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!! OMG, a Q&A with Fever Ray !!

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There’s something to be said for ugliness. While most pop artists happily inhabit a world of glamour and fashion, Karin Dreijer Andersson surrounds herself in a mysterious, primeval darkness.

Best known as one half of brother-sister pop duo The Knife, Andersson will begin a short North American tour this week as Fever Ray, a new solo project started two years ago when she and her brother Olof took a break from touring and recording together.

The resulting album, released earlier this year, is full of contradictions. It’s a heady mix of steely synths, upbeat tribal beats and rhythms, humorous lyrics and twisted vocals. Though critics like to call her music dark, Andersson is quick to point out sunnier influences. “I wanted it to sound like Miami Sound Machine,” she says, referring to the song ‘Triangle Walks’. “Like Gloria Estefan – very Caribbean.”

Since its release earlier this year, Fever Ray has evolved into a visual project and Andersson’s elaborate stage show (created with director Andreas Nilsson) is winning accolades for its folkloric theatricality and immersive séance vibe. She has also kept busy with The Knife, scoring an electro opera about Charles Darwin called Tomorrow, In A Year, which premiered in Copenhagen this month.

To find out more about all things Fever Ray, we rang up Karin Dreijer Andersson in Stockholm to chat. Read the full Q&A after the jump.

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Mr. Hudson !!

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Who is Mr. Hudson? He is an erudite British crooner signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. record label. Two years ago he released an album called A Tale of Two Cities as Mr. Hudson & The Library, which not that many people heard. Fortunately for Mr. Hudson (also known as Ben McIldowie), mega-superstar producer/rapper/puppetmaster Kanye West was among those few early listeners. He invited Mr. Hudson in to co-produce and guest vocal on his 808s & Heartbreak album and when he’s not hyping himself, he’s big-upping the platinum blonde singer as the next big thing you almost didn’t see coming.

Mr. Hudson will release an album on Oct. 5 called Straight, No Chaser and as the name implies, it’s a pop record that is aiming for mainstream jugular. He’s also quite the looker, so of course we immediately bent over when an interview opportunity arose. Read the Q&A after the jump.

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Little Boots !!

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Who is Little Boots? She is the pop star alter ego of 23-year-old Victoria Hesketh, a native of Blackpool, UK who gained notoriety last year thanks in part to her YouTube channel on which she posts clips of herself playing cover songs in her cluttered bedroom. Catchy early singles “Stuck on Repeat” and “Meddle” combined with her glittering retro-futuristic flamboyance and D.I.Y. approach to mainstream pop prompted the British press to label her a star in the making for 2009.

Two months ago she released Hands , a debut album featuring collaborations with Joe Goddard of Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco, producer RedOne (Lady Gaga, Akon) and Human League’s Phil Oakey.
Despite Little Boots’ glam crystal-encrusted stage personae, you are more likely to encounter Hasketh on a synth forum than on a pop music message board. A self-professed techie, Hasketh incorporates unusual instruments, such as the Japanese-designed Tenori-on LED touchpad and the stylophone, into her live performances. She is also attempting to build her own laser harp.

We caught up with Hasketh last week in the midst of a manic move. Though she was schlepping boxes and her boyfriend’s laundry home from a London launderette, she dropped it all to chat with us about her upcoming North American club shows, her spacey stage vibe and her laser harp. Read the full Q&A after the jump.

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Gloria Jones !!

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Photo (C) 1973 Jim Britt.

A while back we had the pleasure of interviewing soul singer Gloria Jones, otherwise known as “The Queen of Northern Soul” thanks to her underground club hit “Tainted Love”. Ms. Jones was Motown Records’ third female producer who, along with co-producer Pam Sawyer, penned classics such as Gladys Knight’s “If I Were Your Woman”. She also sang back-up for an exhaustive list of 1970s rock and R&B acts, including The Rolling Stones, Joe Cocker, Ike and Tina and glam rock band T-Rex.

In 1973 she recorded an album called Share My Love, a rousing gospel-and-reggae infused soul album which was re-issued earlier this year on Reel Music. For the past several years, she has been living in Sierra Leone where she has founded the Marc Bolan School of Music Film. We rang up The Gloria Jones to find out more about Share My Love and her expansive career. Read the full Q&A after the jump.

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!! OMG, a Q&A with Simon Rex !!

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Former MTV VJ turned ironic rapper turned Larry David aspirant Simon Rex spoke with !! omg blog !! a few nights ago about his new show REX. The pilot, written and directed by Guy Shalem, has been making the Internet rounds (we posted it last week) and I think it’s only a matter of time before it gets picked up by a network (Simon’s hoping for Showtime). It’s funny, in a scripted reality show sort of way (Simon compares it to Curb Your Enthusiasm and calls it the anti-Entourage), and features stellar performances from a diverse cast including Simon’s ex-girlfriend Jaime Pressly and fresh-faced funny man Jeffrey Aaron.

For those of you who only know Simon from THOSE movies, REX is a good chance to take him seriously as a comic actor. Read our full Q&A with Simon Rex after the jump.

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