news blog from Karri

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Shelby Lynne addresses family demons in “Revelation Road”


At another point, Lynne reminded the McCabe’s crowd that, in her new songs, she was discussing things “that I don’t even talk about to people I like.”If you know about Lynne’s troubled family history, the potential to hear something so deeply autobiographical in “Revelation Road” might sound both promising and potentially daunting. This is a woman who lost her parents to a murder-suicide, which she personally witnessed.The youthful trauma has been understandably off-limits over the years, but, sure enough, that ultimate taboo subject gets addressed in “Road’s” most startling song.As the album’s penultimate tune and emotional climax, “Heaven’s Only Days Down the Road” is written from the point of view of her late father, setting out with murder on his mind. “Hundred or so miles from the Mobile River/Lord I can’t have her so I got to kill her,” she begins, and you can hardly believe what you’re hearing.”Can’t blame the whiskey or my mammy’s ways/Two little girls are better off this way,” she adds in the final stanza, before frantic acoustic guitar strumming gives way to two muted pops that might go unnoticed by the casual listener.Lynne isn’t out to sensationalize this particular revelation: Press materials for the new album make no mention of the subject matter, and it didn’t seem to capture the notice of anyone reviewing the album in the days leading up to its release. In her weekend show, Lynne said she was trying to write about her father out of a place of love and understanding — and that’s an attitude that permeates even the less provocative moments of “Revelation Road,” certainly the most mature effort of her 12-album career.In most of her work since she famously switched from country to rock with her 2000 breakthrough, “I Am … Shelby Lynne” (still one of the greatest albums of the last 20 years), she’s focused on obsessive love and its bitter aftermath. And it would hardly be a Lynne album without at least a handful of those deeply romantically rueful tracks, including “The Thief” and “Toss It All Aside.”But she’s got some bigger fish to fry this time, starting with the title track, where she pits the fire-and-brimstone religionists she presumably grew up around in Alabama against the spiteful sinners she probably rubs up against a bit more of in her current California climes — and finds both wanting.”Bible beaters rest your fists, haters rest your ire/You’re both too young to know you’re mute, unconscious to the choir,” she sings. “But I can’t hold that against you, man/You’re on Revelation Road.”It’s hard to imagine any song that could address today’s culture wars with more sweetly bemused, we’re-in-this-mystery-together mutual forgiveness.Family is a recurring theme, for both better and worse. The happiest number is “I’ll Hold Your Head,” in which Lynne recalls the car trips where she, her sister (singer Allison Moorer), and their mother used to pick out three-part harmonies from the country songs they heard on the radio. Faint snippets of the old standard “Side by Side” are heard in the background, and it’s a fairly heartbreaking, if almost subliminal, touch.Family troubles in the Lynne family didn’t end with the aforementioned distant tragedy, apparently. At her weekend shows, the singer talked about an incident in which extended family came to visit and then tore off down the driveway in their Winnebago after an argument, never to be seen again.That incident, she said, inspired some of the more depressing new material, including a song whose chorus goes: “I want to go back so I can leave again.” Anyone with a love/hate relationship with the kin will relate.”Revelation Road” hardly marks the first time that Lynne has tended toward sadness. (Even her Christmas album last year included an anthem for Xmas depressives.) That history of sorrow in song culminates in “I Don’t Need a Reason to Cry,” where she sings, “Don’t know why it’s broke … My heart just told me now’s the time to frown.” You almost have to laugh at how perfectly she captures the melancholy temperament.Maybe we don’t need a reason to listen and cry along, but we’ve got one: Lynne has as rivetingly soulful a voice as any white woman working today, even if she’s smart and subtle enough to keep her agility largely under wraps. And she’s got the deceptively simple songwriting chops to give that alto something to do.If “Revelation Road” isn’t always so stylistically revelatory, it’s because she recorded the whole thing herself, for the first time, as a one-woman band. That’s a boon during the acoustic numbers that dominate the album, but a bane on the handful (like the title song) that are more fully arranged, since the drum-track programing sticks out like a sterile thumb. But being solitary in the studio may be what it took to come up with these more severe revelations, and sacrificing a few more organic snare fills was worth it.If the sound of stark honesty is even remotely your bag, you’ll want to follow Lynne’s “Road” less taken.

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UPDATE 5-Citi posts higher earnings but warns on growth


* Asia revenue rising, helped by retail business* Non-accrual loan portfolio shrinks* Shares down 1 percent in afternoon tradingBy Joe RauchOct 17 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc reported higher quarterly earnings, helped by an accounting gain, but warned that developed markets could face weak growth for years, and the bank’s shares fell.Stripping out the accounting gain, third-quarter earnings were better than expected, and Citi’s stock rallied initially. But shares later weakened after senior bank executives sounded cautious notes on the economy and lending margins.Like its rivals, Citigroup was hit by the European debt crisis and the sluggish U.S. economy. Investment banking fees dropped and its loan book fell 2 percent. Operating expenses rose, in part because of investments made to boost its business.Chief Executive Vikram Pandit is trying to turn the bank around after the financial crisis by focusing on emerging markets, where economies are still growing relatively quickly. The weak U.S. economy also weighed on results at JPMorgan Chase & CoWells Fargo & Co .”In the developed markets, growth is likely to be slow for years,” Pandit said in a conference call with analysts.He also said the U.S. housing market remains the “greatest risk” that domestic banks face.Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said the bank’s net interest margin is expected to decline by “a couple of basis points” in upcoming quarters, absent a significant portfolio sale.Overseas growth has helped Citigroup in recent quarters, but there are early signs of difficulties in its emerging markets business. For example, retail loan volume in Latin America dropped 7 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter.Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. bank by assets, reported net income of $3.77 billion, or $1.23 per share, up from $2.17 billion, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.The latest results included a pretax gain of $1.9 billion, or 39 cents per share after taxes, due to the bank’s widening credit spreads during the quarter. When a bank’s debt weakens relative to U.S. Treasuries, it can record an accounting gain because it could profit from buying back debt.Excluding that gain, Citi earned $2.6 billion, or 84 cents per share. Analysts’ average forecast was 81 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.In afternoon trading, Citi shares were down 29 cents, or 1 percent, to $28.11. They rose as high as $29.48 in morning dealings.INVESTMENT BANKING HITLike JPMorgan, Citigroup’s investment banking business was hurt when European market turmoil made companies reluctant to buy competitors or issue securities.Revenue at Citi’s continuing securities and banking business fell 12 percent excluding the debt value adjustment, to $4.84 billion.Overall operating expenses rose 8 percent from a year earlier. Operating expenses were $12.46 billion and have been hovering around that level since the fourth quarter of 2010. From the beginning of 2009 through the third quarter of 2010, quarterly operating expenses were typically closer to $11.9 billion.Citi, which received three U.S. government rescues at the height of the financial crisis, is seeing its problem loan portfolio shrink.Nonaccrual loans fell to $7.95 billion in the third quarter from $12.46 billion a year earlier.The bank’s share price has fallen about 40 percent this year, in line with declines for other large banks.

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UPDATE 5-Citi posts higher earnings but warns on growth


* Asia revenue rising, helped by retail business* Non-accrual loan portfolio shrinks* Shares down 1 percent in afternoon tradingBy Joe RauchOct 17 (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc reported higher quarterly earnings, helped by an accounting gain, but warned that developed markets could face weak growth for years, and the bank’s shares fell.Stripping out the accounting gain, third-quarter earnings were better than expected, and Citi’s stock rallied initially. But shares later weakened after senior bank executives sounded cautious notes on the economy and lending margins.Like its rivals, Citigroup was hit by the European debt crisis and the sluggish U.S. economy. Investment banking fees dropped and its loan book fell 2 percent. Operating expenses rose, in part because of investments made to boost its business.Chief Executive Vikram Pandit is trying to turn the bank around after the financial crisis by focusing on emerging markets, where economies are still growing relatively quickly. The weak U.S. economy also weighed on results at JPMorgan Chase & CoWells Fargo & Co .”In the developed markets, growth is likely to be slow for years,” Pandit said in a conference call with analysts.He also said the U.S. housing market remains the “greatest risk” that domestic banks face.Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said the bank’s net interest margin is expected to decline by “a couple of basis points” in upcoming quarters, absent a significant portfolio sale.Overseas growth has helped Citigroup in recent quarters, but there are early signs of difficulties in its emerging markets business. For example, retail loan volume in Latin America dropped 7 percent in the third quarter from the second quarter.Citigroup, the third-largest U.S. bank by assets, reported net income of $3.77 billion, or $1.23 per share, up from $2.17 billion, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier.The latest results included a pretax gain of $1.9 billion, or 39 cents per share after taxes, due to the bank’s widening credit spreads during the quarter. When a bank’s debt weakens relative to U.S. Treasuries, it can record an accounting gain because it could profit from buying back debt.Excluding that gain, Citi earned $2.6 billion, or 84 cents per share. Analysts’ average forecast was 81 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.In afternoon trading, Citi shares were down 29 cents, or 1 percent, to $28.11. They rose as high as $29.48 in morning dealings.INVESTMENT BANKING HITLike JPMorgan, Citigroup’s investment banking business was hurt when European market turmoil made companies reluctant to buy competitors or issue securities.Revenue at Citi’s continuing securities and banking business fell 12 percent excluding the debt value adjustment, to $4.84 billion.Overall operating expenses rose 8 percent from a year earlier. Operating expenses were $12.46 billion and have been hovering around that level since the fourth quarter of 2010. From the beginning of 2009 through the third quarter of 2010, quarterly operating expenses were typically closer to $11.9 billion.Citi, which received three U.S. government rescues at the height of the financial crisis, is seeing its problem loan portfolio shrink.Nonaccrual loans fell to $7.95 billion in the third quarter from $12.46 billion a year earlier.The bank’s share price has fallen about 40 percent this year, in line with declines for other large banks.

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UPDATE 1-UGI buys some of Shell’s European businesses


Oct 14 (Reuters) - UGI Corp said it acquired some European businesses of oil and gas major Royal Dutch Shell Plc to expand its European Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) business to over 700 million gallons.”The acquired businesses provide UGI with an attractive opportunity to expand our footprint in northern Europe to LPG markets that are in close proximity to our existing operations in France and Central Europe,” the company said in a statement.The Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based company did not disclose the value of the deal but said it would modestly add to UGI’s 2012 profit.The acquired LPG businesses - located in United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden - delivered about 300 million gallons of LPG in 2010, UGI said.Both companies could not be reached for comments.UGI’s shares closed at $26.83 on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Suspect identified in California hair salon shooting


Police named the suspect as 42-year-old Scott Evans Dekraai of nearby Huntington Beach, who was expected to face multiple counts of murder in a shooting rampage that has been called the worst in Orange County history.Dekraai’s former wife worked as a hairstylist at the Salon Meritage, friends and business associates said. Authorities have declined to say if she was among the nine people shot on Wednesday afternoon, eight of them fatally.The remaining victim was listed in critical condition at Long Beach Memorial Hospital, police said.The Orange County District Attorney’s Office declined comment on the case on Thursday, pending a press conference scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday morning.Dekraai was taken into custody about half a mile from the salon in the heart of Seal Beach — a town about 20 miles southeast of Los Angeles known by its residents as “Mayberry-by-the-Sea” for its bucolic, small-town feel.A tearful Jim Watson, who developed the shopping center and still owns the building housing Salon Meritage, stood in front of the shuttered shop, its windows masked with black plastic and closed blinds.Watson said he was a friend and customer of the salon’s owner, Randy Fannin, who he said was killed in the attack.”I just made a connection with Randy, I liked the way he cut my hair and I liked him as a person,” Watson said, adding he had last seen Fannin several weeks earlier.Watson said he was also a casual acquaintance of several of the hairstylists there, including Dekraai’s ex-wife, and was waiting to hear if they had survived.He said the community of Seal Beach, which had previously experienced only four homicides in the past decade, was shaken by the shooting rampage.”This a beautiful community, absolutely marvelous, safe and quiet, people are very friendly, most people know each other,” Watson said.The shooting ranks as the worst mass killing in Orange County’s history, surpassing the seven killed and two wounded in a shooting by Edward Charles Allaway at Cal State Fullerton in 1976, according to the Orange County Register newspaperWildflowers and roses were left at the salon’s door, along with a poem, written on lined notebook paper, titled “8 souls.”

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New Issue-EIB adds 1.0 bln SEK to 2016 bond


Borrower European Investment Bank (EIB)Issue Amount 1.0 billion Swedish crownMaturity Date July 12, 2016Coupon 4.0 pctIssue price 107.5Payment Date October 25, 2011Lead Manager(s) Danske Bank & HSBCRatings Aaa (Moody’s), AAA (S&P),AAA (Fitch)Listing LuxFull fees 1.875 pctDenoms (K) 10Notes The issue size will total 2.25 billionSwedish crown when fungibleISIN XS0605525764Security details and RIC, when available, will beonCustomers can right-click on the code forperformance analysis of this new issueFor ratings information, double click onFor all bonds data, double click onFor Top international bonds newsFor news about this issuer, double click on the issuer RIC,where assigned, and hit the newskey (F9 on Reuters terminals)Data supplied by International Insider.

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EURO GOVT-Bund extends losses, key support seen at 131.25


"I don’t think he said anything we didn’t know already," said one trader.Another trader put the move down to technical factors:"As far as I can see from as technical point of view there’s very little support till we get down to 131.25… at the moment the market is pushing on an open door and that’s consistent with the better risk appetite as the flight to safety of the last six weeks is unwinding," the second trader said.

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Italy EGP starts building 150 MW U.S. wind farm


EGP’s North American unit, which owns 51 percent of the project, will develop it together with its partner TradeWind Energy. The wind farm will help avoid the annual emission of over 470,000 tonnes of CO2.