Friday, June 28, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 25

Beck has a new single being released on 12” vinyl. The song is called Defriended. You can get it now from his shop.

Coming up next week will be the new remix album from Family Force 5 called Reanimated. I am very excited about this one!

On with the show...

In support of the latest album the third single was released in mid June 2013. It was released on Slumberland Records in the US. The song is the title track for the latest album, their second album to date. It is a no frills release, black vinyl 7” with two tracks.

Here’s what I wrote in Vol. 4 Episode 6 ,”Waiting For Something To Happen is the title track for the album and has a great beat to it. I am not sure if it is single worthy but it is a great danceable song. It seems to be about being not sure about what to do in a given situation. The chorus sings, “ Everybody’s crazy, what’s your excuse baby, standing in the middle, waiting for something to happen.” It reminds me of middle school dances when they use to have video screens up. I remember everyone dancing and I would just stand there watching some of the videos play. All of my friends would try to get me to dance but I couldn’t really dance anyway.”

Apparently, as we see with this single release, Waiting For Something To Happen is single worthy and I am happy to see the song released as such. It keeps pushing the band more into the public eye. I am very excited for the band and any release that they are able to put out.

The B side track, Perpetual Motion, is a foray into a new realm for the group. It is a very psychedelic track that reminds me of something that The Beatles may have attempted back in the day. The track was recorded in New York during the last US tour. The song doesn’t have any drums in it. One of the two guitar parts that are on the track was reversed to give it that psychedelic sound. The lead vocals are double tracked and in the chorus the male vocals give the only bass sounds in the song. It is a really simple but cool track.

This CD sampler came with my veronica falls single. It features seventeen tracks from the past and near future releases. Upon looking at the releases I found that I had nine of the tracks on the sampler already. I was excited to hear those other eight tracks though. Internet streaming on the computer is totally inferior to listening to the music on the stereo.

I wanted to hear the new English Singles track called Ordinary Girls. I wasn’t too keen on the vocals for the group but the song is very pop. I just don’t think that I can get over the vocalists singing style.

I wanted to hear the new single from Kids On A Crime Spree track called Creep The Creeps. I was pleasantly surprised with this track and will probably pick up some more from the group. The simple guitar riff is killer. I like this track a lot.

The next track that I wanted to hear from the sampler was from a band called Girls Names. The track is called Hypnotic Regression. The high hat in the drums is being passed through a phaser and sounds so cool. I also like the staccato notes played through the guitar that has the echo pedal on it. That is super cool as well. I like the vocalists singing style too. I will probably be getting some music from them as well.

The next two tracks were from The Spectrals and The Mantles. The tracks were called Milky Way and Brown Balloon respectively. The Spectrals were trying to hit something from the 80s but it didn’t sit right with me. The Mantles were in the groove of Golden Grrrls but in a different fuller sound. It is not that I don’t like them but there is only so much of that style that I can handle and Golden Grrrls is where I stop.

The next two tracks were from Alo Darlin’ and Evans The Death. The tracks were called Northern Lights and Catch Your Cold respectively. The Alo Darlin’ track is a sweet late 90s styled track that I think I could really get into. The Evans The Death track was more in your face. I just didn’t really like the tone of the vocalist. I couldn’t get into it.

The last track that I wanted to hear was from Black Tambourine. The song is called What’s Your Game. It is a slower track with droning guitar and soft female vocals. I could get into it just for the guitar work. I have heard other tracks from the group but was not satisfied with them. Maybe I will have to revisit them to see if I have changed my mind.

Here is the full track listing for the compilation:
Veronica Falls - Teenage
English Singles - Ordinary Girls
Kids On A Crime Spree - Creep The Creeps
Weekend - Mirror
Wax Idols - When It Happens
Girls Names - Hypnotic Regression
Spectrals - Milky Way
The Mantles - Brown Balloon
Golden Grrrls - Take Your Time
Veronica Falls - Waiting For Something To Happen
Allo Darlin' - Northern Lights
Evans The Death - Catch Your Cold
Lorelei - Sorry For The Patience
Frankie Rose - Night Swim
VIOLENS - When To Let Go
Echo Lake - Another Day
Black Tambourine - What's Your Game

You can listen to all the tracks at the Slumberland RecordsSoundcloud site.

This is a new EP from Whirr. It is scheduled for release on July 9, 2013. I got my copy a week and a half early. This was put out in multiple formats (LP, DL, CD and cassette). The LP was put out in different colors. The record club version is black center with clear outer edge. The more common color is clear with black splatter. The rarer version is 180 gram black. I like colors so I ordered the clear with black splatter. I am not a member of the Graveface record club so I did not get that version either. If you follow my twitter you probably already caught the vine that I put up of the inner and outer sleeve with the record spinning on the turntable. The outer sleeve is actually a die cut of the groups’ swirly logo. It is very cool but easily damaged. I have no idea what the inner sleeve graphic is but it looks interesting. This is the graphic that I have posted.

The EP is only four songs but is just as beautiful as their previous releases. The first track is called Drain. It starts off with an unaltered electric guitar with just a hint of echo on it. It is a long lead in to the song. It is very pretty though. When the song kicks in it is very slow and powerfully hard hitting on the beat. The vocals are still floating in with the music as has been their style from day one. The lead guitar soars high over all of the music. It is a noisy song but very beautiful at the same time.

The second song on the EP is called Swoon. Right from the get go with this one it is hard hitting noise. It backs off and becomes something better with the band getting quiet and the lead guitar showing us where the song will be going. The rest of the band comes back in with the cotton candy female vocals floating in the middle of the music, not understandable but not needing to be either.

The third track is called Keep. This one had a very pretty fade in with the guitar and drums standing in front. It is a slower track like the first song. The drums sound like they are in the back of a long cave giving them a cool echo sound. There is a lot of guitar noise in this track, feed back every now and again. This one musically is loud soft loud for the most part. In the quiet parts the vocals stand out a bit more. In the loud parts the drums and guitar stand out a bit more. It is a different take than the band has done in the past.

The last track is the title track, Around. This one also uses some guitar feedback type of noises. It is not done excessively loud though. The drums have that echo on them again. I really like that echo sound on the drums. It is a different facet to the drums that is not used much. Joy Division used a lot of cool effects on the drums like this though. The vocals stand up in front of the group a little more than the first three tracks have. The vocalist has a very pretty voice. The layering of the guitars helps to showcase her voice too.

This is a very good EP from a band that has a lot of little releases under their belt. I am very excited to see what else they come up with. Hopefully another full length in the future.

This is the first release from Culture Club. It was released in late 1982. There are many versions of this album. The initial release had a purple boarder around the picture. It was later changed to black. The rerelease was put back to purple in 2003. I found an original copy with the purple boarder. The initial pressings did not have the track Time (Clock Of The Heart). It was added to the US version. Other versions have Do You Really Want to Hurt Me as the first track, as the first track on the second side or as the last track on the second side. I think that the original first pressing for the US has the track as the first on the A side with Time (Clock Of The Heart) as the first track on the B side but it is not listed on the outer sleeve at all. This is the version that I have. I was very confused because this version is not mentioned on most sites.

There were five singles released from the album, although only three of them were top ten hits. The first two singles from the album were White Boy and I’m Afraid Of Me. Both are fair songs but did not fair well with the public. White Boy barely cracked the charts and I’m Afraid Of Me peaked at 100 in the UK charts.

The third single was Do You Really Want To Hurt Me. This was what the public wanted to hear. It was a global sensation and became a number one hit in the UK and number two in the US. The song is instantly recognizable with the opening chords and Boy Georges lyrics. The song was used by the cover band in the movie The Wedding Singer making it more recognizable to those that grew up in the 80s. It is a great song that is easy to groove to. The group also focused on the sounds from Central American calypso and reggae sounds.

The fourth single released from this album was Time (ClockOf The Heart). This song was more of a new wave track than either calypso or reggae sounding. The strings and clean synth bass sounds make the song one of my favorites from the album. The strings take from the disco era but the bass was what kept this track current. The saxophone solo also helped to keep it current as this was the cool thing to add to your songs at the time.

The last single from the album was called I’ll Tumble 4 Ya. This one went back to the calypso sound with a set of horns and the steel drum. Both of these instrument sets set this song apart as unique. The lyrics and the beat certainly helped too. It was an easy song to find a groove to dance to. This is my second favorite song from the album.

This really is one of the great albums from the early 80s for that new wave feel.

That is all I have for now...

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 24

Veronica Falls have a new single released this week. It is the title track for their new album Waiting ForSomething To Happen. The B side is only found with this single. You can get it in 7” record or download.

Family Force 5 have a new remix album called Reanimated out this week as well. The CD is in limited quaintly but you can download it now!

The preorder is up at Slumberland Records for the new Weekend album called Jinx. The limited vinyl color is clear blue with solid blue splatter. The standard version is going to be clear yellow with solid yellow splatter. Both are very pretty.

Also, with every order at Slumberland Records you will get a CD version of the summer sampler. I am very excited because there are a few singles that have been released that I haven’t been too sure I wanted to get and they are on this comp. It will probably help me spend some more money with them.

Here we go...

This is the groups seventh album. It is their second album as a trio, Von being their first as a trio. It was released this week (June 2013) around the world. It is also their first released fully through XL Recordings since the band left EMI/Parlophone during the labels acpuisition by Universal Music Group in 2012. The album has been released with an additional 10” called The Expanded Edition for a few more dollars. There is not a special edition of this album this time. The group takes a new direction with this album both musically and thematicly. The group has described the album as more aggressive than past efforts. I find this to be true for the most part.

The 10” record contains a ten minute remix of the first single, Brennisteinn (Blanck Mass Instrumental Remix), on the A side. This remix is a very slow build but considering it is a ten minute track I can deal with that. The two B sides from the EP released for Brennisteinn see a physical release on the B side of this extra 10”.

There have been two singles released from the album so far. The first is called Brennisteinn. From Vol. 4 Episode 13, “The track clocks in at a whopping 7 minutes and 56 seconds. This song has a different sound than what I am use to hearing from them. The big interesting change is the electronic sounding thunder of the bass in the first part of the track. I have slowly been getting into Dub Step music and this bass sound is like something pulled from that genre. About half way this sound dies off and becomes something a bit more rock influenced. There is a lot of percussion through out the track that makes the song so interesting. They are not cymbal hits but more like metallic noises, similar to that of Jonsi’s Go album. The song then dives off into atmospheric sounds until fade out. I think it is really cool to hear the group go through its basic range in one grand song.”

The second single, Ísjaki, is a more delicate song. It is slower and has a beautiful beat. It is a very nice combination of Jónsis’ solo work and Sigur Rós as a group. The strings in the background bring out the emotions behind the vocals perfectly. The electronic noises in the quiet spots help to keep the song in line with the feel for the overall album. The feel for the song seems to be disheartening but not sad. It comes off as more introspective in my opinion.

I think the album is a great new direction for the group. It is also a departure from all of their past efforts. It is a really great album and possibly a way to introduce or reintroduce people to the group if they have not heard or did not like them in the past.

This is Herb Alperts’ twenty-fifth album. It was released in 1979 after the success of the single Rise. The construction of rise was with the A side being original material and the B side being cover songs. The A side has the famous title track plus the track 1980. 1980 was commissioned by NBC sports to be used in the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. The guitar echo sound was sampled by The Notorious B.I.G. and helped to make the song Hypnotize so recognizable. Alpert is credited on both the single and in the album Life After Death by The Notorious B.I.G. The B side included a cover of Street Life, originally recorded by The Jazz Crusaders, a version of the Bill Withers song Love Is featuring Alpert's vocals, as well as a dance rendition of Joaquín Rodrigo's Aranjuez classical composition.

The first single for the album was the title track, Rise. The song features Herb Alpert on lead trumpet. It is a great disco track that is a super cool dance track. It is completely different from what everyone knows about his work, which is mainly Whipped Cream & Other Delights. I think the inclusion of the electric guitar helps differentiate this work from the past.

The second single released from the album is called Rotation. The song starts off with a cool bongo beat that leads into the song with Alpert leading on trumpet. It is a very nice cool jazz track that is easy to listen to.

The third single from the album is from the covers side of the album. The single is called Street Life. this song is originally recorded by The Jazz Crusaders. It is another funk/disco track that works very well with Alpert on the lead trumpet again.

If you like the funk and disco sounds this is a good one to get your hands on.

This is a compilation released in 1989. This is just songs released from their first three albums (Only A Lad, Nothing To Fear and Good For Your Soul). Fans call this time period The A&M Years. There is nothing new on this record. I take that back. I have the original LP version of Nothing To Fear so the version of Private Life on this compilation is slightly different than the one that I am use to hearing. The version on this compilation can be found on CD, cassette or the re-issues of this LP.

When I listened to this album for the first time I thought that tracks three and four were original to this compilation. They are very good tracks (On The Outside and Nasty Habits). I haven’t listened to the album Only A Lad for a while now. I must have omitted them from my memory because when I looked up the album there they were. I knew all of the other tracks very well but those two I couldn’t remember listening to in the past. All of the tracks on the album are very good.

If you want to get a good idea of what Oingo Boingo was like in the early 80s but don’t want to spend a bunch of money doing it then this compilation is the way to go.

I have done reviews of each of the albums that this compilation covers. You can read them here:
Only A Lad from Vol. 2 Episode 23"The first single, Only A Lad, was actually released on the preceding EP. This song gained popularity with the help of the KROQ radio station. The next single from the album is Little Girls. There was a video made for this song. The video is just as vague as the lyrics are. If you read into the lyrics you could think that he is singing about a character that likes to have sex with little girls. I can’t prove that this is the truth but the music is fun if you can get over that little thought."

Nothing To Fear from Vol. 2 Episode 22 "There was only a couple singles from this album. I remember hearing the big single on the radio. That song is called Private Life. The song did not get much radio play but just enough that I remember hearing it. The lyrics did not get through my head at that young age. Now that I hear it being at an age where I can understand what is being said the song has new meaning. He is singing about things that he has hidden in his life and that he doesn’t want to have them in his life any more. I can understand that but at the same time I would not give up or change anything that I have done in my life. The other single is Wild Sex (In The Working Class). It was not as much a single as it was a song that was used in the John Hughes film Sixteen Candles. It was during a scene in the dance sequence. I did not realize it when I saw the movie the first time, I did not see it when I was a kid, I was too young. I did buy the movie in the mid 00s. It was then that I realized that the song was theirs. I came to love the movies that John Hughes made though. At one point I thought that they were singing, “Want sex in the working class.” This was when I did not know the song or the band. When I found out what the title of the song was it made more sense but was still just as bad."

Good For Your Soul from Vol. 2 Episode 43 "Who Do You Want To Be. The song basically asks the question, “Who do you want to be when you grow up?” It is more specific about time though, replacing “when you grow up?” with “today.” The lyrics then go on to offer some ideas of what you may want to be to day, such as someone on TV or a stranger in a strange strange land. The next song, called Good For Your Soul (The title track), is about trying new things to see if they should be things that you are doing. The full line goes, “Once or twice is good for your soul.” I think that for the most part it is an interesting way to live life, finding out the things that you should and should not be doing in life. The next song, No Spill Blood, is an interesting song based on the H.G. Wells novel The Island of Dr. Moreau. It would seem that they are taking lines from the 1933 movie adaptation of the novel called Island of Lost Souls. I have not seen this movie but would be interested to for this reference alone. The next song that I like is Wake Up (It’s 1984). This song is obviously a direct reference to the George Orwell novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. There are references to Big Brother and that everyone is watching you. I had to read this book in high school (I am sure that everyone did) and I thought that it was an interesting concept. To have a song reference the song makes a link to that time in high school and of course to the book."

That is all I have for now...

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 23.5

Man or Astro-Man? (MOAM) with opening act The Jacuzzi Boys at The Turf Club in St Paul MN on 6-14-2013.

This was the first time I had seen MOAM in concert, although, I have been a fan since the late 90s. I took my best friend to see this concert. I had bought the tickets as soon as they had become available for purchase on line. I bought them at the same time as I got the tickets for the Bleached concert that I wrote about back in the end of April.

I learned from my last experience at The Turf Club not to show up until about 8:30-9:00 P.M. I met my friend at the club entrance and we went in. They tore the ticket and stamped the inside of my right wrist. We saw the merch table right away to our left. We also went down stairs to check that out. I did not even know that there was anything down there. It amounted to a smaller bar with a small DJ style stage that wasn’t being used tonight because of the concert. We went back up stairs and got in line for the merch booth. I bought a T-shirt and a download card that was only being sold at the concerts. I thought about buying a tour poster but changed my mind. Slumberland Records has sent me so many with my purchases through them that I did not really feel hurt that I didn’t get one at the concert. Maybe Chunklet will send me one with the record that I ordered. We then went out to my car to drop off those two items.

As we were coming back we heard The Jacuzzi Boys start their set. We plugged in out ear plugs and went in to listen. On our way in we stopped to look at the two pinball machines that they had on the wall. One was based on the new Transformers movies and the other was The Creature from The Black Lagoon. I had played the Transformers game before. It was a fun game but not super exciting. The Creature from The Black Lagoon looked like a lot of fun though. I did not have any change on me though so we did not play. We moved a bit closer to the stage after looking at the games. We ended up standing in front of the sound board after progressively moving forward.

The Jacuzzi Boys reminded me of early 70s garage punk groups like The Stooges or The Velvet Underground. There was also a touch of California punk in there as well. They seemed to make heavy use of metaphors relating to drug use and sex. There is nothing wrong with this since it has always been sex drugs and ‘rock and roll’. I liked the music that they played and I am thinking about buying an album. I had not heard them before so I found it hard to spend the extra money on the spot. I also don’t know yet what the albums and singles are that they have in their catalog. I will have to do that research still if I am going to buy any music from them.

They finished at about 10:30 and both bands members helped to tear down The Jacuzzi Boys set and set up for Man or Astro-Man? set. It was strange to see members of Man or Astro-Man? not in costume during this set up time. I had only ever seen the group dressed in their “space” attire in video clips and in the DVD called Time Bomb.

MOAM took the stage at 11:00 and played a whopping nineteen tracks in one hour! They took the stage with their costumes on this time. Avona Nova with a space like V dress, Coco with his orange bocy suit, Bird Stuff in orange pants with a grey shirt and Starcrunch with grey pants an orange shirt and a jean jacket. The opening track was really just an intro that moved into the all electronic track Defcon 4 from the new album. The group started actually playing with the song Antimatter Man. This was also a song from the new album. I first heard this song from the first of the three singles released before the album. I knew this song very well as I had been listening to it since its release back in the fall of 2012. The next song, Put Your Finger In The Socket, is an older song that was originally released on Project Infinity in 95. Starcrunch started having problems with his guitar on this track and couldn’t hear much in his monitor on stage either. The song was cut off because of these problems. The group decided to do some introductions and comedy ensued a bit there after. They then went into the track Planet Collision. This was the first of their songs that started with a sound clip.

Back in the 90s, Coco The Electronic Monkey Wizard had a key board that had a guitar strap on it. He would use it to queue up the sound bites. Now he has his bass guitar modified to include a touch screen of some of kind (posibly an iPad or the like) to control the samples that the group uses. The bass looks like a Danelectro Longhorn.

They move directly into 9 Volt from there. This is another track from the mid 90s. This one has vocals with it as well. I miss the electronic sounds that are on the original recording but there just aren’t enough people in the band to make every little sound happen. They had planned to do the talking at this point to introduce the band and tell a few jokes but since they had some issues earlier and took that time to do some talking then they basicly went right into the next song. The next song is called Evil Plans of Planet Spectra. This is also from Experiment Zero in the mid 90s. This track doesn’t have any lyrics. It is just a fast surf track that sounds cool.

The next track, Inside The Atom, Is my favorite track that they have ever recorded. There is a part in the middle where Starcrunch uses an effect where it gives a delayed echo after he cuts off the guitar sound that I love. I would love to know what pedal he uses and how he uses it to make the sound but I understand if he doesn’t want to give up trade secrets.

I stopped my recording at this point to save. Because of this I missed out on part of the talk about bending space and time to have been able to listen to a song that would have been “old hat” to me now in the past. It was a funny little joke really. They went into the new song Codebreaker 78 after that little joke. It is a cool track that I had heard before because the download of the new album had been out for about a month prior to this concert. They went into Sferic Waves right after Codebreaker 78. It was cool to see Coco use the touch screen device in his bass to start off the sound bite for the song.

At this point Avona Nova was being introduced to take over on bass so that Coco could play the Theremin. They also talked about the next concert and how to get there. They wanted to know if Tommy Bartlets Robot World still existed. It was kind of funny in an odd way. They then went on to talk about guitars. I believe that at this point Starcrunch was still having problems with his guitar and he switched it for a different Mosrite guitar. It ended up being that he needed a new guitar cable.

The next song that they played was Man Made of CO2. Coco started the sound clip again with his bass before switching over to his Theremin. The Theremin was not used in this track but he was getting it set up. This track comes from 1000X EP from 1997. The next track uses the Theremin. This song is called Principles Unknown. I was disappointed that he did not start the instrument on fire like I have seen him do in the past but he did use the crowd to play the instrument toward the end of the song. It was a lot of fun watching him play this instrument. It was to bad that he only used it for one song though.

There was a little bit more talking while Coco put the Theremin away and got his bass back out. It was silly talk about dinosaur poop that meant nothing as it was all hypothetical. Coco then started the sound clip for U-Uranus. This is another song that has lyrics. I always liked the line, “Uranus is a planet and it begins with U (you).” It is a very short song. With no break in between, Coco started the lead in sound clip for Rocketship XL-3. This one is a real fast surf rock track that makes you feel like you’re on that rocket ship speeding as fast as it will take you to space. Such a fun track!

The next song played was Defcon 5. This is another new song that was released initially on the first 7” in the series of three that were put out before the new album was released. They had the graphic that was on the 7” sleeves spinning on the video screens behind the drummer. It looked really cool. I like the use of the harmonics in this song quite a bit really. The next track was called Television Fission and comes from Experiment Zero too. This is a song that the group has been playing live for a long time. It is a great song too.

Coco started off the next track, Transmission From Venus, with the sound clip. I would love to know what movie that this clip comes from. Starcrunch shreds this one up pretty good. It really sounds amazing that someone could play this well and with such style. It is just too bad that the songs are so short. But then again you get more songs that way too. The next track they played was Maximum Radiation Level. This one also has a cool old sound clip to start it off. It is also a track from Experiment Zero. There were a lot of great tracks from this album and that is why they are getting played so much.

The second to last track played was Destination Venus. This track reminds me of a track that Yuck wrote called Holing Out. That song reminds me of Dinosaur Jr. song called Feel The Pain. The Dinosaur Jr. song sounds nothing like Destination Venus though. But all three songs are very good songs and I am happy to have them in my collection. Destination Venus does have lyrics but it is very hard to understand them. That is OK though because his vocals always seem to add so much to the songs. The last song is called Special Agent Conrad Uno. This one is a spy type song in the style of James Bond or The Man From U.N.C.L.E. It is a cool song that fits the style very well. They let the song hang at the end with a lot of noise from the guitars as they walked off the stage at the end.

This was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. I wish that I could have gone to see them back in the 90s. I thing it would have been better to have seen them in their hey day of touring and recording music. On the other hand they have so many songs under their belt now that it is more of a show than it would have been back then.

Set List:
Intro/Defcon 4
Antimatter Man
Put Your Finger In The Socket
Planet Collision
9 Volt
Evil Plans of Planet Spectra
Inside The Atom
Codebreaker 78
Sferic Waves
Man Made of CO2
Principles Unknown
Rocketship XL-3
Defcon 5
Television Fission
Transmission From Venus
Maximum Radiation Level
Destination Venus
Special Agent Conrad Uno

If you want to read the CityPages review you can check it out here.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 23

There will be a review coming up for the Man or Astro-Man? concert later this weekend.

The new Man or Astro-Man? album will be arriving next week, baring further complications, as will the Sigur Ros album.

I am also still awaiting the arrival of the Golden Grrrls tour cassette. I will have to contact them about that one.

Here we go...

This is the second full length album from indie rock group Surfer Blood. It was released this past week (June 2013). It is a short album, clocking in at just over a half an hour. It is also a very good album. I have been listening to it over and over for the past few days. They have really continued where Tarot Classics left off two years ago. The changes on this album are subtle but noticeable. The inclusion of screams in a few tracks and A bit more edgy grit in the guitars is specifically what I saw different than what they have done in the past. I actually like it a lot. The album was not available in any kind of colored vinyl and there was a CD included with the vinyl instead of a download. I was disappointed that there was not a color option but the CD was an added bonus. This is the groups first time on a major label if you can call Sire, owned by Warner Bros., a major label now.

The first single released from the album is called DemonDance. This single was put out as a 7” three colored record for Record Store Day 2013. I wanted to get it but it was one of the two that I couldn’t get a hold of on the day. I guess I wasn’t too disappointed about that as both the A and B sides were from this album. The song starts out with a nice clean electric guitar sound and a soaring high pitched distorted guitar sound. The organ sound kicks in at the start of the first chorus and sounds great floating in the background. I was very surprised when at the second half of the song after the breakdown there was an addition of screaming/growling that sort of works for the song. It is a new facet to the groups’ bag of tricks that I like.

I am not sure if Weird Shapes will be released as a single or not but it was up on the groups web page in the beginning of this year to preview. The song starts off with a multi-layered guitar with drums backing. As the rest of the song kicks in it starts to remind me right away of the song Miranda from 2011’s EP Tarot Classics. I think what is really different about this one is the addition of the screams. It is a really cool way to differentiate that this is a new way of music for the group even with the smooth Ooos. It is a cool way to showcase both sides of the group in one song.

This album is really great and I think that everyone should give it a shot. It will only take out a half hour of your day and you won’t be disappointed.

This is the tenth album from the duo. It was released in the fall of 1981. It was a major leap forward for the group as the album contains two big charting songs along with an additional top ten hitting single. After Kiss On My List went Number one the duo decided to do their best to write more songs like this and the songs on Private Eyes were the result. This album and its follow up helped to develop the sound of the 80s. This was done specifically with the synth and other electronic sounds that were new at the time. This included the electronic drums that helped sound out their sound.

The first single released from the album is the title track, Private Eyes. It is a great single. The use of actual drums and electronic drums really help to make the song unique. The synth piano that holds the song in place is not only functional but also is a unique sound to the 80s. The video for the song is not really spectacular but was created within the budget of an early MTV generation.

The second single released from the album is called I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do). This song is very pretty. The elegance comes from the background vocals combined with the synth piano part. The saxophone solo just adds to the songs general sound. The chorus is more staccato and helps to break up the soaring sounds in the verse parts. Both of these two singles should be in any 80s fans song list.

The third single from the album is called Did It In A Minute. This was a top ten single but did not reach number one in the charts. It just did not have the right content to make the number one slot. The chorus has a cool hook but the verse sections were not unique enough to get it there. The verse reminded me of something that Billy Joel could have written at the time not a group that was helping to make the sound of the 80s.

This is a good album but not essential. On the other hand the first two singles released from this album are essential. At least listen to them if not buy them. They are exceptional tracks!

This is the second digital single released by foxes since her last 7” EP. It was released in May 2013. I am really confused by the change in release style with her music. I think that this is Sony Music doing what they do worst. I don’t think they have realized that she is an indie electronic artist and her fans are expecting physical releases. That was part of why I got into her music. Her music had been released on physical records. What ever she puts out is absolutely gold but I have not seen any advertisements for the latest two singles except for what Louisa has pushed via twitter. I feel that the majors are not doing any favors for these new lesser known artists. I hope that the partnership turns out well for her but I am not holding my breath.

This single is just that. It is one song, Beauty Queen, and a remix of that song on the “B” side (it is a digital single after all). The first track is a poppy, almost marching, song that talks about the true beauty in each and every human being. She sings about beauty being only skin deep and that true beauty comes from within. It is a good dance track but I have heard better from Foxes.

The second track from this single is Beauty Queen (Jack Beats Remix). The remix is a lot more fun than the original version. The beat is four on the floor. Her vocals are super echoy and the keys are fun electronic, almost hardcore. The vocals are cut up quite a bit for the remix but the point still comes across.

The song is good as is the remix but I am still waiting to hear news about the upcoming album.

That is all I have for now...

Friday, June 7, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 22

Nine Inch Nails (NIN) have a new album coming out in September. New single premiered this week on radio stations called Came Back Haunted. You can preorder the album in many formats from or any other etailer.

Abandoned Pools also have a new album coming out next month (July 2) called Somnambulist. I haven’t heard anything from it yet but I am still excited.

On with the show...

This is the third in the series of Sun records repressings through Third Man Records. It was originally released in 1953 as a 10” shellac record. I ordered this record after the foul up with the previous two. I had received a seven dollar refund from the Sigur Ros web site and used that money to purchase this record. The record cost me about a dollar and a half after those seven dollars with shipping costs. This was probably the best deal I have ever gotten on a single set. All told I think the three singles cost me about eight bucks. I could have just gotten the set for fifteen but this way seemed to work out quite well. I am not sure if I will get the next set. We’ll see if there is something that interests me.

The two tracks sound completely different from each other. The A side, Bear Cat, is a rough and tough track about how hard it is for a man to be in a relationship with a mean woman. It is a lot of fun and the track rocks pretty good too. The cat noises that he makes are quite annoying though.

The B side track, Walking In The Rain, is a very mellow track. The guitar sounds so smooth and sad. I like the slides that the guitar does too. The vocals come off as smooth as the guitar to. It is a sad track as the story sung is about a man who has lost his girl. He is, as the song says, walking in the rain, waiting for the rain to wash the blues away.

This is a good couple of tracks that I had never heard before. I don’t think that I will be running out to get more from Rufus but I am happy that I have these two tracks.

This is the third album from The Time. It was released in 1984. Like the previous two albums, this is a short six track album. The singles from the album were featured on the movie Purple Rain. Prince was the producer under the name The Starr Company and played all of the instruments on the studio recordings of these songs and Morris Day performed the lead vocals.

There were two singles released from this album. The first is called Jungle Love. It is a fun funk track with animalistic sounds by Day. The song is about wild and crazy things relating to sex. That aside the music is a lot of fun, easy to dance to. The song was also featured at the end of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back with the full band playing on stage.

The second single released from this album is called TheBird. This track was recorded live at First Ave. This was the first time the group had a song on an album live and featuring the full band and prince was not involved at all.

I remember hearing both of these songs on the radio growing up. I loved both tracks but didn’t understand the sexual connotations of Jungle Love. That was fine with me as I liked the music more anyway. It was not until I went garage sailing recently that I found this album along with a few others.

This is a new EP from SubVibe. It was just released this week. If you want the basics for free you can download a copy from Facebook. If you really like what you hear, you can get the EP for nine bucks with extra tracks from your favorite etailer download site (no physical copies available). The EP that I paid for has ten tracks. It is a five track EP with five remixes. It is really some great hard hitting dub step music. I see it more as electronic than dub. There are parts that remind me of old Daft Punk and Tron Legacy style Daft Punk. There are traces of the trance music that I use to listen to in the mid to late 90s as well. This is a great EP that you could have for free. If you like what you hear then please buy the EP. Amazon is selling it for 8.99 now, a buck cheaper than iTunes.
That is all I have for now...

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 21

Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead fame has made it onto twitter (@JnnyG)

Veronica Falls will have a new single, the title track for Waiting For Something To Happen, released from their latest album out soon on Slumberland Records.

Here we go...

This is the third album from Vampire Weekend. It was released mid May, 2013. The material for the album was started during the tour for Contra (second album). After the tour the band took a break to pursue other musical projects but reconvened to work on the album in 2011. For the first time the band brought in an outside record producer to work on the album. The album was recorded in various locations including Martha’s Vineyard. There was an XL Recordings exclusive white vinyl pressing that was made available through XL’s web page. It was a couple bucks more expensive plus shipping cost so I ended up getting my copy through Amazon.

The albums sound is darker and more grounded than the first two albums were. This was done to show the bands growth and so that they did not become pigeon holed into one sound. For me their sound is still there, it is just shaded differently. If you listen for it the style of the first two albums is still there on this new album but the music that is on the album is darker, almost depressing but definitely down to earth. Where as the previous two albums floated care free in the clouds.

There have been three tracks released as singles so far. The first two are a double A side single. Diane Young comes off as a Prince inspired fun track. The vocals use a pitch shift pedal during the chorus that shift above and below the vocalists’ normal pitch. It is a trick that comes off as odd but works well with the song. I first heard the track on my local radio station 89.3 The Current. I thought it was an odd song the first couple of times that I heard the song but it sort of grew on me. I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of the album after hearing the song on the radio.

The AA side of this single is called Step. I had never heard this track before getting the album. The song is a slow track with a cool piano part that just makes sense. The chorus is a bit strange though. He sings, “The gloves are off, the wisdom teeth are out.” Maybe I just don’t understand the song but that pair of lines just doesn’t make any sense to me. That doesn’t mean the song isn’t just as sweet as any of the other songs on the album though.

The third single from the album is called Ya Hey. This track is another slow track that I have not heard on the radio yet. I would have thought that with a track called Ya Hey it would have been a lot more fun than it actually is. The chorus comes off as a bit silly with an interesting high pitch shifted response to the vocalists lyrics. It is so high pitched that it is unintelligible.

The last two tracks on the album are so monotonous and slow they bore me to pieces. I usually cut the album when the second to last track starts playing. Those two tracks are called Hudson and Young Lion.

All in all a good new album with a new sound from the band. I do think that every one should hear Diane Young but if you are not a fan of the group then don’t worry about the rest of the album.

This is the groups fifth album release (including the soundtrack to Tron Legacy). It was released in late May, 2013. There are quite a few people that have helped out with this album. Some of those names include Panda Bear, Julian Casablancas, Todd Edwards, DJ Falcon, Chilly Gonzales, Giorgio Moroder, Nile Rodgers, Paul Williams, and Pharrell Williams. Daft punk themselves have taken a step back from electronic styled music in favor of late 70s/early 80s pop rock and disco styled music. They have even limited themselves to primarily drum machines, a modular synthesizer and vintage vocoders.

There has only been one single released from the album so far. That song is called Get Lucky. The song was cowritten and featureing by Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers. The song is a disco/funk track about the fortune of finding chemistry with someone and not just about sexual chemistry. I was not really sure about this track as I had only heard the beginning or the end of the track. I really like the vocoders that are used on the vocals with this group. When I finally heard the whole song I was relieved to hear that the vocoders were not abandoned. The use of live musicians, especially with this track, gives a new light to the group.

I don’t think that there is really a bad track on the album if you’re looking for a throw back to the late 70s/early 80s. This album is not one that I could listen to over and over though. It is a good album if you’re in the mood for a new retro sound.

This is the third and last 7” scheduled to be released for the new album. This was supposed to be released as a download as well as 7” vinyl but the band has still yet to put it up for download at any of the usual sites. It is available still in black, everywhere, and purple, at chunklet. There was also a clear pressing that was limited to 200 copies. I ordered my copies as soon as it was available and got both the purple and clear copies.

This is a three track single with the A side coming from the upcoming album and the B side having two tracks exclusively on this single. The A side track is called Disintegrate. It features backing vocals from Liz Durrett. Liz Durrett is a folk artist who is signed on Warm Electronic Recordings, a small record company based in Athens Georga that Brian Causey (A.K.A. Starcrunch) operates. The song itself is very punchy or hard hitting. Starcrunch has his usual flat vocals that work well with the space theme. Durrett’s vocals are fantastic and have a space like floaty sound to them.

The first B side track is called Baby’s First Spacewalk. There are no vocals on this track. The song is very playful in nature and is very easy to dance to considering the beat is quick and fun. This track is more surf than space but considering the title there is an image in my head that is more space than surf.

The second track on the B side is called Defcon 0. This is an all electronic track that is more experimental in nature than anything else. The song is very short, clocking in at just over a minute long. It is also very depressing as it is the last number in the series of Defcon tracks (Defcon 5-1 will be on the album).

This is a special download put up by Sea Wolf and Noisetrade. It is a pay what you want EP that contains two tracks from Old World Romance and three rarities that come from the same recording session. The songs deal with major life changes - the death of a close relative, the birth of a child, relocation, relationships, and the general weight of life. They're songs of growing up and facing the fears and realities of adulthood. All five songs are very beautiful but I could tell why the rarities were left off the album. They just don’t have that special something that the other tracks on the album have. This could be due to production values on these songs or it could just be that they are not as good as those chosen for the album.

I talked about the first track on the EP, Old Friend, on Vol. 3 Episode 41. I had this to say about the track, “This song is a great lead off song for the album. It has a great beat. It is sort of funny because most Sea Wolf songs are slow and this one has a quick beat that is unexpected. It is almost danceable. I love the acoustic guitar and electric guitar back and forth that happens in this song too. It is a pretty song that floats but still has pop sensibility with the exceptional drums on the track.”

The second track from the album that is also on this EP is called Kasper. The organ and backing vocals are what really make this song for me. The vocals are standard Sea Wolf vocals but the organ and vocals that happen in the breaks are so pretty they seem to float like clouds with the sun shining through them. It is just beautiful. I could really listen to this song over and over. The drums come off as sporadic but rhythmic almost a bit jerky but they still work well within the parameters of the song.

The third song is called Old World Romance. Obviously this would have been the title track but it didn’t end up on the album. This is a slightly slower track. In the chorus he sings, “I don’t belong here, I don’t belong here, I don’t belong here but I belong here.” This is really how I feel about my life since I had to start all over, it seems, since my divorce ten years ago. I am still not at the same place I was back then. This is good and bad. It is a completely new life now.

The fourth song is called Sons & Daughters. This track picks up the pace. I like the acoustic guitar that is played in this track. It is very fast strummed. The organ that is used is very sweet but the synth that is used comes off to me as a bit spooky. It is still a very good song but a bit different than I would have expected from Sea Wolf.

The last track on this EP is called Two Strangers. This track slows it down a bit again. It kind of reminds me of Leaves In The River but a bit more striped down. It is a completely different track but has that style. It has a break through uplifting feel. As if a struggle was taking place but is over come in the end. The song makes me feel good that life may get better if I keep at it.

Remember this is a pay what you want download EP from Noisetrade. Don’t avoid this EP get it as soon as you can, you won’t be sorry. You can listen to all the tracks at the album link.

That is all I have for now...