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Alina Simone: A Tragic-comic Journey Through the Indie Rock World

In conversation with Eric J. Lawrence
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Episode Summary
In her wickedly bittersweet and hilarious novel You Must Go and Win, the Ukrainian-born, critically acclaimed singer traces her bizarre journey through the indie rock world, from disastrous Craigslist auditions with sketchy producers to catching fleas in a Williamsburg sublet. Simone performs songs from her newly released Make Your Own Danger album.

Participant(s) Bio
Alina Simone is a singer and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She was born in the Ukraine and came to the U.S. at a young age as the daughter of political refugees after her father refused recruitment by the KGB and was blacklisted for 'refusal to cooperate.' After the release of her first EP, Prettier in the Dark and her debut album, Placelessness, Simone became known for her sparse instrumentation and raw and powerful delivery, earning national airplay and critical acclaim. In 2008, Simone released Everyone is Crying Out to Me, Beware, an homage to the music of Russian cult icon, Yanka Dyagileva, a Siberian punk-folk singer who drowned under mysterious circumstances in 1991. A second album, Make Your Own Danger is Simone's most lush and fully realized work to date, with a larger cast of musicians and exotic touches including flute, autoharp, horns, Brazilian drumming and vocal loops. You Must Go and Win is her first book.

Eric J. Lawrence has a musical mind unlike any other. As KCRW's Music Librarian, his encyclopedic knowledge of music ranges from the latest acts to classic TV themes and other criminally overlooked tunes, hidden gems, and guilty pleasures. Indiana-born and LA-raised EJL, as he is affectionately known, scours all genres, from psychedelic rock to glitchy electronica, in search of the most compelling tracks to share with the listeners on his weekly Sunday night show (12a to 3am).