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Sir Dark Invader vs. the Fanglord

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Editors’ Notes

Here, Brit Jon Langford of the much venerated Mekons and California-born singer-songwriter Richard Buckner get together, and there’s far more at work than the two troubadours throwing down a few cold ones for kicks. The meeting of Langford’s glass-half-full vibe with Buckner’s brand of resignation-verging-on-despair results in a perfect emotional mix, and their vocal styles (Langford’s hopeful yelp, Buckner’s darkly prophetic rasp) play off each other charmingly. They wrote three tracks each, and three are collaborations. Two of those — the opening “Rolling of the Eyes” and “The Inca Princess” — are raucous, joyfully messy songs that recall beer-soaked Mekons shows, while the third collaboration, “No Tears Tonight,” finds the two commiserating together, with both performers’ sensitive sides seeping out between mandolins and mariachis. Individually penned tracks mirror their author’s oeuvres, but occasionally Buckner might sing in a Langford-ized shanty style (the beautifully sorrowful “Nothing to Show”), or sound like he’s on a foot-stomping Mekons track (“Torn Apart”). Buckner, for the most part, sounds like himself on his own tunes, his best being “Do You Wanna Go Somewhere?,” which echoes and aches with all the loneliness of an empty room.

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Born: 1958 in Newport, Wales

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

There's a jolly absurdity in that one of the most important figures on the independent Americana scene and one of the most prolific figures in Chicago's musical community is a guy from Wales who helped found an enduring U.K. punk outfit. But since the mid-'80s, Jon Langford has been a key figure in the nexus between country and punk rock, as well as a vital collaborator with a wealth of musicians from around the world. Jonathan Denis Langford was born in Newport, Wales on October 11, 1957. From...
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Sir Dark Invader vs. the Fanglord, Jon Langford
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