Today in the roundup, I thought we’d check in on a couple of locals getting national attention:
ST. VINCENT: The local music watchdogs have been slobbering all over the new St. Vincent album, Actor, for the past few weeks. And lately, the national press has joined the parade. The New York Times ran a full-on feature last week (Dallas’ St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, lives in Brooklyn these days), saying, “With the voice and bearing of a retro chanteuse and indie cred, she could have easily coasted on soft and palatable; instead Actor relies on more of the driving guitars and complex orchestration that have made her stand out.” Moving along, Rolling Stone gives the album 3.5 stars (out of 5) – which sounds a little low considering reviewer Jody Rosen writes, “Beneath the plushness of her terrific second album there are drolleries, black humor, a cosmopolitan’s jaundiced take on romance.” And not to be outdone, Entertainment Weekly gives the album a big, fat A. “Actor is a uniquely potent cocktail of sounds and moods that’ll get you hooked, fast,” writes Simon Vozick-Levinson. With all that hype, I suggest you get your ticket to this show at the Granada soon.
JEFF GUINN: The Fort Worth author of Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde got the better end of a dual-book review in Sunday’s New York Times. Reviewer Brian Burrough (you might remember him as the author of the recently released The Big Rich) writes: “A good amount of new detail about Bonnie and Clyde has emerged in the last 20 years, much of it unearthed by the Dallas historian John Neal Phillips and a small army of dedicated hobbyists, not to mention the information contained in two books by Clyde’s sister Marie. Guinn packages this material, plus some nuggets he himself discovered, into a fine work of history.” That’s a lot better than what Burrough has to say about Paul Schneider’s Bonnie and Clyde: The Lives Behind the Legend: “It’s difficult to say where this book goes wrong, but one might start on the first page …” Whoops. Reviewing for the Los Angeles Times, Wendy Smith calls the battle of the books a draw, noting that, “Each of these books rings true in its own way.” Of course, the local reviewers have been on the case of Go Down Together, too. Click here to read Jimmy Fowler’s FW Weekly review and click here if you missed Brian Wooley’s review in The Dallas Morning News.
RHETT MILLER: The Old 97’s singer’s self-titled solo album doesn’t come out until June 9, so we’ll have to wait a few weeks for the reviews. So to kill time between now and then, Miller has a guest-starring appearance on the season finale of 30 Rock. What exactly he’s doing on the show is unclear, and he’s not saying, either. Yesterday, he was interviewed on The Ticket (so I hear. My radio is, of course, stuck on 90.1 FM.), and all he would divulge is that he is one of an army of musical guests on the show that night. He did mentioned filming scenes with everyone from Wyclef Jean and Rachael Yamagata to Michael McDonald. Who all will actually be on the show? Find out tomorrow night at 8:30 on Channel 5. In the mean time, Miller’s a big tweeter. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you can follow him through his Web site. And if you haven’t listened to him break down the new album with Paul Slavens on Track by Track, well, no time like the present.