Culture Jamming

Top Pop Culture Picks for the Week

TOP PICK

Ben Gibbard

Former Lives

(Barsuk)

Death Cab for Cutie singer Ben Gibbard’s vocal delivery is hard to disguise. The guy practically over-enunciates every word. Not that that is a bad thing. His lyrics have a natural poeticism to them, and that’s certainly the case with the songs on this solo album, his full-length debut. The riveting duet with Aimee Mann is a particular highlight.

MUSIC

Smoke & Jackal

Smoke & Jackal

(RCA)

Though tracks such as “No Tell” and “OK, OK” still have some of that Southern rock swagger, Kings of Leon’s Jared Followill goes for something a little more Gothic and spooky (think Nick Cave) on this fine six-song collaboration with singer-guitarist Nick Brown.

About The Author

Jeff Niesel

Jeff has been covering the Cleveland music scene for more than 20 years now. And on a regular basis, he tries to talk to whatever big acts are coming through town, too. If you're in a band that he needs to hear, email him at [email protected]
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