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06 Aug 12
Please note: the fact that the sun has finally appeared on UK shores at the very same time that I started listening to Opossom’s Electric Hawaii may have skewed this review slightly. Opossom is essentially a solo project for Kody Nielson, ex-frontman of New Zealand’s Mint Chicks. It comes across as an excuse for Nielson to run the show, play the instruments and go into new directions which wouldn’t have particularly suited his previous band.
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11 Jun 12

Giant Sand were evidently not giant enough for Howe Gelb, the godfather of skewed Americana, so he’s regrouped and expanded further, adding (amongst other things) a Danish string section and a pedal steel player (Maggie Bjorklund) to his already eclectic ensemble. The resulting lineup has fittingly been named Giant Giant Sand and this is the first fruit of their labour, a typically ambitious 19 track “country rock opera” called Tuscon.

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09 Apr 12
Imagine an alternative universe wherein Bobby Conn is the most popular and famous pop star on the planet: "Never Get Ahead" was a worldwide number one hit for 20 consecutive weeks; both takes of "The Language of Love" held numbers 1 AND 2 in the US Charts and "King for a Day" was used in a series of hugely popular ads for Burger King despite the violent protestations from his more militant vegan fan base. Of course, even in an alternative universe this would never and could never happen.