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Posts Tagged ‘Notion Magazine’

Johnny Flynn Country Mile album review – Notion Magazine

In Music Reviews on November 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm

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Page 94 of Issue 66

Miley, Don’t Make Me Cry – The Vagenda

In Comment and Opinion, Internet, Magazine Contributions, Music Reviews, Women on October 3, 2013 at 4:34 pm

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Saturday night. I’m babysitting. I’m also, by chance, engaging in anthropological research regarding the social implications of Miley Cyrus’s very public, orchestrated ‘breakdown’ for a pre-pubescent audience, as her music blasts out of the television.

“What’s happened to Miley Cyrus?!” quoth ten-year-old Amelia.

“It’s all the fame,” ten-and-a-fifth-year-old Sophie sighs. “It’s got to her. First Britney, then Lindsay, and now Hannah Montana.”

Hannah Montana is a squeaky clean Disney Channel character. Miley Cyrus has grown up and metamorphosed into her alter ego in a powerful Jekyll-Hyde-esque transformation that has left young girls confused to say the least.

They know what ‘twerking’ is. They just about know that ‘humping’ is ‘sexy’. But they don’t know what sex is – and so they shouldn’t! Call me prudish if you must.

“Have you seen the video for wrecking ball?” Amelia whispers, quite horrified, “She hasn’t got any clothes on!”

These girls, whom Hannah Montana lured into her pop-princess bubblegum lair, have been duped into ‘twerking out’ what adolescence is just a tad too soon. Read the rest of this entry »

Live Review: Laura Marling @ at The Lowry – Notion Magazine

In Magazine Contributions, Music Reviews on October 1, 2013 at 10:30 am

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She takes to the stage in what appears to be a frilly Victorian nightgown. She dissolves into the dress, white on white, the porcelain English rose – with red Converse on underneath.

The age-old truism that appearances are deceptive certainly stands true with Laura Marling. She is a fierce, dark, elusive performer. She enjoys silence, but is not quiet. She is private but reveals deeply melodic secrets.

Laura Marling is growing up. She first appeared on the Jools Holland show in 2007 at the tender age of 17. The Ophelia-style get-up is somewhat different to her first stage outfit comprised of a Spice Girls t-shirt and a look of utter terror.

This performance is a portrait of the artist as a young lady. She now stands tall and proud, singing up into the mic, Gallagher-style. She no longer avoids eye-contact, but altogether eschews it, looking up and singing to her musical muses in a trance.

The 23-year-old is touring with her fourth album, Once I was an Eagle. It is her third to be nominated for the Mercury Prize and this year she is competing against the likes of Bowie and Arctic Monkeys. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview with Allen Stone: son of a preacher man converts to soul man – Notion Magazine

In Interviews, Magazine Contributions, Music Reviews on February 22, 2013 at 9:30 am

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What do you get if you cross a born-again atheist with the spirit of Stevie Wonder? 25-year-old Allen Stone, a blue-eyed gospel-soul singer-songwriter who’s set to become a big star in 2013.

Allen Stone isn’t happy with modern music, and he wants you to know it. “It’s just so cotton candy and cookie cutter,” the US soul singer says from behind tendrils of hippyish, wavy blonde hair. “It’s all about love and sex and clubs and it doesn’t really do anything – it doesn’t really inspire people or kids my age to do anything – besides go to the club and grind on each other.”

Stone is on a mission to put the meaning back into popular song, and is harking back to the birth of soul music for inspiration. “Back then, when somebody would write something in a song, people would listen to it – and it would mean something,” he declares. Inspired by the music born out of an America rocked by the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, and an affinity with the children spawned by the groovy Woodstock era, Stone is taking on a music industry that he believes has lost its soul. And as he spreads the word, people are listening.

His 2011 single Unaware was a viral sensation and has racked up almost 2 million YouTube hits. The video, which was recorded in his mother’s living room, led to a string of US television performances, with many critics labelling him “one to watch”. True to his ethos, the lyrics of Unaware discuss the current economic climate: “Every day the deficit grows, you spend more than you own.” They reflect our generation’s struggles – the credit crunch victims condemned to toil through Dickensian hard times.

Despite admitting that the Unaware video “has helped me out immensely”, Stone is less interested in YouTube fame than he is in being “the best live performer that I can possibly be”. In a digital age where anyone with a laptop and an acoustic guitar can upload the seven-hundredth take of their four-chord, caterwauling ballad onto the internet, Stone refreshingly challenges the would-be popstars to “get on stage and hold an audience’s attention”. Read the rest of this entry »

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