Pokey LaFarge's self-styled image as dusty old troubadour extends even to his name, a handle that sounds borrowed from a freight train-hopping, dustbowl-era storyteller of a certain Woody Guthrie vintage. Eight albums on, he's done little to alter that perception, thanks to a sound that traces its roots to the back porches of America's heartland. From the sly saunter of opening track "Riot in the Streets" to the vampish "Mother Nature," LaFarge and his feisty six piece band sound like refugees from the roadhouse circuit, all sass and swagger with plenty of juke jump energy to spare.
At the end of Manic Revelations, Pokey LaFarge sings "I will never change" -- a sentiment that he's spent the entirety of his sixth studio set disproving. Ditching the old-timey routine that's been his stock in trade since 2008, LaFarge embraces the open-hearted soul of the '60s, a sound that's nearly as retro as the pre-WWII folk, country, and jazz that populated his earlier albums. The shift in sound was propelled by his outrage over the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of his hometown of St.
I read the news today. Oh boy. Not Pokey La Farge. He knows that it's all bad, even when it's not awful. That doesn't mean LaFarge doesn't stay current. Several songs on the Missouri denizen's latest release, Manic Revelations, concern topical subjects such as riots in the street, the dangers of ….
A weekly look at must-hear music from The Times' pop staff. This week's picks include the exquisite, adventurous pop of Perfume Genius, the fiery Americana of Pokey LaFarge and more. Perfume Genius, "No Shape" (Matador). On his breathtaking fourth studio album, "No Shape," Mike Hadreas, who performs as Perfume Genius, conveys such a wide breadth of emotion that it's hard to know whether to shower him with rose petals, fetch him a cocktail or load him onto a gurney.