- Kat Gardiner
- Raymond Byron and, we're assuming, the White Freighter.
Another week, another Mercury music section that includes no mention of the fascinating new Andre Williams tune. It's called "Blame It on Obama," and it's a peach. A rotten, sticky peach, perhaps—but peachy nonetheless. Well worth a listen, and long live Andre.
• • •As Castanets, Ray Raposa boasts a catalog of weary, pained songs of wanderlust. Now with his new band, Raymond Byron and the White Freighter, Raposa's finding a little more peace in standing still.
Raymond Byron and the White Freighter - "Allegiance"
• • •Delighting Conor Oberst fans and confounding computer spellchecks everywhere, Desaparecidos have reunited and put out a new single, "MariKKKopa." It's not a tribute to the Copacabana nightclub... or is it? (No. It isn't.)
• • •Also on the reunion gravy train are Swedish punk innovators Refused, whose 1998 album The Shape of Punk to Come didn't exactly predict the future of punk—but should have.
Refused - "Liberation Frequency"
• • •Sometimes I rely on my accumulated, bizarrely encyclopedic knowledge of Neil Diamond to phone it in. Like I did this week, in a look back at Diamond's 1972 live album Hot August Night (the subject of two separate 40-year-anniversary tribute shows this week). In coming issues, expect pieces on the 31st anniversary of "Heartlight," the third anniversary of A Cherry Cherry Christmas, and the 66th anniversary of Neil Diamond singing "Happy Birthday" to his childhood dog Muffin.
Neil Diamond - "Holly Holy" (live)
• • •Plus a sack full of Up & Coming shows.