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1997 album from one of the original queens of ska and reggae. Recording solo albums since 1970, she often collaborated with the Skatellites starting in the mid-1960s before becoming their lead singer in 1994. This album is like a sweet breath of fresh air. Her vocals are warm and soothing, and the subject matter is pretty lovey dovey. There are elements of ska, straight reggae, and even soul. A nice cover of “Groovy Kind of Love” is just one of many sweet love tunes. This simply put me in the best mood while doing things around the house.
Improvised compositions from electric/acoustic sound artist Timo van Luijk. This is mostly experimental scratches, squabbles and noise walls that go from nearly inaudible to incredibly loud and abrasive. The last 3 tracks were easier for me to listen to than the first 3, mostly because they feature some melodic and percussive elements. This is dark and unnerving, and Im not even going to start with the cover art. My nightmares have some new featured players. That is all Im gonna say.
Together since 1993, this 2001 release from French-German duo of Franoise Cactus and Brezel (‘pretzel‘) Goring is so much fun, I didnt want it to end. Alternative electro pop-hop with video game vibes. While Cactus bangs on the drums and provides the majority of vocals in French (some in English, and German too… I think!), Goring does his thing on synth and guitar. The last track was remixed by Felix Kubin, so that should give you a good idea of what to expect. Neat-O!
James Hunter out of the UK has written and provides warm and gritty vocals for all songs on this album out on GO/ Fantasy Records. After touring for 20 years with the likes of Van Morrison (for whom he was a backup singer) Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, and the late Etta James, Hunter is back with his 5 piece band (now giving them name credit after many years of touring as his dedicated backup band). Channeling his pain from the 2011 loss of his wife Jacqueline to cancer, he has dedicated this great album of throwback classic R&B to her. For someone who has undergone such a huge loss, this is surprisingly upbeat with guitar, sax, drums, organ, bass, piano, vibraphone, percussion, and was produced by Gabriel Roth, co-founder of Daptone Records. They will be at Bimbos 365 on March 9th.
Making beautiful music together since 2007, this Brooklyn noise punk musician super-group turned funk collective formed during a jam session of Sun Ras Lanquidity. Their blend of funky baselines, clarinet, horns, rock guitar, and steady drumbeats is classic and modern at the same time. I favor side Bs A Little Planet because of its punchy intro, snake charming clarinet solo, and mellow funkiness. However, both tracks are more than worthy.
Two solo projects from a couple of guys that are no strangers to the kfjc airwaves. Bitchin Bajas is Cooper Crain of CAVE, and Faceplant is Aaron Coyes of Peaking Lights. On the BB side, Consciousness??one and two??is wonderful and lush psychedelic meditatation of synth and organ. Track one invites the mind to wander to off to far out dreamlands of shimery shorelines, and then track two invigorates the blood vessels, waking your dead limbs with pins and needles. With Faceplant, trance like pop drones await. Try riding the ether as you slowly slip into the haze, then hit the dancefloor with Dickie Domecon to help dance you out of your warmly sedated state.
Released in 2008 on Drag City, we find Baby Dee tinkling the ivories and delivering songs that are somber and personal at times and fun, theatrical, and cabaret-esque at others. I hear influences from Freddie Mercury to Jesus Christ Superstar. He is joined by the likes of Bonnie Prince Billy (who also produced) on backing vocals, and Andrew WK on bass and drums, amongst others who support with guitar, violin, viola, cello, sax, and the harp we find on “A Book of Songs for Anne Marie” makes only a few scattered apperances. It seems she dug deep into her (perhaps religious?) childhood and other memories both good and bad to come up with a well rounded and satisfying musical experience. This is totally rad!!!
This 4 piece out of Oakland does 80s new wave pop and transplants it into 2010. Out on Tic Tac Totally, you would swear (as one review I read put it so perfectly) you were listening to the soundtrack of John Hughes movie.
Pleasant hazy pop from the mind of Chazwick Bundick out of Columbia, South Carolina. This 2011 release out on Carpark Records is full of catchy musical hooks, Brian Wilson- like harmonies, filtered sounding vocals, and is associated with the “Chillwave” musical movement along with friend and musical soul brother, Ernest Greene of Washed Out. The music and harmonies are what make this one work for me. If you dug Mitch LeMay’s Apartment Life, you will love this
Put out on Dunham Records, in association with Daptone, Charles Bradley releases his first full length album here back by the Menahan Street Band. he brings his years of streetwise experience as a dayworker from places all over the US from Alaska to Maine. It is life, love, and heartbreak with a weathered and gritty voice that shows a life of performing and paying his dues has finally paid off. Awesome, super soulful, and definitely worth a listen!
We were lucky to score this out-of-print two disc set of demos and live recordings from the late 70s. The Screamers, lead by the late Tomata DuPlenty, were true rebels on the LA punk scene of the 1970s blending raw punk attitude and energy with synth and drums —sans guitar and base. Their live performances at places like the Whiskey, Mabuhay Gardens, and the Roxy(where they were the only band to headline without a record contract) are the stuff of lengend. Having never released a single album in their four years together, their music lives on here.
17 tracks of campy and (mostly) German vampiness between the years of 1968-1981. Funk inspired growlers from a few of these lovely lassies are with mixed with some covers (Fever, Superstition, Harper Valley PTA), and the two tracks from 1981, that while good, stick out like sore thumbs from these mostly super groovy tunes from the 60s and 70s. Give into the cheese and learn some German via these bilingual babes!
Out on Secretly Canadian, this newest release by Antony Hegarty seems to find the androgynes singer/ songwriter more at peace with life and love than in years past. He is as always deeply emotional as a writer and performer, and his soulful wailing is accompanied beautifully by the London Symphony Orchestra on a few tracks, along with a guest apperance by Bjork who co-wrote and performs guest vocals on track #11 (Fletta). This is just beautiful, with orchestrations that are both sparce and lush, most with a definite touch of melancholy. It’s not quite as tortured as his previous releases, as evidenced by the album’s first single, “Thank You For Your Love”.
*As a side note, along with the album, a 144 page book with original artwork by Antony inspired by the album has been released.
New York???s Linda Hagood surrounds us in colorful bunny
Check out the cool album artwork by Christine Shields
First released on cassette in 2007,
[coll]: Music For Maya : Early Film Music of Teiji Ito – “Music For Maya : Early Film Music of Teiji Ito ” – [Tzadik]
Really interesting multi-cultural film music composed by Teiji Ito for the films of his then-wife, avant garde film maker Maya Deren. This covers all music composed by Ito for Deren from their 1952 meeting outside a five and dime (where she hired him on the spot at the age of 17) until her death in 1961 0f a cerebral hemorage. All music was composed, performed, and recorded in the studio they shared, and hits many countries from Japan (with kabuki theatre being a major influence), China, Korea, Spain, plus African and Western influences. He also touches on jazz and a little bit of electronics. He plays all the instruments and it’s quite amazing what he was able to accomplish here all before the age of 27. There are two discs full of great stuff here, so put on your traveling hat, because it’s quite a journey. Also, check out the liner notes if you can, because there is a lot of fascinating backstory plus an interview between Ito and Deren.
This is great fun from female- Swedish- cousin duo, Anna and Frida aka Rough Bunnies. They have an sweet and innocent tone to their vocals, much like Deerhoof, but don’t be fooled, these girls are quite sexual and don’t take any bullshit from the boys. The album is a nice mix of folk, pop, hip-hop, and electronics, and broken English and Swedish vocals with a punk attitude that is contagious. The one-take, recorded in their bedroom feel of the record is charming, and that combined with the front cover artwork reminds me of daniel johnston in a way. There were only 200 copies of this one made, so treat it with care even though the artists like it rough.
spooky, Theatrical , and Grand goth metal from this oakland based band that features 5 members that play such instruments as xylophone, toy piano, eletric pacreas, nyckelharpa, sledgehamer-dulcimer, and good old fashisoned guitar. Dedicated to the memory of founding member, Per “wa d C. picnic” Frykdahl, his influence is found in the artwork of the packaging to the funny phone messages he left that are included at various points throughout the disc. There are male and female vocals, that give added character to an already unique release. This is circus freak fun for the whole family!
Instrumental Jazz Disc that goes from meloncholy sexiness to ill-advised jam band stuff to Dancey sounding. All in all not bad, but the jam band stuff isn???t my favorite. 1, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, and 11 were what I liked the most.
Weird and wonderful release here. The two musicians, Ergo Phizmiz and People like us (aka Vicki Bennett) would send their recordings back and forth to one another and the result is so fantastically chaotic that they admit to forgetting who did what. There is so much randomness here, it’s hard to believe that it has cohesiveness or flow, but that is exactly what I felt when listening to the disc. It is the psyschotronix of cd’s, really. There are so many hidden treasures and odd moments. It is whimsical and kitschy, fun and frolicy. Some of the songs actually find the beat while others avoid it like the plague. Bird chirps, sound bites, kid voices, tin cans, percussive beats, Mozart samples, classic soundtracks, banjo picking, bells and whistles, accordions um pa pa’s, organ music, bossa nova, eartha kitt and singing in the rain. lounge music and total nonsense. Like a demented cinematic dream or Disneyland on acid. This must be heard to be believed!
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