Friday, July 26, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 30

I was lucky enough to find a copy of Man Or Astro-Man's first ever release for a reasonable price last week. The record is in great condition and the sleeve is pretty good too. This will probably be on next weeks post.

I also just recently found out about a local artist called Dessa. Her third album is what attracted me to her music. My local radio has played a few tracks from her new album Parts Of Speech. This will also probably be on next weeks post.

The Dodos have signed with a new record label and have a new record coming out at the end of next month. The album is called Carrier and will be put out on Polyvinyl Records. Release date is August 27th.

On with the show...

This is their first album. It was released in April of 1982. I remember watching the videos for this album on MTV. I was lucky enough to have MTV growing up as a kid. I also remember having a small dish on top of my house so we could get HBO before cable was even a thing. We never had one of those huge dishes though. I was still very young at this point and the hair styles didn’t have an effect on me yet. The album is considered a concept album with a theme of alien abduction. The tracks follow a story in sequence of the abduction.

There were three singles from the album, the first being Telecommunication. This track did not chart on the standard US or UK charts but did do well on the dance charts. The song basically lists different ways that other life forms may choose to communicate. Our choice is telecommunication and has been for quite a while.

The second single released from the album is I Ran (So FarAway). The text on my album only reads I Ran. The version of the song that I have was the one that was on the video. There is a version that has an introduction and an extended ending. This can be found on a different version of the vinyl and all versions of the CD. There is a third shorter version of the song that has a fade out at the end. I have not hear the longer version but would be interested if I could find a copy.

The third single is called Space Age Love Song. I recognize this song just as well as I Ran. It has that same cool echo that was used on I ran and is mostly why I like the song so much. From Wikipedia, “Lead guitarist Paul Reynolds remarked on their 1984 video album "Through the Looking Glass" that he thought of the song's title. He said that the band wrote and recorded it, but couldn't come up with the title. He suggested "Space Age Love Song" because he thought it sounded like a space age love song. His title stuck as the song's permanent title.”

This is the second release from Soul Coughing. It was released in July of 1996. I thought that this album was miles better than the first album they put out. I was very excited to get my hands on this album when it was new. This is one of my favorite albums of the mid 90s music. I was able to see them live at a free multi staged festival some time after this album was put out. I remember having the worst view ever, the back of the stage, but that I was able to hear them well enough. The producer of the first album was unable to produce the second record. Going against the wishes of the band and the record label, Mike Doughty hired David Kahne to give the album a new wave feel.

The album put out three singles. The first was Soundtrack ToMarry (bad audio but actual video). I liked the opening with just an acoustic guitar and Mikes vocals. The simplicity was earth shattering and the dead pan vocals were perfection. The song did not chart that well but for me the song was awesome. I liked it so much that I bought the 7” single. It came on clear vinyl. It was one of my first colored vinyl purchases. I listened to this song so much both on that single and on the CD. I have the lyrics nearly memorized. I have always liked the bass sound from the band too.

The second single was Soft Serve. This song has a groovy bass line. The guitar is electric with a vibrato on it. There is also some keys that are organ like in the background. I was never as much of a fan of this track. I had a friend who loved this track though and I never understood why. He grew up in Chicago and that gave him a different perspective but that is the only excuse that I could give him.

The third single was Super Bon Bon. This track was so cool. The upright bass has just a touch of distortion. There were mainly samples of noise and instruments making noise through the song over the drums and bass. Mikes vocals were over the top of it all in perfect clarity. It was so fun to sing along with the lyrics because they only made sense in the fractions of each line. The lyrics as a whole never seemed to make any sense.

This was never a single but I liked the song Disseminated. The sample used for the main music was so cool. It reminded me of something from a Warner Brothers cartoon. My friends and I also liked the word Chocodile that is used in the chorus of the song. I have no idea what it is but my assumption is that of a chocolate crocodile.

This is an album from the 90s that everyone should hear at least once!

This is the twelfth album by Hall & Oates. It was released early October of 1984. It marked the end of the duo’s success streak. It is also considered one of the records that made the sound of the 80s. I remember seeing the cover of the album and thinking it looked nearly like one of my sisters shirts (it was the 80s after all). I recently found a copy of this album still sealed at one of my local record stores. I was excited even though there was only one song that I was looking for.

There were four singles released from the album. The first single, Out Of Touch, released from the record is why I bought it. I remember hearing the song on the radio as a kid still in elementary school. The song was brought back to my attention when Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released. You had the option to change radio stations in the game and the song was featured on the Flash FM channel in the game. In the video for the song the opening track that fades into Out Of Touch is included. It was probably a way to advertise more songs and slightly annoying to cut the track as they fade into each other. The 12” remix version of the song was used for the video.

The second single from the album is called Method Of ModernLove. The song is very interesting but never hit me as a good song. It did hit number five on the charts though so I must be wrong about it. It just doesn’t have a good hook and the synth horns don’t sound right to me.

The third single from the album is called Some Things AreBetter Left Unsaid. It is a quieter song and a bit slower too. For me it kind of has an air of something that could have been used for a movie. I don’t believe that it was but it certainly could have been. It is a good song, better than Method Of Modern Love, but it still doesn’t have that hook like their other hits had.

Possession Obsession is the last single from the album. This is the last track on the album as well as being the last single released from the album. The song just doesn’t seem to go anywhere though. It is a good beat but there is no rise and fall and the hook is so weak.

The first single is really the only song that you need to hear from this album unless you are a fan.

This is the sixth album by Judas Priest. It was released in April of 1980. This album was considered heavy metal at the time like Led Zeppelin was, the music really of the period from rock music. I was never a fan of rock music growing up as a kid. I saw it as my dads’ music. The singles from this album were played on the station that my dad listened to. My parents always asked me to not get into that heavy metal music. They were talking of bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden. It is funny to me now because they were a sub genre to what my dad listened to i.e. not too different. I don’t know what they were thinking. I did end up getting into the heavier rock but not until after I left home. I wanted to find some of the classic rock and get a better understanding of what was propelling the current rock of the late 90s and early 00s.

There were three singles released from this album. The first single was Breaking The Law. I first heard this song through the Beavis And Butt-Head show on MTV. The song is very simple with an easy to chant/repeat chorus. The chorus is repeating the title of the song. The Beavis And Butt-Head were very dumb and this was an easy chorus for them to remember add to this the illegal connotations and it fits them perfectly. It was funny to see idiots act idiotic.

The second single from the album is called Living AfterMidnight. I remember hearing this song on my dad’s radio in the garage. I am not sure if he liked the song or not but he did not change the channel. He never changed the channel really. I think he wanted to hear something other than the tools he used to work on cars. The song is about the hedonistic, rebellious way of living in the 80s. The vocals are what make it work so well. The song really reminds me of the Thin Lizzy album called Jail Break.

The last single from the album is called United. The song hits hard with a simple staccato verse. The chorus smooth’s out to something that can be chanted in an arena setting. It was not a song that I had ever heard before I got the album. It is a good song for an 80s rock song but not something I intend to listen to often.

Over all it is a good album. I got it for cheap and view it as getting the single for a buck and the rest of the album for a couple of bucks extra. It is cheaper than getting a download from iTunes, that’s for sure.

That is all I have for now...

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 29

Arcade Fire has announced the release date of their next album. It will be released on
October 29th.

New album from John Mayer coming out August 20th called Paradise Valley.

The second installment of 20/20 Experience from Justin Timberlake will be released on September 30th.

Slumberland Records will be putting out the first full length for Joanna Gruesome. A very cool punk group!

The two Falling Up albums are up to be purchased as physical CDs now.

Here we go...

This is their second full length album. It was released through Slumberland Records again. The official release date is late in July of 2013. I got my copy last week. The limited vinyl versions are on translucent light blue with solid blue splatter (at this point this version is sold out). The standard vinyl versions are on translucent light yellow with solid yellow splatter. Both vinyl versions are cut at 45 RPMs on two records. The record sleeves have lyrics on one side and a graphic on the other. There is also a two sided 12 X 24 inch poster and a download card. The download that the album comes with gets you a bonus track called Siobhan. The record company also sent a tour poster and two three inch by three inch cards with graphics from the album on one side. There was also a set of nine pins that were pressed but I did not get any of those. It is also available on CD and DL. If you order the CD from the record company I believe you will get the pins.

There are officially two singles released from the album so far. The songs on the album are so long that there are no plans to release any 7” or otherwise physical singles. I was saddened to learn this but it also means that I don’t need to spend any extra money for this band at this time. The first single from the album is called Mirror. This is also the opening track for the album. It starts off with a synth ease in and then a noise echo over the top. The bass comes in and the drums not too far after the bass. The guitar eases in place of the synth. The song then changes into something more clear with a clean echo on the guitar. The bass and drums stay pretty much the same. The vocals are totally mid 80s male and airy sounding. The band has been classified as shoegaze in the past but with the new clarity in the music I would lean more towards post-punk/new wave with this release this song specifically. This is kind of odd but I think this is like a cross between Flock Of Seagulls and Joy Division. It is really cool sounding.

The second single is called It’s Alright. This song is primarily driven by the bass line. The bass sounds like it is slightly distorted. It sounds like what I strive for in my bass playing. the drums are there to mainly keep the beat but they have a nice rounded sound that fits well with the sound of the song. The guitar is noisy but is played sparingly. The vocals have a cool heavy echo on them. The song is very different musically from Mirror but fits will as a part of the album, a piece of the pie that would be incomplete with out it.

The group put a lot of time into this album. It shows with each track. It is a very good loud album. This will probably be one of my top records for the year!

This is the second single released this year (2013) from Beck. The first was Defriended. It was released in mid July of 2013. Both of these two singles are non-album singles. Although they are non-album singles we do have an album to look forward to next year, possibly two. Like I said in an earlier post (Defriended), I was not a fan of the song reader thing that he did last year and am happy to hear him recording music again. Like Defriended, IWon’t Be Long was released as a 12” single and as a download. Also, like Defriended, this single was released as a standard version and an extended version.

The standard version, the A side of the record is more of a standard alternative rock song. Although there are some electronic sounds in the song they are more background sounds than anything else. At the head of the music are drums, bass and electric guitars. There is, of course, Beck’s vocals too. I don’t think that the song is as interesting as Defriended but it is still a good song. I do like the grunge guitar that is stuck in the end of the song though. It is a nice twist.

The B side is the extended version of the song. The opening to this song is very cool with an arpegiated synth sound that echoes for about two minutes before the song actually starts. It does go through changes to keep the listeners interest. The bass leads the song in after the synth echo is over. There are more electronic sounds in this version but for the most part it is the same but stretched out. I especially liked the grunge guitar in this version because it gets more of a showcase as it is a longer part in this extended version of the song.

If you like what beck has done in the past then you may be interested in these two singles. If you liked Modern Guilt you would like both of these singles for sure.
This is the second full album from the group. There was a mini album that most fans consider as an EP or something less than a full album. This new album was released in March of 2013. With the addition of a fourth member the band had basically started over from scratch. They took the band in a completely new direction. Their producer said this about the “new” band, “The expansion to a four piece means the garage-clatter of the spritely pop songs of their debut have been replaced by a deeper, shadowy exercise in catharsis, driven by repetition, psychedelia and Dionysian crisis.” It is an interesting way to think about the group.

There have been two singles released from the album. The first single is called The New Life. I recently had this to say about the song (From Vol. 4 Episode 27), “It is a very long song clocking in at 7:36. The song does seem to go on for ever but if you’re not paying attention it becomes kind of comforting. It reminds me of some of the stuff that Pink Floyd has done in the past but not quite as long. The bass guitar stands out with a cool beat. The lead guitar floats over all the other instruments with the rhythm guitar hovering between the bass and lead guitar. It is a very cool stereo image when you pay attention to the song.”

The second single released from the album is called HypnoticRegression. This single was a download only single. The song starts off with the staccato guitar part which as an echo pedal in the signal path. The high hat in the drums is being passed through a phaser pedal and sounds so cool. In the verse the guitar notes are longer so you get a sense of the echo that is on that guitar. I like the vocalists singing style too. It is that of the 80s new wave airy male vocals. It is an easy song to bob your head to.

This is the first and only album put out by New Radicals. It was released in October of 1998. The New Radicals lead singer, Gregg Alexander, supposedly received an advance of 600,000 bucks to sign with MCA Records and create the album. Since he had a solo career before signing and being that he was the only regular member of the group most fans and critics alike considered the album just an extension of his solo albums. Although the two singles from the album have additional writing credits. The music is upbeat pop-rock with influences including funk and soul. Although those are the good points it seems to fall short somehow.

There were two singles released from the album. The first was the big hit, You Get What You Give. The song is a classic pop track with controversial lyrics and name dropping. This was done as an experiment Alexander said at one point to see if the media would focus on the controversial content or the name dropping. Of course the media focused on the name dropping which meant nothing to Alexander. He was disappointed that the controversial lyrics weren’t hit on at all. With all that being said, the song is a great pop song.

The second single is called Someday We’ll Know. This single did not fair as well as the first mainly because Alexander stated that the New Radicals "will no longer be a recording, promoting, or performing entity" and that he would focus on producing and writing material for other artists. This announcement came just as the music video was being produced for the song and the statement that "the fatigue of traveling and getting three hours' sleep in a different hotel every night to do boring 'hanging and schmoozing' with radio and retail people is definitely not for me" effectively stopped all promotion of the song. Although the lyrics were clever the song was also slower and not as fun to listen to. This did not help the song in my opinion.

This is not an album that needs to be purchased. I found it for a buck at one of my pawn shop runs. The first single is superb though and everyone should hear it if not own it.

That is all I have for now...

Friday, July 12, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 28

No updates at the moment. I will keep my eyes open for news when it happens though.

Here we go...

This is the third single released from Amok. It was released early in July of 2013. This was released as a 12” single and as a download. The 12” was pressed at 45 RPMs, if that is something that you care about. There was no special version of this single that I have heard about, so there will be no ridiculous third party market markups like with the last single.

The A side is Before Your Very Eyes. The song has a fast beat and an interesting rhythm guitar part. The bass comes off as very simple but enjoyable. The drums are all over the map but somehow seem to make sense in the context of the song. Thom’s vocals are hauntingly beautiful floating over it all. I especially like the keyboards that float in between the vocals and the rest of the band at about half way through the song. This song is all about the music. The lyrics don’t make much sense but the music keeps the listener interested.

The B side is called Magic Beanz. This song also has a faster beat with that same style of interesting rhythm. I don’t really like the spooky sound of the key board. The drums are similar to the A side track. Yorke’s vocals are put through a processor this time to give them an echo and, it seems, to give them an under tone. It is an interesting sound but very spooky. His lyrics seem to have more direction with this track as well. It comes off as if those who owe money to the big banks are being oppressed because they are not able to pay. That is my take on it anyway. I may have added some to the idea simply from my own experience.

It is interesting stuff but not necessarily a need to own unless you’re a super fan.

This is the groups first release. Some call it an EP come call it an album. Either way it is good music. It was originally released in May of 2011. Mail order copies were released on, what Slumberland Records calls, creamy white vinyl. It was also released on CD and download. The order of the tracks are different on the vinyl version. The CD and DL order are the same. There are eight tracks included on this album.

Every one of these eight songs are drenched in echo and reverb. The reason for this is that Mario Hernandez fell in love with the wall of sound that was created by Phil Spector. He loved the sound so much that he decided to write music following that style. He went so far as to record this album with analog tapes and equipment as much as possible. He brought in friends Becky Barron on drums and Bill Evans on guitar.

I don’t think that there was an official single released from the album but there are certainly a couple of stand out tracks. The first stand out track for me is called To Mess With Dynamite. The song is a fast paced surf/punk song with an added crunch to the guitar. The vocals are very mellow and the song overall is not in your face as you would assume with the average punk song.

The other track that I really like is called Sweet Tooth. This track is very surf influenced. With the leading hand claps and the drums following suit in the verse. It is a very simple track that would be very easy to dance to. It also kind of reminds me of the late 50s music I guess. It is fun and I would recommend it to anyone.

This is the eleventh album from Hall & Oates. It was released in December of 1982. The title of the album is a play on the chemical formula for water. The H is for Daryl Hall and the O is for John Oates. The H and the O for the first initial of each of their last names. This album contained their best charting single ever, Maneater.

There were three singles released from this album including Maneater. It was the first of the three singles to be released from the album. The song originally started as a reggae song. They changed it to a more R&B styled song. The lyrics also went through an evolution. The final version of the song that ended up on the album has become recognizable instantly for most people, especially the chorus. The lyrics for the chorus are: “oh, oh here she comes; watch out boy, she'll chew you up; oh, oh here she comes, she's a maneater.”

The second single from the album is called One On One. The song references a sports theme to relate to romantic activities. This is another song that is very easy to recognize once the chorus comes in. It is a slow song that I actually like. This is probably because of the nostalgic references but it is easy to get comfortable with too.

The third single from the album is called Family Man. This is actually a cover of a song that Mike Oldfield had originally written. With this version the lyrics are slightly altered from what Oldfield had originally written. It is also important to note that there are three different versions of the music video for this song. There is a standard version that is based on the album version of the song. There is a version that was recreated to go with the 12” single (Extended version) of the song. There was also a cut up version. This version cuts up the 12” version video to match the album version of the song. This version gives some odd cuts. This last version can be found only on laserdisc that I am aware of.

This is the first album released from Deee-Lite. It was released in August of 1990. I wasn’t really into dance music at this time. That was my sisters’ thing. She loved the first single and I think that she bought the cassette single for the song. Part of it for me was that my sister liked the song so much that I didn’t want to like it. The thing is, it is a good song and it was hard to not like it just because my sister liked it, especially since it was a number one hit for a time. There were a few guest artists that appeared on the album; Bootsy Collins and Q-Tip were the most famous though. The CD has two extra tracks on it, one, Deee-Lite Theme at the beginning of the CD and Two, Build The Bridge at the end of the CD. I recently picked up a vinyl repressing of the album and do not have those two extra tracks.

There were four singles released from the album. The first single released from the album was Groove Is In The Heart. The song lyricly compares the feelings of infatuation to that of a really good song. The song is basicly a techno house track but has elements of disco, funk and hip-hop music. The bass was played by Bootsy Collins and the rap in the song was done by Q-Tip. This song was the reason that I bought the record. I had recently bought the first De La Soul album and mentioned to my wife that I wanted this album too. She said that she was interested in owning it as well. I found that it was repressed by Rhino Records, so I found the cheapest way to get it and now we have a copy.

The song Power Of Love was the second single released from the album. The song is a fun 90s style house track. The lyrics convey that one should love everything in order to get love in return. This idea is supposed to make your life better and happier. It is a good open idea. More importantly, the music is bouncy and happy.

The third single from the album is called E.S.P. It has a different opening than the first two singles. The song still uses samples but it is built on electronic music more than samples. Most of the vocalists’ lyrics are processed to sound like they are reversed. It is a cool effect but also makes it hard to understand what she is saying. This is an interesting song but comes off a bit dated after over 20 years.

The last single from the album is called Good Beat. The song is about just that, hearing a good beat to a song, something to dance to. It has a good beat by the way and the video is interesting too. I like the colored monochrome that the video was shot in. Even though nothing really happens it keeps my interest.

All in all it is a good album, maybe not necessary for everyone but I think that everyone should hear Groove Is In The Heart.

That is all I have for now...

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 27.5

The Oh Hello’s with opening act Andy Elwell at The 7th Street Entry in Minneapolis MN on 7-10-2013.

This was the first time I had seen The Oh Hello’s. I took my wife to see them as she was a fan, at least more so than I was. I bought tickets for the concert as soon as I found out that they were going to be at The 7th Street Entry. I found out that the show was sold out after we had gotten to the show.

We showed up at the venue just after Andy Elwell had started playing music. There were a lot of people at this concert. I had been to The Entry a few times over the past couple of years but there had never been this many people packed into this tiny venue at any of those previous concerts. We went over to the bar, this is also where the merch booth was. There was for sale a CD from Andy Elwell. From The Oh Hello’s there was their CD album as well as a CD from Tyler Heath. I am assuming that this was a solo project from before The Oh Hello’s were a group. There was also a T-shirt in two different color ways. There was an option to get a shirt with both CDs on the for sale chart. That was what we got. Tyler’s CD was called Let It Go. I already had a copy of The Oh Hello’s CD. It is called Through The Deep Dark Valley. I thought that the shirt graphic was really cool too.

Andy Elwell took the stage at 8:30 PM. We were at the venue just after 8:30 so we didn’t miss much of his set. From what I understand it is usually just Andy Elwell. This time it was different. A couple of guys from a band called Tungsten accompanied him on stage. One of the guys played a keyboard and the other played a Fender Stratocaster. They played music from his latest album along with a couple of tunes that he had just written while in Ireland. Andy has a very mellow voice that was nice to listen to. I liked what I heard but it seemed like the crowd was losing interest by the minute. I really felt bad for the guy. The crowd was actually talking over the music that was being played. So much for Minnesota nice, how rude.

Since there was only three players for Andy Elwell it was a quick tear down. I was expecting a simple setup for The Oh Hello’s. Boy was I wrong. It was still a quick setup because there was very little tear down for Andy. Most of the equipment was already set up on the stage. The group took the stage right on time at 9:30 PM. My mind was blown when I saw that there were ten people on stage. I didn’t even know that that stage could handle that many people. It is so tiny. The core of the group is Maggi and Tyler Heath. All of the others are apparently friends of theirs that had just gotten out of college. They had asked if they wanted to go on tour to support them and the album. They were excited and jumped at the chance. It was obviously a unique opportunity that may not ever happen again. Who would say no to that?

I have two complaints about the show. They in no way were the fault of the band though. First, the microphones were too quiet. This problem was fixed it seemed after the first song was played. Second, and this was constant through the whole concert, was that the bass was up too loud. This was not just the bass guitar but the bass drums as well. I think that the bassist realized this and adjusted his playing style but the drummer and percussionist were so into the music that they didn’t even know. It was so loud at times that my chest vibrated with the beat. It was like when I was at the school dances in the late 80s with the speakers that were as tall as I was as I stood in front of them. The reason that this was a problem for me was that I was trying to record the concert. The sound was maxed out when ever the full band would play or when the drums were playing on there own. It could have also been the mic that I was using to record too. Either way, it was still a lot of bass. (Maggi and Tyler, the recording was for my own purposes and will never leave my house).

The group played every song in their catalog, no song was left out. They even played the four songs from their first EP which is only downloadable. It was an amazing hour and ten minutes for a whole ten dollars!

Highlight songs of the show were for sure The Valley, Eat You Alive, Second Child, Restless Child and Hello My Old Heart. I was very surprised that the crowd knew most of the songs. It was very cool to hear not only the band singing and playing but the crowd singing along.

After the concert we hung around to get the signatures from the group. Right at the very end the group told the crowd that Maggi and Tyler would be around to talk afterword. I had sort of decided, with that comment, that I would only get their signatures on the CD sleeve. Especially since it would be difficult to fit ten signatures on a tiny CD sleeve. Maggi came out first and everyone wanted to take pictures with her. It took me a minute before I could get her attention to sign the CD case. I said to her, “I am use to having bands sign record sleeves.” I gave her a light laugh after and she just smiled and moved along to getting more photos with other fans. Tyler came out and I was the first to see him. He signed the CD case and I said to him, “You should get these printed on a matte finish.” He said to me, “Yeah, it is so hard to sign these glossy covers. We are trying to with the next batch.” I thanked him for signing the cover.

We then went to talk to Andy Elwell. We thanked him for playing and told him we had a good time. We did not buy a physical CD from Andy but I think that I will download his latest album.

This was one of the more fun concerts that I have been to. I know that I had some complaints about the recordings in previous reviews that I have done about The Oh Hello’s but all of those problems go away in a live setting. It was absolutely brilliant. If you have the chance to see them on this tour do so. It will be the best entertainment money you can spend for an evening.

Set List:
I Was Wrong
Like The Dawn
The Valley
Wishing Well
In Memoriam
Eat You Alive
Cold Is The Night
I Have Made Mistakes
The Lament Of Eustace Scrubb
Second Child, Restless Child
Hello My Old Heart
The Truth Is A Cave/The Valley (Reprise)
Lay Me Down

You can get a copy of Andy Elwells' music at his Bandcamp page. You can also get The Oh Hello's music at their Bandcamp page. I could not find a second perspective on the concert this time, sorry.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 27

This is a post about singles that I got because of the Slumberland Records spring/summer 2013 sampler. There will be other album reviews that I got for the same reason.

On with the show...

This is the first single from their second album. It was released in March of 2012. The group hails from London England. They have a female pop style that was popular in the mid 90s. They remind me of The Sundays or Heavenly but happier. It is a two track single that was pressed on solid yellow vinyl.

The A side track is called Capricornia. The vocals are double tracked female vocals and sound very cool. The guitar is kind of jangly. It is an easy song to groove to. It is not a fast song but certainly fast enough. I did not know this myself but the song title references the regions of Australia in the tropic of Capricorn.

The B side is called When You Were Mine. It is another sweet track about an ex-relationship. She sings about the things they use to do when they were together. The song uses that slightly jangly, picked guitar.

This is the second in a three single set in support of their second full length album called Europe. This is the single for the title track of the album. This single was released on solid blue vinyl and has two tracks on it. It was released in June of 2012.

The A side of the single is, obviously, Europe. The song starts off with just the female vocals and an electric guitar slowly strummed. Once the song starts the guitar goes into a picked style for the most part. but the vocals stay as sweet as ever. I like the chorus where she sings, “This is life, this is livin’” as she is singing about sharing life with a friend at key points in ones life. It is a very cool song.

The B side is called Some People Say (Alternate Version). This is a slow track that would be easy to dance really close to. Some people call this slow dancing.  I have not yet heard the standard version of this track that is on the second full length album called Europe. The drums on this one use brushes giving a more personal sound or organic sound in the rhythm section of the song. It is a good version of the song.

This is the third and last single from the album Europe. This was released on solid orange vinyl. It was released in late summer of 2012.

The A side of the record is called Northern Lights. This song used some type of a xylophone. It made the track stand out for me. The juxtaposition of the female vocals with this instrument works very well.

The B side of the record is called Golden Age. I think that this song could have been on the full length album. I liked the breakdown in the song too. It is all long notes and cymbals on the drums with her vocals. This song sits well with me.

All three of these single are very excellent. If you are interested in them Slumberland records has a deal right now to get all three as one unit.

This is the second release from the group. Their first release was an EP called We Love You So Bad (to be reviewed at a later date). This single was released in April of 2013. The single was pressed on no fuss black vinyl.

The A side track, Creep The Creeps, is a clap driven pop/rock song. The vocals are drenched in reverb and sound like when you yell in the mountains. There are two guitars on the track one sounds like heavy distorted guitars you hear in metal songs the other sounds like the popular jangle guitars from the 90s. they sound very cool overlapped on each other. I don’t really care what is being sung on this song the music sounds so cool.

The B side track is called New Ex-Boyfriend. This song sounds so much like some classic surf music that I have from the 60s. This is a great song that would work on an album if they ever put one out.

This is the first single from their third album of the same title (The New Life). It was released as a 12” single on white vinyl. The single was released in the US in March of 2013 and February of 2013 in Europe.

The A side is the album version of The New Life. It is a very long song clocking in at 7:36. The song does seem to go on for ever but if you’re not paying attention it becomes kind of comforting. It reminds me of some of the stuff that Pink Floyd has done in the past but not quite as long. The bass guitar stands out with a cool beat. The lead guitar floats over all the other instruments with the rhythm guitar hovering between the bass and lead guitar. It is a very cool stereo image when you pay attention to the song.

The B side track is a remix of the A side called The New Life (A JD Twitch Optimo Mix). This version changes the drums to be more electronic. It is a bit more bass heavy in the bass drum. The bass guitar is also changed for a synth key bass. It sounds kind of rubbery and not exactly what I would have used for the bass sound. There is also some extra percussion sounds mixed into the new version of the song. Because it is a remix the song goes through some sonic changes to keep the listener interested. The song uses a phaser on the whole track at one point. It also modifies the bass sound through similar effect. I can’t say that it keeps me all that interested but the song is not really that different from the studio version so my attention is really the same either way.

This is a split single that the two groups were a part of. The record was pressed on translucent purple. It was released in July of 2012. I remembered seeing this release when it was new on the Slumberland Records web page but couldn’t afford it at the time. It looked like an interesting pair of songs.

The A side track from Girls Names is called A Troubled See. It has a cool mid 80s style sound to it, especially with the 80s synth keys. The guitar is drenched in echo again with this track. It sounds really spacy. The bass stands out clear as the rock that it should be. It is a really cool track.

The B side track is from Weird Dreams and is called House Of Secrets. The song is slower than the track from Girls Names and has a slow surf sound that is super smooth. They have been compared to The Beach Boys in the past so I can see the slight resemblance. The track also comes off kind of spooky too. It is a very cool track and I am glad that I have a copy of the song.

Remember that every thing on this post can be purchased through Slumberland Records web page. That is all I have for now...

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Vol. 4 Episode 26

Beck has a second non-album single being released called IWon’t Be Long. I have heard a stream of the new song and am excited to get a copy.

I am very excited about some new music that I have coming next week from Slumberland Records. I will probably make two posts because of this incoming music.

I also have a repressing of Deee-Lites’ first album, World Clique, coming next week.

Edit: The first Man or Astro-Man? astro analog single has had a second repressing in gold and the second astro analog single has had a first repressing in red. Get them at Chunklet if your interested.

On with the show...

This is the first of two non-album singles to be released this year. This single was released in early June 2013. It was released as a download or limited edition 12” single. The vinyl also came with a download card. I was mad about the shipping on this one though. It was an extra ten bucks to ship. It came out to be just shy of twenty bucks all told. Then again it is a unique single. I have not seen that it was a limited number of pressings though.

The standard version of the song Defriended is on the A side of the single, play length is 3:46 minutes. The B side is an extended version of the song with a play length of 14:01 minutes. From what I understand, the song is about being defriended or unfriended on a social media site on the internet. The music is very chaotic but amidst the chaos is Beck singing in his mellow style. The beat is steady and the music is both electronic and analog. I have always liked the juxtaposition of electronic/synth music with electric/acoustic instruments. Although the extended mix does get a little long, especially when I look up to see that the track is only half way through.

Either way it is still very interesting to listen to. If you’re a fan get the LP, if your not get the download. It is a very good track.

This is a new remix album from Family Force 5 (FF5). It was just released at the end of last month, June 2013. There are two versions of the album, the standard CD and the Reanimated Package. The package features the cover signed by the band with a sticker and a Crank It Like A Chainsaw bracelet. The disc features the remixes that the group has put out in support of their partnership with NGen Radio; Phenomenon, Next Level and Chainsaw, along with the video mix for Zombie, remixed by McSwagger. There are some remixes from the III album and from the III.V EP. These songs are Cray Button, Wobble, Can You Feel It, Paycheck and Get On Outta Here. There is also a remix of Love Addict and Superhero. There is a total of twelve songs on this remix album.

I think that the stand out tracks for me are Wobble and Zombie. I had never heard this version of Wobble. It comes off as a current version of an 80s R&B track. It is absolutely the best track on the album. Zombie I had heard before because I have seen the video for the song. This is the version of the song that is used in the video. It is such a cool remix.

The three tracks from the NGen radio promo song I have talked about a little bit in the past. Phenomenon from Vol. 3 Episode 48, “The song is simple in the lyrics department but still meaningful. The title of the song is repeated as it the additional lyric, “I’ll show you love if you show me love.” There are some other lyrics to the song but those are the ones that stand out in my head as important. The song is excessively electronic and is the direction that the group seems to be going recently with their music. That has always been their direction I think anyway. I have had some friends complain that the group are becoming too dub step. I don’t think that a rock group can be too dub step since most rock groups, even with electronic influences, don’t want to be fully electronic. I think this song is more like Justice or Ratatat than anything like a Skrilex. All I can really say is keep making music FF5 I will be the one buying it for sure.” Next Level from Vol. 4 Episode 7, “Next Level is an even harder and more electronic track than the previous two NGen Promo tracks. It talks about exactly what the title says, bringing “it” to the next level. The song comes from Christian artists so it is truly meant to push Christians to bring their best and step out from the shadows of their former selves.” Chainsaw from Vol. 3 Episode 49, “This track is not as electronic as Phenomenon is and it reminds me of Wobble a little bit in that it is another song describing a dance to a degree. The song uses a super cool electronic saw tooth sound to represent the noise that a chainsaw makes. It is a lot of fun and takes from the 90s dance/rap music.”

The whole album is an electronic dance party. I recommend it to anyone who likes electronic music, Christian or not. It is that good!

This is the first album from De La Soul. It was released in 1989. It was originally released on CD and vinyl. I find it really amazing that all of the music on this album fit on one record. There are twenty-three songs on the album. I recently got in a repressing of the album as a double vinyl set. I got the album mainly for my wife. I was never really into rap music. I had a few albums from a few different artists but never really got into rap. I have listened to this album a couple of times now and really like the style and mellow sound that the group puts out on this album. From what I have gathered the group was more about peace and harmony than thug life, money and girls. I really like electronic music and the use of samples too. This album is all samples, true turntableism.

There were seven singles released from this album. The first is called Plug Tunin. Musically this song is the foundation for the sound that the album encompasses. The song starts off with a sound bite. The music is a cool jazz track. The term Plug Tunin refers to being sure that the mic works and checking ones vocals. The lyrics to the song are a bit odd and don’t exactly make much sense to me. That doesn’t make it a bad song though.

Potholes In My Lawn is the second single released from this album. This song was used by NASA with the Opportunity Rover project that landed on Mars in 2004. It was the first hip-hop song played on the planet by us as human beings. The song was not a big hit by any means but is very interesting with its use of country styled sounds clips.

The third single released from the album was Me Myself AndI. This was a song that I remember hearing on the top 40 radio station. I liked the simplicity of the chorus as they just sang the title of the song. The other think that I liked was the organ sample that was pulled from the Funkadelic track called (Not Just) Knee Deep. Not that I like that song but that sample is killer. It really helped to put De La Soul on the map. It just shows that if you use the right sample in a hip-hop track it can push the track to stardom.

The next single released from the album was Say No Go. It is a very up beat track that attracted me with the use of a jazz horn sample and the guitar solo sample. I also like the fact that they use a sample from Hall & Oates from the song I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do). The song is about using or not using drugs. They were a part of a rally to get people to stop using crack cocaine.

The fifth single from the album is called Buddy. The song is supposed to be about the body, not just the human body but any body. This could reference a body of work or a body of water. It is a general term that they were referencing. Some of the lyrics do reference the female body though. The song also has guest raps by major members of the Native Tongues posse, including Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah and Monie Love. It is a good song but not one of my favorites.

The Magic Number was the next single released from the album. The song takes from the TV show Schoolhouse Rock! For the chorus. The song also takes a sample from one of the most famous songs for drum samples, Funky Drummer by James Brown. The song has that feel of I am trying to teach you something but is three really the magic number? It is a good song and one of my favorites from the album.

The last single from the album is called Eye Know. The major sample from the song is from the Steely Dan song Peg. I like Steely Dan so I am naturally attracted to the song. There is also a sample of a whistle from the Otis Redding track called (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay. It is really an odd pairing and doesn’t really sit right with me. It reminds me of to colors that don’t go together but are forced next to each other. I can appreciate the song for what it is though.

This is an important album in the history of music and should be heard by people who appreciate music. I will add that there are adult themes talked about on a few tracks though.

That is all I have for now...