Must Know: San Francisco’s Mosaics

mosaics

I don’t keep up with the California music scene, but I do know this much, Mosaics are a band to watch. Below is a link to their song “Year of Valor” and hot damn is it good.

Year of Valor

Fingerpicked acoustics, slick production, and entrancing vocals from Maryam Sadeghian are the hallmarks of this must-listen. Cylindrical, woozy and sweetly affecting, “Year of Valor” is a triumph from a band that’s hitting their stride at just the right time. Dream-pop just might have a new titan in Mosaics. Songs this good don’t come around regularly.

Mark Erelli Shines on For a Song

ErelliBioPhoto

He’s been called the American male equivalent to Neko Case, has opened up for Faith Hill and calls Josh Ritter and Paula Cole close friends and yet nine albums into his career, Mark Erelli has still yet to become a household name.

All that’s about to change.

His latest album, For a Song, is easily his best work to date and is poised to make Erelli one of the foremost names in folk music and beyond. From the very first notes, For a Song is confident, tender and wholly engaging. Whether its the church janitor contemplating the supernatural in “Look Up” or the aging tech guru in “Analog Hero,” there’s no shortage of compelling characters and indelible melodies. Erelli is at his best though when he’s writing more close to home and there’s quite a few of those songs in this lot.

Album opener “Oklahoma” is a spartan and airy ode to homesickness that might just be one of the year’s best songs, while title track “For a Song” contemplates the double-edged sword of a family man living his life on the road. Erelli has always known his way around a playful tune and the ebullient “Wayside” is proof of that. Though it might be the album’s weakest it gives the album a much needed lift. Similar to that, the nostalgic “Magic,” serves as a life lesson to his youngest son, imparting both childhood reflections and words of wisdom. If only all of us could have a father so steadfast.

For all the many gems on For a Song, two distinctly stand out. The slow-building “Amsterdam” builds and lifts making for a cut that lingers long after the final seconds. That same sentiment is repeated in the impassioned and invigorating closer “French King.” When that song finally stops, the urge to go back and hit repeat is almost too hard to pass up.

Having crafted a career as an in-demand producer and sideman, Erelli knows his way around a song. Effortless, enveloping and richly rewarding, For a Song is a glimpse into the mind of an artist at the pinnacle of his career. Here’s to hoping his next one is just as strong.

Ben Cosgrove Shines Again on Field Studies

Field Studies is the latest album from Massachusetts-based musician Ben Cosgrove and much like its predecessor its a staggering work of resplendent beauty. Read more…

Ben Frost’s Aurora

Are albums intended to be inspirational or are they just catharsis? Or is it a lot more complicated than that? Read more…

A Summer’s Tale: U.S. Premiere is Worth the Wait

In another summer film season chock full of derivative tent-pole escapism and banal comedic schlock, the long-awaited U.S. premiere of Eric Rohmer’s A Summer’s Tale has been a most welcome escape. Eric Rohmer’s film, which debuted in New York City six days ago, is a cinematic tour-de-force that charms and marvels from the very first frame. The film, which premiered in the Un Certain Regard category at Cannes in 1996, is the third entry in Rohmer’s Tales of the Four Seasons project and the only one that had never been released theatrically in America. Despite the near two-decade wait, its arrival on American shores must not to be overlooked. Read more…

Old-School Crooning Takes Center Stage

Performing songs from what they call the Great American Songbook, Chicago quartet Under the Streetlamp crooned effortlessly through an 80 minute set last night at the King Center for Performing Arts in Melbourne, FL. Read more…

The Rise and Fall of Salvador Dali Parton: Nashville’s Supergroup That Wasn’t

In October of last year, a Nashville supergroup was formed.

Using the name Salvador Dali Parton, the band included Jake Orrall (JEFF the Brotherhood), Mike Harris (Apache Relay), Winston Marshall (Mumford and Sons), Justin Hayward-Young (The Vaccines) and Gil Landry (Old Crow Medicine Show).

Salvador Dali Pardon then performed a series of six shows in ONE night (Saturday, Oct. 26) at the following venues: The High Watt, The Exit/In, The Stone Fox, The Springwater and The Coyote Ranch. Salvador Dali Parton kept their output a secret and never released any material. They did however promise to release a live recording compiled of the best songs from each of their performances.

The following day Salvador Dali Parton closed up shop, vaguely promising to still release those recordings. All inquiries to Salvador Dali Pardon’s press team have revealed very little.

Will Salvador Dali Parton ever see the light of day?

All of us at RMP are certainly hoping so!

Lydia Loveless Covers Ke$ha

Lydia Loveless is the best thing that’s happened to alt-country since Son Volt. The consummate risk-taker who is unafraid to shake things up, she is wise beyond her years and loaded with armfuls of talent.

In anticipation of Record Store Day, she’s released a cover of pop starlet Ke$ha’s “Blind,” and given it an alt-country makeover. That it’s as splendid as it is, only further elucidates the power this Ohio youngster possesses.

Elliot & The Ghost Ponder Love on Debut EP

RMP favorites Elliot & The Ghost have returned with Is This Love, their self-financed and self-released debut EP that firmly establishes them as one of Brooklyn’s bands to watch in 2014 and beyond. Read more…

Trying to understand The Great Beauty


For a week now I’ve been ruminating over the Oscar-winning Italian film The Great Beauty, Paolo Sorrentino’s romantic, acerbic and deeply provocative narrative about Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), a celebrity journalist trying to navigate his place in the world. Anchored by panoramic shots of Rome and a spellbinding soundtrack, the film skillfully weaves the whirring rush of high society shindigs with the iconic and historic splendor of one of Europe’s most beloved destinations. Gambardella’s watershed moment is the unexpected death of his teenage flame and how her passing forces Gambardella to take stock of his career, his life thus far and his ensuing future. Though it plods along at times, the 125-minute piece has many a scene that deftly blend comedy, introspection and beauty into one cohesive and masterful piece. Granted there’s a lot to digest (most of which is head-scratching and pretentious) but in the subtler scenes is something truly magnetic. Foreign films have a way of hitting at the core in ways American films never do and The Great Beauty is certainly no exception.



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