The O-town Scene

March 03, 2011

The O-town Scene - Oneonta, NY

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Featured Artist 5 SONGS Aimee Mann That’s Just What You Are Two Of Us (with husband Michael Penn) Freeway Each week, SUNY Oneonta-based NPR affiliate WUOW features a worthy musician in its Friday Night Featured Artist radio program from 8 to 9 p.m. at 104.7 FM in Oneonta and online at This week’s artist is Aimee Mann. The Virginia-born singer/songwriter cut her musical teeth in Boston with the MTV favorite “‘Til Tuesday,” and hit the big time with her 1995 solo release “I’m with Stupid.” Thirty One Today Choice in the Matter New Music Notes by Mark Boshnack If it’s not serving as a source of comfort, or the familiar, good music is supposed to take the listener to new places. The two new releases reviewed this week _ by Radiohead and Jonsi _ do just that. Radiohead, ‘The King of Limbs’ It’s been more than three years since Radiohead broke new boundaries with its last album, “In Rain- bows.” The band that likes to stake out its own ground sur- prised fans and reviewers with its new album, “The King of Limbs.” Having announced several days before that it would have a Friday release, the band made it available on a Thursday. This should come as no shock from a group that allowed buyers to set their own price for “In Rainbows.” But what about the music? “The Kings of Limbs” is a somewhat stripped-down sound from the previous release, both musically and lyrically. When you can create sounds as dense as Radiohead’s, there is still a lot there. The music is full of surprises as well as the dark brooding sounds that define the band’s sound. A variety of rhythms also help give this album its distinct feel. It opens with “Bloom,” a song that begins with the introduction of three different rhythms playing off against each other, before lead singer Thom Yorke sings some typical Radiohead lyrics about mystery and the meaning of life. The next song, “Morning Mr Magpie,” starts with a TV on the Radio-type riff, but adds the feedback and synthesizers that you expect from the band. There are no weak tracks on the album, but one of my favorites is “Little by Little,” with its hummable chorus sung by Yorke in a great falsetto. The band layers together a lot of sounds, and gets in a great groove for nearly 4½ minutes. “Lotus Flower “ is another standout, and is the first video from the album, featuring Yorke dancing to the rhythms that drive the number. “Codex” and “Give Up the Ghost” have some great melodies, sung with relatively sparse accompaniment. The album ends with “Separator,” also sparse musically, with mostly a drum and some guitars and synthesizers. Lyrically, it is one of the most interesting tracks. This band always has something unique to say, and this record is no exception. It will be interesting to see how its longtime fans handle this change of pace. Jonsi, ‘Go’ Different borders are tested by Icelandic band Jonsi’s lead singer, Sigur Ros. His solo album, ‘Go,’ came out in early 2010. Hearing several songs from it over some months convinced me to go out and buy the album recently, and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites. From its opening, “Go Do,” with its soaring vocals and synthesizers, it’s like a techno burst of pop sunshine. “Animal Arithmetic,” with its beat-driven celebration of life, is an amazingly catchy song. This is not sappy stuff _ just great music. He slows down the pace in much of the rest of the album, with beautifully construct- ed songs like “Tornado” and “Sinking Friendships,” making this album a treat. Anyone who likes to explore new sounds, even a new language, while not straying too far, will find this album a joy to your ears. 14 O-Town Scene March 3, 2011

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