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Gorillaz, Saul Williams, Rufus Wainwright

click to enlarge Rufus Wainwright -  - Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall  - Geffen - Sounds like: A - Wainwright wet dream -  - Short take: Rufus takes Garland over the - rainbow -  - A chamber pop artist being infatuated with Judy Garland - is not surprising. But the fact that contemporary singer - Rufus Wainwright would have the chutzpah to re-record - Garland's April 23, 1961 concert, which is often referred - to as "the greatest night in show business history," in its - entirety? That wasn't expected. Then again, Wainwright - has been eschewing predictability since he arrived on the - music scene a decade ago. As for Rufus Does Judy at - Carnegie Hall, the evening performance features - Rufus' sister Martha Wainwright ("Stormy Weather"), their - mother Kate McGarrigle ("Over the Rainbow") and Lorna - Luft ("After You've Gone"). Sure the double-disc affair - feels self indulgent, but then again, that's what makes it - work. Treating the material with respect, Wainwright - proves dreams can come true  for himself, as well as - his fans.  John Benson -
  • Rufus Wainwright
    Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall

    Geffen

    Sounds like: A Wainwright wet dream

    Short take: Rufus takes Garland over the rainbow

    A chamber pop artist being infatuated with Judy Garland is not surprising. But the fact that contemporary singer Rufus Wainwright would have the chutzpah to re-record Garland's April 23, 1961 concert, which is often referred to as "the greatest night in show business history," in its entirety? That wasn't expected. Then again, Wainwright has been eschewing predictability since he arrived on the music scene a decade ago. As for Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, the evening performance features Rufus' sister Martha Wainwright ("Stormy Weather"), their mother Kate McGarrigle ("Over the Rainbow") and Lorna Luft ("After You've Gone"). Sure the double-disc affair feels self indulgent, but then again, that's what makes it work. Treating the material with respect, Wainwright proves dreams can come true for himself, as well as his fans. John Benson

click to enlarge The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust! - niggytardust.com Sounds like: An industrial slam-poetry - mess -  - Short take: Reznor B-sides offer rant space -  - The songs on slam poet Saul Williams' third album show - the threat of letting a polemic eclipse everything else. - The album, which is being released online,  la - Radiohead's In Rainbows, is all message: - Though Trent Reznor produces it, the actual music is - threatened to extinction. When it's there, it's usually just - an industrial wobble and a half-assed beat. There's a - decent, if needless, cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody - Sunday," and the droningly melodic "WTF!" is fine, but - otherwise, Niggy sticks closely to a lousy - formula. Lyrically, Niggy leaves the listener - feeling that Williams isn't really sure what he's fighting - for, anyway. Put kindly, Williams is a very ambitious artist - who has trouble focusing his ideas. Put less kindly, he's - in way over his head, trying to make a cinematic slam- - poetry extravaganza, which makes for some very difficult - music.  Matt Martin
  • The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of NiggyTardust!
    niggytardust.com

    Sounds like: An industrial slam-poetry mess

    Short take: Reznor B-sides offer rant space

    The songs on slam poet Saul Williams' third album show the threat of letting a polemic eclipse everything else. The album, which is being released online, la Radiohead's In Rainbows, is all message: Though Trent Reznor produces it, the actual music is threatened to extinction. When it's there, it's usually just an industrial wobble and a half-assed beat. There's a decent, if needless, cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday," and the droningly melodic "WTF!" is fine, but otherwise, Niggy sticks closely to a lousy formula. Lyrically, Niggy leaves the listener feeling that Williams isn't really sure what he's fighting for, anyway. Put kindly, Williams is a very ambitious artist who has trouble focusing his ideas. Put less kindly, he's in way over his head, trying to make a cinematic slam- poetry extravaganza, which makes for some very difficult music. Matt Martin

click to enlarge Gorillaz D-Sides Virgin - Sounds like: Dr. Jekyll to Demon - Days' Mr. Hyde -  - Short take: More fun from capable weirdos -  - The old saw about B-sides is that they contain the best - and worst of an artist's output, that B-sides are where - artists do their wackiest experimentation and often hide - their best gems. Gorillaz' recent D-Sides, which - plays on the name of their sophomore album, 2005's - Demon Days, has a tall order to approach the - imagination of that album. But even an unspoken - invitation to be as wild as they want to be only benefits a - group that already flouts any rule it can. From the two - massive discs offered on D-Sides, every listener - can cull a single convenient disc of their favorite tracks. - There are a good deal of winners ("We Are Happy - Landfill," "Hongkongaton") and some solid remixes - (DFA's, Metronomy's). There are some duds, too, with - plenty of genre exercises and tracks so heavily stylized - they're only judgable on an entirely individual basis. -  Matt Martin Saul Williams -
  • Gorillaz D-Sides
    Virgin

    Sounds like: Dr. Jekyll to Demon Days' Mr. Hyde

    Short take: More fun from capable weirdos

    The old saw about B-sides is that they contain the best and worst of an artist's output, that B-sides are where artists do their wackiest experimentation and often hide their best gems. Gorillaz' recent D-Sides, which plays on the name of their sophomore album, 2005's Demon Days, has a tall order to approach the imagination of that album. But even an unspoken invitation to be as wild as they want to be only benefits a group that already flouts any rule it can. From the two massive discs offered on D-Sides, every listener can cull a single convenient disc of their favorite tracks. There are a good deal of winners ("We Are Happy Landfill," "Hongkongaton") and some solid remixes (DFA's, Metronomy's). There are some duds, too, with plenty of genre exercises and tracks so heavily stylized they're only judgable on an entirely individual basis. Matt Martin Saul Williams

  • Gorillaz, Saul Williams, Rufus Wainwright

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