• michael palmieri

Another week, another Mercury music section to read while you come to terms with the shocking news that Phil Collins was once close to suicide. Phil, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

You don't need a crystal ball to tell that Sharon Van Etten is the real thing. The Brooklyn singer just released the excellent Epic, and while Van Etten pulls opening duty this week, she'll be headlining here in no time.

Sharon Van Etten - "Save Yourself"

Soulful Portland singer Natasha Kmeto contorts her R&B vocals amidst a wash of IDM and chirping electronic music. It's all kinds of awesome.

Natasha Kmeto - "Mrs. Knowitall"

Our apologies to Dickey Betts, but the real ramblin' man is David Dondero. Like a young Guthrie (Woody, definitely not Arlo), Dondero drifts from town to town with just his guitar in tow and he even spent some time in Portland (just as any good drifter should) writing songs for this year's # Zero with a Bullet.

David Dondero - "Caught The Song"

Watain are evil. Just pure fucking evil. Bonus: Courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan, here is a photo of the band's backstage area from their Colorado show in 2008. Who knew that baby kittens bled so much?

Watain - "Stellarvore"

End Hits: We prefer our Swedes to make cuddly twee music, thank you very much.