I've bought three cds thus far this year: Christine Fellows' Paper Anniversary (quite good; thank you, John Darnielle); the new Deerhoof album, Friend Opportunity (I'm enjoying it, but so far not as much as Reveille, Apple O', or Milkman); and Juana Molina's Son (I believe I have Simon Reynolds to thank for alerting me to this). My previous encounters with Molina had been via two Wire-sampler cds that included one song each of hers. If I'd heard Son last year when it came out, it would easily have been one of my ten or fifteen favorite albums of the year. I've been able to listen to it a handful of times, and it's marvelous. To hear what she's all about, check out the latest excellent episode of Woebot.TV, which is devoted to Molina and her music, with a phone interview and live footage. If you're interested at all in new music, I encourage you to take a look. It'll save me from fumbling around trying to describe the music. (As far as I can tell, Woebot doesn't archive the shows, which is too bad, because I think I've missed at least one. I've subscribed now, so I won't miss any more.)
Elsewhere, in an interesting post at the new version of his Clap Clap blog, Mike Barthel discusses Devenda Banhart and Lindsay Lohan, and Lohan's interview of Banhart from last year and the kind of cultural transactions it might represent. (As a side note, can we please just retire the ridiculous "freak-folk" label?) A post from earlier this month on the deaths of James Brown and Gerald Ford, and what the ensuing funeral spectacles can tell us about American culture, was even more interesting.