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What makes Lymbyc System a great listen is that one can imagine them having a room full of random sounds, records, CD’s, external hard drives, and instruments, but what they want to do with it is not create the usual. Shutter Release (Mush) is not the usual. It’s not quite a dance album, although you could dance to it. It’s not rock, soul, folk, or really anything that you can pinpoint. It sounds like incidental music from a production library, or the kind of sound that Danger Mouse has always been playing around with. Or think of this: you spent a summer finding and listening to some of the best electronic music albums of the last 50 years, and you enjoy the textures of analog and how different things sounded back then. Then you take that, give it a modern perspective and add in the technologies of the now, and then feed it chips. This is Lymbyc System.
It’s always great to hear a band who choose to not include any vocals in their music, and they look to see how they can go beyond the expected boundaries. Pg.Lost are one of those instrumental rock bands that want to make sure they keep fans listening by constantly fine tuning their songs and making them the best that they can be. In Never Out (Black Star Foundation) is not the kind of album you’ll be able to just sit back and relax to, they have a lot of dynamics to their music where just when you think you’re comfortable, they blast you with a wall of guitars and a rhythm section that helps push things closer to an edge that never comes. In other words, hearing this sounds like a somewhat melancholy way moving in slow motion, but you’re always at the lip so you see the fall but never go over the edge. That is at least how I describe this Swedish band.
If you push yourself to go deep into Pg.Lost’s music, you may find the beauty within, but the challenge here is to not embrace the melancholy, for it’s what brings you in.
Doom metal can and should sound brutal, the whole point of it is to hear music that sounds like the end of life, apocalypse coming into your world, and someone shanking you in slow motion. Some bands do it and go nowhere with it, while others enjoy changing up and developing a style that is their own. Process Of Guilt are about playing things at sluggish paces that almost feels as if they’ll never end, but that’s not boring. I love that chuggy spirit, but when they decide to turn the tempo up just a notch and create a bit of melody that is most welcome, you’re pulled into the sludge and you’re under water trying to escape.
Erosion (Major Label Industries) is just what this music sounds like, something eroding. This Portuguese band want to bring you into their doom-fest but they’re very technical in what they bring into their music, all of which is well arranged and played. I love the fact that the first five tracks are actually five songs within a movement (Part I, Part II, Part III, etc.), and at the end you realize the movement actually begins at that point, and it’s Part I of the next movement. When you hear it and how it works within the flow and continuity of the album, it makes sense.
Midnight Souvenirs (Verve) is the name of the album by J. Geils Band frontman Peter Wolf, who is pushing on as he enters his fifth decade in the music scene with. For this new album, due out on April 6th, he has Neko Case, Shelby Lynne and Merle Haggard sitting in with him. The album cover artwork was also done by Wolf himself, who says his love of art is as moving to him as his love of music.
No word on if there will be a vinyl pressing of this, but if there is, I’ll post it in the Record Crack section.
The group are called Cracked Latin, and the cover photo is of barely concealed ass crack. Okay, maybe it’s more about butt cheeks. But upon first listen to The World Is Cracked Latin (Transparency), I wasn’t sure if I was listening to something good or something that was someone’s idea of a joke. It’s Latin jazz done with English lyrics, and while they were trying to be humorous, I at first was not sure if it was blasphemous. The only thing that saved it was the tight music of the band which includes Tony Musante (drums), Emila Sousa (percussion), Jose Reyes (saxophone), Renny Lopez (trombone), Edwin Perez (trumpet), and Elvin Carone (piano, vibes, keyboards, and horn arrangements). I mean damn, if these guys brought on some proper singers I would want to become a Cracked Head or something.
After a few listens, it seems a part of their allure and partial novelty value is the fact that the vocalists (Lane Steinberg and Luis Accorsi) off off a bit like tourists who came off the boat to a foreign land, fell in love with the music, wanted to bring hints of their home and passed it off as this. They mean well, but there’s a few things in the mix that remove them from having a true authentic feel. With that said, I listened to them without thinking of authenticity and it’s just a decent party album by a party band who love the spirit of Latin jazz and what it does to the people who listen.
What I found to be cool is when they bring in different elements that one would not expect to hear on a “Latin jazz” album. There are parts that sound sample-based, but I’m not sure if they just isolated that track and heavily compressed it. Then there are the mindblowing psychedelic bits. That might be too weird for the salsa purists, but trust me, if they did that more often I would have praised this album even more.
Said The Whale are a band from Vancouver, British Columbia who have released an album called Islands Disappear on their own. They are hoping to press up 500 copies on vinyl, but they’ll need your support and of course orders.
You can take a look and listen to the entire album on their Bandcamp page. If you happen to live in or near Vancouver, purchase the album, and go to their show after its tentative release, they will refund the cost of shipping.
If you need a bit of enticing, here’s a video for “Camilo (The Magician)” which is on Islands Disappear.
Salt-N-Pepa, Public Enemy, Biggie Smalls, 2Pac, and Run-DMC are the artists who are part of a new series of buttons created by Portland, Oregon artist Nathan McKee, who zinesters may know for his fanzine Fake Your Own Death.
These aren’t digitally manipulated Photoshop print-outs, but rather hand drawn so when you buy and wear them at school or concerts, they’re sure to start up a discussion. There’s even a cool Michael Jackson set, covering all prime eras of MJ’s adult life in illustrated form.
See this picture? This was posted by Mayer Hawthorne himself on Twitter, looking at his copy of the newly released instrumental version of his album A Stranger Arrangement. Now is it me, or was the cover pressed on cardboard as if it was an album released by Capitol, similar to what the Memphix people also did awhile back with the Express Rising album?
Anyway, now you can bring out your inner Hawthorne and conduct your own karaoke sessions OR create your own instrumentals and mash-ups. The instrumental album is VINYL ONLY. You can order your copies (always in multiples) by going to Stones Throw Records. (Other Hawthorne-related items can be found here.)
These two groups decided to unite for a tour because they know it will bring out what Prevail of Swollen Members calls ” many memorable performances.” His group and Potluck will be going on tour celebrating all that is hip-hop with a trip around the inland West. In other words, no California dates for this trip but with festival season on the way, they’re probably trying to set something up for the late fall/early summer. If you can, you’ll be able to catch them soon:
Feb 18 – Seattle, WA @ Neumo’s
Feb 19 – Bellingham, WA @ The Nightlight
Feb 20 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne
Feb 21 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall
Feb 23 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
Feb 24 – Avon, CO @ Agave
Feb 25 – Steamboat Springs, CO @ Ghostranch Saloon
Feb 26 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep
Feb 27 – Ft. Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre
Feb 28 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre
Mar 01 – Breckenridge, CO @ Three20South
Mar 02 – Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
Mar 04 – Park City, UT @ The Star Bar
Mar 05 – Ketchum, ID @ NexStage Theater
Mar 06 – Ketchum, ID @ NexStage Theater
Mar 07 – Spokane, WA @ The Boulevard
Privilege (Slender Means Society) is the brand new album from Parenthetical Girls, but it’s not being released in one lump sum. Instead, the album will be sold as five individual 12″ EP’s, with the first, called On Death & Endearments, will be released on February 23rd.
There will be a video made for one song from each EP, and the first is called “Evelyn McHale”. Here’s the track listing for the EP: Side A 1. Evelyn McHale
2. Someone Else’s Muse
Side B 1. On Death & Endearments
2. Found Drama I
The great thing about this series/album is that they’re still recording it. Each EP will be released quarterly in a limited edition of 500 copies, and in May 2011, the last EP will be released with a special box so that you can store the previous four installments and be able to hear the album as one. The artwork is being done by Jenny Mörtsell, and in the tradition of another band who explored the idea of multiple records, Kiss, each EP will be hand-numbered in the blood of each band member. In the future, when it is possible for normal humans to use DNA to bring back the dead, maybe Parenthetical Girls will be able to tour again in 2281.
The entire series will also be available digitally, but what’s the fun in that?
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Discovered this book review blog when someone had posted a review of a music book. Went through it and saw a number of books I immediately put on my want list. Created by Maria Popova and features a number of contributors.
Cool slew of goodies from books and diaries to T-shirts, bags and soaps. Now based in Portland.
The show is no more, but you may explore the archives of this great Portland-based podcast while you can. You may now listen to Cort & Bobby in Welcome To That Whole Thing, listed below.