Handsome Furs & St. Vincent Review

Husband and wife electro-pop duo Handsome Furs perform live in the studio.

Handsome Furs
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Even decades after their heyday, there continues to be new, fun factoids in Beatles history. One of their old concert contracts from 1965 recently sold at auction for $23,000. But the contents were even more amazing. The Fab Four state that they will "not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience." That was pretty radical for the time, and confirms the band's feelings about civil rights. Incidentally, Ringo also was contractually obligated to receive a special drumming platform.

In other Beatles news, Abbey Road, the famed British studio where they recorded, is making attempts to stay vital in this age of laptop studios. For $800 you can send your own tracks into Abbey Road to have them mixed by professionals. All they require is a little guidance - are you going for The Clash? Or Barbra Streisand? In addition, they've launched an Abbey Road board game centered around the iconic zebra stripe road crossing.

Handsome Furs

Sound Opinions continues its run with husband and wife duos. We've had Low, Damon & Naomi and now Handsome Furs. The Montreal  electro-pop act consists of Wolf Parade  guitarist  Dan Boeckner and his wife Alexei Perry. As they explain, the musical pairing came out of necessity more than anything. They just had no space to do their own solo projects. Now they're on their third album called Sound Kapital, which was inspired by Dan and Alexei's travels to Eastern Europe and Asia. There they discovered a vital underground music scene and a new brand of protest music. Those sounds and messages informed the tracks on Sound Kapital. Check out video of Handsome Furs live in the studio.

Strange Mercy St. Vincent

Strange Mercy

St. Vincent has a new album out called Strange Mercy. The singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, also known as Annie Clark, visited Sound Opinions upon the release of her second album Actor. That ended up Greg's top album of 2009. He's equally impressed with this effort, noting that she's blowing out the dynamics mix to a greater degree. The same goes for her guitar playing, which is at times unrecognizable. He loves the layers and the complicated storytelling and gives the record a Buy It. Jim couldn't disagree more. He admits St. Vincent is unique and talented, but totally doesn't buy "the schtick." He finds her characters inauthentic and pretentious and says Trash It.

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