a different class of diva

First off, a hearty thanks to Winged Beast Outfitters for designing (and outfitting) mbtrg with new banners for the blog! It’s long been a dream to have something almost, but not quite, entirely unlike a logo, and this series of banners will let us refresh and enliven the webspace every now and again.

Three brief pieces of music news in our week off:

(1): PJ Harvey has won another Mercury Prize.  That’s right, earlier this week Polly Jean became the first artist to win the prestigious prize twice, this time for Let England Shake (the Mercury is to Britons what the Polaris Prize is to Canadians). Almost exactly ten years back, she beat out Radiohead and Gorillaz for the prize with Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea.

In honour of this unprecedented win for an artist we love here at mbtrg, next week we’ll sample tracks from Polly’s long career, including one from her 1992 debut, Dry. In the meantime, maybe you should re-enjoy the first single off Let England Shake, the disturbing yet catchy “The Words that Maketh Murder.”

(2) And on the subject of female artists who are anything but conventional, we were also pumped this week to hear that the entirety of the new St. Vincent album, Strange Mercy, was being streamed for free on the NPR website. It comes out next Tuesday, and if you’re the daring type, you should give it a listen–it’s what pop sounds like on Venus.

Here’s the comically dark first video from the album, “Cruel”:

(3)Don’t forget that the James North Supercrawl is this Saturday! The stages schedule is now posted, and festivities start at 1pm. Highlights include the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra w/ Basia Bulat at 7pm, Plants and Animals at 8pm, and headliners Broken Social Scene at 10.30pm.

For our part, we’ll start lobbying Mother Nature for nice weather, and hopefully organizers will not be operating on “Hamilton Concert Time” and stick reasonably close to the schedule.  One way or another, we’ll see you there!

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