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Ides of Gemini: Carthage / Strange Fruit 7"

This gem was released back in April, one of those special offers created for Record Store Day. Although I'm coming to it late, I find it to be nothing less than a delightful and honest nine minutes of music.

I begin with "Strange Fruit." Billie Holiday's version of this song, a protest against lynching, is about as perfect as it gets. Her performance was stirring and powerful, a provocation and a reminder of the awful toll that comes when racism masquerades as justice. Although many others have recorded their own take on this song, Holiday's version cannot be topped. It's a recording for the ages. The version available here does not change things, but I heartily recommend it because of its reverence and melancholy. As a teacher, I sometimes play Billie Holiday's song for my students. I will now play that version and this version. I think it would be profitable to hear the contrast between performances.

"Carthage," an Ides of Gemini original, obviously has less historical significance but it nevertheless a stirring and powerful song. I was especially drawn to the rhythm pounded out by the drum behind the guitars. Things change about 90 seconds in, but the introduction was enough to hook me and keep me interested. This song was originally written and recorded during work on Old World New Wave. It will certainly please fans of the band.

If you've got nine minutes, spend it with Ides of Gemini.

Track Listing:
1. Carthage
2. Strange Fruit

Added: June 19th 2015
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1565
Language: english

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