Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Solar systems

I'm swamped with work before going on vacation so this will just be a brief plug for two recent Time Out reviews:

• the new Sofie von Otter CD, dedicated to the music of Benny Andersson. I wish I had liked it more since her cover of Abba's "Like an Angel Passing Through My Room" was a highlight of her collaboration with Elvis Costello, For the Stars. Still, it's nice to hear a song from Benny's underrated album Klinga Mina Klockor. Coincidentally I finally saw Mamma Mia! the same week I wrote this review. It was weird to hear all those Abba songs in a different context, i.e. to have them work as devices serving a narrative, and the show's relentlessly bright aesthetics can be tiresome, but Carolee Carmello does a great job as the mother, particularly when she wrings every last drop of outsize tragedy from "The Winner Takes It All."

• the new Solar Anus anthology, which collects this Japanese band's entire recorded output. Psych bands are jam bands for the hipster set and they tend to annoy me after a while—it probably would help if I smoked pot—but this one is relentlessly nuts.

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