KWIT

Music

The Norwegian songwriter and singer Siv Jakobsen seems to fill her tunes with a storm of lyrical tension, sung over a sea of instrumental calm — her new album, The Nordic Mellow, is not always as intense as the song we're premiering today, "Shallow Digger," would lead you to believe. (The high-powered arrangements here, in fact, remind me of Led Zeppelin's thunderous "Immigrant Song.")

We open on a beater driving across a washed-out Nevada, with an intro ripped right out of 1985. Echoing drums snap under a chugging bass line as Alex Cameron, dressed in all white, starts to sing about a wound deeper than the layers of synth that ramp up to the chorus — a relationship that you both cannot sustain and cannot leave.

Ani DiFranco's new album, her 20th, is called Binary. And, as is always the case with this artist, the music and the message are intertwined. The music on Binary is textured and ambitious — you can hear DiFranco's adopted home of New Orleans seeping through the floorboards. There are surprising guests, including Justin Vernon of Bon Iver.

The World's Ugliest Dog competition is a lie, or at least misleadingly named. Foldover skin, permanently protruding tongues, untameable wiry hair — those dogs are adorable and anyone who says otherwise has no heart. Noise-rock, on the other hand, thrives on ugly. It is the parasitic, shape-shifting monster of music, and Couch Slut is here to explosively mutate into a creature from The Thing.

Tim Westergren, the co-founder of Pandora who returned to the company's chief executive seat last year after the exit of Brian McAndrews, is leaving the company he started over 17 years ago, it was announced this morning. He will resign his position as chief executive and exit the company's board of directors.

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