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New mom Laura Veirs gets down to business on 'Warp and Weft'

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'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Brian Krasman
Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 6:43 p.m.

‘Warp and Weft'

Laura Veirs (Raven Marching Band)


As she awaited becoming a mother for the second time, Laura Veirs got down to business on her ninth record ‘Warp and Weft” and came up with the most unique albums of her stellar career and one of her darkest and most agitated.

If you don't get the hang of that from the somber, hurting “America,” anything from a patriotic flag waver, then you're not paying attention. Even something like “Shape Shifter” feels dark, with winter approaching, but she expands her thinking on county-rich opener “Sun Song” (featuring Neko Case); the great “Finster Saw the Angels”; and the rousing, rocking “That Alice,” a tribute to Alice Contrane. This is arguably Veirs' best album.Go show her some love Sept. 23 at Club Cafe.

‘Loud City Song'

Julia Holter (Domino)


How you feel about Julia Holter's second record likely depends on your fame of mind and your level of patience. Holter is all over the map, she might seem pretentious, and her music isn't easy to embrace. But it's a lot of fun, it's rich with adventure, and it contains a level of creativity almost unmatched anywhere.

Holter can be jazzy and fluttery one moment, confrontational the next, and each track on “Loud City Song” has its own personality, from the lush, wondrous World” to the dreamy carnival madness of “Maxims I” and “II” to the weird and aquatic “This Is a True Heart.” Fans of My Brightest Diamond and St. Vincent might find value in Holter, one of this era's most perplexing musicians.

‘Hero Brother'

Sarah Neufeld (Constellation)


Sarah Nuefeld is best known as being the violin player for indie rock giants Arcade Fire, but that association shouldn't make you have certain expectations about her debut “Hero Brother.” This record is not a bombastic, heart-swelling adventure and is, instead, a personal, quiet effort based almost entirely on her violin playing.

The 11-track record puts Neufeld's playing and composition skills at the forefront, and you hear her expressive, emotional creations in a new way on these intriguing pieces, including the piercing title track, droning and swirling “Breathing Black Ground,” and dark and stormy closer “Below.”

Brian Krasman is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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