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McGurdy, Ed – “Best of Daliance, The” – [Rhino Records Inc.]

If the word “titillating” makes you blush or gives you a chub, this album’s for you. Naughty. Bawdy. Tawdry. All these “aw” sounding words to help explain “The Best of Daliance”, taken from a series of albums put out in the 1950′s on the then new Elektra Records, based on the 18th century songs of Elizabethan writer Tom D’Urfey. Put together and sung by Ed McCurdy, a 1950′s Greenwich Village fixture and naughty sort in his own right, these songs are all suggestive larks describing couples… or trios… or groups of people enjoying themselves in the best way possible. Lots of lines about “stoking the fire”, his long pole pushing into the oven, the maidens cherry complexion loosing it’s color and on and on. Blacksmiths must have been having sex all the time. Career change at 55? Possibly. The musical interpretations are smooth, taking us back to the early 1700′s when there wasn’t much to do but constantly milk the cow. Alan Arkin plays flute!!!! and Erik Darling, later of the Weavers, plays banjo, taking the place of lute. The CD cover is pink fuzzy suede. Go figure.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 12, 2018 at 10:02 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • McGurdy, Ed – “Best of Daliance, The” – [Rhino Records Inc.]

    If the word “titillating” makes you blush or gives you a chub, this album’s for you. Naughty. Bawdy. Tawdry. All these “aw” sounding words to help explain “The Best of Daliance”, taken from a series of albums put out in the 1950′s on the then new Elektra Records, based on the 18th century songs of Elizabethan writer Tom D’Urfey. Put together and sung by Ed McCurdy, a 1950′s Greenwich Village fixture and naughty sort in his own right, these songs are all suggestive larks describing couples… or trios… or groups of people enjoying themselves in the best way possible. Lots of lines about “stoking the fire”, his long pole pushing into the oven, the maidens cherry complexion loosing it’s color and on and on. Blacksmiths must have been having sex all the time. Career change at 55? Possibly. The musical interpretations are smooth, taking us back to the early 1700′s when there wasn’t much to do but constantly milk the cow. Alan Arkin plays flute!!!! and Erik Darling, later of the Weavers, plays banjo, taking the place of lute. The CD cover is pink fuzzy suede. Go figure.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 12, 2018 at 10:02 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Ostertag, Bob – “DJ of The Month” – [Seeland Records]

    Bob Ostertag is a true Renaissance Man: author, professor, political activist, composer, electronic musician, journalist, creator of his own software based laptop instruments and more. His work stands out for its uniqueness, creativity, political stance, beauty and challenging qualities. “DJ of The Month” is a 40 minute single track of electronic onslaught and subtlety, mixed together and separated. Sounds flash past and reverberate around and through the listener, taking them on a unique meditative journey. It does become hypnotic in its movement of sound. The piece is meant as a meditation requiring focus and concentration. I know a few of the DJ’s who will play the whole thing. So worth it.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 7, 2018 at 12:30 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Funky Chimes [coll] – [Sdban Records]

    I live for this type of collection: “Funky Chimes”, a collection of 27 Belgian session musicians and sort of stars from the 1970′s, experimenting with “funk, jazz, latin and other groovy genres.” Did you get that it’s from Belgium, a place most people don’t initially think of for it’s music (which is wrong, of course)? It’s library music. It’s songs for commercials. It’s music your 1970′s Belgian parents would play to relax and feel cool with. The overwhelming notes with photos of each album cover should be more than enough to convince you of the outright grooviness of this stuff. Just look at some of those covers. And the names of the groups and songs: The Indian Sound of… Black Foot, Selectasound ’88 & The Bob Boon Singers, The Free Pop Electronic Concept and on and on. Of course, the stunner among stunners is Hearts of Soul and Shampoo performing “We Love the Policeman”. This is the more challenging second release in the series, the first being “Funky Chicken”. Looking for it as I type.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 6, 2018 at 10:55 pm
  • Filed as CD,International
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  • Battles – “EP C/B EP” – [Warp Records Ltd]

    Battles: math rock, post rock, art rock. Whatever. These two EP’s from 2004, brought together as a double album, are Battles as a foursome, including Tyondai Braxton. That’s early Battles. Exquisite interplay of guitars, bass, keyboard and drums, spilling out patterns, breaking them apart, overlapping, interpreting, adjusting. This is the project at it’s beginnings, establishing a foundation of what would follow. Calculate away.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on February 6, 2018 at 8:41 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Still, William Grant – “Works By William Grant Still” – [New World Records (2)]

    William Grant Still was a 20th Century classical composer, creating pieces often in the neo-romantic and neo-impressionism style. Born in Woodville, Mississippi and spending most of his early days in Little Rock, Arkansas, he was musically influenced by his step father’s record collection. Listening to opera as well as learning to play violin honed his interest in classical music. Seeing his fist orchestra perform at Oberlin college settled it: he would compose music. This did not come easy, of course. He played in jazz bands, wrote jazz arrangements for Artie Shaw, and travelled to California in hopes of writing music for films and television. He had minor success with this but it influenced his ideas on orchestrations. Still was the first African American composer to “secure extensive publication and significant performances” of his work. He was considered the patriarch of Black classical music, being the culmination of the Harlem Renaissance. Even though he studied under Edgard Varese, his style went toward a more traditional sound.
    The selections on this collection cover many of his diverse projects, from fully orchestrated pieces to simpler tunes composed to poems by Black poets. The Ennanga pieces are his attempt to connect to his African heritage, though at the time he wrote them he did not have access to African music recordings. These pieces became his interpretation. Just like the Florence Price work at our station, this is an important addition to our collection.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on December 10, 2017 at 11:16 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Delerue, Georges – “Jules & Jim/Georges Delerue:film Music of Francois Truffaut” – [Nonesuch]

    Like Bernard Herrmann was to Alfred Hitchcock and John Williams is to Steven Spielberg, Georges Delerue was the musical connection and interpreter to Francois Truffaut. Delerue scored music for over 200 films, composed operas, sound and light shows, ballets and chamber pieces, but his eleven collaborations with French New Wave film master Truffaut stand out in soundtrack history. Delerue was able to interpret Truffaut’s rich tales of romance and heartbreak, mystery and intrigue and the process of film making itself (Day For Night). From fully orchestrated pieces to the familiar solo upright piano solo, “Charlie” from Shoot the Piano Player, these performances by the London Sinfonietta showcase a rich understanding as to why Delerue is so important to film. Use as an auditory palette cleanser or entremets between your sonic onslaught.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on December 9, 2017 at 12:47 am
  • Filed as CD,Soundtrack
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  • Trickett, Ed/Bok, Gordon/Muir, Ann Mayo/ – “All Shall Be Well Again” – [Folk-Legacy Records, Inc.]

    Folk trio, Ed Trickett, Gordon Bok and Ann Mayo Muir have been making and performing folk music since the early 1970′s and before. Hailing from the New England states, the three sing of places and events belonging to the East Coast and it’s history with Great Britain. Songs of sailing (Bok is also a boatman), ancient English mystics, life in the country, children’s ballads and more fill the 12 numbers with quiet, sadness, an overwhelming sense of memory, and an almost painful longing for the past. With just acoustic guitar and vocals, harmonious vocals playing with and around each other, the songs remind me of how quality folk music is the true predecessor to so much of the music of sadness that we love at the station. Just really one of my favorite recordings. Beautiful anytime of the day or night.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on December 8, 2017 at 11:59 pm
  • Filed as CD,Country
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  • Shane, Jackie – “Any Other Way” – [Numero Group]

    This is the most amazing thing I have reviewed in a long time. Jackie Shane, born in Nashville, soul singer who worked a lot in Toronto, left the scene in 1971 not to be heard from again for decades until just recently. Born a woman in a man’s body, she lived trans and gay, never apologizing, never turning away. Proud of who she was.
    She was a soul singer supreme who would TESTIFY to the audience about herself, about how they needed to deal with it and get it together. Her voice went from cool to wail and all in between. The tracks on this exquisite collection sizzle and pop with covers of soul classics as well as lesser known, but equally superb songs. “In My Tenement” is THE hit, as are the numbers on the Live disc which keep up the full on banter she would give to her wudiences. Read the booklet. An amazing life including gangsters and kidnapping. Jackie Shane is the real deal.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on December 3, 2017 at 9:46 pm
  • Filed as CD,Soul
  • 1 comment
  • Dusty, Slim – “Singer From Down Under” – [EMI Records]

    Australian cultural icon and superstar of Australian country music, making popular the style known as “the bush ballad”, and having recorded 106 albums up to the time of his death in 2003, Slim was a unique brand. The 12 songs on “Singer From Down Under” all feel very familiar. The playing style is simple with Dusty’s straight forward drawl. Songs about drinking and drinking, and then drinking with colloquailisms thrown in for good measure. The whole thing is a hoot. Worthy of some good down home fun. Play it then get a drink in the lobby.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on December 3, 2017 at 8:21 pm
  • Filed as CD,Country
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  • Hone, Logan – “Variety Show” – [Wellness Association of Los Angeles]

    Phew!!!!!! Wow!!!!! Man!!!!! Not quite outsider but sort of because of production values and oddness. A+++++++. Mostly solo, multi-instrumentalist. Neurotic and sane songs of love and life. Beats sound like the 1980′s sometimes. Instruments sound like from the 1980′s sometimes. Hints of Eno. Hints of post-punk. Hints of pop. But wait…. it is all so TWISTED. Track 1, “I Miss You”, starts out with a drum beat that feels j..u..s..t.. a bit tooooo slow. In comes a familiar guitar riff, then an electronic piano blurble, vocals sounding a bit like a chant, some off the wall guitar, more electronic mistakes, and full up rockestra with instruments that seem to have been found at the local thrift store. YEP!!!! With a big smile on my face I settled back in my old ’97 Lexus and scuttled down the black as midnight hwy 280, blasting this audio gem. Each track is like it’s own sonic universe: tweaked enough to be unique from the last track but familiar with the Logan Hone thread. Superb lyrics made me laugh out loud more than once and had me nodding in agreement. “Get In the Car” may be my favorite pop number of the month because it goes for it and then churns it up. Bravo for something so familiar and yet so beautifully strange. Refreshing. It gives me hope for new sounds.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 24, 2017 at 10:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Pikacyu-Makoto – “Galaxilympics” – [Upset The Rhythm]

    Guitarist Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple (oh…my…god) and drummer/vocalist Pikacyu of Afrirampo (OH…MY…GODDESS). That should just about do it. Nine songs of psychedelic madness, some with vocals, some with growls, some with calm, some with guitar and drum onslaught, all with an amazing interplay of rhythm, riff and raw vision. This is a trip without the tab. Check out their live sets on YouTube. Yes please. Explode your head.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 24, 2017 at 12:25 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Cremator, The [coll] – [Finders Keepers Records]

    Czech New Wave Cinema of the 1960′s had some pretty twisted, beautifully filmed and challenging films, many of which were not seen for decades due to the government banning them. Juraj Herz’s “The Cremator”, from 1969 is one of these. The tale of a cremator who is obsessed with the Tibetan Book of the Dead and the passing of the Dalai Lama, who is influenced by Nazi sympathizers (it takes place in the 1930′s) who talk to him about the importance of his partial German heritage, his half Jewish wife who is the mother of his two sons, his eventual spiral into madness as he realizes it is his purpose to send people back to the dust from which they came… let’s just say it won’t end well. It’s described as a horror comedy. Well, if anyone can make Nazi’s funny, the Czech’s can. A film with this overwhelming storyline needs a strong soundtrack and classic Czech experimental soundtrack composer Zdenek Liska does the trick. Moving away from his usual found sound and re- sampling type style, Liska goes orchestral for this endeavor. Rich, haunting orchestral pieces with soprano singer Vlasta Soumarova Mlejnkova chanting out vocalizations of sounds, not words, fill the spaces. Think echoes in large abandoned cathedrals where sounds bounce around, “celestial choral” sections accompanied by chimes and bells. Think giallo richness. Think old school haunted houses where strangeness lurks. Beautiful moody settings, perfect for a crematorium. Indulge. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 23, 2017 at 11:49 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Soundtrack
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  • Mimmo, Gianni – “One Way Ticket” – [Amirani Records/Amirani Contemporary]

    Gianni Mimmo is that unique musician/artist that is so dedicated to his craft, his art, that he really lives it to the fullest. “One Way Ticket” is a solo project for this soprano sax jazz improviser, but here the improvisation is with a twist. The fifteen selections, bookended by spoken word, include original compositions and eight interpretations of classic works by artists including, Mingus, Lacy, Monk, Webern, and Ellington. On the international jazz circuit, Mimmo is compared to Steve Lacy in his skill and expertise. It shows here. Interweaving such an array of sounds and tones Mimmo plays with ideas, elongating sounds and then switching shape with lightening speed. The recording is so intimate that we hear Mimmo’s breathing, his buzz into the horn, his fingers pressing the keys and the keys moving on the saxophone. These sounds become faint, but continuous percussive additions to the sound of the sax itself. Unique, challenging, elegant. .

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 23, 2017 at 10:26 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Oxbow – “Thin Black Duke” – [Hydra Head Records]

    “Thin Black Duke” is Oxbow’s 7th album in 30+ years and their first release in 10 years. It is a stunner. Like the bands Swans, The Fall, Psychic TV, and Half Japanese, Oxbow is in the category of having survived longer than possibly initially thought and yet still creating new sounds. They are not in the retro circuit. With age hopefully comes maturity in one’s art. Such is the case here. Eight songs of dense musical interactions with lyrical depth. Is this a song cycle? Is this Oxbow’s stadium rock album? If only stadium rock was like this. Track one starts out with a whistle then falls into a symphonic cacophony before the toe tapping song takes over. This sets the stage. Bassist Dan Adams, drummer Greg Davis, singer Eugene S. Robinson, and guitarist Niko Wenner work so well on these tales of observation of sadness, difficulty, challenge…..life. Song structures change mid song, going from symphonic to almost noise. Layered guitar drum and bass with piano embrace Robinson’s distinctive voice and vocalizations, interpreting the cinematic lyrics with growls, howls, whispers, purrs, hisses …. haunting and always keeping the listener on their toes. Musical themes run through the works, like leitmotifs. Multiple listenings are needed to gain interpretation. This is a work for contemplation. Enjoy.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on October 22, 2017 at 12:14 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Nerftoss – “Maiden Powers” – [Ehse Records]

    Nerftoss, the solo project of musician John Jones is a pleasure from a variety of styles pulled together to make a unique, infectious sound. “Caliber” one of the few tracks with vocals, feels like post-shoegaze, with the vocals quieter than the bass, indistinguishable yet domineering. Many of the tracks are a type of loop of rhythmic beats or hypnotic drone and psychedelic patterns, pumping, pumping, pumping forward while odd rhythms and chords pop in and out commenting to each other while the loop continues forward.
    New Psychedelia transforming your head. Turn on.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 19, 2017 at 10:35 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Morgen Wurde – “Brach Auf” – [Time Released Sound]

    Morgen Wurde is Wolfgang Rottger from Kiel, the German port city on the Baltic that was a major manufacturer of subs and boats during WWII. It was also mostly destroyed by bombing during WWII. Does this matter? I think place and history affect artistic creation one way or another. With references to fire, whether it be destructive or transformative, the 11 tracks present a fluctuating tone of electronic swirl and percussive tone reminiscent of Tangerine Dream and other such groups but with an obvious 21st century bent. Propulsive yet ambient, electronic in a space journey type of manner. Flow over, through and beyond the space portal.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 19, 2017 at 9:50 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Mezei, Szilard / Guazzaloca, Nicola – “Lucca and Bologna Concerts” – [Amirani Records/Amirani Contemporary]

    A brilliant recording by Hungarian viola player, Szilard Mezei and Italian piano player, Nicola Guazzaloca. These master musicians pair up for recordings at 2 concerts and give performances of improvisational bliss. From slow and quiet almost silence, to loud bursts of volatile sound, Szilard bows, scratches and engulfs his viola, nursing and cursing a rich array of sounds, even bits and hints of Hungarian folk tunes. Nicaola, plucks and strums the inside of the piano then moves to eloquent chords, patterns, trills and other innovations on the piano keyboard. The interplay between them is thrilling to listen to, hearing the two shadow and mimic each other, then explore around the other’s sounds. Serious for sure, but fun. Lots of fun from these improvisers.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 18, 2017 at 11:06 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Angels In America – “Narrow Road to The Interior” – [Ehse Records]

    Wiped out, stoned, addicted, dusty, dirt, heat, squatting in infested broken down buildings: these are the feelings I get when hearing Angels In America’s “Narrow Road To The Interior”. Don’t get me wrong. I actually LOVE this sound, like walking through tar or muddy snow after eating something you shouldn’t have or didn’t know you had. Moppy Pont and Merv Glisten are the duo that make up this Baltimore based project, creating echoing vocals, kind of mumbled, sometimes just too tired to get the word out. Harmonies stumble through the sound infested background, filled with drones, lost choral repetitions, the sounds of detritus and wind, electronic surprises and irritants with guitar and maybe bass accompaniment, broken up beats, then a wail or scream. God, I love this so much. Kick back on your filthiest couch, listen and indulge in what feeds you. AIA rule.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 16, 2017 at 5:14 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Perkis, Tim / Walton, Scott – “Applied Cryptography” – [Pfmentum]

    Upon hearing the first notes of this 2016 work by Tim Perkis (electronics) and Scott Walton (piano), I felt I was experiencing something bigger, something grander than many of the unique pieces of which I have the privilege of hearing. Perkis’ instrument is things electronic. Walton is a multi-instrumentalist, on this release performing piano. They are both skilled, knowledgeable and experienced performers. On this CD, something clicked, at least for me. An interplay of piano interludes, improvisations, arpeggios, and chords play with, around and against the electronic soundscape of blips, skronks, squelches, buzzes, hums and more. The piano is fully explored, even inside as wire is pulled and scraped. Or is that the electronics mimicking the piano? The quality of interplay between the two musicians and their instruments is stunning. The playing is shared with one not overwhelming the other but playing along side and in conversation with the other. Both may settle into quiet or one will dominate while the other supports or reacts. Sometimes they go in different directions, but they never get lost. Alas, the sound of experience and skill and creativity. If we did a top ten of the year, this would definitely be on my list.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on September 15, 2017 at 9:20 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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