Monthly Archives: June 2013

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ANTH: Gypsy – Stand Up, People: Gypsy Pop Songs from Tito’s Yugoslavia, 1964-1980 (Asphalt Tango)

Under socialist dictator Josip Tito of the former Yugoslavia (made up of what are now Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Montenegro, & Kosovo), the Roma Gypsies were a recognized minority and their music was allowed to flourish. Many talented musicians mixed Gypsy folk with new influences like Bollywood film music, Turkish psychedelia, & western pop-rock. […]

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ANTH: India – The Rough Guide To Psychedelic Bollywood (World Music Network)

Here are gems from the 1960s-70s Indian movie industry, featuring often fantastical performances by many stars of the day. These tracks were influenced by the western psychedelic scene and range from trippy to ethereal to bizarre. You may find it hard to believe that R.D. Berman and his fellow composers were this hip! Fun stuff! […]

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Red Baraat – Big Talk (SinJ)

Fun & lively music from an eight-piece Brooklyn band led by drummer & dhol (double-headed drum) master Sunny Jain.  Strong North Indian bhangra flavors mixed with heavy percussion & funky brass, and including remixes of early material by four well-known producers. Great party music!

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Cristina Braga – Samba, Jazz, and Love (Enja)

Here are well known Brazilian compositions (by the likes of Tom Jobim, Caetano Veloso, & Vinícius de Moraes) performed by a nationally renowned Brazilian harpist & vocalist and her band mates. Music has a mellow vibe with most vocals in whispery Portuguese. The harp is an uncommon treat, & the frequent interplay between the harp […]

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Idan Raichel Project – Quarter to Six (Cumbancha)

With multiple platinum recordings in Israel, Idan Raichel surely is “the face of Israeli popular music” (NY Times).  A pianist, his passion is collaborating and promoting peace across cultures & ethnicities through music. Songs are relaxed pop with lyrics in Hebrew & Arabic. Many contributing artists, including vocals on some tracks by Israeli-Arab singer-songwriter and […]

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Danny Michel with the Garifuna Collective – Blackbirds are Dancing Over Me (Cumbancha)

Danny Michel is a celebrated musician from Ontario, CA who vacations in Belize & loves the Afro-Amerindian (Garifuna) music of Central America. This led to collaborative music-making with top Garifuna musicians in Belize, & this CD – which was just nominated for the Juno Award for Best World Music Album of the Year. Comparisons with […]

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The Garifuna Collective – Ayó (Cumbancha)

Ayó means “Goodbye” in the Garifuna language. This CD serves as a fitting goodbye to Andy Palacio, whose passion was to celebrate the musical culture of the Garifuna people; descendants of the indigenous & West African people living in Central America. His thing was “punta rock,” fusing traditional Garifuna music with modern influences & instruments. […]

…And So I Watch You From Afar – “All Hail Bright Futures”

…And So I Watch You From Afar brings us another solid release of the math rock and experimental music that their label Sargent House is known for. They have a very exuberant, uplifting approach to their music that is similar to Fang Island or a more instrumental version of Givers. The songs here are mostly […]

Fletcher – “Open Arms”

Fletcher is a new band from Chicago who have a very British inspired sound that is jangly and melodic, yet powerful. Their debut EP, Open Arms, features two potential hits in the title track “Open Arms” and “More Than You Can Chew”, both of which can be downloaded for free from Fletcher’s Soundcloud page. The […]

Nate Young – Regression “Blinding Confusion” (NNA Tapes)

Young’s NNA follow up to 2011’s “Stay Asleep: Regression Vol. 2”. Young is from Detroit, and his rustbelt-inspired, dark electronic arrangements evoke somber images of death, apocalyptic landscapes, the undead, creepy hospital wards.  Atonal studies, unrelenting dirge.  Young’s horrific zone is unique and calculated, minimal and spacious.  Album artwork by the artist himself.  

Home By Hovercraft – “Are We Chameleons?”

Home By Hovercraft is a five-piece indie band from Dallas, Texas who are influenced by classical music as well as more modern indie rock. In addition to having one the best band names I’ve heard this year, they have a very original sound that is driven by piano and drums, and also includes other unusual […]

Ryan Power – Identity Picks (NNA Tapes)

RyPow’s NNA follow up to last year’s “I Don’t Want To Die”. “An eight track song cycle that dances through lush jazz pads, aquatic smooth jazz funk styles, and the sensitive side of progressive rock” (from NNA). “Eight long songs created to help give my life meaning” – says the artist. Power’s perspective is grounded, […]

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Alela Diane- “about farewell”

Stripped-down acoustic folk songs based around Alela’s haunting voice & simple guitar arrangements. She adds flute, strings, tambourine. play: 1, 2, 3, 6, 8 riyl: joanna newsom, karen dalton, Thao

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Anchoress- Set Sail

Anchoress– Set SailRelease date: 2013May13 Label: Defiled Under MusicRating: 4.5/5 This is the first release from Vancouver B.C’s Anchoress. “Murder In The Sky over Burnaby” starts out with a loud scream, quickly followed by “Cadillacs”, which has to be influenced by the Gorilla Biscuits due to the chugging pace. “Coral Bones” expands upon that with […]

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Oblivians- Desperation

Oblivians– Desperation Release date: 2013May28 Label: In The Red Rating: 5/5 I don’t consider press blurbs to be reliable or useful (“soulful punk-garage-blues-trash” what?) so I’ll rely on my ears for this one. “I’ll Be Gone” gets things off to a great start. My choice picks include “Loving Cup” (reminds me of Mojo Nixon or […]

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The Stranglers- Giants

The Stranglers– Giants Release date: 2013May28 (North America) Label: Absolute/Ear Music Rating: 4.5/5 Here’s something you don’t see every day: A new release from The Stranglers. These veterans of UK punk rock have been around for 4 decades and have released 17 albums with 24 Top 40 singles. “Another Camden Afternoon” starts things off with […]

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Street Dogs- Crooked Drunken Sons/Rustbelt Nation EP

Street Dogs– Crooked Drunken Sons/Rustbelt Nation EP Release date: 2013May21 Label: Pirates Press Rating:  3.5/5 The latest EP from the Street Dogs is actually a radio promo that combines both their Crooked Drunken Sons and Rustbelt Nation EPs into one. I enjoyed the last release they put out and I look forward to their upcoming […]

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Transplants- In A Warzone

Transplants– In A Warzone Release date: 2013Jun25 Label: Epitaph Records Rating: 4/5 For those not familiar, The Transplants are a side project of Tim Armstrong (Rancid, Tim Timebomb) and Travis Barker (Blink 182) with Skinhead Rob as the third man. Their last album had more of a hip-hop influence. On In A War Zone, they […]

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Daughn Gibson – “Me Moan”

Sample-based Trip-hop, Americana style with deep Johnny Cash-like vocals, pedal steel, horns, organ, strings. play: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 9, 11 RIYL: Dirty Beaches, Austra

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Light Heat – Light Heat

Melodic psych-pop. Warm and sweet with nice harmonies, guitars and rhythms. Play: 5, 1 FCC: Clean RIYL: The Byrds, Mazarin

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Gypsy and the Cat – The Late Blue

Australian power-pop with some country twang. Catchy and fun, great summer tunes. Play: 3, 9, 5, 1, 3 FCC: Clean RIYL: Phoenix, MGMT, Grouplove

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Portugal The Man – “evil friends”

The latest album by Portland’s Portugal. The Man, Evil Friends, is rarely the same from one minute to the next, careening between alt-rock bombast, punk snot, Lumineersy campfire singalongs, pixelated MGMT headbandcore, dawdling George Harrison solos; you name it, Evil Friends has probably stuck it somewhere. All that might sound like more than one album can […]

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Rogue Wave – “nightingale floors”

10 smart, dynamic songs that range from opener “No Magnatone” and its dreamy washes of sound to the big, catchy rock of “College” to the gentle “The Closer I Get” to the moody yet epic closer “Everyone Wants To Be You.” Collegiate guitar jangles & off-kilter time signatures, emotional lyrics. play: 1, 2, 5, 6, […]

Conrad Tao–Voyages

Young pianist/composer Tao plays a few of his own impressionistic, abstract works and pieces by Ravel, Monk & Rachmaninov. Interesting, play most!

Raphael Cendo–Rokh

Eerie, strong pieces, creaking strings, etc. very abstract. Sample.