Monday, January 12, 2009
New York Times music critic Jon Pareles visits some albums he missed in 2008 amidst the deluge of new releases and recommends Sam Phillips's Don't Do Anything as one that was "worth the wait." Through the songs' Beatles-esque sound and "casual, confiding side" of Sam's vocals, says Pareles, comes "the terse elegance of songs about love gone bad and the lessons and possibilities it leaves behind, songs that only become more telling because they stay so deliberately unadorned."
Monday, January 5, 2009
Since the last Nonesuch Journal entry of 2008, which laid out scores of year-end best-of lists featuring Nonesuch albums and artists, still more critical praise has come in placing this music among the year's best.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
While 2008 may go down as one of the more turbulent years in recent (or distant) memory, or, more optimistically, a time of change, there is much to celebrate in the year in music. Nonesuch artists across all genres have contributed to that and, accordingly, have made their way onto many critics' lists of the year's best. For the final Nonesuch Journal article of the year, we offer an overview of just some of that year-end critical praise.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Sam Phillips will be back on the road next week for a short series of dates on the West Coast with songs from her latest Nonesuch release, Don't Do Anything, and from throughout her career. Earlier this week, Acoustic Cafe broadcast a recent live performance, which you can hear online now. Last week, NPR named the title track off the new album its Song of the Day and suggests that when "Phillips sings about the moments that move her heart, [i]t's to her credit that you don't quite know whether it's full to bursting or long since broken."
Thursday, October 9, 2008
The successful of the vinyl release of Wilco's latest album, Sky Blue Sky, is one example the Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot uses to illustrate the recent resurgence of the medium for music fans, young and old alike. The Buena Vista Social Club at Carnegie Hall LP, released last week, joins other recent vinyl releases from Nonesuch like The Black Keys' Attack & Release, The Magnetic Fields' Distortion, and Laurie Anderson's 7" vinyl single "Mambo and Bling," the first recorded music from her piece, Homeland. Kot speaks with Sam Phillips, who asserts: "I love my vinyl, and I play it all the time. Nothing sounds like it. Who would've thought?"
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Sam Phillips continues her tour of the States with two stops in New York City this week: this evening, a free in-store performance and signing at Sound Fix in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and tomorrow night a concert at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village. The Washington Post says her recent concert, broadcast from Annapolis, Maryland, for NPR's All Songs Considered, was "attuned to the key of imagination ... filled with soulful musings, dreamy love songs, and dispatches from 'the edge of the world.'"
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Sam Phillips is on the road with songs from her latest release, Don't Do Anything, as well as past favorites. The BBC says Sam makes "smokey, sassy, sultry, smart-as-a-whip" music, and the new album is "an album to get deliriously lost within." All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen introduced last night's live NPR.org concert broadcast from the tour by calling her songs "miniature pop jewels." The Albany Times Union, reviewing the previous show, says Sam's vocals make "her probing, intelligent lyrics and her vibrant melodies all the more powerful." Previewing tonight's show, the Philadelphia Inquirer describes Sam's sound as "a sophisticated confluence of Kurt Weill, Tom Waits and late-period Marianne Faithfull, without any florid excesses."
Friday, September 12, 2008
Sam Phillips to Perform Free Harvard Square In-Store Saturday; NPR.org to Broadcast Monday Show in Maryland Live
Sam Phillips's tour continues with stops in the Northeast this weekend, including a special, free in-store performance at the Newbury Comics store in Harvard Square, Cambridge, celebrating the retailer's 30th anniversary. As the tour continues, Sam's Monday night show in Annapolis, Maryland, will be broadcast live from NPR, for All Songs Considered's online concert series, at npr.org. "Of all of Sam Phillips' roles as a musician," says NPR, "her latest incarnation is the most alluring."
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Cleveland Free Times: Phillips's "Don't Do Anything" Deserves Acclaim, Part of "Spectacular Body of Sophisticated Pop Albums"
Sam Phillips's tour with the music of her latest release, Don't Do Anything, continues at the Beachland Ballroom and Tavern tonight in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Free Times's Michael David Toth describes Sam's work as "a spectacular body of sophisticated, shadowy pop albums," at once "progressively modern" and reflective of inspirations from the Beatles to Tin Pan Alley. Her 2004 album, A Boot and a Shoe, "stands as one of this decade's most criminally overlooked recorded masterpieces," he asserts. "With any luck, her follow-up, Don't Do Anything, will get the acclaim it deserves."