May 2019 Comics, Poetry, and Reviews by
Band discography. Listen/stream on Bandcamp, CDBaby, & Spotify
|Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers
a picture made
babysue comix #363
babysue comix #364
babysue comix #365
Blurry Tocker Snip
Daddy Long Legs
The Dark Backward*
The Drool Brothers*
Girls On Grass
Hell Is Nice
The BB King Blues Band
Locate Your Lips
The Shakin' Shivers
W.G. Snuffy Walden*
Additional Items Received
May 2019 Thought.
Those who only want for self not get what want.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Mindi Abair and the Boneshakers - No Good Deed (CD, Pretty Good For A Girl, Blues/rock/pop)
On the first spin of this album, we couldn't help but be reminded of Janis Joplin. Mindi Abair is by no means as much of a screamer, but she's got that same kind of soulful believable voice and style that has made Joplin such a legend over the years. Abair's voice perfectly captures blues and soul...and her super solid band provides the perfect solid foundation. No Good Deed features ten bluesy tracks that ought to have blues/soul fans clamoring for more. This is the third full-length from this Los Angeles, California-based band. Backing Abair are Randy Jacobs (guitar, vocals), Rodney Lee (keyboards), Ben White (bass, vocals), and Third Richardson (drums, vocals). In addition to being the lead vocalist, Mindi also plays a mean saxophone. In the past, she has played sax for such well-known artists as Aerosmith and Duran Duran. These folks have a sound and style that could easily catapult them to the upper echelons of superstardom. Using traditional instruments to make their music, Mindi and her band have crafted cool compositions that will most certainly stand the test of time. Cool groove-oriented cuts include "Seven Dry Fool," "You Better Run," "Bad News," and "Who's Gonna Save My Soul?" (Release date: June 28, 2019)
Everything we hear.
Everything we see.
Everything we think.
a picture made - Heal (CD, Goodspeed, Underground pop)
For every well known successful band on the planet, there are thousands upon thousands of obscure artists and bands whose music is just as good--if not better. a picture made is an excellent example of this fact. The guys in this band started making music way back in the 1980s. Though they've had some good breaks and impressive successes along the way, for the most part they're still playing to a devoted esoteric audience. Heal is an exceptionally mature and intelligent album. The band presents thirteen highly melodic compositions with a heavy emphasis on lyrics and arrangements. The tracks on this album have a classic sound and feel. And they're polished just enough to shine...without having that overproduced thick sound that ruins so many twenty-first century albums. There are plenty of truly beautiful audio moments here. It's impressive indeed when folks can make music for this long and still retain the spark they had when they started. Readers should note that this album is not easy throwaway pop. To fully take in and appreciate what's going on here, you will need to spin this album a few times. But the time will be well spent, as these songs will no doubt sound great for decades to come. Our favorite cuts include "Heal Me," "Boxes On The Floor," "Baby Boom Boom," and "Healed." Inspired and original material from start to finish. This just might be the one to push these guy's career up a few notches. The vocals are great.
Brad Armstrong - I Got No Place Remembers Me (CD, Cornelius Chapel, Underground pop/rock)
Brad Armstrong is one of those guys out there treading in underground waters who has the talent and skills to be a major player in the world of music. He was formerly in the critically acclaimed Birmingham, Alabama-based band 13ghosts that recorded six albums between 2000 and 2012. Like so many super talented individuals, he eventually decided to move on with his life. But the music in his veins eventually regained control, and Armstrong found himself once again writing and recording as a solo artist. I Got No Place Remembers Me combines elements from folk, pop, rock, Americana, and country...weaving them all into one cool coherent collection of smart tunes. Word keeps spreading around the globe about Brad's music. This just might be the album that catapults him out of the underground and into the spotlight. He's got the songs, the talent, and the voice to go all the way. And with the explosion of interest in Americana over the past few years, Armstrong's time may have finally come. Thirteen well-crafted cuts here including "Brother Ford," "Falling Man," "Saint Lucia," and "Ice Storm."
Blue Glass - Pale Mirror (Independently released CD, Underground pop)
Housed in one of the most subtle album covers we've seen, the music on Pale Mirror is totally gripping and rather...fantastic. Blue Glass is the band/project created by Seattle, Washington-based musician Michael Shunk. Although not by any means a copycat band, the sound of Blue Glass is similar in many ways to The Cure and even Starflyer 59 at times. Shunk composes songs that are danceable and upbeat, and supports them with rhythms that are decidedly friendly and danceable. But make no mistake, this is not happy throwaway modern pop. This fellow's music is threaded with some strangely dark undertones and some of the vocals have peculiar distant qualities. This is true underground stuff that's a far cry from what most music fans are listening to in 2019. And that, of course, is a huge compliment. Instead of creating a sound that follows trends, Michael is instead...setting them. Pale Mirror is chock full of wonderful sounds and inviting melodies. It's kinda like pop music funneled through some dark mirror and then tossed back at the listener with little or no regard for commercial appeal. Everything about this guy's music hits the target. If this is any indication of what's happening in Seattle these days, the city may very well see a huge resurgence in the coming months and years. Nine killer cuts here including "Don't Think Twice," "Sleep," "Hometown Highs," "Incantations," and "You Won't Stay." Highly recommended. Top pick.
Blurry Tocker Snip - The Wilted Album (Independently released nearly limited edition vinyl LP, Underground prom)
You have to admire the folks in Blurry Tocker Snip. You have to admire them. You really have to admire them. You don't really have to. You can not admire them. You can not admire them at all. You can listen to them. Or you can ignore them. They really care and you won't care if you do or don't. Things are small if you want them to be. Things are really large if you want that. Whatever it is you want is whatever it should be. But don't make a mistake. Don't do the correct thing. Don't be responsible and don't delegate. The matters that you consider most important are those that you should no longer be concerned with. The Wilted Album goes away when you touch it. The part that goes away comes back slightly, only to be met with disregard and complexion. There are ways to do things that no one will ever understand. There is no one to understand because there is nothing to understand. Get in the way of things that matter. Obtain matter from things that don't matter. Wallow in your worry plot. Grind things up that you should honor and respect. That is the way things are. That is the way things always will be.
Cat Temper - Digital Soul (Independently released CD-R, Pop/instrumental)
Yet another new release from the ultra-prolific and ultra-creative world of Mike Langlie. Mike was the guy behind the critically acclaimed underground toy piano band Twink. Now he's onto new territories and beyond with his latest band Cat Temper. This band is a different animal altogether (pun intended) and no toys are used to create the music. But some of the elements from Langlie's prior band remain intact. Most specifically, the light hearted simplicity of the music is very similar. Some of the electronics used in Cat Temper music may remind listeners of music created decades ago the genre was far simpler and less orchestrated. Although the overall tone and mood are decidedly different, for some reason some of the music on this album occasionally reminds us of Tomita. Lots of cool instrumentals here, sixteen to be exact. By focusing on the basics rather than trying to overproduce, Mike has come up with another album that is both intelligent and ultimately very listener friendly. Wonderfully out-of-sync with most of what's happening out there in the world where so many people want to sound like carbon copies of one another. Featuring cool artwork by etherbrian, Digital Soul is yet another cool and creative endeavor from one of the true credible ongoing voices in the world of underground music. Delightful cuts include "A Master of Time," "Almost Human," "The Adventure Continues," and "Looking Into the Sun." Top pick.
The chubby are dumpty.
The dumpty are chubby.
Daddy Long Legs - Lowdown Ways (CD, Yep Roc, Blues/rock/pop)
The folks at Yep Roc have another winner on their hands. Blues/rock/pop fans are gonna totally dig the sounds on Lowdown Ways. What sets these guys apart from so many others is the fact that they keep their sound very simple and direct. And in today's world, that's getting to be something that is rarer and rarer by the minute. Daddy Long Legs is the Brooklyn, New York-based trio comprised of Brian Hurd, Murat Akturk, and Josh Styles. These three guys play with focused energy and passion, creating a whole that is much larger than the sum of its parts. We were impressed with the songs on this album. But when we pulled up some of the band's videos we finally really got it. Brian, Murat, and Josh don't look like blues rockers at all. They look much more like popsters than rockers, and that goes a long way in making the music seem more...friendly. The band cites influences like Captain Beefheart, Howlin' Wolf, MC5, and Dr. Feelgood...so you can bet your booties that they're coming from the right direction with their music. Lowdown Ways is the band's third full-length release, and it's chock full of addictive rhythms, cool guitars, and vocals that will grab you by the throat. The album was produced by Jimmy Sutton and engineered by Alex Hall at Hi-Style Studios in Chicago, so it's got a nice thick and raw sound. In addition to the CD, this one's also being released as a limited edition opaque vinyl LP. Kickass cuts include "Theme From Daddy Long Legs," "Pink Lemonade," "Glad Rag Ball," "Winners Circle," and "Be Gone."
The Dark Backward (Wildly creative 1991 film)
At the risk of admitting how out-of-touch we are in general, we feel embarrassed to say that until this year we had never even heard of the 1991 movie The Dark Backward. We stumbled upon it this month and...WOW. We rarely get a charge this big out of any film. This one is a true original. Bear in mind that some of our all-time favorite motion pictures include Terry Gilliam's Tideland, John Waters' Female Trouble, and David Lynch's Eraserhead. This movie treads in surreal areas similar to all three, while being a totally different experience. Backward was the first full-length movie written and directed by Adam Rifkin...and it is without a doubt the trashiest motion picture we've ever seen. And we're not talking about John Waters trashy...we're talking real trash. We have never ever seen so much physical litter in a single movie in our lives. If the thought of seeing trash everywhere bothers you then you will be very very bothered by these visuals. Our favorite scene is the garbage truck slowing driving down a totally trashed alleyway while the two main characters sloppily attempt to toss garbage into it (without much success). The Dark Backward stars Judd Nelson, Bill Paxton, Wayne Newton, Rob Lowe, and more. The characters are all out-of-this-world bizarre...as is the story. Some say the movie is no good at all and not the least bit funny...while others find it to be brilliant and fantastic. We are definitely in the latter category. This one had us falling out of our chairs laughing. But we weren't laughing from the comedy. We were laughing because many of the scenes made us feel very uneasy and uncomfortable. The movie does kinda lapse into dullsville during the last 20 to 25 minutes...but that's no big deal because the rest is such a wild roller coaster ride. If you only like slick commercial crap with Hollywood's oh-so-annoying stamp of bland morality on it, you will most likely hate this motion picture. But if any of the previously mentioned films happen to be in your list of favorites, you should definitely see The Dark Backward. It's an unforgettable experience that is like no other. This one features Bill Paxton at his completely freaked out manic best. Highly recommended. Top pick.
DarWin - Origin of Species (Independently released double CD, Progressive pop/rock)
Complex and very involved progressive concept album from DarWin. If you appreciate progressive bands from the 1970s and early 1980s when recordings were becoming increasingly complex and orchestrated, there's a very good chance you'll totally groove on Origin of Species. The most obvious comparison that comes to mind when hearing these tracks is early Utopia, when the band was in its most progressive stage. On Species, the main players are Darwin (composer, guitars), Simon Phillips (drums, keyboards, loops, percussion, and sound effects), Matt Bissonette (lead and backing vocals, bass), and Greg Howe (guitar solos on four tracks). Other artists lend some help on other tracks, but these are the main players. With the recent resurgence of interest in progressive rock over the past few years, the timing may be just right for this one to hit the target big time. There's a lot of excess in these recordings, but our guess is that this is exactly what DarWin and his associates were shooting for. There's a lot of material spread across these two discs. The sound quality is superb from start to finish, and the players are all obviously extremely proficient. The main difference between these compositions and progressive compositions from the past is sound quality. Whereas early pioneers in this field were somewhat limited in terms of what they could achieve, in 2019 the technological possibilities are virtually limitless. That said, it's interesting that at certain points these folks opt to hold back the reins so that the listener can focus on the lyrics and melodies. There's no telling how much time and energy was spent recording this album. The precise attention to detail is what sets it apart from so many others. Seventeen rockin' cuts including "For Humanity," "Taking Chances," "War Against My Mind," and "Just One More Day." Recommended for fans of Yes, Genesis, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and Genesis.
Deckchair Poets - A Bit of Pottery (CD, Angel Air, Pop)
Check out the band's web site (link above) and you'll find that many of the same folks in Deckchair Poets are also in the band Jerusalem. Apparently the ideas and talents overflow from one to the other. Though we have not yet heard Jerusalem, this is the second time we've heard music by the cool folks in Deckchair Poets (although it's actually their third full-length release). The band's music might best be described as orchestrated pop. There's a heavy emphasis on arrangements and recording technology that give the tracks on A Bit of Pottery a very thick polished sound. There were a lot of folks involved in the recording of this album. Players/composers were/are: Lynden Williams, Geoff Downes, Nick D'Virgilio, Dave Meros, Rachael Hawnt, Sue Lord, Ollie Hannifan, Rob Aubrey, and Sarah-Jane Szikora. Yow...no wonder the album has such a big grand sound (!). Unlike so many underground pop bands that are purposely artsy and difficult, the folks in Deckchair Poets have a sound that is decidedly listener-friendly...and the tracks have an amazing amount of commercial potential. There's a whole lot to take in here. Divided into four parts, the album features a total of thirty-one tracks (!)...way, way, way more than you'd normally hear on a twenty-first century album. These songs are smart and feature cool catchy melodies along with super smart lyrics. This is one of those cases where the folks have done everything right. Smooth immersible tracks include "Twisting With the Dementors," "Knockturn Alley," "Just a Lonely Boggart," and "Deathday Party."
The Drool Brothers - Positive Reinforcement Cookies (CD-R EP, Barfing Glitter, Pop/rock)
One of the best kept secrets out there in musicland is the Whittier, California-based band The Drool Brothers. We played these guys' last album totally into the ground. We'll be doing the exact same thing with the band's new EP Positive Reinforcement Cookies. As is the case with all Drool Brothers releases, there's a definite skewed sense of humor present here. But while the lyrics may be odd, this is by no means a joke band. These guys are really good at what they're doing. We love the fact that they don't take themselves or their music too seriously. The ever-increasing slew of generic Americana bands out there who are just way too concerned about everything going on could learn a thing or two from these fellows. The band is comprised of Rico Garcia (lead guitars), Tom Slik (bass, vocals), Chuck Mancillas (lead vocals, drums, keyboards, rhythm guitar), and Dan Marfisi (xylophone, rhythm guitar). Four cool tracks and they all hit the target. Most listeners will find it impossible to sit still while listening to this music...the rhythms and bass lines are totally addictive. Four kickass tracks: "It's A Drag," "Pussy Divine," "Vices," and "She's Got the Beat." For a totally cool upbeat experience, get an immediate dose of The Drool Brothers. They represent everything that is right about underground pop in 2019. Recommended. Top pick.
Jon Durant - Alternate Landscapes (CD, Alchemy, Progressive/atmospheric)
More dreamy atmospheric compositions from the mind and soul of guitarist Jon Durant. This fellow's music can be compared to other experimental guitarists like Robert Fripp, Robin Guthrie, and Robert Poss. Alternate Landscapes features four lengthy compositions, all of which were created using guitars and/or guitar synthesizers. But don't expect to hear the usual riffs and solos, because most of the sounds on this album bear almost no resemblance to a guitar. The emphasis is on sounds more so than conventional things like melodies and rhythm. As such, Durant's music is more like a trip into atmospheric dreamland. This is an unconventional yet soothing album that can easily set the right mood for whatever space you happen to be in. Jon's music is exceedingly well recorded and mixed...and it's threaded with all kinds of heavenly sounds that are hypnotic and slightly surreal. Close to an hour's worth of music here, and it's all wonderfully cerebral in nature. Four tracks: "Systravatn," "Aragon," Ciel du Cheval," and "Dinkelsbuhl."
Caleb Elliott - Forever To Fade (CD, Single Lock, Pop)
Sometimes we want to hear music that is challenging, unusual, and difficult. But at other times we just want to hear something that is smooth, familiar, and easy on the ears. If you're looking for the former, this may not be the album for you. But if you love and appreciate classic soft pop music from the past few decades, there's a very good chance you will totally love the sound of the songs on Forever To Fade. This is the debut album from Caleb Elliott. In the past he's played with and supported a variety of different artists. Now he's off on his own. This album is bound to be immediately embraced by listeners all around the world. If we hadn't done some reading, we would never have guessed this is a debut album. The songs are smart, mature, and assured. Elliott writes some amazingly credible cool melodies and he's got a voice that's super smooth and resilient. Originally from Louisiana, Caleb is now based in Alabama. The arrangements on these tracks are perfectly executed. And the sound quality is exceptional. Folks into analog recordings will love the warm and inviting overall sound. But it's those songs and that voice that will perpetually draw listeners back to this album. Elliott's onto something substantial with his music. We're guessing that in the years to come this guy may very well become one of the most important twenty-first century singer/songwriters out there. Yup, the music is that good. Killer cuts include "Makes Me Wonder," "Get Me Out of Here," "Are You Ready," and "Black Lungs." Highly recommended. TOP PICK.
Exit North - Book of Romance and Dust (Independently released CD, Moody underground pop)
Distant, chilling, and puzzling. You would think that--with the passage of time--there would be more and more artists creating unique music that stands out. But instead the exact opposite is true. As the second decade of the twenty-first century comes to a close, we find that there are more carbon copy artists now than ever before. So many that most of them become indistinguishable from the others. When we heard the first track on this album ("Bested Bones"), we knew this was something different. The folks in Exit North write and record music that is peculiar in many ways. And the only possible reference point we can come up with is Lambchop...which should give you an idea of what's going on here. The subtle moody tracks on Book of Romance and Dust are beautiful in some ways, but strangely distant and odd in others. Exit North is comprised of Charles Storm, Steve Jansen, Thomas Feiner, and Ulf Jansson. This is the band's debut album, and it's a far cry from what most folks are listening to in 2019. What will probably stand out for most listeners are the lyrics and the arrangements. The words in these songs are spoken/sung in such a way that it may make some people uncomfortable. The arrangements have subtle orchestrated qualities that make them strangely intriguing and bizarre. We can't remember when we've heard a debut quite like this. By going out on a limb and creating music that doesn't sound like everything else, these guys are taking a big risk. But our guess is that it will pay off in the end. And that's because ultimately most folks in underground circles are looking for something truly different and substantial. This album is both. Mentally challenging cuts include "Bested Bones," "Short of One Dimension," "Lessons In Doubt," and "Another Chance."
Greg Felden - Made of Strings (CD, New Neighborhood, Pop)
If there's one word that sums up this man's music, that word would probably be...real. In a world full of throwaway popsters and folks trying way too hard to sound emotional and human...Made of Strings immediately stands out as a collection of songs that came straight from the heart and soul. The album would already be impressive, but it's even more so when you consider the fact that this is Felden's first official release. Originally from Eugene, Oregon, Greg now lives in Los Angeles, California where he has been a regular playing live around the city for years. All those years have obviously paid off, and they also may help to explain the surprisingly mature nature of the material on this album. The lyrics are way beyond average here, as this young man seems to write songs mainly as a form of personal expression. Strings is dedicated to Samantha Morris, Greg's girlfriend was was fighting cancer during the recording of the album. Sadly, Morris passed away after the album was completed. But thanks to Felden, her memory will live on forever in the minds of music fans all around the world. These ten tracks have a classic folk/pop sound that could be compared to a variety of well-known artists from the past and present. Our favorites include "Every Time," "Take You Back Home," "Tell Me What's Broken," and "Ghosts." Inspired and genuine.
Fraud Prophets - Poptosis (Independently released CD, Pop/instrumental)
Cool modern instrumentals delivered with integrity and a sense of humor. Fraud Prophets is the duo of Sean Halley and Nate Morton. Nate plays drums and Sean plays almost everything else (a few outside friends lend their talents on some tracks). You have to admire any band or artist who goes the route of writing and recording instrumentals. And that's because the average listener seems to demand lyrics and catchy phrases in order for a song to make an impression. But if that's what you're seeking, the tracks on Poptosis will most definitely make a clear impression on you that will last for some time. These two men are exceptionally talented. And they manage to convey way more ideas and feelings without lyrics than most bands that feature vocals. These songs have cool defined grooves, and they're chock full of really tasty guitar licks. There's no plodding or droning going on here. These highly stylized songs have defined melodies and structures. This album is a total success from start to finish. The sound quality on these tracks is nothing short of...amazing. Want a great jolt of cool modern instrumental music that way it ought to sound? Check out Poptosis and become a believer. Kickass cuts include "I Think I Just Said That," "Moths and Mosquitoes," "Sad People Music," and "Two Steps Back."
Girls On Grass - Dirty Power (Independently released CD, Pop/rock)
The second full-length release from the Brooklyn-based band Girls On Grass. Despite the name, the band actually consists of two girls and two guys (Barbara Endes, Nancy Polstein, David Weiss, Dave Mandl). These folks have a really cool sound that combines elements from The Pretenders with guitars that occasionally remind us of Television. This band has a refreshingly simple and direct sound. At a point in time when almost everyone overproduces everything, Dirty Power stands out because the songs are presented simply using only the basic essentials. Those who appreciate lyrics will not only be treated to some way-above-average lyrics...but also an enclosed booklet printed in a font large enough to actually be read (!). These four musicians play with confidence and have the skills necessary to really get their point across on all eleven compositions. The rhythm section provides a nice solid foundation while the guitars add the necessary oomph. But it's those vocals that really push things over the top. Barbara sings lead with backing harmonies provided by Nancy and David. And it's those vocals that will probably win over the fans. The songs on Dirty Power are strangely familiar and catchy, but they're also (thankfully) a far cry from commercial pop in 2019. It's not synthetic pop...and it's not Americana. These folks are playing what might be described as classic underground pop/rock. Stylish and immediately inviting, Dirty Power is an album that will surely stand the test of time. Cool tracks include "Down at the Bottom," "Friday Night," "Into the Sun," and "Thoughts Are Free."
Karen Haglof - Tobiano (Independently released CD-R, Underground pop)
Karen Haglof is one of those cool musicians out there who seems to be driven mainly by the desire to create. But unlike some whose specific desires lead to unbearable noise, she makes music that could very easily be enjoyed by just about anyone who loves good melodic pop. This is Haglof's third full-length release, and it just might be the one to push her career up a few notches. These fourteen tracks feature extremely exacting arrangements and excellent instrumentation. And Haglof's voice is sounding exceedingly great these days. Backing her on these tracks are Steve Almaas and CP Roth. Also lending their talents are Lianne Smith, Sherryl Marshall, Liza Colby, Jon Grabof, Crispin Cloe, Mitch Easter, and Peter Holsapple. Ms. Haglof might best be described as a musician's musician...because our guess is that her music is probably most appreciated by other musical artists. What surprises us most about Tobiano (a type of genetic color pattern for a pinto horse) is how much commercial potential some of these tracks have. Even though she's operating in the undercurrents, some of Karen's songs could easily become hugely popular...if all of the pieces were to fall into place. The more we spin this album the better it sounds. This album absolutely hits the spot. Killer cuts include "Tobiano Twirl," "Foothold," "Thugs In Academia," "Charismatic" (this one's our favorite), and "Provenance of Love - Let Em Go." Recommended. Top pick.
HELL IS NICE
Hell is a
Very nice place
Where everything is
Lee Holdridge - The Other Side of the Mountain, Part 2: Music From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (CD, Geffen / Varese Sarabande, Soundtrack)
This is the first time that this soundtrack has been released on CD...and it's an extremely limited edition (only 1,500 were manufactured). The music was transferred from analog tape from Lee Holdridge's personal archives. Released in 1978, The Other Side of the Mountain, Part 2 was the sequel to the successful 1975 box office hit of the same name. Both were based on the real life story of Jill Kinmont who, in 1955 experienced a devastating skiing accident. The films deal with her ability to deal with and overcome what seemed like insurmountable obstacles. The music for this motion picture was created by Holdridge whose name is well known to those in the world of music created for the big screen. This is a short album that clocks in at thirty-seven minutes. It features both vocal tracks and instrumentals and is bound to be welcomed with open arms by those who appreciate the film. The vocal tracks are from another time and place when life was simpler and less chaotic. This may explain the overall tone of the music here. The instrumentals are subtle and precise and they have an overall calming effect on the listener. Hats off to the fine folks at Varese Sarabande for making this soundtrack available on CD after so many years. We love that classic MCA label artwork on the disc itself. Fifteen classy cuts including "Love Theme From The Other Side of the Mountain, Part 2: It's Time To Say I Love You," "Saturday Night Hoedown," "I Heart It Rain," and "On The Road (Love Theme)." This music has held up well with the passage of time.
Ideomotor - In And Out Of Time (Independently released CD-R, Underground pop)
Contrary to what many may think, popular music doesn't have to be mindless and boring. And the folks in Ideomotor are a good case in point. This is the band's debut full-length release, and it's bound to be embraced by fans of underground pop music all around the globe. If there's a single reference point that immediately comes to mind, it would probably be New Order. And that comparison comes to mind mainly due to the keyboard sounds and the cool mid-tempo danceable rhythms. Although they have a surprisingly accessible sound, the tracks on In And Out Of Time bear little resemblance to commercial pop music in 2019. Although the compositions on this album are listener friendly and catchy, the band also throws numerous curve balls into the mix. "Drift Pt. 2" is particularly interesting, with it's moody overall sound and strange atmospheric electronics. By combining the familiar with more abstract audio elements, these folks have managed to bridge the gap between commercial pop and creative audio art. Our favorite cuts include "Hold On," "Interference," "Drift Pt. 2," "Away From the Streetlights," and "One Last Time." This album is a truly uplifting experience in so many ways. Totally cool.
The BB King Blues Band - The Soul of the King (CD, Ruf, Blues)
Sadly, blues guitarist extraordinaire BB King passed away about four years ago. But like so many other highly influential artists who have passed, his music continues to live on in the minds, ears, and talents of others. At the forefront is The BB King Blues Band...a group created for the specific purpose of keeping Mr. King's music alive. This big ten piece band is comprised of James Boogaloo Bolden, Eric Demmer, Russell Jackson, Walter King, Herman Jackson, Darrell Lavigne, Lamar Boulet, Wilbert Crosby, Brandon Jackson, and Raymond Harris (whew!). Plus there are some additional artists lending their skills and support. Upon spinning The Soul of the King our first reaction was that...this group's music would put a smile on BB's face if he were still with us. If you're a longtime fan or a newcomer to the world of the blues, The Soul of the King will probably hit your target dead center. The folks involved in creating this album made certain that all of the ingredients and inspirations were intact. The album has been released on Germany's Ruff label, so you know it's a quality endeavor in all respects. Nice gritty blues tracks include "Irene Irene," "There Must Be A Better World Somewhere," "Taking Care of Business," and "Pocket Full of Money."
Locate Your Lips - For Kenny (Double CD, Happy Growl, Pop)
We love hearing newly recorded albums, of course. But we're also mighty keen on hearing obscure gems from the past that are dusted off so that a new generation can discover and explore them. Locate Your Lips is one of those bands that somehow escaped our consciousness for one reason or another. But they were quite successful in and around the Milwaukee, Wisconsin scene in the 1980s. Hearing this band's music for the first time, we were immediately reminded of Split Enz. The songs are similar in some ways, as are the vocals. In honor of Kenny Baldwin (the band's drummer) who passed away in 2015, For Kenny has been released to remember the man and also shine a spotlight on what this band was all about. Originally intended to be a single album, there was enough material to warrant a double album. The first disc is a previously unreleased full-length studio album, while the second features live recordings from 1985. Produced by Jim Eannelli and mastered by Gary Tanin, these tracks have a cool inviting energy that is inspired and unusual. Far from being a simple pop band, the guys in Locate Your Lips incorporated a variety of different styles into their songs. What may surprise many folks is how much commercial potential many of these tracks have. And also how well the material has held up over time. This is a totally cool package...the discs are housed in a well-designed triple foldout cardboard sleeve. Discover one of Milwaukee's greatest bands from the 1980s. This release will no doubt spark renewed interest in this criminally overlooked group. Killer tracks include "Alive," "Got a Lot of Nice Things," "Got A Lot of Time," "I Can't Take Another Taste of This," and "If You Could Have Anything."
Jeremy Morris - Emerald Vision (CD, JAM Recordings, Underground pop)
Most underground pop fans around the world are already aware of Jeremy Morris. The guy has been writing and recording stellar pop music for decades now, and he shows no signs of letting up. On Emerald Vision, Morris digs into the vaults to treat his fans to sixteen early tracks recorded in his bedroom between 1975 and 1980. If there's one thing this album makes perfectly clear, it is that Jeremy was way, way ahead of his time. If you're thinking home recordings from the late 1970s means mediocre quality, think again. These tracks have a nice slick polished sound that will surprise many, even those who are already fans of the man. All of these songs are solo recordings that feature Jeremy playing 12-string and 6-string guitars, bass, drums, Moog, ARP and Yamaha synthesizers, grand piano, e-bow, tape effects, and percussion. And then there are the vocals, of course. Morris has a cool soothing voice that is always the perfect focal point for the songs that he writes. These tracks will be of interest not only to Jeremy's fans, but also to just about anyone who loves quality creative underground pop. This guy never ever lets his fans down. Each and every release (old and new) always presents cool and credible music that will stand the test of time. Even though the tracks on this album were recorded at different times, they hold together surprisingly well as a whole. Killer compositions include "Sparks From the Fire," "Stranger to Yourself," "Dawning of the Day," "Don't Leave Me Alone," and "Pathway." Recommended. Top pick.
Mythological Horses - YYYMF (CD, Hover Craft, Underground rock/pop)
Seattle's Mythological Horses play straight from the hip, using only the basics to get their point across. As such, they might best be described as an underground rock/pop roots band. Guitars, bass, and drums played the way they ought to be played. Add a vocalist with just the right voice and attitude...and you've got a cool little powerhouse rock band that plays like there's no tomorrow. And because there really is no tomorrow, that's really just what everyone needs. Although they're by no means retro, the folks in this band have a rough sound that reminds us of some of the early punk bands from the 1970s. Because of the scarcity of them in the United States in the twenty-first century, we can't get enough of bands who aren't afraid to turn the guitars up loud and place them prominently in the mix. YYYMF is a cool jolt of audio energy. The band presents eleven rockin' tracks that ought to please even the most jaded listeners. Our favorite cuts include "Wax Lung," "Sick and Tired," "Get Lost," "Don't Want You Back," and "F*ck Your Drone" (gotta love that song title). Cool stuff!
1919 - Futurecide (CD, Cleopatra, Underground pop/rock)
Although not as widely known as many others who've formed and reformed, the folks in Great Britain's 1919 refuse to give up the ship. And from the sounds we're hearing on Futurecide...that is a very good thing. The band was created way back in 1980 but decided to call it quits in 1984. Switch to 2014...and they surprised everyone by reforming. Things have apparently been going straight up ever since. Two members have passed away, but the band continues forging ahead with new music that should not only please fans...but bring in new ones as well. One main point we should make clear here is that this album does not sound like musicians treading water. These folks play with the kind of energy and excitement we normally associate with bands and artists who are just getting started. The tracks on this album have a sound that is strikingly reminiscent of many of the dark underground pop/rock guitar bands treading around the planet in the late 1980s. The band is now comprised of Mick Reed on drums, Sam Evans on guitar, Karl Donner on bass, and Rio Goldhammer on vocals. Guitar bands are on the rise. Accordingly, we can't help but think that this is a band whose time may have finally arrived. They seem to be peaking musically...and their loud driving sound might just be what folks are looking for in 2019. Interesting that this year marks the 100 year forward point from the band name itself (?). Kickass rockers include "Anxiety," "Futurecide," "Dali Alarma," "Aurora," and "Man, Myth, and the Curse of the Immortal."
Onesie - Umpteenth (Vinyl LP, Dadstache, Underground pop/rock)
Whoa...this album is GREAT. Onesie is a Brooklyn, New York-based band. And they're an underground hit. If there's one thing in the world we love, that would be super smart underground guitar bands. These guys most definitely fit into that category. Their songs are intelligent and hummable...and they play with the kind of cool creativity that just makes us go nuts. If you loved some of the more inventive stuff that was happening in the world of underground pop and rock in the United States in the 1990s, there's a very good chance that you will totally go apeshit over this album. The band is comprised of Ben Haberland, Zack Fanelli, Lee Madaus, and Andrew Nelson. Haberland's songs are smart and inventive, but they contain familiar elements that make them easy to digest. The vocals hit the bull's eye every single time, and the cool arrangements are the icing on the cake. Umpteenth is one of those albums that hits you hard the first time you hear it. But repeated spins reveal all kinds of cool subtleties that make the music sound even better. This totally cool vinyl album contains a download card and the inner sleeve features the lyrics printed in a font large enough to actually read (!). After spinning this album a few times, we still can't come up with any obvious comparisons or reference points. And that's really odd because the band has a sound that for some reason is instantly familiar. This is one of those cases where everything was done right. Great songs, kickass vocals, nice warm sound quality...what more could you ask for? Onesie is bound to become a favorite among underground pop fans all over the world in the coming months and years. Killer tracks include "Ten Times Tinnitus," "Final Days of Nineteen," "Would You Be My Goon," "Legacy Act," "Award Show," and "Missing the Heart." Highly recommended. Top pick.
The Pearlfishers - Love & Other Hopeless Things (CD, Marina, Pop)
Ahhhh...this album is just what the doctor ordered. Although he remains relatively obscure in the big scheme of things, to our ears and hearts David Scott is one of the biggest superstars on the planet. Over the years this talented fellow has never let us down. If you want a major dose of exceptional pop, collect the entire Pearlfishers album collection...and prepare to be amazed. Just like all of Scott's albums, Love & Other Hopeless Things is chock full of exceptionally well-crafted pop music. David's songs are classy and classic...and they're a far cry from what is considered commercial pop in 2019. In many ways, this fellow is like a modern-day Burt Bacharach (the comparison has been made by many). Instead of writing simple throwaway pop songs, Scott crafts his compositions like a painter on a canvas...carefully selecting chords, melodies, and lyrics that effectively capture the substance of each song. What we find particularly amazing about this fellow is that he still retains that wonderful upbeat optimism that's been present in his songs since he started. Unlike so many musicians who either burn out or become jaded, Scott seems to be on a permanent wave of optimism. And in today's world, that's something that's in short supply indeed. Is this the best Pearlfishers album? Hard so say, and that's mainly because they are all superb. What we can say...is that Hopeless Things is right up there with David's best. These eleven tracks remind us of why we fell in love with pop music in the first place. Smart catchy melodies...incredible arrangements...killer vocals...and an overall vibe that is impossible to dislike. Our favorite tracks include "Love & Other Hopeless Things," "Could Be A Street Could Be A Saint," "Once I Lived in London," "A Woman On The Verge Of Becoming A Cyclist," and "I Couldn't Stop The Tide." Cool, resilient, and real music for intelligent music fans. Hopefully this talented man will one day receive the widespread recognition he so obviously deserves. Highly recommended. TOP PICK.
Peculiar Pretzelmen - Transmissions From the Electromagnetic Understream (Independently released CD, Underground rock/pop)
Raw and unusual music from Peculiar Pretzelmen. These guys have a sound that combines rock, pop, blues, and experimental electronics (?!). If you love artists like The White Stripes, Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits, and The Cramps...there's a very good chance you're gonna totally love this band. The strangely-titled Transmissions From the Electromagnetic Understream is a true underground album. You won't find any tracks here that will find their way into the mainstream because there are just too many jagged edges. The folks in this band are playing for a very specific audience...the kind of folks who don't want their music processed like cheese and polished to perfection. There's a lot to take in here, as the band presents fifteen tracks that clock in at over fifty-five minutes total. We can tell by the sound of this album that these guys are probably exceedingly entertaining live. There's a whole lot of energy and creativity happening here. At the end of the 2010s, it's encouraging to hear bands like this who aren't trying to fit into conventional molds. Although it's doubtful that this album will yield any hits, our guess is that the band is going to become hugely popular among underground hipsters. Killer cuts include "And the Birds Will Mark His Passing," "Death Rattle," "Nightmare of Opposites," "Dream of Sleep," and "One Man Hang." Strangely dangerous and engaging stuff for intelligent listeners. Recommended. Top pick.
Fernando Perdomo - Out to Sea 2 (CD, Forward Motion, Progressive/guitar instrumental)
Fernando Perdomo is one of the most credible and prolific musicians in the United States. If you're involved in the world of underground pop and rock, you're bound to see this man's name splashed all over the place. He produces. He plays multiple instruments. He backs up other artists. He runs his own recording studio. He composes. He releases classic pop albums. And he releases progressive rock albums like this. This is the follow up to the first Out to Sea album. Whereas that album was a solo endeavor, this album features several well-chosen guest artists. But Perdomo plays the majority of the instruments, and the focus here is on the guitar. Fernando's style combines elements from some of the greatest progressive rock guitarists from the 1970s including Steve Hackett, Peter Banks, and Steve Hillage. While we still love Perdomo's classic pop the best (the guy's got a killer voice), we're quickly warming up to his progressive rock sound as well. Out to Sea 2 features seventeen articulate compositions that feature cool rhythmic changes and totally cool guitar sounds. Lending their talents here are Joe Deninzon, Jamison Smeltz, Tom "Bones" Malone, Eddie Zkyne, Eric Matthews, Joe Cass, Mark Murdock, Derek Cintron, Vic Kingsley, and Roger Houdaille. If you love progressive rock, you're almost certain to love this album. Kickass cuts include "Two," "Super Woofer," "The Angels of Ardent," "The Victory," and "Angel." Recommended. Top pick.
Those who start
Salt - The Loneliness of Clouds (CD, Beehive, Pop)
This band was formed by some folks who were involved in the 2016 recordings sessions for Supercalifragile, the album that was scheduled to mark the return of the 1980s band Game Theory. But the album was never finished, as Scott Miller's unfortunate and untimely death put a stop to everything. But his influence and memory live on...and the band Salt is pure living proof of this fact. The band is comprised of Ken Stringfellow, Anton Barbeau, Stephane Schuck, Fred Quentin, and Benoit Lautridou. With a lineup like this...you can bet there's no way things couldn't sound rather fantastic. Recorded in London in 2017, the band's first album is now finally available for everyone to hear. Considering the main influences on these songs (XTC, Game Theory, The Beatles), what is perhaps most surprising is that many of these songs remind us very much of Split Enz (a band whose music we have always admired). Schuck's songs have smooth hummable melodies and cool subtle hooks. Barbeau's vocals sound fantastic (as always). The album is housed in a beautifully-designed digipak sleeve complete with lyric and photo booklet. The Loneliness of Clouds possesses everything that's good about modern underground pop. The great news is that these folks are already working on the next Salt album. Cool free flowing pop cuts include "A Song For Jerome," "Plastic Future Plans," "Eastern Colors," and "The G Words of Your Life."
The Shakin' Shivers - The Shakin' Shivers (Independently released CD, Rock)
Bare bones roots rock with an overall bluesy feel. This is the debut full-length release from the Toledo, Ohio-based band The Shakin' Shivers. The band is actually the duo of Maddison "Muddy" Binkley and Ryan Mangold. Unlike so many modern bands and artists who choose to overproduce their music and incorporate too many layers of sound, these two musicians take the exact opposite approach. You won't hear additional instruments added for padding or a large production here. This self-titled album features only drums and electric guitar...so what you're hearing on these recordings is most likely an excellent indication of what these two folks actually sound like when they're playing live. Binkley and Mangold obviously love making music. And they've got a lot of power and energy, particularly when you consider the fact that it's just two people making the music. Eleven tracks that clock in at just over half an hour. Cool, inspired tracks include "Is It Cold In Here Or Are We Just Sick?", "Choke On My Exhale," "Bring It On Home Blues," and "I Am Awake." If you've grown tired of so many samey super slick carbon copy acts out there in this big ol' world, The Shakin' Shivers might just be your favorite new band. Inspired stuff with guts.
Sotto Voce - Safety (Independently released CD, Underground pop)
The abstract painting on the cover of Safety is a good indication of the music that's presented. This album is chock full of provocative and slightly puzzling modern underground pop. The band is the solo project created by Ryan Gabos, a musician who is playing the game by his own set of rules. If there's one thing that annoys us about most modern pop music it's the fact that the recordings are usually tweaked to absolute perfection. This might sound great for some listeners...but to our ears, it tends to make artists all sound the same. Like-minded listeners will find the overall sound of the tracks on this album to be a wonderfully different experience. Gabos utilizes unusual guitar sounds into his music that sometimes remind us of The Durutti Column. But the overall sound of the songs is much more hummable. We were surprised to find that this is the ninth Sotto Voce release....surprised because for us, this album serves as in introduction. There's a great deal of creativity happening here. So much that the album will probably inspire other artists and musicians for years to come. At a point in time when everyone seems to sound the same, Ryan Gabos stands out as a truly unique voice in the world of music. By stepping outside the normal boundaries while retaining some basic familiar elements, this fellow has managed the impossible. He has created an album that is listener-friendly and inspired, while maintaining every single ounce of artistic integrity. Twelve inspired tracks here including "(Let's Not Tempt the) Supervolcano," "Utah's Dime," "Rhonda On Blow," "Fluff Piece," and "Toy Newkirk." Even the song titles are uniquely cool. We love everything about this album. Highly recommended. TOP PICK.
Spelling Reform - Stay Inside (Independently released CD, Pop)
The second full-length release from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania's Spelling Reform. Just as was the case with their debut, Stay Inside features a wealth of intelligent modern pop presented simply using only the most essential ingredients. These guys have a sound that occasionally reminds us of pop bands from the 1990s and early 2000s, particularly some of those that sprung out of Athens, Georgia (the criminally overlooked Silver Scooter in particular). The band is comprised of Jim Gannon, Tom Howley, Mark Rybaltowski, and Dan Wisniewski...four musicians who obviously aren't interested in following current trends or aping what is currently popular in order to manipulate listeners. The tracks on Stay Inside are a far cry from so much of the throwaway pop that currently litters the musical landscape. This band's songs have plenty of classic elements threaded into them. The end result is that these tracks will continue to sound great decades from now because they aren't likely to become outdated. The disc is housed inside a nicely designed digipak sleeve, complete with lyric sheet so you can follow along while listening. Ten exceedingly well-crafted tracks with wonderful winding melodies and an overall friendly vibe. Our favorites include "(I'm Believing) The Same Thing," "Feel Unwell," "What's So Hard About Pretending?", and "Meriwether Lewis on the Divide." Smart cool songs delivered with unique style and skill.
Sponge - Demoed in Detroit 1997-98 (CD, Cleopatra, Rock/pop)
The folks at Sony made a big mistake. The guys in Sponge recorded this, their third album...and the folks at Sony turned it down (?!!). Amazingly huge error, because these are some of the best songs we've ever heard from this band. Sponge's 1986 album Wax Ecstatic was a big success for the band and, as such, apparently there were different expectations as to what should come next. The band recorded what should have been their third album. But then, for reasons known only to the band members and the A&R representative, the entire album was rejected. And then...for over 20 years...the tapes gathered dust, unheard by almost everyone. Now thanks to the fine folks at Cleopatra, these tracks finally see a commercial release. We can't help but think that Sponge fans are going to be all over this one. Rather than sounding like rejected or secondary recordings, to our ears this sounds like the band at their peak. There's a lot to take in here...eighteen tracks that clock in at over seventy-two minutes. The energy captured on these recordings is remarkable. But even more impressive are the songs themselves. Instead of sounding like a successful band on an ego trip, these songs sound inspired and totally credible. As is the case so often lately, hearing stuff like this makes us long for the music of the 1990s when loud guitar bands ruled the universe. Fortunately there are signs that aggressive loud bands are on the rise, so the 2020s may very well see a return to form in the United States. But back to Demoed in Detroit. It's a must have for fans of the band as well as anyone else out there who just digs loud rock. Kickass cuts include "How Much Do You Think of Love," "Fell In Deep," "Great Big Flop," "Laughing At Me," and "Song For the End of the World." Recommended. Top pick.
The Staches - This Lake Is Pointless (CD, Les Disques Bongo Joe, Underground pop)
Despite the fact that they've been making music now for several years, the folks in The Staches play with all the cool creativity and excitement of folks who have just discovered how to make music. Originally from Geneva, Switzerland the band is now based in Leipzig, Germany ("for obvious reasons"...?). Two guys and two girls who seem to be mainly motivated by the desire to have fun and create. The tracks on This Lake Is Pointless remind us of some of the more adventurous experimental new wave artists from the early 1980s, when bands first started to record skewed pop with distinctly different tendencies. There are plenty of goofy elements present on this album, as well as some surprisingly harsh segments. In terms of style, these folks' music goes all over the map and back again. While listening to this album, we also checked out the Les Disques Bongo Joe web site...looks like a very very interesting underground label. We also checked out a video or two of the folks in The Staches playing live...and we were very very impressed. So nice to hear bands from other countries letting their creativity run wild. Cool rockin' tracks include "Great Depression," "Thank God for McDonald's," "In Vain," and "Hummus." Funny stuff fueled by true enthusiasm.
Starflyer 59 - Young In My Head (CD, Velvet Blue Music, Underground pop)
Starflyer 59 is one of the best pop bands of all time. It's easy to make such a huge claim, because it's so damn obvious. We've been listening to this band's music for years. While other bands come and go...and change in terms of quality and integrity...each and every Starflyer 59 album that comes out blows just about everything else clean off the map. That's true once again, as Young In My Head is bound to be one of the best albums released in 2019. While Jason Martin's songs can best be described as pop, the music has nothing in common with modern day commercial pop that is mindlessly consumed by the masses. An extremely far cry from twenty-first century throwaway pop, Martin's songs have true substance and style...and he always manages to present his own unique views of the world through songs that are inventive and unique. And man oh man...what a voice. When this guy sings we feel ourselves melting into a puddle of mush. His voice is that good. In addition to Martin, the band is comprised of S. Dail on bass and C. Martin on drums (plus additional musician TW Walsh on keyboards). Listeners should note that the drummer is Martin's sixteen-year-old son...truly amazing (!). Recorded at Jason's home studio and mixed by JR McNeely, Young In My Head is the fifteenth (!) full-length Starflyer 59 album. Are you into cool tripped out guitars? Fantastic free-flowing melodies? Cool rhythms that are impossibly infectious? And vocals that just might transport you to another planet? If so, you owe it to yourself to get this album (as well as the entire back catalog). Ten insanely killer tracks that'll make a believer out of anyone. Our favorites include "Hey, Are You Listening?", "Young In My Head," "Remind Me," "Wicked Trick," and "Crash." Highly recommended. TOP PICK.
Sumo Princess - When An Electric Storm (Independently released CD, Underground pop/rock)
According to the press release that accompanied this album, Sumo Princess is "...a post punk, stoner rock, art core duo." That pretty much effectively sums things up here. The band is the duo of Abby Travis and Gene Trautmann. Prior to forming this band Travis has been very actively involved in the world of music, and she's played with a whole slew of interesting and credible artists and bands. And the same is true for Trautmann. The two met way back in the 1980s when Abby was playing in The Lovedolls and Gene was playing with The Miracle Workers. The tracks for When An Electric Storm were recorded in 2017 and 2018 but are only now being released for the world to hear. With the current 1990s resurgence now in full swing, the timing seems perfect for this band to make their mark. This album is chock full of cool rhythms and thick fuzzy bass lines. These tracks balance on that fine line that separates artistic credibility from commercial pop. While not selling out in the least, these two individuals have created music that should appeal to a wide cross section of music fans. In addition to the CD release that is being offered for sale at shows, this album has also been released digitally and on vinyl. Cool rockin' cuts include "Crooked Plough," "You Will Rise," "Click Bait," and "Tinsel Man."
Tadzio - The Sick Room (CD, Blight, Progressive)
If you want to hear the latest trendy sounds happening in the United States you won't find them here...because the folks in Tadzio obviously have a complete disregard for following trends and trying to ape current sounds. The press release that accompanied this album says it all, stating that the album centers on the topics of "death, sickness, memory and anxiety." In actuality, the music on The Sick Room is a lot more uplifting and positive than these words might imply. This band is the duo of Ross Lipton (piano) and Shaina Kapeluck (vocals), along with a constantly changing array of other like-minded musicians. Additional artists lending their talents on this album are Darian Scatton, Alison Stout, Jim Krull, Benjamin Bennett, and Sean Ali. It would be difficult to describe in simple terms what's happening here. And that's probably because these intricate and heady compositions don't easily fit within traditional pigeonholes. Take a few musical ideas from Henry Cow...combine them with other ideas from Nico...and you might begin to have a general idea of what this band's music sounds like. It's a strange musical universe where classical melodies enter the world of underground pop. The arrangements are precise and strangely haunting. Even though not in any traditional sense, the single word that comes to mind when hearing these tracks is...beauty. But it's the kind of dark beauty where things that aren't really so beautiful initially end up having unique cool qualities that make them strangely appealing. Elaborate and fanciful modern progressive compositions with a difference. Our favorite tracks include "Little Joys," "The Cripple," "Lily," and "Sabbath Bride." Uniquely different. Recommended. Top pick.
Think about the past.
Think about the present.
Think about the future.
Nik Turner - The Final Frontier (CD, Purple Pyramid / Cleopatra, Underground rock)
Over time, most bands and artists sell out in one way or another. Nik Turner never has. As a result, we have great respect for Mr. Turner and the music he has created over the past few decades. Nik was, of course, the co-founder of the great and highly influential British psychedelic band Hawkwind. Joining Turner on this album are Nicky Garratt (UK Subs, Hedersleben), Jurgen Engler (Die Krupps), Jason Willer (UK Subs, Jello Biafra), Simon House (Hawkwind) and Paul Rudolph (Hawkwind). This album delves into territory originally chartered by the mighty Hawkwind way back in the 1970s. These groovy tripped out tracks with strangely distant vocals and peculiar noodling are bound to please all the fans who were originally drawn to Turner's music...as well as just about anyone who loves progressive rock that can transport your mind to other places. Nik's fluid experimental saxophone sounds as cool as ever. What is perhaps most important here is inspiration. After so many years, it seems truly remarkable than this man's music still has that spark that made it so special in the initial stages. It's also interesting that this music doesn't sound the least bit dated...even though many of these tracks still have that psychedelic drone sound that so many know and love. Cool tripped out cuts include "Out of Control," "Thunder Rider," "Strange Loop," and "The Final Frontier Part 2." In addition to the CD version, this album is also being released as a limited edition LP on yellow vinyl.
von Stroheim - Love? Who Gets Love? (CD, Uproar for Veneration, Underground/progressive)
In the 1990s the United States was once chock full of super creative underground bands that were interesting and provocative. But over the years, most artists and bands in this country have opted for a more conventional sound with more commercial appeal. The result...has been a decline in the overall quality in terms of artistic integrity and creativity. If you're something truly creative and different, you're more likely to find it in underground circles in other places. An example is the Brussels, Belgium-based band von Stroheim. The group is comprised of Dominique Van Cappellen-Woldock (voice, film samples, theremin), Raphael Rastelli (guitars, synthesizers, theremin), and Yannick Daif (drums). These three musicians write and record what might be called difficult music threaded with darkness. There are very few commercial elements here, as these three individuals seem to be playing for a specific audience who doesn't require easy danceable beats and mindless lyrics. This is not totally abstract and experimental music. The folks in von Stroheim retain enough familiar elements (rhythms, melodies, lyrics) to make their music listenable. But instead of trying to create something that will sell, the band members instead seem to be driven by some higher force. These eight tracks are puzzling in many ways and many might describe the overall sound as doom and gloom. The curiously titled Love? Who Gets Love? is a genuinely unusual album that is bound to be embraced by fans of true underground music. Eight delightfully cruel tracks including "Moth," "Pulp," "Cigarette Smoke" (our favorite), and "Blood Institute." Recommended. Top pick.
W.G. Snuffy Walden - The West Wing: Original Television Soundtrack (CD, Warner Bros. / Varese Sarabande, Soundtrack)
Okay...so we have to admit right off the bat that we're not into politics. Nor are we into anything about politics (movies, music, literature...nothing). So, as you might guess, we've never ever watched the popular television show The West Wing...and probably will not. But as we've said so many times in the past, you don't have to appreciate or even see a motion picture or television show in order to appreciate the music. And this is definitely one of those cases. This soundtrack album features truly cool and intricate compositions created by the one and only W.G. Snuffy Walden. There's a whole lot of stuff for your ears to feast on here. Over seventy minutes of music spread across twenty-nine tracks. And each and every one's a keeper. These compositions were recorded with acute attention to detail and, as is the case with all Varese Sarabande releases, the sound quality is superb. Walden is one of those guys whose talents cross borders and boundaries. And it seems as if everything he's involved in is either interesting or worthwhile. Check out his web site (link above) to see some of the amazing projects and artists he's been involved with over the years. While this album will most likely be welcomed by fans of the show and Walden himself, it should also appeal to just about anyone who loves cool dreamy classical music. These tracks are impeccable and truly mesmerizing audio experiences. So many top notch individuals were involved in the creation of this album. It's no wonder the end result sounds so richly profound. We'll still pass on the show itself. But after hearing this, we'll be looking to extend our Snuffy Walden collection in the near future. This man is amazingly talented. Killer tracks include "We Begin," "Donna and the Delegation," "Proportional Response," "Jefferson Lives," and "The Nomination." Top pick.
Additional Items Received:
Academics for Pure Boredom - Slurps
Additional Items Composed - Reversal of radishes
Additional Items Reversed - Back to the additional items
Adele - My frisky rat puppy done ate my head off
Alice Copper - Lob it to Seth
Allman Brothers - Aunt Sissy's lather bastard
Am Not - Am too
Anohni - Hopelessness
Anthroplod - Plodroanth
Antlers for Booboo - Oh no not that tired old runt again
Ape - Don't say no words
Apples Got Smushy - Train smush
Application For Crap - Please submit crap
Athens Is Not A City - Trauma for the bush animals
August Wish - Traps for punted
Augusta Is Not A City - Wilma for the plush panels
Bad Bump - Banana tread
Badfigure - Crooked down
Bambi Dambi - Lambi
Ballerina Pumps - Blackass
Barge - Limpy
Beadulls - Desmocker
Beatles - Medium
Beatles - Medium rare
Beatles - Rare
Beatles - Not as rare
Beatles - Stuff that was never recorded
Beatles - Stuff that we wish had never been recorded
Bee Numb - Numb bee
Beyonce - Sorry album
Beyonce - I can dance but that's about it
Beyonce - My face is ugly
Beyonce - Don't you get tired of hearing my stupid name all the time
Beyonce - I'm really a boring old hag
Beyonce - My fans have poor taste
Beyond the Beyonder - Blander and blander
Bjork - Jorky B
Black Tabitha - Pastor of senility
Blankets for Blankets - Laps
Blender in a Blinder - Fizzle
Bobo's Pretty Duster - Lamp off, lamp on
Davis Bowee - All the dumb dudes
Breezer the Flew - Like dazzlers in fume
Garth Brooks - I've recorded tons and tons and TONS of music
Garth Brooks - And yet you babysue folks have never reviewed ANYTHING
Garth Brooks - What is wong with you goddamn undergroud music snobs?
Garth Brooks - I'm rich, rich, RICH
Garth Brooks - If you've got lots of money, nobody cares if your voice is shitty
Bumps Fifty - West
Jenna Bush - Why does my face resemble the rectum of a pig?
Jenna Bush - Trying way too hard to be clever and cute
Butler Pudding - Lippity gris gris
Buzz's Lamp Cord - Tawny frink
Car Mump - Dazed and refused
Casket of Corformity - Laser dog
Cast of Cast - Lastly
Cat Grave - Mickey's laboratory
Cesula - Maid in martians
Chance The Rapper - Coloring book
Chicky Chicky Clock - Rump of the month slob
Chump - Malaria
Chunks of Paisley Pumps - Lordy the snore is a plaza burn
Eric Clapton - I still don't know what a guitar is
Phil Collins - No vocal skills required
Sean Combs - How come I never get reviewed in babysue?
Sean Combs - You don't like me just because I'm hugely famous
Sean Combs - Hey, I make a lot of money you underground jerks
Sean Combs - I'm rich, rich, RICH...ain't that what it's all about?
Sean Combs - Lookin' ugly for everyone
Come To Lulu's Nurse - Romp and the bumpy tum tum
Confederate Railroad - Happy to snort crystal speed
Conscious Or Not - Grumpy lazy
Crap You Like - Tape measure
Crosby, Stills & Nash - We were friends once upon a time
Crunchy Links - Switches and prawns
Miley Cyrus - How come I never get mentioned in babysue?
Miley Cyrus - I guess it's because my music lacks substance
Miley Cyrus - I wish I wasn't dull and boring
Czerchnkii - Dim
Dadfinger - Where's dad's finger when you need it?
Dae Dae - Mae Mae
Daisy Days - Freezing
Damn People - Damn People
Damn Tumblers - Damn Tumblers
Damn Warp - Damn Warp
Damn Zoo - Damn Zoo
Devonte - I'm fish food now
Diets Are For Dimwits - Lassie's lost pudding cup
Dimmer than Dim - Inputs
Diorssi - New York is my damn
Dirty Pennies - Flocks and pimps
Doves That Die Today - Lassie
Driplite Dirtbag - Directional
Dry Potato - Sync
Ducks for Ducks - Nine hundred ponies
Dumb Sounds - Like Nanny and the poodle
Each and Each - Teach
Eachy - Preachy
Eat The Bounty Feathers - Naptime
Ectonerf - Bah baddah bah
Elephant Muff - Beneath the blurry knob
Elves and Bumpy Thumpers - Original motion picture soundtrack
Emergency Flakes - Phasers
Empty - Flow
Empty Flower - 1 2 3 4
Enough for Five Thousand - One bottle
Enter the Entrance With Lockets - Glasses on the puddle
Eventually We'll All Die With Nothing - Pom poms
Everyone But - But Everyone
Ewe - Ranch funk
EZ - Not so
FA - La la
Famous Famous - Converter
Far Out Far In - Farin
Faxes Forever - Limp little pixies
Ferz - Lizzy
Fifty Million - Zero lads
Finks Forever - Live at the dead
Five Times Fifty-Five - Live
Four Times Four Is Four - Five times
Foxes - All I need
Fume - Lumps
Funky Laminate - Parking
Fur For Francis - Pouches
Gang of Flower - Untertainment
Gas Pumps - Last primper
Gauge Rage - Now cow
Germany's Burp - Lamp drill
Get Your Begging Done - Tower bitch
Vince Gill - Down to my last bad habit
Goddamn Children - Goddamn us all to hell
Graham Slackers - Naturally grabby
Ariana Grande - My fame proves that people are retarded schmucks
Grandmothers and Grandfathers - Nothing else to live for except the goddamn grandchildren
Grass Patches - Dolby
Josh Groban - Sitting on a toilet for charity
Hamster on a Bun - Heartache on a bun
Hamster on a Lettuce Leaf - Try to find something to stuff in your cheeks
Jennifer and Sarah Hart - Where did our love go
Jennifer and Sarah Hart - We loved Jesus very much
Jennifer and Sarah Hart - Happy together forever because we died together
Hay - Hay
Hazle - Measurements
Hell for Humans - Happiness is a dumb puppy
Help Me Help Me - Liver
Help the Hopeless - Bloody hearts get you nowhere
Hissy - Laserbon
Hitt - Dawn for the loud birds
Hizzers - Stuck
Ian Hunted - Punts and nuttters
Husperate - ADN
Hut for Henry - Universe of sandy
Huzzle - Earlier albums
Ian - Jackknife
Icky - Picky, picky, picky
If It Dies Don't Touch It - I offered more than they wanted and they took it
If You Knew Nothing You Would Be Nothing - Drips
Inky Doll - Dampness and dryness
In The End The Beginning - Ridgefield
It Stays Warm - Square butter
IX Lamb Sweater - To each his each
IZZ - Each his to his
Alan Jackson - Now that I'm a girl
Alan Jackson - Now that I'm half a girl
Alan Jackson - My dress has a big tear in it
Alan Jackson - And my eyeliner is all messed up now
Michael Jackson - Off the floor
Michael Jackson - Towers of mops
Michael Jackson - Nose dopes
Jerry's Apple - Towers
Jerry's Crud - Narry a buster
Jersey is Swervy - Translustre
Jethro Toil - Sick as a tick
Jethro Wump - Aquatong
Jethro Zoo - Minstrel in the snake exhibit
Elton John - Where did my voice go?
Jones Is A Donkey - Drammamine
Jones Is An Elephant - Mine ain't mine
Judas Priest - Battle cry
Junk Is Just Junk - Lady trunk
Kaas - Lacey
Kalesh - Kaos
Kandy and the Ks - Lassie's drool
Kows - Land of the Kows
Kraftlunch - Radio lunch
Kraftdinner - Electric dinner
Kraftsnack - Trans euro snack
Krap - Krap
Krazy Cow - Lots of tips
Krunchy Krunch - Captain's caps and tons
Kudzu's Lamp - Drastic
Kunks - The Late Glossy Kunks Album
KWKWERA - Lists
Lab Crutch - Tramps that David hates
Ladies For Pretzels - Louder than the other thing that we had discussed earlier
Lady Gaga - How come I never get mentioned in babysue?
Lady Gaga - If I look really strange, nothing else matters
Lamb Peppers - Smuppy
Lamps for the Homeless - These goddamn things don't work
Cindi Lauper - Elderly grandmothers with bad hair colors
Laxative Preamble - Naps and snappers
Let There Be Let - Now there be meow
Lisa Said - First time, long time
Lists - Stop the Lists
Loretta Lynn - Sings her favorite Nine Inch Nails songs
Loud and Loud - Dull and dull
Lumineers - Cleopatra
Lumps - Lousy mouses
Lung Disease - Trowel
Manners and Nanners - Tablets for pokey
Maroon 5 - Music for shitheads
Maroon 5 - Stupid people love our music
Maroon 5 - Our lead singer is one ugly old homo
Trayvon Martin - Skittuzz fo evuhbuddeh
Trayvon Martin - Juss a boy on his way to duh candee sto
Masta Ace - The falling season
Matchbox - Going down there
Math for Math's Sake - Plazas
Maze Lops - Trazzler
Mazer's Big Torch Bucket - Lipsy
Bruce McArthur - People in pots
Bruce McArthur - Landscape architect blues
Bruce McArthur - Big 'n' playful
Paul McCartney - Nursing home blues
Tim McGraw - Do anything for charity
Tim McGraw - Do anything to make money
Millie's Pork Bucket - Boxes won't go away
Money for Puny People - Lucky drop
Monkey Chuck - Arlene
Monkey Davis - Nervous
Monkey Pauline - Damnable
Moo Moo the Bow Wow - Trouser's ain't fresh no more
Motorhead - Clean your clock
Motorbutt - Clock your cleaners
Mrowl - Prowling for mrowl
Murphy and Nop - Dammy and slop
Murphy and Nuns - Drippy nun bitches
Murphy's Paw - Plaid and dumb
My Evening Girdle - Snippets and drabble
My Evening Snot - Things my animals forget to learn
David Nail - Fighter
Nasal and Tonsil - Lasers and urchers
Ned and the Headrumpers - Trowels
Aaron Neville - Apache
Newsboys - God's not dead
New York Dolls - We weren't real dolls
New York Dolls - We were real dolls
New York Dolls - We were really from Portland
New York Dolls - But we realized no one would buy music by the Portland Dolls
No More Blouses - Farmy
No More Bundt Cakes - Prowler
No More Cactus - Deal or no no
Nothing That You Haven't Heard Before - Repeat it
Now Cows - Blouses and thermometers
Numb's Fumbler - Town and mouth
Octorub - Norbie
Oh No That Old Shithead Is Here Again - Rotten old schmucks with no manners
Oooh - Uuuuuh
Oooh Oooh - Uuuuuh uhhh
Opposite of Opposite - Lopposite
Orange Floyd - Sharp glide of the goon
The Orb - It's 1963 and the stripes are grinding
The Orb - Big fluffy omelets
Osmosis - USB #7
Other Muzzles - Howdy Pops
Oz and the Schnoz - Pow wows and monkeys
Painted Fuss - Nope
Pants and Pantless - Rainy press
Part Blub - Fran is ugly
Dolly Parton - Lots of money makes me happy
Dolly Parton - Lots of attention makes me happy
Dolly Parton - Lots of everything makes me happy
Paws With Fingers - Ink bus
Pet Shop Boys - Super
Poodle Powder - Dust of the dawgie
Mike Posner - At night, alone
Pranks for Steak Loads - Heaps of slop
The Puddles - Nappy load
Punk Biscuits - Sap
Punk Noodles - Take this noodle and cook it
Puny - Runny infection
Pusfergradison - Nay, the basket sayeth
Quacks - Trippy truck
Quails and Trucks - Lamb power
Queen For A Tray - Lower the pork
Query - Stop the questions
Quest for Dope - Smoking snuff
Quails Got Drunk - Beer and tissue paper
Quarternelson - A trotter in snuffer's cloning
Quicker Than Daffy - Cords that don't work
Quiet Little Worm Thing - Never thought about it and never want to now
Quiz Germs - Links that don't work
Quurtie - Lousy bench
Radiodud - Half of the basic shop
Radishes - Lavish stickers
Debbie Rafter - Lemme after
Raws - Raws and raws
Reel to Raoul - Mouthpiece
Reform Club - Never yesterday
Rely On Relish - Candy dash
Mick Rhodes & The Hard Eight - Paradise city
Roasted Trap - Asia's not there anymore
Rolling Bones - Get your mama's kraut
Rolling Chunks - Flower pots
Rolling Dammits - Sure thing not sure
Rolling Elderly People - Stocky plungers
Rolling Joints - Finky stinkers
Rolling Monkeys - Monkeys on Main Street
Rumpy - USBs and RTDs
Runny - Tippy's revenge
Rush - Beneath, between and behind
Ruzzer - Bow to the Ruzzer
Rylo - The dog's head is not steady anymore
Larry Samual - Barney doesn't have hugs for me
Santa Died Last Night - Presenting...
Santa Did It - Lamenting
Ed Sheeran - How come I never get mentioned in babysue?
Ed Sheeran - It's because my music is crummy, isn't it?
Ed Sheeran - Why do I look and sound so crummy?
Ed Sheeran - Are there any questions that have answers?
Blake Shelton - Can't help it if I'm a boring dullard
Blake Shelton - If you're into what I do you're obviously on the wrong web site
Blake Shelton - If people think I'm handsome they must really be confused and retarded
Shotgun Louise - Rampy dim
Shotgun Tina - Lousy lamps
Shotgun Zappa - Mouses and mouses
Smashing Drumsticks - Pass the pepper
Smuppy - The tatters that ground pepper
Sparse - Kim's Ono spy mouse
Bruce Springsteen - The Crazy Boss
Bruce Springsteen - I'm a generic old woman now
Bruce Springsteen - Shallow songs that everyone can buy
Barbra Streisand - Barfing up my breakfast
Styx - Suite madame blue: Radio broadcast 1977
Sultans of Swing - Subcontinental drift
Swap and Change - Loudness weird
Swenter - Flowers
Taylor Swift - How come I never get reviewed in babysue?
Taylor Swift - Well, if your publicist would send something...you might.
Taylor Swift - Really?
Taylor Swift - Sure
Swy - Rent
Tai Tai - Lists
Talking Sheds - Lambs forking up tonsils
Tea For Lunch - Massachusetts isn't a country
Teepee Tupperware - Laura's butter pand
Telltale - Taller toll
Thuds - Ready for emperors
Thunder - All you can eat
Justin Timberlake - Can't stop being shallow
Tonk - Thoughtly
Trilly Dills and Damp Dippers - Witch white
Trunk Idiots - Laugh when it's all over
Try To Try - Stop and try
Tummy Bus - Lambs and prawns
Tunker - Lassie's paw
TZ397 - Rowl the smunk
Ugly Banana - How do the hussy wink
Ugly Orange - Do the mouse
Ultraplucks - Eyebrow mania
Umbrella Vision - Church of tassle
Uncle Duck - Mushed
Uncle Pregnant - Does and rodents
Carrie Underwood - I'm proof that people will buy anything
Carrie Underwood - Making money is more important than making good music
Carrie Underwood - Cliff diving lesbians
Keith Urban - More pork from my smelly pig face
Various Artists - A collection of dull dribble that no one will ever notice
Various Artists - We stopped makin' em because they stopped buyin' em
Various Artists - No one buys these kinds of compilations anymore so that's why we keep producing 'em
Various Artists - Tribute to someone whose name we can't remember
Various Artists - Trying to get something heard never works
Various Artists - The most boring bands you never cared to hear
Various Artists - We're the last ones to know the last ones
Various Artists - Our albums are always the first to get thrown away
Various artists - Who gets to eat the trash
Wally Is Near - Stamp that thing goodbye
Wanda and the Wandas - Limp
We Don't Get It - Now is the now
Well I Guess This Is Just Another One - Lumps
Whether Or Not - Lousy weather
Why Can't We Eat It In The Car - Marbly
William XIII - XIII or 238
Wind That Goes - Don't
X - The day we tied our shoes wrong
Xie - La la the distance away
X-ray Pecs - Lookie away
X-ray Stats - Box cutters and tramplers
Xzistance - Lift down
Yack Yack - Tacky tick
Yell All The Time For Whatever You Pay For It - Taxi service
Yellow Floyd - Park wide until noon
Yesterday's Potties - Damp portions
Yes We Will Be Bananas - Trap doors
Yes You - You guessed it
You might - Yes you might
You never - Well I never
Young and Bland - Stick, stuck
Yoyos for Panama - Sharp
Yoyos for Zop - Trollo mia presto
Yuck This Tastes Awful - Don't eat it then
Zappa and the Zappettes - Trown
Frank Zappa - How flowers got in the potty train
Frank Zappa - Lukewarm mouses
Zi - See Zi play
Zunk - How the leaves got patchy
Zupper - Towels for Blanche
Zyle - Twelve and fifty
©2019 LMNOP (aka dONW7)