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The Kills is an indie rock band formed by American vocalist and guitarist Alison Mosshart (“VV”) and British guitarist Jamie Hince (“Hotel”). Their three albums, Keep On Your Mean Side, No Wow and Midnight Boom, have gathered much critical praise. Alison Mosshart is lead singer of The Dead Weather, a side project of Mosshart, Jack White, Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age and Jack Lawrence of The Raconteurs.
Mosshart was previously in Floridian punk rock band Discount, and Hince was in the British rock bands Scarfo and Blyth Power (the latter an anarcho-punk band). The duo first met when Mosshart heard Hince practicing in the hotel room above hers, and when the former groups disbanded they struck up a songwriting partnership.
For months, the pair air mailed work tapes across the Atlantic; this proved to test the patience of both artists as it took days or weeks to get each other’s tapes, so Mosshart moved from her Florida home under the guidance of Lauren Antonina Herbert to London
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Regina Spektor (Cyrillic: Регина Спектор; born February 18, 1980) is a Soviet-born Jewish-American singer-songwriter and pianist. Her music is associated with the anti-folk scene centered on New York City’s East Village.
Spektor was born in Moscow, USSR (now Russia), to a musical Jewish family. Her father, Ilya Spektor, is a photographer and amateur violinist. Her mother, Bella Spektor, was a music professor in a Russian college of music, and now teaches at a public elementary school in Mount Vernon, New York.
Spektor learned how to play piano by practicing on a Petrof upright that was given to her mother by her grandfather. She was also exposed to the music of rock and roll bands such as The Beatles, Queen, and The Moody Blues by her father, who obtained such recordings in Eastern Europe and traded cassettes with friends in the Soviet Union. The family left the Soviet Union in 1989, when Regina was nine, during the period of Perestroika, when Soviet citizens were permitted to emigrate. Regina had to leave her piano behind.
The seriousness of her piano studies led her parents to consider not leaving the USSR, but they finally decided to emigrate, due to the ethnic and political discrimination which Jews faced.
Traveling first to Austria and then Italy, the family settled in the Bronx, New York, where Spektor graduated from the SAR Academy, a Jewish day middle school in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. She then attended high school for two years at the Frisch School, a yeshiva in Paramus, New Jersey, but transferred to a public school, Fair Lawn High School, in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, where she finished the last two years of her high school education
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Joanna Newsom (born January 18, 1982) is an American harpist and singer-songwriter from Nevada City, California.
Newsom was first taught to play the Celtic harp by a local teacher in Nevada City. Later on she moved on to the pedal harp and started composing.
Newsom’s work has become prominent on the indie scene, and her profile has risen, in part due to a number of live shows and appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC.
Several of the songs on The Milk-Eyed Mender have been covered by her peers: “Bridges and Balloons” was covered by the Decemberists on their 2005 EP Picaresqueties. “Sprout and the Bean” has been covered by The Moscow Coup Attempt and Sholi. “Peach Plum Pear” has been covered by Final Fantasy (Owen Pallett) on the 2006 EP Young Canadian Mothers, as well as by Straylight Run. M Ward has played “Sadie” on his live shows.
Marissa Nadler (born April 5, 1981) is an American dream-folk and fine artist based in Boston. She grew up in a small town in Massachusetts. Her brother is a writer and her mother is a painter.
She is a self taught guitarist, who as a teenager learned to play in a style similar to Travis picking, playing a steady bass pattern with the thumb and filling out syncopated rhythms with the fingers. She is also self-taught as a singer.
Known for her dreamy, atmospheric music, that although rooted in folk traditions, is more ethereal than earthy. Her music was recently described as “ethereal reverberations” in the New York Times.
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Andrew Bird (born July 11, 1973) is an American musician, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He was born in Chicago and currently splits his time between Chicago and a farm near the town of Elizabeth in northwest Illinois. He is musically proficient in the violin, whistling, guitar, mandolin, and glockenspiel.
Vastly different from his later work, this album showcased his violin skills and paid tribute to his fascination with both American and European folk traditions, as well as jazz and blues. Following this, his initial commercial exposure came through collaborative work with the band Squirrel Nut Zippers, appearing on three of their albums (Hot, Sold Out, and Perennial Favorites) between 1996 and 1998.
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Li was born in Ystad, Skåne, in Sweden, in 1986 and was raised by artistic parents; her mother was a painter, her father is a musician. The family moved to Stockholm when Li was a toddler and later moved to a mountaintop in Portugal when Li was six, where they lived for five years; the family also spent time in Lisbon and Morocco and spent winters in Nepal and India.
She moved to New York for three months when she was 19. She returned when she was 21 to record her album. When not touring, she resides in the Södermalm district of Stockholm.
She released her first album, Youth Novels on LL Recordings in the Nordic region on February 4, 2008 and it received a wider European release in June, 2008. The album was produced by Björn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John and Lasse Mårtén. It was released in the United States on 6 May 2008. The album was released in the Republic of Ireland on June 6, 2008 and June 9 in the UK. The album was inspired from a previous relationship of three years .
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