74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 14, featuring the Dharohar Project

“It’s lovely to be away, but trips like this are good because you get to see just how unknown you are- there are not that many people who care who you are, or what you are doing. It’s good.” -Ben Lovett, of Mumford & Sons

“We love them, they are all so outgoing… which is nice, because we’re all so pathetically english and reserved. They told us, ‘Come to Rajistan, you meet all the musicians, and play with whoever you like’… That’s what good about music, is that you can make anyone feel a part, even if it’s only for a song.” -Laura Marling

In late 2009, British folk artists Mumford & Sons and Laura Marling were sponsored to take part in multi-cultural music collaboration known as the Dharohar Project. The quartet and Ms. Marling spent a week in Rajistan, India, banging together a five song EP and staging multiple live performances with the aid of only two interpreters. As little experience as these young Brits could lay claim to at the time, and with such a limited time, this sounds rather like a recipe for a musical train wreck- not to mention the lack of traditional recording equipment, However, the results are absolutely stunning- courtesy of youtube, we encourage you to take a listen:

This is the studio version of the entire EP:

But the live versions are GOLD:

“Devil’s Spoke” Banjos and turbans. Believe it.

“To Darkness” and  (from 2:43 onward) “Kripa”

The fourth track (‘Amnol Rishtey’) is completely in Indian- but remains undeniably catchy, and charming:

The last track is every bit as great as those preceeding. Laura Marling returns for lead vocal, and the great amount of banjo is icing on the cake:

“People call us folk musicians,” Marling observes, “but these people are the real thing. These songs, and instruments, they learned all this from their parents, and theirs. We are very inexperienced, in comparison.”

You can claim that you didn’t smile once through the entire viewing, but I already know that you did.

Classic lit authors, if they had gone to high school together…

Because we are the kind of people who sit around wondering what this would be like. Because we can.

Victor Hugo: one of those almost-nerdy “I’m running for school president” kids.

Mary Shelley: sophisticated and macabre, listens to Florence and the Machine.

The Bronte sisters: would be those creepy-close family members who turn their pain into art and wear way too much eyeliner.

Lucy Maud Montgomery: was that sweetheart, home-town girl who has a tumblr full of flower and teapot pictures.

Lewis Caroll: He was that (probably carrot-top) kid who is completely obnoxious, but so sweet that everyone wants to be his friend anyway. Too quick-witted for his own good.

Lord Byron: has a reputable political family, but is failing to uphold that upstanding image. You should hear the gossip. Has an unexpected friendship with Mary Shelley, see above.

Edgar Allen Poe: I think it goes without saying that he was that emo creep in the corner of the library. Might be dating his cousin?

Shakespeare: TOTAL hipster man. Overly confident, nearly annoyingly so. Extrovert who can’t possibly stay at home enough to study, but makes amazing grades. Also, that kid with his obnoxious made-up vocabulary.. will NEVER catch on.

Jules Verne: … honestly, I think he’s been an old man his entire life. You are obligated to be endearingly quirky, with a name like Jules.

Jane Austen: brooding, though not melancholy. Amazingly good student, if she likes the subject. Doesn’t really date, but likes to matchmake.

Charles Dickens: Extreme compassion for the underdog. Painfully long-winded not only in conversation, but also reports, essays, etc.

 

Do you think we made the grade? Any contributions we should add?

74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 4, featuring Laura Marling

I don’t enjoy putting people into boxes. (Often it is a frustrating process, because truthfully everyone belongs in a different box.) But even if I DID like boxes, I would have a difficult time finding one for Laura Marling. Hailing from Jane Austen’s hometown, she got her start only five years ago, working her way through the musical food chain by playing an endless list of venues. She is precocious without being pretentious, quiet without being bashful, and she demonstrates startlingly innocent wisdom; undeniable sense of knowing: knowing the perfect parameters in which to place a song, knowing how to embellish in the beauty of simplicity, knowing how to communicate feelings as well as images. Her skill as a songwriter, vocalist and instrumentalist are not all that notable, though they are deeply delightful. No, Laura possesses something far more rare (and far more desirable) than a gorgeous voice. She is perfectly reminiscent of Harper Lee. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is a book that continually astounds me, for it is so innocently wise, so simple but lacking nought. It walks unaffected into the soul, reporting that all found there with a childlike lack of effort to justify or explain. A rarity in all its honest, raw beauty. A treasure.

Alas, I cannot swim

Hope in the Air

Blackberry Stone

Devil’s Spoke

So what do you think? What box does Ms Marling belong to?

74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 3, featuring Ben Taylor

We have this week for your listening pleasure, the bitter-sweet harmony laced folk tunes of Ben Taylor.

As the son of rock idol Carly Simon and the veritable father of singer-songwriter genre James Taylor, many would assume that Ben has the natural touch for song crafting! But we would like you to take a listen for yourself:

“Nothing that I can do” which was released on Ben’s 2006 album of the same name. (This song is my [Nicole] personal favorite! I have listened to it millions of times….)

“Someday Soon”, which boasts an intricate melody and imaginative lyrics

This song, “World’s are made of Paper” is from Ben’s new album, “Listening”, out just last year. It has jazz guitar, guest vocals from his sister Sally and a Beatles reference. What could be better?

So what do you think? Has Ben Taylor hit the genetic jackpot? What other second generation folkies have you enjoyed?

74: The Hipster Music Digest, episode 1, featuring Birdy

Week one, we have for your listening pleasure, UK sensation Jasmine van den Bogaerde- known to most as “Birdy”. Though only sixteen years of age, Birdy has charted half a dozen singles, and even landed a spot on the killer* Hunger Games soundtrack last year. Birdy leans toward fullbodied piano, genre-defying jazz styled folk-pop, which is exceptionally suited to her soulful yet girlish voice. Adele for kids.

*pun fully intended

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnAfFpNKT_E

UPDATE:

Birdy has collaborated with british folk outfit Mumford and Sons to  produce track the track “Learn Me Right” for the pixar flim “Brave”.

The fall of the American Music Industry

hipster

The following selections, (in bold) have made a notable appearance on Billboard in the past few years. The extremely popular songs enjoyed by the general populace.

The examples that follow them are from the Indie, alternative, and folk genre. You know who listens to this: the “weirdos”. The socially awkward bookworms who troll Etsy for the perfect pair of vintage tortoiseshell frames for their glasses. The “hippies” or “hipsters”. The ones that take their type-writers to the park, and would rather watch the BBC than keep up the Kardashians.

You may judge, indeed, who has the superior soundtrack.

************

Baby, baby, baby, oh
Like baby, baby, baby, no
Like baby, baby, baby, oh
I thought you’d always be mine, mine…”

Justin Beiber

“Swan dive down, eleven stories high, or swim down deep until you see the light. You can sink to the bottom of the sea, just don’t go without me… C’est la vie, c’est la mort, [This is life, this is death] You and me, Forevermore…”
The Civil Wars

“Have you ever felt like a plastic bag floating on the wind, waiting for life to begin?”

Katy Perry, “Firework”

“What if I was wrong? This land means less and less to me without you breathing through it’s trees.. At every turn the water runs away from me, and the halo disappears…I’m not whole when you’re not near… ” Mumford and Sons

“CALL ME MAYBE!”
Carly Rae Jepsen

“I’ve known mornings white as diamonds, silent from a night so cold. Such a stillness, calm as the owl flies; our lives are buried in snow…I was sifting through the piles, in my hand a tangled thread. Each patient tug upon the snarl is a glimpse of what has been…”
Alela Diane

“I WHIP MY HAIR BACK AND FORTH!” –Willow smith

“I was desperate, I was weak, I could not put up a fight. Where are you now, where are you now? Do you ever think of me in the quiet or the crowd? Triumphant in the mind of the logic that you hold. You said no one will ever know the love that we have shared; as I took my leave to go it was clear you didn’t care.” -Mumford and Sons

“WE ARE NEVER EVER EVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER” – Taylor Swift

“Meet in the garden, where the weeds grow tall… we’ll set on the swing… Meet me in the tintypes of long ago, trace the lines of my face… You and I, we’re just pressing flowers; they’re dying, but they’re ours…” –
The Civil Wars

“Loving him was red, re-e-e-e-e-ed…fighting with him was like trying to solve a crossword and realizing there was no right answer…” Taylor swift

“It’s under control but the Sun and Moon have been after each other from night until noon, chasing like a couple of fools, in a race of the clouds like a bloody cartoon… colorful creatures in wonderless moods have been tirelessly learning their lines and their runes, turning about in their colorful shoes, surprising themselves with their wonderful moves… I know I’m gonna get there someday soon..” -Ben Taylor

“Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell
You don’t know (oh oh)
You don’t know you’re beautiful!” – One Direction

“I am thinking it’s a sign that the freckles in our eyes are mirror images and when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned… And I have to speculate that God himself did make us into corresponding shapes like puzzle pieces from the clay… and true, it may seem like a stretch, but it’s thoughts like these that catch my troubled head when you’re away and I am missing you to death…” – Iron and Wine

“Who run the world? GIRLS

Who run the world? GIRLS

Who run the world? GIRLS”

Beyonce

“If I get murdered in the City, don’t go revenging in my name. One person dead from such is plenty, no need to go get locked away. Make sure my mother knows I loved her, make sure my sister knows the same. Always remember there was nothing worth sharing like the love that let us share our name.” –
The Avett Brothers

Beautiful art requires intelligence. Help us make intelligence fashionable again: Support the “hipster” movement.

HIPSTER AND PROUD.