Song of the Day

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December 9, 2022

Nina Hagen: “Open My Heart (Dinner Time)”

By: Jack Anderson

Often with this feature we have to spell out the origin story for a young up-and-comer. Today? Not the case. That’s ’cause we’re talking about East Berlin-born New Wave & Punk trendsetter Nina Hagen. Despite bitter Cold War tensions, Hagen, with her operatic pipes and distinctive visual statements, instantly exploded with her backing band’s eponymous 1978 debut. After going solo in ’82, Hagen’s oddball aura, dolled-up wardrobe, and near-cartoonish makeup have helped her to become a powerful counterculture icon worldwide.

Strictly discussing studio output, Hagen’s prolific as hell; before this year she had sixteen LPs, two EPs, two live albums, fourteen compilations, and one original soundtrack album under her snappy elastic belt. But in light of Hagen’s undeniable legacy, we haven’t heard anything new since 2011’s Volksbeat.

That all changed this morning. Breaking a decade of studio silence, Nina Hagen just released her fourteenth solo record Unity. At a dozen tracks, Unity brings together nine new originals (including a duet with Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof as well as a George Clinton feature) plus three inventive covers (of Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, and Merle Travis). As is tradition in Hagen’s work, Unity does have somewhat of a political agenda. However, there are also several songs that are just plain fun and wacky. Case in point, Unity‘s penultimate offering “Open My Heart (Dinner Time)”. Between a trip-hop-esque breakbeat, chopped and pitch-shifted vocal samples, and elegant harp glissandos, “Open My Heart”, would have 100% blown the minds of ’81-era Tom Tom Club and well beyond…my own rattled noggin included.


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Genuine Leather: “Getting Used to the Feel”

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May 13, 2024

Big Bill: “Emotions”

If you’ve kept posted on Austin quartet Big Bill, you know they’re in somewhat of a post-pivot position. Yeah, after years of establishing their space in the oddball-deadpan-art-punk sector, Big Bill pulled off a risky switch to more of a ’90s-style indie rock sound with their Summer 2022 full-length Public Freakout Compilation. And while we’d […]

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May 8, 2024

Honey Luck: “Red Line”

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May 8, 2024

Jomo & The Possum Posse: “La Quinta”

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May 7, 2024

Steel Gemini: “Only Freak”

If you’re a fan of that synth pop section of indie electronica in the ilk of Goldfrapp, Grimes, and CHVRCHES…there’s a relatively recent artist right here in town that’ll absolutely scratch that itch. And that’s Steel Gemini, the Austin-based project of singer-songwriter-producer Joy Baldwin. Ever since her December 2022 debut, Baldwin’s been a real joy […]

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May 5, 2024

Jana Mila: “Somebody New”

In an environment as dense and competitive as Americana, a unique set of lens can really help you stand out. But if that habitat appears even remotely unnatural to others, every little bit of local color improves your odds of surviving in the long run. Meet Jana Mila. Mila’s Amsterdam upbringing was spent in the […]

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