October 2014 Comics, Poetry, and Reviews from


Stream "Right Through It"

A Walk Among The Tombstones
babysue comix #211
babysue comix #212
babysue comix #213
babysue comix #214
J.J. Barrie
Big Brother On Acid
Billy Thermal
The Boxtrolls*
Kenny Butterill
The Carmonas

Cinema Cinema*
Peppino D'Agostino
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Distorted Harmony
Do Unto Others

Amy Fairchild*
Georgia Off My Mind
Melissa Giges
Sid Griffin

Haunted Heads*
The Hobbes Fanclub
Holly & Plastic

The Howlin' Brothers*
Sarah Wallin Huff
In Sonitus Lux
Into The Storm
Jenny Jarnagin
Jesus comic #45
Debra Kaye

Kool Stuff Katie
Heather Kropf

Maps To The Stars*
The Maze Runner

Yael Meyer
Carmine Miranda*

Orgone Box

Palm Ghosts
Scott Pender*
Remember Whatever
Right The Stars
Walter Ross
Tom Schreck*
Slow Leaves
Stage Fright
Sterile Jets

Mia Doi Todd

The Turtles*
The Use
Willow Willow*
With Those Who Is Forgot
*Top Picks =

Additional Items Received

A Walk Among The Tombstones - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Music by Carlos Rafael Rivera (CD, Varese Sarabande, Soundtrack)
This film is based on the bestselling series of mystery novels written by Lawrence Block and stars Liam Neeson. It tells the story of a private investigator who helps a heroin trafficker find the men who kidnapped and murdered his wife. The music for the film was created by Carlos Rafael Rivera. Rivera graduated from the USC Thornton School where he studied with Don Crockett and Stephen Hartke. Not only does he compose for film, but he also has various connections with the world of popular music. At one point he opened for The Who at the Hollywood Bowl and his guitar playing has appeared on feature soundtracks such as Crash and Dragonfly. The music for the film A Walk Among The Tombstones is, as you might expect, rather moody and peculiar. This soundtrack has a different overall vibe... it doesn't sound similar to other twenty-first century film soundtracks. A lot of this music is very subdued and strange, with very precise and specific arrangements that really give it a bizarre otherworldly sound. This is one of those albums that sounds really great turned up L-O-U-D. Thirteen creative cuts including "Kenny's Story," "Ray Cases The House," and "Among The Tombstones."

J.J. Barrie - No Charge (CD, Angel Air, Country/pop)
If we didn't know better we would have sworn these tracks were recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. J.J. Barrie is the pseudonym used by Barry Authors when he was recording country/pop music in the 1970s and 1980s. Barrie had one single that really hit the target. "No Charge" was a number one hit in England that, at the time, knocked Abba out of that slot. Barrie was responsible for the song selection on this disc which collects tracks from his previous albums. This collection will hopefully re-introduce folks to Barrie's upbeat country/pop toe tappers. With Americana music at an all-time high in terms of popularity and sales, folks very well might be in the mood to revisit this artist's contributions to the world of music. Seventeen upbeat melodic tracks here including "Lucille I Got A Honey Of A Deal," "No Charge," "Bottle Of Gin," "Gypsy Woman," and "Sweet Was My Rose." After his involvement in the world of music, Authors began writing screenplays and opened a development company in Shepperton Studios in England. After that, he moved back to Canada where he now resides. An interesting overview.

Big Brother On Acid - Big Brother On Acid (CD, Alrealon Musique, Techno/experimental/psychedelic)
Wow, what a great name for a band...and we're pleased to report that in this particular case the band name is a perfect fit for the music. We loved the 1990s when so many up-and-coming artists were using computers and synthesizers to create some really bizarre trippy music. If you loved that kinda stuff, there's a good chance you'll flip your wig over Big Brother On Acid. The band is the project created by Brooklyn, New York's Mister G (who also records and releases under a variety of other pseudonyms). You could call this dance music...club music...rave music...or experimental electronica. But whatever you call it, it's music meant to create a mood. And these eleven tracks certainly create moods. Plenty of wild sounds abound here and the overall vibe is upbeat and fun. Kickass cuts include "Friday Night," "Saturn," and "Illegal Space Aliens." Cool stuff from another universe.

Peppino D'Agostino - Penumbra (Independently released CD, Guitar/instrumental)
Man oh man can this man play acoustic guitar (!). Peppino D'Agostino truly is one of those musicians who can make his guitar speak. Intricate, focused, and precise, this man's guitar playing can touch parts of the heart and soul that cannot be touched by the human voice. Penumbra is a pure album featuring nothing but D'Agostino and his guitar. The album features well-chosen covers (including two songs written specifically for Peppino by Latin Grammy Award winner Sergio Assad) as well as original songs written for people that are important in Peppino's life. D'Agostino has won several awards for his music and also co-founded The Pacific Guitar Ensemble with David Tanenbaum in 2010. Cool, breezy, and ultimately melodic...these tracks are pure heaven. Our favorites include "Penumbra," "Valse des Anges," "Incantation," and "The Blue Ocean."

Billy Thermal - Billy Thermal (CD, Omnivore Recordings, Pop)
What an interesting treasure unearthed by the folks at Omnivore Recordings. Though this album was recorded over thirty years ago it was never released in its entirety until now. This early 1980s band featured the songwriting talents of a young man named Billy Steinberg. Named after the town where his family's table grape business was located, Billy Thermal recorded an album for Richard Perry's Planet Records (home of The Pointer Sisters). Five of the tracks eventually made their way onto a 1980s EP but the original album has remained in the vaults until now. You might not know Billy's Steinberg's name but you've certainly heard his music. Steinberg has written and/or co-written many hugely popular songs...including Madonna's "Like A Virgin," Linda Ronstadt's "How Do I Make You," Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors," Whitney Houston's "So Emotional," and Roy Orbison's "I Drove All Night"...and that's just the beginning. After Billy Thermal dissolved, Steinberg teamed up with songwriter/vocalist Tom Kelly and together the two formed the band I-10 which sparked a longtime writing partnership. But here's where it all started...with some early new wave-ish recordings, many of which were never heard by anyone. Interesting for a variety of different reasons, these recordings show what a great spark Steinberg had...and what spawned a long and very rewarding career in the world of music. In addition to the original twelve tracks recorded for the album this disc also includes three demo recordings. Hats off to the folks at Omnivore for making this available.

The Boxtrolls - (Motion picture, Laika)
Wow. One of the best films we have ever seen. This was produced by the folks at Laika who also created Coraline (one of our favorite films of all time). Do yourself a favor and see this film. Major motion pictures don't have to pander to the oceans of stupid people in movie theaters. This one's smart...unusual...thought provoking...visually mindblowing...and totally mesmerizing. Stupid people won't understand it. Go see it. You won't regret it.

Kenny Butterill - Troubadour Tales (CD, No Bull Songs, Americana/pop)
This album took about ten years to complete...and the timing of the release couldn't be better. Interest in Americana/pop music is now at an all-time high. So we'd guess that Troubadour Tales will be welcomed with open arms. Canada's Kenny Butterill (who also lives in Northern California) has a nice friendly sound and his songs come across sounding completely genuine and honest. The press release that accompanied this disc stated that Kenny's influences include J.J. Cale, Gordon Lightfoot, John Prine, and Donovan Leitch (who appears as a guest artist on the tune "Gaia Blues"). We can hear traces of all of these artists (and more) in these tracks. Butterill's songs are built around a gently strummed acoustic guitar and his melodies flow by like a cool mountain stream. More than twenty musicians lent their talents here so it may surprise some that these cuts have a nice sparse overall sound. This album is housed in a beautifully designed digipak sleeve complete with a thick lyric booklet that makes it easy to read along with each song. This one's bound to go over big with anyone who loves good solid folk/pop and/or Americana. Thirteen cool tracks including "Good Thing That Couldn't Happen Here," "Hocus Pocus," "Dead End of the Dirt Road," and "Woman In A Canoe."

The Carmonas - The Carmonas (Independently released CD, Pop)
The Carmonas is the Nashville, Tennessee-based trio comprised of Aaron Carmona, Alison Carmona, and Chad Carmona. This is a very strong debut album from a band who is proving that folks in Nashville will embrace all kinds of different genres of music if they are delivered with style. This self-titled album features strong songwriting and expert playing. These three individuals write pop songs that incorporate threads of folk and bluegrass into the mix. The vocals are clear and way out in front so you can understand each and every word. The Carmonas have already been embraced by the music community and they have a quickly growing fan base across the country. This album is sure to garner some strong reactions because of the classic sound of the tunes. Eleven well-crafted cuts here including "Into The Sun," "Human Hurricane," "Corner Of The World," and "When You're Older."

Cinema Cinema - A Night at the Fights (Independently released CD, Pop)
Here in 2014 when it seems as if 90 percent of the artists out there are ultra timid and careful, the guys in Cinema Cinema aren't afraid to turn things up really loud and push themselves to the limit. These two guys do more with less...which instantly sets them apart from the vast majority of twenty-first century musicians. Cinema Cinema is the duo of Ev Gold (vocals, guitar) and Paul Claro (drums). These guys' recorded sound is most definitely the sound of them playing live. They don't use additional instruments and they don't layer everything to death. A Night at the Fights was recorded and produced by Martin Bisi who has worked with Swans, Dresden Dolls, and more. This album features loud rip roaring tunes played like there's no tomorrow. We sure wish other artists would take the path these guys have chosen and strip down their sound. That was one of the wonderful things about many mid- to late-1970s bands who used only the basics in order to get their point across. Eight loud gripping tracks here including "Broad Daylight," "Boxcutter," and "Shiner No. 4." Top pick.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Motion Picture Soundtrack: Music by Michael Giacchino (CD, Sony Classical, Film soundtrack)
We haven't seen this film yet but we did view the brief trailer. It's amazing how far they've come with the apes in the Planet of the Apes series. They've become so real, especially their facial expressions. Just goes to show how computers and digital technology have changed the way we create and view films. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes deals with conflict between man and ape that will decide which will dominate the earth (which sounds very much like current human conflicts on our planet). The music for this film was created by Michael Giacchino who has previously created music for the films Ratatouille, Up, and The Incredibles. This lengthy album features close to 78 minutes of music (!) and an unbelievably long list of musicians who played in the orchestra. Giacchino's preference in film soundtracks is to combine clear melodies and themes with touches of atonality...which explains the intriguing tension in many of these tracks. Whether you see the film or not, the soundtrack will provide many repeated hours of pure entertainment. Nineteen cuts here including "Level Plaguing Field," "Monkey See, Monkey Coup," and "Primates For Life."

DieAlps! - DieAlps! (CD EP, New Granada, Pop)
The debut EP from Central Florida's DieAlps! This band has quickly been garnering fans and attention in the Florida music scene. And now with the release of their self-titled debut EP they're planning on transferring some of that success to other parts of the country and beyond. Recorded by the band in their home studio, this EP presents a band that is decidedly mature and focused. These five songs remind us very much of some of the more precise and rewarding underground pop bands we loved in the mid-1990s when the home recording scene was really beginning to explode. If this is any indication of things to come, you can expect to see and hear a whole lot about this band in the very near future. Kickass pop tracks include "Walking," "Riot Command," and "All Things Shall Come To An End." Top pick.

Distorted Harmony - Chain Reaction (Independently released CD, Metal/progressive/rock)
The second full-length release from Israel's Distorted Harmony. To quote directly from the press release that accompanied this disc, the band "...started as a concept by a frustrated jazz pianist and was formed in 2009 when founder Yoav Efron (keyboards/producer) teamed up with Yogev Gabay (drums). The two were later joined by Misha Soukhinin (vocals, Iggy Jackson-Cohen (bass) and Guy Landau (guitars)." So this gives you some background on the band. Chain Reaction is an intense, hard-hitting album featuring tracks that combine heavy metal, progressive, and rock sounds into a cohesive whole. The overall sound reminds us of the 1990s when there were so many ultra-loud death metal bands roaming around the planet. Nine hard rockers here including "Every Time She Smiles," "As One," and "Methylene Blue."



Treat other people
Like you yourself
Would like to see
Them treated.


Amy Fairchild - Amy Fairchild (Independently released CD, Pop)
Amy Fairchild should already be a superstar. It's been about 20 years since she released her first album (She's Not Herself). Amy followed that up with the well-received Mr. Heart in 2002. Afterward she took a break from recording, although a live album (Amy Fairchild Live) was released in 2004. This self-titled album is not only an excellent return to form but also quite possibly might be the breakout album for her. Spinning this disc is like listening to a collection of hits. Any one of these eleven tracks would, in a perfect world, be hugely popular. Fairchild's melodies stick in the brain like glue, her words are intuitive and resilient, and she's got a voice that really cuts through the mix. Produced by Adam Steinberg, these tracks have a nice slick sound without ever sounding over produced. The more we spin this one...the more impressed we are. Amy Fairchild truly is an artist whose time has come. Our favorite cuts include "Situation," "Pieces," "Oh Marie," and "Love Love Love." Top pick.

Fayssoux - I Can't Wait (CD, Red Beet, Pop/country/folk)
You may not recognize her name but chances are you've already heard Fayssoux McLean. She was responsible for those heavenly harmony vocals on some of Emmylou Harris' best known recordings. Over the past few years McLean has stepped into the spotlight as a solo artist and she's making some truly amazing and resilient music. I Can't Wait features well-chosen cover songs as well as originals. McLean is fond of co-writing with other songwriters and several of these are included here. Produced by Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz, this album has a nice smooth organic sound and the songs are never overproduced. For every well-known performer in Nashville, Tennessee there are always tons of equally talented folks supporting them. This is most certainly one of those cases. Fayssoux's music is sincere and heartfelt and she comes across sounding like a real person singing real songs. All of these tracks are keepers but our own particular favorites include "I Can't Wait," "My Brain," "Golightly Creek," "Find Your Own Light," and "Ragged Old Heart."



The state that
Ain't so

Melissa Giges - Just When I Let Go (CD, ECR Music Group, Pop)
Smooth groovy soft pop. Melissa Giges won herself a devoted fan base when she released her debut album (Evident) a while back. And now, after having her music featured on several national television shows, her latest album is bound to fan the flames of her career even higher. Just When I Let Go features ten well written and well arranged modern pop songs with a heavy emphasis on vocal melodies and lyrics. These songs are layered with just the right ingredients and Melissa's vocals are exceptional throughout. She writes all of her own songs and every single one comes off sounding credible and real. Some of these tracks bear a slight resemblance to some of Kate Bush's early material. If you love keyboard-based pop and appreciate genuinely talented ladies in the world of music, you won't do much better than this. Just When I Let Go is a solid album chock full of memorable melodies and intelligent lyrics. Our favorite cuts include "Audience," "The Show's About To Begin," "I Was The Criminal," and "Let's Go Home."

Sid Griffin - The Trick Is To Breathe (CD, Prima, Americana/soft pop)
It's been about ten years since Sid Griffin released his last solo album so his fans will obviously welcome The Trick Is To Breathe with wide open arms. Griffin is best known as a member of the The Long Ryders, a band that is legendary among music fans for playing cowpunk and alt-country years before such terms even existed. In addition to writing and recording solo, Sid is also a guitarist in the band The Coal Porters. If you want a quick overview of what this man has accomplished over the past few decades, click on his web site (above) and you'll find a wealth of information. Last year Griffin, who now lives in London, sent some of his friends in Nashville, Tennessee demos of some new songs. His pals learned the songs and then Sid came over to Nashville to record the the album with them. Interestingly, Griffin had never played with most of the musicians on the album. The Trick Is To Breathe is a nice smooth listening experience with an overall organic sound. Sid's voice is sounding mighty fine these days. Credible well-crafted cuts include "Ode To Bobbie Gentry," "Circle Bar," "Who's Got A Broken Heart," and "I'll Forget You Very Well." Griffin is staying mighty busy these days. This year he's playing concert dates overseas and will be returning to the United States again in 2015 to play some dates here.

Hannibal - Original Television Soundtrack: Music by Brian Reitzell - Season 1, Volume 1 (CD, Lakeshore, Soundtrack), Original Television Soundtrack: Music by Brian Reitzell - Season 1, Volume 2 (CD, Lakeshore, Soundtrack), Original Television Soundtrack: Music by Brian Reitzell - Season 2, Volume 1 (CD, Lakeshore, Soundtrack), Original Television Soundtrack: Music by Brian Reitzell - Season 2, Volume 2 (CD, Lakeshore, Soundtrack)
The folks at Lakeshore were kind enough to send not one but four of the new soundtrack albums featuring music from the popular television series Hannibal. We totally dig the darker side of soundtrack music, so these are most certainly right up our alley. All four feature music composed by Brian Reitzell. Brian was once the drummer in babysue favorite Redd Kross, has collaborated with the band Air, and is currently a member of TV Eyes (which also includes Roger Joseph Manning, Jr. and Jason Falkner). Plus he records and releases music under his own name (his first solo album entitled Auto Music was released this year). The tracks on these soundtracks are, as one would expect, moody and peculiar. And they are certainly one of the reasons the show itself is so effective. Reitzell is a master craftsman, creating his music with acute attention to detail. These compositions go all over the place in terms of sounds and styles. The music ranges from atmospheric to ambient to progressive to rock to experimental...and that's just the beginning. If you love imaginative soundtrack recordings or if you love the Hannibal television series, you owe it to yourself to hear these albums. The music works beautifully as the soundtrack to the television show...but it's even more riveting hearing it in an isolated environment so you can concentrate on all the wonderfully subtle sounds. Highly recommended. Top pick.

Haunted Heads - Haunted Heads (CD EP, Double Plus Good, Rock/pop)
The guys in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based band Haunted Heads return with another smart and hard hitting collection of guitar-driven pop/rock. Interestingly, the first and fourth songs on this EP ("V V," "FYTT") remind us very much of AC Newman (The New Pornographers). But the guys in Haunted Heads are actually much louder and rock a lot harder than such a comparison might imply. The press release that accompanied this disc compared the music to Superchunk, Guided By Voices, and The Wrens...and we can hear traces of all of these as well. The more we spin this one the better these tracks sound. Gripping super catchy cuts include "V V," "The Other Side Of Your Dream," "FYTT," "Echoes," and "No Word." Haunted Heads is one of our favorite guitar pop/rock bands this year because they're doing everything right. Top pick.

Hercules - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Music by Fernando Velazquez (CD, Sony Classical, Soundtrack)
This film ought to have an instant built-in audience, considering people's fascination with super heroes and pumped up bodies. Considering how many personalities from the past have been revisited, it seems somehow odd that the story of Hercules has been almost forgotten over the past few decades. Well that's all changed now with the release of the latest Hercules films. The film Hercules stars Dwayne Johnson in the title role. It is based on the graphic novel titled Hercules: The Thracian Wars and it follows on the heels of another movie that was entitled The Legend of Hercules. The music for Hercules was composed by Spanish-born orchestral music, television, and film composer Fernando Velazquez. These tracks were recorded with the London Philharmonia Orchestra and, in Fernando's own words, "The music tries to capture this kindness along with the great strength. It sounds modern and yet if feels classical as it is completely symphonic, even when incorporating electronics and all kinds of modern drums." There's definitely a lot of strength and dignity in these meticulously-recorded tracks. Film goers and classical music buffs will find a lot to love in these twenty-five tracks that clock in at over sixty-five minutes (!). Classy smart compositions include "Son of Zeus," "I Will Believe In You," "The Statue Falls," and "Comrades Stand Together."

The Hobbes Fanclub - Up At Lagrange (CD, Shelflife, Pop/rock)
The debut full-length release from the Bradford, England-based band The Hobbes Fanclub. These folks make music that recalls the 1990s when underground guitar bands seemed to be just about everywhere. Those days may (sadly) be gone...but they make us appreciate those ultra cool bands out there who aren't afraid to turn up their guitars and have fun. This band is the trio comprised of Leon Carroll (vocals, guitar), Louise Phelan (bass, vocals), and Adam Theakston (drums). The songs on Up At Lagrange are presented simply, without incorporating many of the obstacles that litter most twenty-first century recordings. So what you get here...are tracks that pretty much sound like a real band playing real music. If you like distorted guitars, reverb, and nice reflective melodies you'll find a lot to love here. We dig every single track, but our initial favorites include "Into The Night," "The Boy From Outer Space," and "Up At Lagrange." We'll be spinning this one for months to come. Recommended. Top pick.

Holly & Plastic - We Will Give This World Away (CD, Double Plus Good, Rock/pop)
Gripping, hard-hitting underground rock/pop from Holly & Plastic, the moniker created by Andrew Johnson who listeners may already know for his connections with h. Chinaski and Happy Haunted Heads (both also on the Double Plus Good label). Holly & Plastic is a one man band in which Andrew writes all the songs and plays all the instruments and yet...these songs don't have the sterile canned sound that is sometimes associated with solo recordings. Johnson has a cool knack for coming up with friendly catchy songs. Some are more pop oriented while others have a dense aggressive overall sound. This is a short album that clocks in at just under thirty minutes. But in that amount of time Andrew makes it perfectly clear that he is truly a voice to be reckoned with in 2014. Creative smart tracks include "Normal Nightmares," "World," "Chasing Ghosts," and "Let's Leave Her Here."

The Howlin' Brothers - Live performance, September 19, 2014, 3rd & Lindsley, Nashville, TN, Trouble (CD, Readymade, Bluegrass/blues/rock/folk/Americana)
We've been big fans of the Howlin' Brothers ever since we heard their Howl album that was released in 2013. The band followed up this year with Trouble, which seems to have been even more widely embraced. Produced and engineered by Brendan Benson and released on his Readymade label, the album is more produced and varied than Howl. It features thirteen tracks that delve into a variety of genres including bluegrass, rock, blues, folk, Americana, and jazz. Some songs are rough and raw tracks similar to what the band presented on Howl but also included are some cuts that could appeal to a much wider audience. Our favorite tunes include "Pour It Down," "Boogie," "Night and Day," "Hard Times," and "I Was Wrong." The band is the trio comprised of Ben Plasse (upright bass, banjo), Ian Craft (fiddle, mandolin, banjo), and Jared Green (guitar, harmonica). All three sing lead vocals. Plasse, Craft, and Green met and began playing music together while attending Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York...which may surprise some since their music would lead most to conclude that they're from the rural hills of North Carolina. These three fellows play wild upbeat music that doesn't sound like other Americana bands currently out there on the horizon. What most folks probably notice first about the music is how authentic it sounds. We were fortunate enough to catch the band in concert recently as they were on the bill with three other acts at 3rd & Lindsley in Nashville, Tennessee as part of the Americana Music Festival. Also on the bill were Suzy Bogguss, Jim Lauderdale, and Moot Davis. The Howlin' Brothers started playing around 10:00 PM and it sure was interesting to watch the reaction of the crowd. Many of them were attending a conference specifically focusing on Americana music and yet...when faced with truly authentic sounding American music...some didn't seem to know just how to react. We were laughing during a great deal of this concert because Ben, Ian, and Jared play music that is so hyperactive and upbeat that it just made us feel giddy. We were tapping our toes during the entire show. The band won over a lot of folks with this performance but others seemed perplexed by the incredibly fast and hard playing. When The Howlin' Brothers get goin' they're like a locomotive plowing through a town. They play fast and they play hard. They're incredibly focused in what they're doing and their singing has to be heard to be believed--these guys have voices that can tear through walls. They come across sounding much more like real hillbillies than former college students. The show consisted mostly of songs from Howl and Trouble. These guys did an amazing job winning over a lot of folks. But there certainly were also those who did not seem to understand exactly where the trio was coming from. They certainly aren't your conventional Americana trio. Ben, Ian, and Jared all wore hats while playing...and they put on one helluva intense performance. Plasse seemed to hold everything together with his fast and precise upright bass while Craft and Green totally went off playing their instruments. We particularly loved the tunes where Ian played bass drum with his foot while playing banjo. And Jared's foot percussion/dancing during a few songs was nothing short of amazing. All three guys have a stage presence that you won't soon forget. They sing loud and you can tell that they're totally immersed in their music. The overall feeling we got watching much of this concert was that we were seeing bluegrass played with all the fury and intensity of a punk band from 1975. We're totally in love with the concert hall 3rd & Lindsley. It is certainly one of the most professionally run music clubs in Nashville. Every time we've been there we've been blown away. We loved The Howlin' Brothers' music heading into this show. Upon leaving, we realized that these three guys have the potential to affect a huge segment of the listening audience with their music. Because interest in Americana is at an all time high, we can't help but think that--eventually--more and more folks will be able to understand and digest the complex and intense music that these guys create. If you're looking for easy and familiar processed modern Americana you won't find it here. This band is taking the approach of playing a brand of true and intense rural music from the past that has been popular for decades...and then updating it with all the passion and fury of three twenty-first century guys who have a whole lotta blazing energy to spare. If these guys play anywhere near you, do yourself a favor and go see 'em. It's an experience you'll never forget. Catch 'em now before they get B-I.G. These guys are true hell raisers... TOP PICK.

Sarah Wallin Huff - Soul of the Machine (CD, Navona, Classical)
Sometimes the idea behind the music is just as interesting as the music itself. According to the press release that accompanied this disc, the music on this album "...explores the relationships between mechanical structures, organic beauty, and identity." Now that might sound a bit complex and heady, but after hearing the music on Soul of the Machine...you'll get it. Sarah Wallin Huff presents three unusual compositions that tackle some intriguing ideas and topics. Huff is a violinist and Professor of Composition (and conductor of the Chamber Ensemble) at the Master's College in Santa Clarita, California. Her music is quite complex and unusual and yet...very easy to absorb and appreciate. There's a lot to take in here. These three compositions clock in at over sixty-two minutes and incorporate a wide variety of sounds and ideas. Our favorite is the wonderfully moody and subtle "Gypsy Wanderer" which is divided into four sections ("Irreverently," "Grave," Con Brio," and "Rapide"). This piece features Maria Wozniakiewicz on violin and Karolina Rojahn on piano and is nothing short of breathtaking. Another exceptionally slick release from the fine folks at Navona.

In Sonitus Lux - Thundermoon (CD-R only, Stickfigure, Progressive)
We've learned over time to always expect the unexpected from the folks at Stickfigure. Thundermoon is a particularly unorthodox album. In Sonitus Lux is the band/project created by Serson Brannen who is also the man who created The Subliminator (an electronic/spoken word project). What folks will most likely notice first about this album is that it features Brannen playing a very unusual instrument called The Hang. It's kinda hard describing exactly what it sounds like, you just have to hear it. Joining Serson on these recordings is Jason Robert Elliott on guitar and vocals. The length of the album tracks here will give you some indication of the type of music presented. Two tracks clock in at over 20 minutes (!), another is over 12 minutes long, and the last track lasts just over a minute. This is subtle moody stuff...kinda dreamy and hypnotic...kinda trippy yet subtle and subdued. If you're looking for something to create a mood for the evening, Thundermoon will do that. We love the fact that (to quote directly from the press release) "The lyrics were improvised during the recording." How cool is that? If you love strange undercurrents in the world of music, this is one you'll want to use for mind expansion...

Into The Storm - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Music by Brian Tyler (CD, Varese Sarabande, Soundtrack)
Brian Tyler is one helluva productive guy. At this point in his career he has composed and conducted music for over sixty films (!). Plus, interestingly, he arranged and conducted the music for the latest film logo for Universal Pictures and composed the music for the latest film Marvel Studios film logo. He's also a multi-instrumentalist, playing instruments such as drums, piano, guitar, bass, cello, various percussion instruments, synthesizers, charangeo, bouzouki, and more. We can already tell we're gonna enjoy this film. Into The Storm is about storms and tornadoes and their disastrous effects on mankind. The music must surely be a perfect fit for the visuals. Much of this stuff is wild, exciting, and full of energy. There are moody, brooding moments to be certain...but the energized busy musical sections are what will probably have folks gripping the seats of their chairs in the theater. Tylor is one of the real pros out there...and this soundtrack is yet another extremely detailed feather in his hat. Eighteen inventive cuts including "Into The Storm," "Culmination," "Multiple Vortices," and "The Power of Nature." Wildly riveting and intense.

Jenny Jarnagin - Bullseye (Independently released CD, Pop)
The tenth full-length release from Jenny Jarnagin. What initially struck us most about this album is how direct the music is. So many modern artists hide behind technology and layering to keep folks from realizing that their music lacks substance. Ms. Jarnagin presents her songs simply and never hides behind digital effects. We love one of the stories we read on her web site. A few years back Jenny was going through her deceased grandfather's belongings and the experience made her realize that music is what she would most like to leave behind as her legacy. Since then she's made music her main mission in life...and other folks are noticing. Jarnagin's songs are smart, reflective, and personal...and she's got a superb voice that really works magic on listeners. Instead of pushing her voice or sounding forced, the words seem to flow naturally from her lips. This is a real person making real music and, as such, Jarnagin immediately stands out from the crowd. This is undoubtedly one of the most genuine sounding albums we've heard this year. If you want to hear music that gives you the impression that you are really getting to know another person...well then, Bullseye truly will hit the bullseye. Our favorite cuts include "Zero To Hero," "Big Broken Heart," "In Every Way," "Can't Let Go," and "Okie Girl."

Debra Kaye - And So It Begins: Chamber Music & Solos (CD, Ravello, Classical)
We had an intuitive feeling this was going to be something special before the music even began. The front cover of And So It Begins presents a beautiful copper/gold tinted photograph of a picture window with some various items sitting in the foreground. And on the back cover only a small photo of the Debra Kaye appears, wearing shades...all the while inside the musicians playing on the album are featured more prominently with more conventional and recognizable publicity shots. This may seem like a small observation, but it gave us the initial impression that Ms. Kaye is by no means on an ego trip and probably prefers to let her music speak for itself. And after hearing the music on this album, we knew we were right. Kaye has degrees from Mannes College of Music and New York University and currently is on the faculty of the Mannes College Preparatory Division. Her classical compositions are laced with hints of jazz, folk, pop, and world music...which gives them a somewhat exotic and unique sound and feel. Amazingly, And So It Begins is Debra's debut album (!)...but you'd never know it from listening to these perfectly executed tracks. Sixteen cuts divided into eight different sections. This music is focused, inspirational, and precise. This is an album that will surely stand the test of time.

Kool Stuff Katie - Kool Stuff Katie (Independently released CD, Pop/rock)
Wow, this one is right up our alley (!!). Kool Stuff Katie is the Portland, Oregon-based duo of Shane Blem and Saren Oliver. Blem found Oliver on Craigslist and the two have been making music together ever since. The band has been making a name for themselves in clubs in and around Portland and now, with the release of their first full-length album, they're hoping to transfer that success to other parts of the country and beyond. That shouldn't be too difficult, as this self-titled debut is a totally fun and exciting spin. Produced by Steve Fisk (whose name seems to be popping up all over the place lately), this album has a nice direct sound and the tracks totally rock. The tunes are upbeat and uplifting and the vocal melodies are simply wonderful. This is the kinda stuff that really makes you wanna move. Ten groovy cuts here including "Hard Girl To Know," "Three Shades of Red," "Simple," and "Rewind."

Heather Kropf - Chrysalis (CD, Reverie, Pop)
The fourth full-length release from Heather Kropf. Ms. Kropf writes and records exceptionally sincere and real mid-tempo pop that is delivered with honesty, integrity, and style. Born in Portland, Oregon, Heather now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she is highly respected as one of the city's most promising singer/songwriters. Heather developed a strong following with her first three albums that were released early in the twenty-first century. But just after her third album (Hestia) was released in 2009, she was diagnosed with the Epstein Barr virus which caused her to retire for the next three years to recuperate. But rather than be beaten down by the experience, she began a Kickstarter campaign that funded the recording of Chrysalis. Heather's fans are obviously loyal and devoted and willing to stand behind her. The songs on Chrysalis are smart, memorable, and reflective. The lyrics are exceedingly intelligent and personal and they're delivered with a true genuine spirit. Kropf has an incredible voice that is perfectly suited for the style of songs she writes. You can bet your booties that this album will still sound great decades from now. This music is timeless. Well-conceived cuts include "Ghost In My House," "Harvest and Snow," and "Valentine."

Lunchbox - Lunchbox Loves You (CD-R only, Jigsaw, Pop)
Cool underground guitar pop from Seattle, Washington's Lunchbox. The folks in this band eventually changed their name to Birds of California...but then opted to change their name back to Lunchbox. Smart move...cuz we love the band name (it sure fits the music). There's so much overprocessed music in the world today. Perhaps that's why the tunes on this album are so refreshing and real. The folks in this band opt to keep things extremely simple and direct, offering their tunes using only the essential ingredients in order to get the point across. But songs are what matter most, of course...and songs are what make Lunchbox Loves You such a totally cool spin. These folks have a sparkling smart sound that reminds us of some of the cooler underground bands in Great Britain in the 1990s. Whether the tune features male or female vocals or both...this band's cool bubblegummy pop sound is sure to put you in a great frame of mind. Our favorite tracks include "Everybody Knows," "Will You Be There?", "I Go Mad," and "Tonight Is Out Of Sight."

Maps To The Stars - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Music by Howard Shore (CD, Howe, Soundtrack)
This sounds like our kind of film. Maps To The Stars was written by Bruce Wagner, directed by David Cronenberg, and features the music of iconic soundtrack composer Howard Shore. Cronenberg and Shore have worked together many times in the past. This is, in fact, the fifteenth Cronenberg film featuring Shore's music (!). And this time it's particularly mind boggling and intriguing. This soundtrack was the winner of the 2014 Cannes Soundtrack Award. One spin and you'll see why. Howard has really outdone himself this time. Instead of using the same kinds of sounds and moods featured in most films, Shore creates his own musical universe. This is not your standard film soundtrack. It is difficult describing this music because it incorporates so many genres, styles, moods, and sounds. It's a wild trip to be sure and you can be certain that these cuts are integral to the film itself. Shore has proven himself over and over again to be one of the most important film composers of the twenty-first century. He has, once again, hit the target dead center. Killer tracks include "Greyhound," "Wildfire," "Brother and Sister," and "Blanket of Stars." If you think all film soundtracks sound the same, think again. This one's not like the rest. Top pick.

Marbin - Third Set (CD, Moonjune, Progressive/instrumental)
A gripping live album from the guys in Marbin. These guys apparently love playing live. They've played over a thousand shows in the United States over the past three and half years (yow!). As a treat for all of their fans who have been blown away at their shows the guys in the band have released Third Set, a live album that features songs recorded in March and April of 2013. This album captures all the spontaneous wild energy of the band playing live. Marbin is comprised of Danny Markovitch on saxophones, Dani Rabin on guitar, Justyn Lawrence on drums, and Jae Gentile on bass. If you dig solos, you'll have to hear the sax and guitar solos provided by Markovitch and Rabin. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wowwwwww... These guys are so fast and meticulous that you almost can't believe what you're hearing. Ten blistering tracks here...and they're all intense and over the top. Topping off the package is an absolutely stunning cardboard sleeve featuring a beautiful painting by Brin Levinson.

The Maze Runner - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Music by John Paesano (CD, Sony Classical, Soundtrack)
The Maze Runner is a new film based on the New York Times best selling novel by James Dashner. The film stars Dylan O'Brien and the story is about a man who wakes up in a huge maze with lots of other boys, all of which have no memory of the outside world other than an underground organization called W.C.K.D. He then tries to find clues to help him escape. John Paesano composed the music. He studied classical music at the Conservatoire de Paris and then later at the Berklee College of Music. Paesano has worked with several big names like Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, and Hanz Zimmer's Remote Control Productions. Although Paesano is still considered an up-and-coming talent in the world of film music composition, you'd never know it from the compositions on this soundtrack. This twenty one track disc features music that is slick, professional, and meticulous. This music could just as easily appeal to classical music fans as film buffs. The album features a multitude of orchestral players as well as a choir. Plenty of chilling and moody cuts. Our favorites include "The Maze Runner," "Banishment," "Trapped," and "Final Fight." Paesano will most certainly continue to be a major player in film music in the coming months and years.

Yael Meyer - Warrior Heart (CD, KLI, Pop)
Nice smooth and soft modern pop with a slightly exotic feel. Warrior Heart is the third full-length release from Yael Meyer. Originally from Santiago, Chile, Meyer moved to the United States to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Although mostly soft and soothing in nature, the songs on Warrior Heart actually incorporate sounds and ideas from a variety of sources. At the heart of the music is Yael's voice. This young lady has a velvety smooth voice that comes across sounding very personal and genuine. The songs range from mid-tempo pop to softer and moody stuff. Produced by Bill Lefler (who also plays on the album) and recorded at Death Star Studios in Los Angeles, California, these tracks have a nice slick sound without ever sounding overproduced. Ten smart memorable cuts including "Warrior Heart," "Endless Kind Love," "Vessel," and "When the Road Ends."

Carmine Miranda - Piatti: 12 Caprices For Solo Cello (CD, Navona, Classical)
No, not Carmen Miranda...the name is Carmine Miranda. And there's a world of difference between the two. When we first did an internet search to find Carmine's web site the search engine corrected us and sent us to sites related to Carmen Miranda (the well-known singer who was fond of wearing fruit on her head). Carmine Miranda is a Venezuelan/American cellist. This young man has done what few dare to do...record an album featuring the cello alone in the spotlight. A difficult and challenging feat for anyone, but even more so when you consider the fact that he chose to tackle Carlo Alfredo Piatti's "12 Caprices" (a set of compositions that is well known for being very difficult and challenging to play). We love classical solos, duos, trios, quartets, and quintets because the music is obviously much more sparse than an orchestra and tends to be less overwhelming than symphonic music. Miranda executes the 12 Caprices with exquisite technique and skill. His playing is precise and inspired. And our guess is that from this point forward Carmine's talent will always be in high demand. Beautiful from start to finish. Highly recommended. Top pick.

MKRV - W.A.Y. (Independently released CD, Pop)
We don't receive many submissions from Russia so this one immediately caught our attention. What is surprising here...is how American this band sounds. If we had not known in advance, we would have never guessed these guys are from Russia. This could be due in part to the fact that two of the band members are attending a music production school in California. MKRV is the trio comprised of Dima Mokrov, Narek Arutyunyants, and Bob Erin. These three guys write and record moody modern pop that is soothing, smart, and effective. These eleven tracks feature smooth winding melodies, breathy vocals, and arrangements that are a perfect fit for each tune. Every song here is a keeper but our initial favorites include "All This Time," "On The Road," "Never Look Back," and "You Art." We can't help but think that if countries communicated through music (rather than through politics)...the world just might be a much more peaceful and serene place. Totally cool stuff here, these guys have done everything right.

Moraine - Groundswell (CD, Moonjune, Progressive/instrumental)
The third full-length Moonjune release from Moraine. This band is comprised of Dennis Rea (guitar), Alicia DeJoie (violin), James DeJoie (woodwinds), Kevin Millard (bass), and Tom Zgonc (drums). These folks play cool progressive rock/jazz instrumentals with a difference. The playing on this album is nothing short of mesmerizing. Each musician is extremely proficient on their instrument, making the whole one big ball of energized power. These tracks seem to be inspired by 1970s progressive rock bands of the past, but the overall sound is twenty-first century all the way. Rea is one of the great modern progressive rock/jazz guitarists, playing speedy complex math riffs that zig zag in and out of the music. Even though this is an all-instrumental album you never even notice because the tracks are so magnetic and gripping. Produced by Moraine and Steve Fisk, Groundswell is one mind boggling experience that will leave you craving for more. Our favorite cuts include "Mustardseed," "Skein," "Gnashville," "The Earth Is An Atom," and "The Okanogan Lobe." Wild and trippy stuff. Top pick.

Orgone Box - Centaur (CD-R only, Kool Kat Musik, Pop)
A bit of background information is in order here. In 1994 a band called Orange released a single called "Judy Over The Rainbow" on the Chrysalis label in Great Britain. The song became popular among popaholics around the world and as time passed by the song became more and more popular. But the band then seemed to just disappear...until David Gray (of the Idle Wilds) and Bill Forsyth (of the Minus Zero label) assisted the band Orgone Box (featuring former members of Orange) in making their first album available to the public. Now the fine folks at Kool Kat Musik have released a reworked version of the album so that more folks can appreciate these fine pop tunes. We never heard "Judy Over The Rainbow" when it initially came out...so this is the first time we have heard Orange or Orgone Box. Centaur features breezy smart pop tunes laced with some subtle threads of psychedelia. The new version of the album features a new track as well as some re-recordings of some of the band's original four track recordings. Ten effervescent songs here featuring cool guitars, flowing rhythms, and superb vocals. Our favorite cuts include "Anaesthesia," "Mirrorball (When I Want To Feel)," "Judy Over The Rainbow," and "Bubble."

Palm Ghosts - Palm Ghosts (Independently released CD, Moody progressive pop)
Palm Ghosts is the new band/project created by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Joseph Lekkas who was previously in the band Grammar Debate. After that band dissolved Lekkas took some time off from the world of music...only to realize a few years later that creating music was "...necessary to beat his anxieties." Thus, the band now serves two purposes. To beat the anxieties of the musician...and to relieve anxieties in the minds of those who hear it. Recorded in an old warehouse during an intensely cold winter, this self-titled album presents intelligent songs that are inspired and real. These tunes remind us somewhat of Starflyer 59 except the overall feel is somewhat more folky and reserved. Lekkas has a great voice and a real knack for knowing how to put the pieces together. These tracks are resilient, personal, and reflective. Our favorite cuts include "Dr. Tiger," "Airplane Jane," "I Know You Won't Break My Heart," and "All My Life (I've Been Waiting.)."

Scott Pender - 88 + 12: Music for Piano and Strings (CD, Navona, Classical)
For his debut release on the Navona label, Scott Pender "explores the expressive natures of four instruments--piano, violin, viola, and cello." And according to Scott (on his own web site) "The phonograph was my first music teacher." We like where this guy is coming from mentally and musically. Pender lives in Washington, D.C. and has received numerous honors and awards over the years for his musical contributions. 88 + 12 is divided into four sections. The intriguingly-titled "Veil of Ignorance" features Julia Okrusko on violin, Lilit Muradayan on viola, and Ming-Hui Lin on cello. Close to sixteen minutes' worth of music that is intricate, delicate, and very personal. Next is "Rhapsody, Elegy, and Finale for Violin and Piano which features Peter Sulski on violin and Geoffrey Burleson on piano. A particularly beautiful sparse recording where the interplay between the two instruments is critical to the overall vibe. Beautiful flowing melodies abound in this one. Third is "Sonata for Viola and Piano" which again features the talents of Sulski and Burleson. These two fellows play with magical fluidity, seemingly feeding of each other's energy with each and every note. Wow. The album closes with "Sonata for Cello and Piano" featuring the talents of David Russell on cello and Burleson on piano. Wonderfully moody music that is simultaneously classic and modern. 88 + 12 will be welcomed by fans of traditional classical music as well as those who prefer modern composers. On this album Pender proves himself to be one of the true modern masters. Top pick.

Petunia - Inside Of You (Independently released CD, Rockabilly/pop)
Petunia is best known as the vocalist in the Vancouver, Canada-based band The Vipers. But in addition to playing with his band he also releases albums under his own name. Inside Of You features Petunia backed by The Vipers as well as some other key players. This man has a voice that can't be mistaken for anyone else. Although possibly too peculiar for some listeners, Petunia's voice is instantly identifiable and unique...and we love it. This guy has a deep warbly voice and he's so focused that you can't help but be drawn into his music. To quote directly from the press release that accompanied this album: "Imagine that David Lynch and Nick Cave had a hillbilly baby, that yodeled...or Tom Waits meets Elvis at Woody Guthrie's hobo junction." That pretty much sums things up nicely. There's a whole lot of energy happening during the course of these twelve intriguing tracks. Petunia has tons of devoted fans out there in the world who will follow him anywhere. Pick up Inside Of You and find out why. Our favorite tracks include "Runaway Freight Train Heart," "Primitive Love," "The One Thing," and "Tear Drops Rolling."



Don't got to
Have no



Can't remember
Whatever it was
That happened
Whenever that was.


Right The Stars - The Only Thing (Independently released CD, Pop)
Nice, slick, dreamy, well-produced modern pop. This the third full-length release from Right The Stars. The band was formed in 2009 by Rich Jacques who writes all the songs and plays most of the instruments. The songs on The Only Thing are characterized by multi-layered vocals, smart arrangements, and an overall upbeat positive vibe. Unlike many up-and-coming artists who make music that is artsy and difficult, these songs are very accessible and could easily be appreciated by a large segment of the listening audience. Jacques has a great voice that provides the perfect centerpiece for his compositions. Plenty of smart melodies and lyrics here. Our favorite cuts include "The Only Thing," "Suburbia," "Dreamtime," and "Almost Too Much."

Walter Ross - Triumvirate (CD, Ravello, Classical)
The second release on the Ravello label from composer Walter Ross. Now retired, Walter was a tenured Professor at the University of Virginia. His compositions have been performed in over forty countries and he has connections all over the world. This album is divided into three sections: "Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra" featuring the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, "Piano Concerto, 'Mosaics'" featuring the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, and "Clarinet Concerto" which features the Warsaw National Philharmonic. Ross' compositions are smooth and ultimately very melodic, having much more in common with many of the great composers of the past than modern twenty-first century artists. Triumvirate features over sixty-five minutes' worth of music...and the album is chock full of sincere and real emotion. Sometimes intricate, sometimes moody, sometimes peculiar, and sometimes quite dramatic, the music of Walter Ross could easily appeal to just about anyone who loves and/or appreciates classical music.

Tom Schreck - Save Your Glory (CD, Outsider Music, Pop)
This one instantly blew us away. Nashville, Tennessee's Tom Schreck is a pure pop artist whose music could quite possibly catapult him into superstardom. Yup, he's that good. This is Tom's second full-length studio release although he's been recording music for quite a few years now. Save Your Glory is one great big megadose of pop music...seventeen tracks that clock in at over sixty-six minutes (!). We've seen tons of folks list the song titles on the back of their CD like a vinyl album (Sides 1 & 2)...but this is the first time we've seen songs listed like an 8-track tape (Programs A, B, C, & D). Schreck plays several different instruments but unlike most multi-instrumentalists he also invites other folks to lend their talents in the recording process. The songs on this album are smart, catchy, friendly, and arranged to perfection. Nashville is quickly becoming known as much more than just the home of country music. The city is bursting at the seams with talent in all genres. Artists like Tom Schreck are helping to change the way the city's music is perceived by the rest of the world. Every track here is a keeper but our initial favorites include "Brazen Hearts," "Jennifer," "Magnet," "Crooked Mountains," and "Car Alarm." Top pick.

Slow Leaves - Beauty Is So Common (CD, Manitoba Film & Music, Folk/pop)
Slow Leaves was created by Canada's Grant Davidson as a vehicle to share his music with the world. Grant's music should appeal to just about anyone who appreciates FM radio pop from the 1970s and 1980s. His songs are melodic and lyrics are integral to the overall vibe. On this album he is joined by producer Rusty Matyas who plays various instruments and provides harmony vocals. The songs on Beauty Is So Common come across sounding very genuine and personal, seeming almost as if Davidson was writing personal messages to a friend. The arrangements are nice and smooth...but even smoother is Grant's voice. This guy has a voice that could melt iron. Instead of pushing himself too hard, Grant just lets the words come out naturally. Although the songs on this album have a nice effortless sound, we can tell that a lot of thought and hard work went into creating them. Ten well-crafted cuts including "Everybody Wants To Be In Love," "Second Chances," "Institution," and "Rearview."

Stage Fright - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD, Lakeshore, Soundtrack)
A different sort of soundtrack album featuring music composed by Jerome Sable (the man who produced the film) and Eli Batalion. Stage Fright is Sable's directorial debut, a film that combines horror with music. The story involves a hopeful young singer (Alie MacDonald) who is terrorized by a killer at a musical theater camp. We zipped around the internet a bit and found that, apparently, the film is receiving mixed reviews. We haven't seen it yet so we can't comment on the film itself. The music here is a mixed bag of songs that seem to weave together to tell a story. Some of the tracks have an operatic kinda sound to them while others are rockers. This may be one of those sleepers that, over time, develops a more sizable and devoted audience. Hard to tell from these tracks exactly what the movie will be like...? Thirty two cuts including "Kylie's Big Finish," "Where We Belong," and "Exit Stage Fright."

Sterile Jets - Liquor Store (Independently released CD, Underground rock)
Is this 2014...or 1994...? Fortunately we began to wonder which decade we were in when we slammed Liquor Store in for a spin. This Long Beach, California-based trio plays loud, harsh, noisy underground rock music like the world will soon be coming to an end. And man oh man is that a refreshing change from so many up-and-coming artists who are playing it waaaaaaaaay too safe in the twenty-first century. These guys have a noisy grunge-ish sound that reminds us in many ways of Austin, TX legends Ed Hall (easily one of the best live bands in the 1990s). If you want a quick dose of what Sterile Jets are all about visit their web site and view some of the videos. What a wild trio these guys are...rough, unconventional, uncompromising, and intense. Liquor Store will likely scare away most listeners and that's probably just fine with these guys. The band is comprised of Bean, Bly, and B. Ill (no full or real names are given). Feel like some real hard and noisy stuff that hasn't been processed through the cheese factory? Check out hellish rockers like "...To The Ears," "Alt Rock Is A Coma," "I'm Glad You're Crying, Cowboy," and "Still Cherry." Whew...this one packs a great big punch.

Mia Doi Todd - Floresta (CD, City Zen, Brazilian/folk/pop)
We've been enjoying the music of Mia Doi Todd for several years now...not only because she makes credible and resilient music...but also because she never ever disappoints. Although not a huge commercial success at this point in time, Todd is a favorite among critics, serious music fans, and other musicians. On Floresta (the Portuguese word for forest) Todd presents unique covers of Brazilian folk/pop tunes. The seeds for this album were sown back in 2009 when Mia went to Brazil in 2009 to play a few concerts. While there she made contacts which eventually culminated in the recording of this album. This album was engineered by Fernando Sanches and features Fabiano do Nascimento on guitar, Mauricio Takara and Rogerio Martins on percussion, and Meno del Picchia on bass. As with all of her albums, Todd creates music that is genuine and real...a far cry from the technology-based slop that the majority of Americans are accustomed to. If you love Brazilian music...you're almost certain to fall in love with this one. Ten cool reflective cuts including "Misterios," "Luz do Sol," "Portal da Cor," and "Cais."

The Turtles - 45 RPM Singles Collection (Vinyl 45 Box Set, FloEdCo, Pop)
If there's one band from the 1960s we have always admired, it's The Turtles. We loved the band's music right from the start. And over the past few decades Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan have never let us down. They are most certainly two gentlemen who still have the magic they had when they began making music so many years ago. If you haven't seen the documentary Happy Together (DVD, 2000, Rhino/WEA), we highly recommend it. It is, in fact, our favorite band documentary of all time. If you don't love Volman and Kaylan when you begin watching, by the end you'll be a convert. The 45 RPM Singles Collection is a super cool box set featuring eight vinyl singles...including the band's biggest hits as well as some lesser known tracks. They've all been remastered and...buyers take note...according to what we've read this is the last time that these songs will be offered in this format (7" vinyl singles). After the original band broke up Mark and Howard had more incredible experiences by joining The Mothers of Invention for a while and also providing backup vocals for many of Marc Bolan's (T. Rex) greatest recordings. But they eventually returned to their roots and now continue touring as The Turtles and proving that retro acts don't have to be boring and lame. We recently picked up a live recording of one of the band's shows from a few years back and we were stunned at how exciting and gripping they're sounding these days. With so many bands releasing vinyl albums, Volman and Kaylan opted to release something different...a box set containing vinyl singles. And that is, of course, a perfect match because that is the format on which many of these first songs were first released. This will hopefully spark an even stronger surge of interest in The Turtles...easily one of the best and most credible pop bands of all time. Unlike other folks who have been in the music business for decades, Volman and Kaylan have never sold out. Top pick.

The Use- What's The Use? (CD, Alrealon Musique, Electronic)
The Use is the one man band band created by Michael Durek. But on this album there are a few guest artists lending their skills to the proceedings. Durek was once a member of the experimental group PAS Musique which introduced him to an entirely new world of music. Now he's out on his own. What's The Use? is Michael's debut full-length release, and it's a keeper. This album features analog synthesizers, home-made digital instruments and effects, theramins, field recordings, and more. It's kinda hard describing this music because there are so many sounds and styles floating around in the mix. And it's almost impossible to come up with any possible comparisons or influences because of the multitude of sounds and ideas. This is a pure dose of creativity and yet the songs are surprisingly accessible and friendly sounding. If you think all electronic music is cold and distant, What's The Use? may introduce you to a new world where electronics can be your friend. Ten groovy cuts here including "Hello Everybody," "Time Burton," "Ripe," and "Halo Alchemy."

Willow Willow - Listening To Music (Independently released CD, Pop)
Willow Willow is the duo of Jessica Vohs and Miranda Zeiger. The two became friends in kindergarden and have remained friends ever since. Vohs and Zeiger cite The Silly Sisters (Maddy Prior and June Tabor) and The Kinks as influences...so you know they've got great taste. The two eventually began playing together around San Francisco and Berkeley, eventually adopting the name Willow Willow (the title of one of their favorite songs by the band Love). It wasn't long before the duo was signed to Mod Lang Records and released their debut self-titled full-length album. Jessica and Miranda took their time getting around to recording their second album but it was well worth the wait...because their fans are going to love this one. Listening To Music is chock full of positive uplifting melodic pop. What struck us most about this music is how remarkably human the vocals sound. Instead of layering harmonies to the point of sounding like computerized cheese food, these two ladies show proper restraint. And, by doing so, these songs come across sounding very much like what we'd guess they sound like playing live. This is a short album that clocks in at just over thirty-three minutes. But in that amount of time these enchanting ladies will certainly win you over with their talent and genuine spirit. Every song here is a keeper but our initial favorites include "Sweetest Boy, Loneliest Girl," "Listening To Music," "Crash," "Hummingbird," and "I Will Never Tire Of You." Highly recommended. TOP PICK.



There is no value for
Maintaining of connection
With those who is


Additional Items Received:

A Conversation - The last taxi
Activator - Activator
Seth Adam - Steel tempered pride
Juan Alamo - Marimjazzia
Amen Ittys - Pliers
Alana Amram & The Rogh Gems - Spring river
Amigo - Might coulc
Amusium - French fries and caviar
Annette - Dream with me
Apollo Chamber Players - European folkscapes
Jon Armstrong Jazz Orchestra - Farewell
Arrested Development - At long last...music ans songs from Arrested Development
Asteroid No. 4 - Asteroid No. 4
August: Osage Countyk - Original motion picture soundtrack
Auris + Gino - Rub

Baby Baby - Big boy baller club
Sherman Baker - Sherman Baker
Cheryl Barnes - Listen to this
Carol Barnett - Treasures from the archives
Brian Baugus - Actor songster sage
Beat Funktion - Mandy's secret
Bee Bee Bee Bee - Eee Eee Eee Eee
Behind Enemy Lines: Seal Team 8 - Original motion picture soundtrack
Bend The Riever - So long Joan Fontaine
Laura Benitez and the Heartache - Heartless woman
Marie Nelson Bennett - Orpheus lex
Bernie - Original motion picture soundtrack
Bezobratri - Bezobratri
Bim Skala Bim - Chet's last call
Erica Blinn - Lovers in the dust
Blue Skies for Black Hearts - Blue Skies for Black Hearts
Sam Boshnack Quintet - Exploding syndrome
Boswell - Beryllium
Roger Bourland - Four quartets of songs and arias
Bowed Piano Ensemble - Ice and fire
Michael Bradford - The long night
Phillip Brandon - Phillip Brandon
BRB - Razorback - first bite
Brushfire Stankgrass - Micro climntes
Buenos Diaz - The love balloon
Buffalo Clover - Live at the Five
Buffalo Clover - Test your love
Bullets Over Broadway: The Musical - Original broadway cast recording
Burgeoning - Love alchemy, life algorithm EP
Hardin Burns - Down the deep well
Ellen Burr / Michael Unruh - Where am i from, where am i going
Rosemary Butler - You just watch me
Jon Byrd - Route 41

Curt Cacioppo - Ritornello
Calvary - Original motion picture soundtrack
Eileen Careyk - Let it go
Azure Carter & Alan Sondheim - Avator woman
Steven Casper & Cowboy Angst - Endless sky
Sergio Cervetti - Unbridled chamber works
Che Prasad - Christmastime in the apocalypse
Che Prasad - Shiva me timbers
Cinderella - Rodgers and Christopher's Cinderella: A new musical
Clementi Grand - His works, h is fortepiano
Conrad Clifton - Picture in picture
Susan Clynes - Life is...
Jose Contreras - Jose Contreras
Copernicus - Immediate eternity II
David G. Cortes - Time away but home again
Cosmic Punlch - FM stereo
Crap Detectors - On the psycho path of life
Reginald Cyntze - Elements of life

Keith Davis Trio - Still
Spencer Day - Daybreak
Dear Darwin - An abecedarium for soprano and piano
Matija Dedic, Antonio Sanchez, Scott Colley - Sentiana
Frank Dibussolo Group - Songs to write home about
Gareth Dickson - Invisible string
Dive Index - Lost in the pressure
Eddie Dixson - Bump key
Sarah Donner - That is a pegasus
Doors - A psyche tribute to The Doors
Bob Dorough - Bob Dorough
Doug Richards Trio - Jazz in the living room
Down Home Band - Monrovia
Rob Drabkin - Little steps
Drockulette - Smock
Duo526 - Ballade

8-Bit Operators - Enjoy the science
EDM - I need you
D. Edward - Love is
Dave Ellis - Everything in between
Jeff Ellis - Learning how to live
Jace Everett - Terra rosa
Jace Everett Bad things
The Everydays - The Everydays
Ezzeethere - Not so...

Fair Ophelia - 2
Falling Birds - Native America EP
Fankhauser Cassidy Band - On the blue road
Far West - Any day now
Derek Fawcett - Feel better
Fearing & White - Tea and confidences
Feel No Other - Feel No Other
Bonne Finken - Fairytales/love affairs
Julian Fleisher - Finally
Flow Tribe - Alligator white
Footnotes - Comin' home
Jamila Ford - The deep end
Foundations - Modern works in the clasical tradition
Jeremy Fox - With love
Carl Franklin - Been a while
Morgan Frazier - Morgan Frazier
Danny Freyer - Must be love
Frozen - Original soundtrack
Amos Funk - Black rose

Nick Gallant - Wanderlust
Matt Garrison - Patchwork
G.B.F. - Original motion picture soundtrack
Robin George - History
Ferrill Gibbs - Significant trees
Giver - Original motion picture soundtrack
Glade - What turns on the lights
Glass House - Long way down
Global Unified - Global Unified
Goddesses - 3
Good Grief / Eureka California - Rusty nail & another round b/w Turn on autopilot, DC sniper
Goodnight Tonight - Watch the rain
Nancy Goudinaki - I wanna be your star
Chris Greco - Standards, vol. 1

Matt Hannah - Let the lonely fade
Hard Soul - Seize the year
Harrington/Lowewen Duo - Metropolis
Dave & Emma Hart - Hold on
Cyndi Harvell - Heartache & revolution
Hearts of Oak - New England
Heavy Glow - Pearls & swine and everything fine
John Michael Hersey - Adirondack
Sydney Hodkinson - A keyboard odyssey
C. Holmes - Peace love & C. Holmes
Amanda Homi - Till I reach Bombay
Kandia Crazy Horse - Stampede
House of Cards - Season 2, music by Jeff Beal
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - The musical

If/Then - Original Broadway cast recording
I Love Rich - Respect the rich
Il Rumore Bianco - Mediocrazia
Il Sogno del Marinaio - Canto secondo
Indies Scope - 2013
Insect Surfers - Infra green
Intimate Dream - Wonderful thing
In Your Eyes - Original motion picture score: Music by Tony Morales

The JAC - Love dumb
Chris Jasper - The one
Daena Jay - Subdivision
Jersey Boys - Music from the motion picture and Broadway musical
Noel Johnston - Salted coffee
Jokeless - Smoke free
Carolyn Lee Jones - The performer
Laney Jones - Golden road
Nate Jones Band - EP
Shaman Juan - Soothsayer
Just A Machine - Piqured jacks
Just A Season - Just A Season
Just A Tarzan - Just A Tarzan
Just A Zoo - Just A Zoo

Kaak - Licked and licker
Dave Kain, Thomson Kneeland, Joe Abba - Raising Kain
Eric Kamen - Serenades
Ricky Kej / Wouter Kellerman - Winds of Samsara
Kelly's Lot - Live in Brussels
Madison King - Onward and upward
Elly Kouri - I love you too much
Adrian Krygowski - Roam
Daniela Kuri - Sway
Bae Kuang - These darling wings

Joe LaCascio and Woody Witt - Absinthe: The music of Billy Strayhorn
Michael Lake / Gerry Pagano - Roads less traveled
Lalama Brothers - Erie Ave.
Brett Larson - One of these roads
Lily Lambert - So far
Ronnie Lane - Memorial concert: One for the road - Royal Albert Hall, London
Jacob Latham - Midnight train
John A. Lewis Trio - One trip out
Lilla - The awakening
Jackie Lomax - Against all odds
Michelle Langara - Songs of blue
Lovers Key - Here today gone tomorrow
Lowman - Garden of rainbows
Lucky Bone - Borderline
Carmen Lundy - Soul to soul
Vincente Lyn - Live in New York City

Machine Don't Lie - Nobody panic
Magnolia - Magnolia
Ray Majors - The 7% solution
Matthew Malsky - Geographies & geometries
Terry Marshall - Arrival
Dan Masterson - Learn to live
Josh Matthews - A sides
Josh Matthews - Co-patriot
McCormick Percussion Group - Soli for soprano with percussion orchestra
Mark Meadows - Somethin' good
Todd Meadows - Brothers keeper
Meanies - Cover their tracks
Adam Meckler Orchestra - When the clouds look like this
Michael-Ann - Heavy load
Tim Levan Miller - Boredom longs for fear
Andy Milne & Dapp Theory - Forward in all directions
Miss Massive Snowflake - So sweet
Jim Mize - Jim Mize
Moistboyz - 5
Mike Montrey Band - Song by song by song
Monuments Men - Original motion picture soundtrack
Patricia Morehead - Brass rail blues
Morning Birds - Bloom
Dan Moretti & The Hammond Boys - Live at Chan's
Ken Will Morton - Slow burn
Motel Life - Original motion picture soundtrack: Score by David Holmes and Keefus Ciancia
Mud - Original motion picture soundtrack: Score by David Wingo
My Education - 5 popes

Kris N. - The thankful parade
Namb - Namb
Nekozurashi - Ahostractions
New American Farmers - The farmacology sessions
Graham Nicholas - Sometimes chicken, sometimes feathers
Nine Times Blue - Matter of time
Nishe - This is Nishe
Nissy - Program the hissing thing
Non-Stop - Original motion picture soundtrack
Noisy Noses - Noisy Noses
Northwest +1 - Minor suggestions
November Man - Original motion picture soundtrack
Novox - Over the honeymoon
Brian Noyes - Journeys after...
Nylon Jail - My heart soars like a hawk

Oak Street Blues - Calico
Elijah Ocean - Bring it all in
Old Cabin - Old Cabin
Alejandra O'Leary and the Champions of hte West - Heartspace timepiece
One Chance - Original motion picture soundtrack
Oooooo - Noooooo
Orchestra of Spheres - Vibration animal sex brain music
Rich O'Toole - Jaded
Alexandra Ottaway - Tetrahedron dreams

Jenna Paone - Hammers and strings
Charlie Parr - Hollandale
Daniel Jay Paul - The path less traveled
Pawns or Kings - Pomme de terre
Period 2 - Period 2
Perry Project - Can't steal soul
Troy Petty - Fairy tale pen
Simon Phillips, John Lawton, Joseph Williams - My kind o' lovin': Intelligent music project II
Steve Picataggio - Two feet on the ground
Aaron Poehler & Ryan Tullyt-Doyle - Dietrich

Bobby Quick and the Speeds of Sound - Bobby Quick and the Speeds of Sound

Ben Rabb - Until it's gone
Yves Ramette - The golden galaxy
Random Order - Black lipstick kiss
Rapoon - Cultural forgeries
Reacta - Refraction
Reanimation - Under the last tree on earth
James Tristan Redding - Walking into Brooklyn
Marty Regan - Scattering light, scattering flowers
Dina Regine - Rigiht on, alright
Charlee Remitz - These veins
Rococo - Losing ground
Edward Rogers - Kaye
Anna Maria Rosales - Wahsed up on your shore
Arrica Rose & The ...'s - Wavefunction
Jefferson Rose Band - Feel like dancing
Roxanna - Exotica
Royal Oui - Royal Oui

69 Cats - Transylvanian tapes
Chris Sanchez - Guilty
Sarah - Featuring Bruce Barth
Save The Radio - Calculating the sum of your life
Scan Hopper - Mariana bridges
Scarred But Smarter - Life N times of Drivin N Cryin
Scattered Bodies - Talking songs
Scenic Route to Alaska - Warrington
Scientist - World EP
Erik Scott - And the earth bleeds
Hilary Scott - Freight train love
Secret Agent 23 Skidoo - The perfect quirk
David Serby and the Latest Scam - David Serby and the Latest Scam
Serious Fun - Serious Fun
Shameless - Music from the television series
Sherlock - Original television soundtrack
Ships Have Sailed - Someday
Signal - Original motion picture soundtrack
Herb Silverstein - Monday morning: 10 original tunes
The Silvertones - Silvertone avenue
Sine Qua Non - Simple pleasures
Donna Singer - Destiny: Moment of jazz
Devin Sinha - The seventh season
Smoke Season - H0ot coals cold souls
Snowpiercer - Original motion picture soundtrack
Soatoa - Latent
Society of Composers, Inc. - Pendulum
Sours - Sours
Spectra - A concert of music by members of Connecticut Composers, Inc.
Spell Kasters - Kastin' the spell
Spiritlines - Pale hands
Spycker - Voted away
Andrew St. James - The shakes
Neville Staple - Ska crazy!
Ann ie Stela - Whiplash blues
Richard Stoltzman - Resolve
Ed Stone - King of hearts
Isobel Stover - Her own sweet world
Stray - Life in Japan 2013
Stray Birds - Best medicine
Joe Sullivan - Whiskey jack waltz
Mason Summit - Absentee
Sunshine Riot - A fresh bottle and a brand new day
Sweet - Sweetlife

Tal Gur - Under contractions
Julian Temple Band - Upsidedownbackwards
That Awkward Moment - Original motion picture soundtrack
Third World - Under the magic sun
Derek Thomas & Skylnie Drive - Beyond the trestles
Beth Thornley - Septagon
Dinah Thorpe - Lullabies & walke up calls
Tippy - Getting Tippy
Alex Tjoland Band - Silent revelry
Darryl Tookes and Joe Beck - Precious child: Love songs & lullabies
Toothe - Talons EP
Tower of Song - In cityi and in forest
Billy Tsounis - Nefelibata
Matt Turk - Cold revival

Ugly Kids Club - Head games
Ugly Quartet - Mars needs Maurice
Uncommon Evolution - Uncommon Evolution
Unrepeatable Quartet - Edmonton 2012
Midge Ure - Fragile
The Use - What's the use?

Van Burens - Van Burens
Vanilla Beans - FFFF
Various artists - Made in Iceland VII
Various Artists - A blues tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival
Various Artists - Sweet relief: Love is everywhere
Vaudeville - Vendetta
Ana Velinova - The thief
Vices - Vices
Videoing - Treasure house EP
Villians - A little something for the pain
Vinny Vegas - The big white whale
Vlatko - Subjective experience in a commerical free zone
Vosque Dots - Toska

Sean Wagner - Word came with the evening
Tommy Wallach - I meant it to be sweet
Week of Wonders - Piggybacks b/w The end of the day
Windows - Sunrise highway
Danielle Woodrow - Turning
Stan Wells - High tide
Western Education - Let your secrets out
Jeremy Wilms - Diamond people
Winchester Revival - Eyes in the canopy
Winter Pale - Red sun
Woodshedders - Wildfire
Rik Wright - Fundamental forces


Yippee - A, D, and U

Frank Zappa - Everyone hates my wife now
Ricardo Zohn/Muldoon / David Liptak - Stars stories song

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