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   Sunday, March 17, 2002  
"There's so much detachment in music. Rock "artists" are so conscious of being watched, and of being pretty, that at best they muster up some fake, soft-core swagger. Indie-rockers try to counter this by inhabiting their detachment and, for the most part, they've all earned a good slap." Unpop talks to big John Roderick of The Long Winters...

Oh Miranda, where art thou? No sooner had her debut release slipped out on VirginAmerica six months ago than the delectable Ms Lee Richards sank from view like a Pacific sunset. Unlike fellow LA-based '01 pop-rock debutante Pete Yorn, there was seemingly to be no relentless coast-to-coast touring, no MTV-friendly vids, nada. Over at the wind's blowing through busted shutters, everyone's left town. Hark, is that the patter of collective cold feet?
So the record must be a real stiff, right? Well, reallyrather can report only the tiniest twinge of guilt each time The herethereafter is once again slipped into the player. Words like 'safe', 'generic' and 'winsome' can all be hurled in it's direction with justification. It's glossed-up, vaguely psychedelic folk-pop. Miranda's voice sounds just like you'd guess it might from the 'hippy-chick' cover photo (ie wistful & really rather lovely). It's a guess, but if VirginAmerica had thought to themselves, "Hey, Dido-meets-Sheryl Crow - let's do it!," reallyrather wouldn't be in the least surprised. There are parallels with Shea Seger's debut, Richards having been similarly ill-served by a slick, big-money production: strings, tastefully-rendered street beats and backwards guitar all feature (step forward producer/co-writer/boyfriend Rick Parker). Yet the first half-dozen tracks or so certainly have plenty of obvious appeal (it does admittedly peter out thereafter, save for a decent stab at the Stones' Dandelion). Someone at over BBC Radio2 could earn a few easy points by "discovering" her...

But wait, there she is - every Monday in March at Spaceland, Los Angeles, and it's free! Now, if the old Vespa only had wings...
   posted by SMc at 12:12 PM |