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Reviews and Suggestions

CD Review: Ben Wilkins S/T

Ontario-born Ben Wilkins was already a well-rounded musician, having studied classical music at Montreal’s McGill University and spent his post grad studies in Shanghai, China, when he began working with musical producers Pascal Shefteshy and Pierre Marchand (Sarah McLachlan, Rufus Wainwright) to put together his debut album.

The warm classical pop sound permeates most of this album, but the disjointed “Opening” has a mix of indie jazz percussive effects, piano and classical strings contrasting Ben’s clean vocals. It sounds like he has thrown everything but the kitchen sink into the mix to let us know he’s avant garde.

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Artists and Bands

The Americans’ Charlie Klarsfeld on working with Sean Lennon, The White EP, and the coming year

On November 16, modern pop band The Americans will release their sophomore effort, The White EP. The Americans have recruited none other than Sean Lennon to lend a hand with the new EP, which contains six genre-defying songs. It could even be argued that no one since Prince has blended rock, pop, and soul so masterfully as The Americans. Recently, lead singer Charlie Klarsfeld took a few moments to answer some questions about the EP, The Beatles, and the coming year.

Q: Thanks for taking the time for this interview! So, tell us how The Americans came together…

A: I started the band about two and a half years ago. The cast of characters has changed over time, as I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect Americans, and we reached the band’s permanent form this summer with the addition of James Peanutbutter Preston on the bass.

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Features

Britain’s “Jarmean?” snub albums, embrace absinthe and will choose the ukulele over a guitar any day!

“Jarmean?” is no longer just the popular British time-saving, slang version of “Do you know what I mean?,” but it is now also the moniker of one of the most fabulous, refreshing bands I’ve come across in recent months. The British five-piece fuses punk and vaudeville in an amazingly innovative way and discovering this band was like discovering a diamond in a pile of rocks. Jarmean?

They released their debut single, Mind the Gap, earlier this month and took the time to answer some of my pressing questions in anticipation of the release. Being the cohesive team that they are, they answered all of the questions … together! Talk about uncommon, and awesome.

Jarmean? are: Truman (Ukulele/Crooning + Abuse), Jericho (Smooth Horns), Mr. Fox (Tuba Rapper),  Swanimaru (Baby-Faced Assassin) and Smoochi (She’s Our Bez!) – Their descriptions, not mine!