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Music Reviews

Dam – "Dedication" – [Red Circle Music]

aarbor   10/20/2021   CD, Hip Hop

DAM is a Palestinian hip-hop group based in Lod, Israel. Formed in 1999 by brothers Tamer and Suhell Nafar and friend Mahmoud Jreri, who are Arab citizens of Israel. They’ve spent over a decade performing globally. The music is a fusion of East and West combining Arabic rhythms, Middle Eastern melodies, and urban hip-hop vibes. This is their first release from 2006. You’ll hear an excerpt of a speech by President Nasser, children, oud, bouzouki, rap and conscious tell-it-like-it-is lyrics – that you probably can’t understand. The English lyrics are in the booklet. AArbor

MISCELLANEOUS [coll] – [Language]

aarbor   10/20/2021   A Library, CD

According to the insert this is: “Music for Open Minded People”. From 1995 this compilation is the first of 2 only releases in the Miscellaneous series on Crammed Discs’ sublabel: Language. Cool dark electronics with noise and plenty of good rhythmic fun from the likes of David Toop, Fantomas, Ian Pooley and Endemic Void plus others. AArbor

Altin Gun – "Yol" – [ATO Records]

aarbor   10/20/2021   CD, International

Third [2021] release from Altin Gun – an Amsterdam-based project founded in 2016 by Jasper Verhulst. They mix Turkish folk, psychedelia, funk and rock. Here they add instruments not heard before in their music: synth, congas, drum machines and a Suzuki Omnichord. Some songs are taken from archaic sources: “Yekte” [11] is a traditional song from the Anatolian city of Kayseri, while “Arda Boylar”[7] comes from a region of the Balkans that once formed part of the Ottoman Empire. Every song works in the neo-disco psych environment; the despondency of the folk melodies blends with glittering pop production creating a stream of gilded melancholy. The music sits somewhere between 19th century Ottoman Empire, ’60s Haight-Ashbury, the bubblegum boogie of ’80s New York, and today’s pop. AArbor

Supersuckers – Must’ve Been High [Sub Pop Records]

beastofbourbon   10/18/2021   A Library, CD

“And it has been our search for the best rock-n-roll has to offer which has inevitably led us down that old dirt road to country. Simple, three chord songs, sung from experience, played on an old, beat up acoustic guitar-that’s what we’re talkin’ about here” – The Supersuckers

The fourth album from Seattle based punk band Supersuckers takes a turn down the country road with songs about life on the road, rowdy fans, addiction, UK punk legends, and a romantic duet (Kelley Deal) about being hungover. The lyrics stick to a punk attitude/sense of humor while the music has a bonafide Bakersfield/Texas Outlaw Country sound thanks to guest musicians Willie Nelson (uncredited vocals), Jesse Dayton (guitar), Brian Thomas (pedal steel/banjo), Brantley Kearns (fiddle/mandolin), Mickey Raphael (harmonica), and producer Randall Jamail. This is Cowpunk to the core

Beast of Bourbon

Lipstick Killers – Strange Flash – Studio and Live ’78-81 [Grown Up Wrong]

beastofbourbon   10/16/2021   A Library, CD

“You guys are the only fuckin’ reason I’d ever come down to this shithole. I wouldn’t do this for anyone else.”


That’s what Keith Morris (front man of Black Flag/Circle Jerks) said about Lipstick Killers in a 1982 article in New York Rocker magazine. Lipstick Killers was a Sydney, Australia based band that was active from the late 70’s to the early 80’s. This double CD set features 45s, demos, and live recordings. The first CD is early recordings of catchy hard rocking garage/punk.  Their energetic hard driving songs really come through in the live recordings (including a 13th Floor Elevators cover) in spite of some of the vocals being lost due to microphone issues. During the 80’s, the band transitioned to new wave/rock, bringing their new sound to Los Angeles, California. CD #2 features these lighter, poppier tunes. The live set from Los Angeles 1981 shows that the band didn’t lose their edge when it came to live gigs. That energy is likely what Morris was talking about.

Beast of Bourbon

Black Joker – Watch Out- [Pacific City Sound Visions]

Thee Opinataur   10/13/2021   12-inch, A Library

Side 1 – Untitled

Opens with tribal drumming, adding high timber beats beginning the long quest upon camels in the fictional Chalisa Desert, circa 2027. This must be a long incessant dream of the artist ‘Black Joker’ 

Desert flutes romance the listener in the next stage of the quest, whose destination is unknown, and creates tension amongst the clan as to its purpose. Yet they continue along the windswept dunes. Their spirit is uneasy, yet this is who they are…tradition, culture, routine.

Mind spitting intermittent pings, relentlessly, over and over, as the sweltering heat overwhelms them, their minds are melting, yet the camels know the way, they have been here before.

Evening approaches, awakening from the unconscious spell, realizing their predicament, the pursuit of rest is near, and there’s a feeling of hopefulness, joy, that begins to awaken the spirit within.  

The pace quickens and is consistent as the drudge of the daily routine wears off and they inherently know who they are. The beauty of the blackness of the sky, the stars sparkle with the illumination that they not only seek but crave. 

Side 2 – Untitled

Another day continues similar to the last, methodical beat of the camels’ pace, and there’s a new inspiration unlike before, as a mirage appears in the distance. Even the knowingness of this false hope, the spectacular vision of the distant mountains lets them know they are closer to their destiny and offers a sliver of hope. 

the rhythm of the caravan is comforting to the soul and they know who they are…

Disruption and confusion enter in suddenly, as there is a treacherous path to climb, and it is the urging on of the leader that this is but temporary. The desert wind blows its might, but alas they are through it. Press on, press on, upward, onward….the destination is just over the summit…and it is clear, their journey is near the end. Excitement builds, as the overwhelming sandscapes begin to lessen and reveal the lush life approaching. We began together, this odyssey, wandering through the sand, and as the cool evening descends upon our arrival, we know this is just a temporary pause; we have not yet reached our final destination

Experimental musician Black Joker, aka Spencer Clark, The Skaters, Fourth World Magazine, Monopoly Child Star Searchers, Vodka Soap, 

abstract – ambient experimental, Desert atmospheric soundscape, hypnotic , tribal 

Uzel, Nezih – "Mevlana: Instrumental Mevlevi Music" – [Kent Elektronik]

aarbor   10/13/2021   CD, International

In Turkey, Rumi is fondly remembered by his followers as Mevlana — which means scholar. When he died in 1273, Rumi’s followers founded the Mevlevi Order, also known as the Order of the Whirling Dervishes, famous for the Sufi dance known as the Sema ceremony. The Mevlevi Ayin is a form of Ottoman art music that evolved around an organized religious ritual: the Whirling Dance ceremony of the Mevlevi Dervishes . It was based on musical composition and poetry, taking the form of an original cyclical suite format. The instruments which accompany Mevlevi music are: the Bendir – a wooden frame drum, the Oud (lute) and Ney (and end-blown flute). The Dervishes consider this kind of dance and music a form of meditation. The dervishes wear long white robes and very tall conical hats when they dance. Nezih Uzel was a very famous bendir player and dervish. He once said that this is music for participation rather than just listening. I was surprised by the gentleness and pace of this music which accompanies Whirling Dervish dance/meditations. AArbor

Shirley and Lee – "Complete Singles As & Bs 1952-1962, The" – [Acrobat Music]

aarbor   10/13/2021   CD, Soul

Shirley Goodman and Leonard Lee were teenagers in New Orleans who were pioneers of the boy/girl R&B duo style in the early 1950s. Their biggest hit was “Let the Good Times Roll” [Disc 1 track 23]. They hardly ever harmonized. Instead they sang separate verses and choruses using a call-and-response style, mostly because Shirley’s voice was piercing, sat in a narrow range, and she often sang a bit sharp or flat – hard to harmonize with. They recorded at the important Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Studios which created the New Orleans R & B sound. Shirley and Lee were dubbed “The Sweethearts of the Blues” although the relationship they supposedly sang about in their songs (on CD1) may not have been real. I preferred CD2 for the better arrangements and more interesting songs. AArbor

Brown Lung Cotton Mill Blues [coll] – [June Appal Recordings]

aarbor   10/13/2021   12-inch, Country

A history in song of the white (Southern) cotton mill workers and the mills they worked in. Brown Lung Cotton Mill Blues started at the end of the Civil War. Black people were excluded. Instead poor whites and especially women and children worked in these mills. Promises made by mill owners about schooling, good pay and realistic hours were broken. It was a tough life and the conditions were unsanitary, leading to TB. brown lung and other complaints. The workers unionized and had strikes in the 1920s and ’30s which eventually gained the attention of leaders like President Franklin Roosevelt. The music is largely Appalachian Southern song style with guitar, banjo and mandolin accompaniment. Learn the history you never learned in school through these songs. AArbor

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