Too sweet? Maybe. But don’t we need a little sweetness? The hot pink vinyl is in sync with the mellow rock tunes written and sung by the all-girl band. Yes, they may be nice as fuck, and what of it? Doesn’t mean they aren’t worthwhile musicians. There’s bound to be something on here that will brighten up your sets. Proving yet again that you don’t have to be bitchy to get your point across. They had their debut at one of Bernie Sanders’ rallies, so they have that going for them, too.
This is the third album by this Mexican rock trio led by Teri Gender Bender, whose voice delivers the lyrics in an alternately mesmerizing and angry way, which is fitting for the subject of the songs. The inner sleeve has a printout of the lyrics, which cover somber topics such as selling girls into prostitution (among many others–read them)–all written by Teri. The music itself is fast-paced and catchy, enticing you into the song and then the lyrics shock you into awareness. Side A is a lot more upbeat musically, or maybe it’s just that it took me until Side B to realize the seriousness of the lyrics. Definitely worth listening to.
The Aural Films label features releases that are soundtracks to films that don’t exist, except in the minds of the listeners. That said, this particular CD is mesmerizing in its ability to call up images of the chilly, desolate landscapes of the Arctic in which inuksuks, man-made stone cairns, serve as guides for travelers who brave the frozen landmasses. Hertz and Mystified do a stellar job creating the minimal, tribal soundscapes in which the percussive beats hauntingly remind us that life is possible even in these frozen climes.
There’s something otherworldly and beautiful about this collaboration between Hanoi-based Nguyen, who contributes the piano, music box, and chimes, and Chicago guitarist and laptop artist Cinchel (Jason Shanley). The mix of peaceful, mellow drones punctuated by nostalgic music box plinking is hypnotic and calming. The design of the CD sleeve shows player piano paper rolls along with diagrams of music boxes, whose movement is indeed reminiscent of an old soul. Let your soul be moved.
Take some great music from Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann, set Kompakt founder Wolfgang Voigt (aka Wassermann) and LA producer Teebs the task of remixing that music, and you get this sparkling result.
A1 is super cool remix that starts slow but takes off and builds to a cruising altitude with beats and vibes, not unlike what we could imagine a moon journey would be.
B1 opens in medias res and continues with nice energetic beats with chimes and layers throughout, including samples that sound like “Obi-Wan Kenobi, help me.”
B2 is more noisy but includes bird chirps.
One of the samples says, “First, God does not exist.” No need to worry–as long as music like this does, we’re good.
This entire CD is a delight from beginning to end. Ivers entrances with her fiddle, octave violin, banjo, and mandolin, taking us on a musical journey from the bog road and Celtic traditions of her native Ireland to the root music found in America–bluegrass, French Canadian, Cajun, and Appalachian. Her talents in writing, arranging, and playing the tunes here are remarkably enjoyable. Read the liner notes to get the full experience and story behind each song.
This is simply spiffy music organized into “Ruin” songs (such as “I Gotta Get Drunk” and “I’m Gonna Get High”) followed by “Redemption” songs (“There’ll Be a Jubilee” and “Down in the Valley”). Pete Bernhard sings lead vocal and acoustic guitar, with Cooper McBean on electric guitar and background vocals and Lucia Turino on upright bass and background vocals. There are also spoons, banjos, and other instruments involved in these mostly upbeat songs.
“Dark Anglo-pop with hints of psychedelia and lyrics worth listening to.” This is how Winners Aftershave characterizes themselves. Chris Spence writes and sings most of the songs, which feature other band members on guitars, bass, keys, percussion, drums. The lyrics are interesting in that they tell a story, like a country song does, but with a very different musical setting. Try 2, 7, and 12 for starters.
Self-described as “trashed pop in Detroit, MI,” Bonehead is the project of Alexandra Lee who wrote, performed, and produced everything on her debut 45. The songs are short and catchy, with her vocals accompanying the guitars and other instruments nicely. More to come from this artist. Keep an eye on her.
Canadian media artists Jolliffe and Robert deliver a unique creation of beauty here. They wrote an algorithm that tranforms global positioning system (GPS) information from satellites inside a computer and then outputs the data into an electronic Disklavier piano. Although they say it’s not about the music, the resulting notes together make for a surprisingly pleasant aural experience. Their intention is to show how our technological world affects us (thus the use of a technology originally created for military use). Listen to this and meditate on the meaning of location, both in space and in time.
This is a great little 7″ of garage rock (I only classify it to be helpful; it’s a class of its own). “Poetics of Space” is a solid musical asking the question of where does time go, and the guitars and vocals of the trio provide the apt setting for such a question. “Like the Fly” is slightly more upbeat and danceable (to us old rock dancers) and makes us wonder about what being a fly on the wall would be like. Do flies dance? Try this out.
Imagine if you will being a DJ in the 50s and having at your command an NBC Thesaurus series of 16″ discs full of music such as the kind found on this CD. Well, we don’t have to, because this little treasure is a perfect example of the recordings made at that time to help radio stations with filler music. Aileen Stanley, so called because she took her brother’s first name when he left her to a solo career, began performing at the age of 5 with her brother. Vaudeville was only the start, as we can see from this CD of songs from the 1900s-1920s but recorded in the 1940s. It is a trip listening to the lyrics that take you back to a time when life may not have been simpler, but the songs were. I have lots of favorites on this one. Go find yours.
“Songlines, noisetales, dreamscapes”–so reads the liner notes describing this uniquely delightful release from Anna Homler, Frank Schulte, and Axel Otto, a.k.a. Sugarconnection. Vocals, toy instruments, found objects, samples, electronics, zither, tapes, records, and other fascinating sound makers pepper the 20 songs on this CD. The bells and metals and wood are wait remain in my mind, however. Take a listen and see for yourself how this is ahead of its time in electronic experimentation.
For some reason this 7″ sat on my counter for weeks (just as it laid dormant somewhere since 2003), and when I finally listened to it, I was pleasantly surprised. Black death, I thought, looking at the titles on this Split EP and viewing the sepia-toned painting on the sleeve. But no, it is industial-type music, although I just think it’s cool. Reutoff, the “cult industrial Russian act,” on Side A and Totenlieder (a project of Sebastien Leduc) on Side B with a cover of a Janitor tune.
This album has interesting songs created by self-made instruments. Sarah Byrne’s vocals are particularly fine, even in this quirky setting. The band is from Brisbane and the music is definitely KFJC audience-worthy.
These are field recordings of city soundscapes in Batumi, Singapore, and Kagoshima as well as of plane, ship, and car trips. Glonti used a laptop, headphones, 3 octave midi keyboard, and hand recorder. Several are very ambient, but others have melodious overtones (such as “North” and “Balcony Meetings”). I just love that KFJC has this in its library.
I listened to this on a day where I only ate leeks, which was utterly fitting since every track on here is a study of the sounds made by vegetables such as carrots, maize, roses, cabbage, celery, various sorts of trees, and leeks! Verschueren started as a painter and moved on to art installations involving plants, which in turn led him to discovering the sounds that plants make. It’s quiet, but percussive, and absolutely fascinating. If you like this, you’ll also like the Vegetable Orchestra.
Wow. The Intro brought to mind Justin Hayward’s Days of Future Past voice, but by the Outro I was thinking more of Vincent Price’s Thriller voice. The intervening tracks upped the creepiness exponentially. It’s easy to see why Morris’ “ambient radio comedy” had to air during the safe harbor hours, but the fact that it lasted from 1997-1999 shows he appealed at least to some audiences. For sure, the weird topics (incompetent doctors [2, 6, 12] and four-year-old murderers ) are right up the KFJC alley, and I can already see how many things could be used for production. But it’s incredibly explicit, so beware.
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