September 29, 2009

Issue26, Sept. 2009

Far Out - Regina Spektor blows us away – on her album and live in concert
We were worried for Regina Spektor. Yes, worried.
We first experienced the World According to Regina when she was an opener along with Josh Ritter for Keane at an outdoor venue in Boston in 2005. (Guess who we were there to see!) Regina performed solo on the huge stage, and we remember thinking “who is this strange woman? What planet did she come from?” She was not any kind of singer-songwriter we had seen before and her songs and voice did not fit anything we’d heard before. She seemed a little lost up there, a lone figure sandwiched between the two massive video screens.
The next time she caught our attention was when she released the 2006 album “Begin to Hope.” This time we were blown away. Her tunes, a little less avant-garde and a little more pop, began to make sense to our ears. And her gorgeous, fluttering voice on songs such as “Fidelity,” “Better,” and “On the Radio” affected us like few others. And while commercial radio played these tunes occasionally, a fervent and devoted following grew, awaiting every video and interview she did.
Regina had seamlessly made the transition from quirky anti-folk outsider to quirky indie-pop darling. We loved it.
And that’s why we were worried. Would Regina, with her critical success, journey further into pop, leaving behind her wonderful quirkiness? Would she go all Tori Amos on us? Please no.
Well, our fears were for naught. Her new album, “Far,” picks up where “Begin to Hope” left off, and her live performance, which we caught recently was equally quirky and refreshing. You can read both the review of the album and the show beginning on Page 4.
And speaking of albums and live shows, we’ve noticed recently the trend by musicians and bands performing an entire album, start to finish, in concert. Bruce is playing “Born to Run,” Van Morrison did “Astral Weeks.” Whether you like the idea or not, it certainly makes one pause to think “Who would I like to see play one of their albums live in its entirety?”
We asked our readers what album would you like played in concert? Check out our readers’ poll results to see what others said.
No worries, Rich Kassirer, editor
To read the new issue, click HERE.
To read album reviews of Regina Spektor's "Far," The Avett Brothers' "I and Love and You," Erin McKeown's "Hundreds of Lions," and Thao's "Know Better Learn Faster," click HERE.

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