, baby clothes safety-pinned to convenience and the innocence of sweet hand holding. It’s a track just in time for our summer swelter.

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3 July 09: The Moondoggies – I Don’t Decide Where To Move My Body

Posted by Christina on July 4, 2009

moondoggiesI recently started contributing to L.A. Record, an independent music magazine published in Los Angeles. I’ve started out with a band interview and it’s ended up on their home page! I suppose they switch it up every time they have a new interview, but it’s exciting to see mine up there for now. I interviewed the lead singer and guitarist, Kevin Murphy, for a pretty exciting, up-and-coming band called The Moondoggies out of Seattle. There’s more of the interview but they’ve published the highlights.

L.A. Record: The Moondoggies – I Don’t Decide Where To Move My Body

Moondoggies’ Kevin Murphy—and bandmates Robert Terreberry on bass, Carl Dahlen on drums and Caleb Quick on keys—are hauling their three-part harmonies, finger-picked guitar licks and Rhodes piano south to L.A. from Seattle. It’s an ageless American sound—as casually accidental as it can get. This interview by Christina Nersesian.

You started as kind of a punk band and then you went to Alaska and came back making music with this whole Byrds and Eagles vibe going on—so what happened in Alaska?
Kevin Murphy (guitar/vocals): I moved to Bellingham, which is an hour north of Seattle and I lived there for about a year. It was during a time where our old band the Familiars were dying and I don’t know—we weren’t listening to that kind of music as much. The drummer had hearing problems so he stopped playing the drums and starting playing the banjo. We were just kind of listening to a lot more bluegrass and things like the Band. It was just kinda like—‘I want to get out of this college town and focus on some music on my own.’ It was more about getting myself more disciplined, I suppose. I moved up there because I had nothing else to do. I was interested in Ketchikan because it’s pretty isolated being an island and I had a friend who had a job for me and a place to stay for free. I could save up money and jump on the ferry and ride up there. It seemed like a good opportunity to go see what that place was about.
When you guys started to play the bluegrass-y stuff, were you tapping into anything you heard growing up?
I think things are just coming around full circle. I grew up on the Beatles and Nirvana, definitely. I was discovering a lot of stuff but nothing was very unfamiliar. I just started digging more and more into it. I still like some of the louder stuff that I listened to in high school. I started to really hear a lot of those brilliant, older songs and suddenly you realize you haven’t heard anything and you keep digging. Read the rest of this entry »

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