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DJ Packo has been around for a short time, but after listening to Aquadust (Skratchmore), I almost find that hard to believe.
The 36-track megamix is A Dubstep/Turntablism Mix as the subtitle indicates, but during the duration of the mix, I had so much fun listening to how songs went into one another, how they seemed to communicate with each other not only back to back, but even long distance, it’s as if he’s playing games with the tracks and he’s waiting to see if anyone has figured it out. It’s dubstep so one might find it easy to just kick back and let the music speak for itself, but he’s DJ’ing within the program (thus it being a “turntablism mix”) and if he’s capable of doing this in a controlled setting, I can only wonder what he pulls off live. I can only wonder how much more powerful this music is with the volume on high. I hope DJ Packo gets more attention outside of Hawai’i so he can either tour with other like minded artists or get into some serious collaborations and productions with others.
(You can download Aquadust for free by looking at DJ Packo’s Soundcloud page, or if you want a hard copy on CD, e-mail him at djpacko@NOSPAMgmail.com or via twitter @DJPacko.)
Peggy Duquesnel plays and sings jazz beautifully and gracefully, to where you want to listen to her sing and not walk out the back door, it’s pleasant to my ears. Her voice is very calming like Janis Siegel, where you not only hear her love for jazz and singing, but simply a love of music.
Summertime Lullaby (Joyspring Music) sounds exactly like the title suggests: warm, caring, and long, as if you never want the days to end. Her songs are played in an intimate fashion with only a small handful of musicians backing her up in each song. Standards here include “The Days Of Wine And Roses”, “On Green Dolphin Street”, and “Fly Me To The Moon”, but the four original tracks will show listeners that she’s more than capable of creating some standards-to-be,e specially “Drivin’ Blues” and “In The Quiet Hours” (the latter co-written with Dee Dee McNeil. She has been doing this for years., so longtime fans will find this to be a statement of her talents. Job well done.
If you love big and bold swinging jazz, you are absolutely going to live Live At Blackhawk (Kayjazz), a new album by Lady K & The Kings Of Swing. While the album was recorded live, the volume of the applause is kept to a minimum. You know they’re there, but the true focus is the musicianship, the performances, and of course the songs.
Some of this stuff sounds like telethon jazz or The Tonight Show jazz back when Johnny Carson was still around, but I say both as compliments. I myself have always loved this kind of big band jazz, maybe it’s because I grew up hearing it on television and since I never got into band, I’ve admired the precisions these musicians have. Within faithful versions of “My Foolish Heart”, “”All Right, OK, You Win”, and “How High The Moon” one hears the gracefulness of the players, little room for improvisation but this kind of music would almost not be what it is if someone went over the edge.
Vocalist Dale Head appears in some of the songs, but not being a big fan of vocal jazz, I tuned him out (if you are a fan of Frank Sinatra, you’ll enjoy Head.) As for the rest of the album, Live At Blackhawk is a nice way to hear the jazz traditions continue into the 21st century.
From Atlanta comes a three-man hip-hop group called Collective Efforts and true to their name, it sounds like three people unified for a common cause. Their new album is called Freezing World (1320) and their mission is to warm things up if not put things on fire, at least musically. The album can be bought digitally as MP3′s or FLAC lossless files from 1320 Records, or on CD at the official Collective Efforts store.
The name may be familiar but since she’s been somewhat out of the spotlight for awhile, you need a reminder. This is singer/musician/songwriter Melissa Auf der Maur, who spent time with Hole and Smashing Pumpkins in the past. Many were hoping for her to release some solo material, and she did with 2004′s Auf der Maur. Now she has returned, refreshed and hard hitting as ever with a concept album called Out Of Our Minds, for which a music video was made of the title track.
Leave it to England to always take things one step higher. Ellie Goulding is a new singer/songwriter who who is about to release her debut album called Lights (Universal). She has gained attention for winning the Critics Choice Award at this year’s BRIT Awards, and was on top of the BBC Sound of 2010 when her self-released EP gained a bit of airplay and critical reception.
The first single from the album is called “Starry Eyed”, which is on the dance side of things so she is sure to get a lot of club airplay with it. The song is being released as a star-shaped record, but will also come out as a CD5 and be made available for download via iTunes.
It seems her love of vinyl is genuine, for she was recently in the studio to record live versions of four songs (“Starry Eyed”, “Under The Sheets”, “Guns And Horses”, and “The Writer”) that will be released as limited edition dub plates, as you can see in the video below:
The star-shaped 12″ single can be ordered from Banquet Records. The limited edition live dub plates will be sold exclusively through her online store.
Longtime record collectors are probably saying “star shaped? Been there, blah blah” and you are right, Goulding isn’t the first artist to do this but for a younger generation of fans, this will be an oddity. In the past, there have been similar records by The Police Wayne Newton
and the infamous Gefilte Joe & The Fish Star Of David-shaped disc on Rhino from 1978:
If you’ve heard of Brown Bag All-Stars, then you know of one of their DJ’s, J57. Everyone in BBAS seems to be doing something at any given time, and J57 is no exception.
He’s about to release a 12″ EP on Balanced Records called Digital Society, which he calls a nice blend of “experimental/instrumental” music, which for him can be anything from hip-hop to electronica, dub doogie or whatever else someone creates to describe his sound. He approved of the test pressings recently and the final record will be out in late March/early April. The EP will be a preview of a forthcoming album, and perhaps J57 will become a producer everyone will want to do productions/remixes with.
In the meantime, he and Brown Bag All Stars will be doing a small set of shows in the NYC/NJ area in March, head to the official BBAS MySpace page to see where they’ll be performing.
If you’re a Buck Owens fan, you may already have his 5CD Act Naturally box set from 2008, covering his output on Capitol from 1953-1964. Now you’ll find a good reason to tap into your savings account once again, or for Americans, something to use your tax returns for.
Bear Family are at it again with a 7CD box called Open Up Your Heart: The Buck Owens & The Buckaroos Recordings 1965-1968, listed as featuring all of Owens’ studio recordings from that time period when he was signed to Capitol. The man was prolific, and this box shows just how much he recorded. The box will have a 120-page booklet, 249 songs spread over seven discs for just over seven hours of music. Many consider this to be Owens’ golden era, when almost every song he released as a single went to the top of the country charts.
Where bloggers from around the world can network
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.