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Utne Reader Music Sampler January 2010
Every month, Utne Reader presents free, downloadable music gleaned from current and upcoming releases on independent labels, curated by senior editor Keith Goetzman.
Warm yourself in midwinter with Laura Veirs’ “July Flame,” a summery song inspired by a succulent peach variety. It’s the title track of her idiosyncratic, captivating album by the same name on Veirs’ own Raven Marching Band label.
Track: “July Flame” by Laura Veirs
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou
A gem has been unearthed. The founder of the Analog Africa label, Samy Ben Redjeb, traced the vinyl trail of an obscure band from 1970s Benin to put together Volume Two: Echoes Hypnotiques, a lovingly curated and packaged release that showcases “Africa’s funkiest band.” This is the track that started Redjeb on his epic quest.
Track: “Malin Kpon O” by Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou
The Houston Brothers
The earnest, emotional indie pop of the Houston Brothers gets a shimmering studio treatment from producer Mitch Easter on The Archer (Chocolate Lab), an album that will be released January 26. This is an exclusive first listen to “Wasted Youth.”
Track: “Wasted Youth” by the Houston Brothers
It’s OK if you find yourself getting caught up in Citay’s vibrant psychedelic rock jams—that’s what they’re there for. The San Francisco band’s colorful and fiery new album Dream Get Together (Dead Oceans) will be released January 26.
Track: “Careful With That Hat” by Citay
The lute went out of fashion centuries ago, but Rolf Lislevand is bringing it back with his startlingly fresh takes on early music. I challenge any guitar-slinging rocker not to be impressed by his fleet-fingered playing on Diminuito (ECM).
Track: “Saltarello” by Rolf Lislevand
Put on your beads and boas and have some New Orleans-style fun with Galactic’s new Ya-Ka-May, which comes out February 9 on Anti. With a massive guest list that ranges from local legends to fresh upstarts, this is genre-defying, gender-bending good-time music.
Track: “Dark Water” by Galactic
Jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter has some classic funk-soul flavor in his sweetly lyrical jazz on Gentlemen, I Neglected to Inform You You Will Not Be Getting Paid, which comes out January 12 on Spire Artist Media.
Track: “High Pockets and a Fanny Pack” by Charlie Hunter