Ben Spier

Music Mix Recommends: April Smith and the Great Picture Show

On April Smith’s 2005 debut CD,  loveletterbombs, the Jersey Shore native revealed an intriguingly skewed lyrical sensibility and a penchant for winsome pop, gifts too easily swaddled by generic rock arrangements. On her new, self-released LP, Songs From a Sinking Ship, the Lollapalooza vet makes a great leap forward by taking a step back…to the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s.

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Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, Keira Knightley up for Olivier awards

Big-screen luminaries Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, and Keira Knightley have all earned a shot at stage glory, as each has been nominated for the U.K.’s 2010 Laurence Olivier Awards. The Oscar-winning Weisz scored a best actress nod for her performance in A Streetcar Named Desire, pitting her against the likes of The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson (A Doll’s House) and Imelda Staunton (Entertaining Mr. Sloane).

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Dean and Britta pay tribute to Andy Warhol in Prospect Park

How’s this for a birthday celebration on a summer’s eve? This past Saturday, indie-rock stalwart Dean Wareham popped the cork on his 46th in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park with wife Britta Phillips – as well as Lou Reed, Dennis Hopper, Nico, and Edie Sedgwick. In truth, Lou & Co. appeared in celluloid form, projected on a screen while Dean & Britta performed their songs for the multimedia project 13 Most Beautiful…Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests.

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American Idol's Adam Lambert and Antony Hegarty: Musical Kin?

Does current American Idol contestant Adam Lambert give you a tingling flush of deja vu? A similar sensation came over this indie-pop diehard yesterday as I watched a clip of the putative AI front-runner emoting his way through “Tracks of My Tears.” Something about his quavery tenor put me in mind of none other than Antony Hegarty, English-Irish frontman of the art-folk experimentalists Antony and the Johnsons.

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