Danish pop group The Asteroids Galaxy Tour have returned with a spacey (as one might expect with a name like The Asteroids Galaxy Tour), but still danceable, musical collage that breaks new ground for them and still sticks to their signature style. The duo of singer Mette Lindberg and instrumentalist Lars Iversen makes evocative electronic music that is made warmer by Lindberg’s delightful singing voice. She sings like Björk and Billie Holiday and Christina Amphlett were put in a juicer with a little honey. Kind of.
I fully expected to enjoy the debut EP from The Fauntleroys, a new collaboration (I’m not using the word “supergroup” because it’s just embarrassing on principle) from Ivan Julian (founding member of the Voidoids), Linda Pitmon (Zuzu’s Petals, The Baseball Project), Nicholas Tremulis (Chicago-based soul iconoclast), and Alejandro Escovedo (Rank and File, The Nuns, and an amazing solo career). What I didn’t expect was to love Below The Pink Pony as much as I do. It’s six fantastic, loose, throwback songs done by stellar musicians who are obviously having a great time.
Leigh Janiak’s first directorial effort, Honeymoon, wants very much to successfully blend the feel of an indie dramedy with science fiction films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t succeed in either capacity.
In the 1990s, I was lucky enough to live in New Orleans. The Continental Drifters lived there, too, and I’ve lost track of the number of times I saw them play live, mostly at The Howlin’ Wolf. Drifter Peter Holsapple played a free acoustic set every Sunday at Carrollton Station which completely obliterated the “Sunday night blues” for those of us stuck in that Monday to Friday, 9 – 5 grind. And occasionally, Drifters Susan Cowsill and Vicki Peterson would perform as The Psycho Sisters. Those familiar with The Cowsills or The Bangles who’ve never heard these two women harmonize are in for a special treat with Up On The Chair, Beatrice.
By Tim Murr
The debut album by Mortals from Brooklyn, NY is a black/thrash/sludge metal-enthusiast’s dream. Cursed To See The Future hits hard and never relents across six tracks, clocking in at around 50 minutes. With brutal, pummeling rhythms, throat-shredding vocals, and unimpeachable guitar and bass work, Cursed sets a high bar for a debut.
I don’t think it should be necessary in 2014 to make a big deal about Mortals being an all female power trio that rightly earns comparisons to High On Fire and Darkthrone, but there you go. These three women—Caryn Havlik (drums), Lesley Wolf (bass/vocals), and Elizabeth Cline (guitar)—create rhythmically exciting metal that stands shoulder to shoulder with any of their contemporaries. Track 5, “Series Of Decay,” backs up that assessment nicely.
After buying this album, it’s been pretty much all I’ve listened to, and before that I’d been listening to their Death Ritual EP and Night Terror Demo. I like Mortals quite a bit and highly recommend Cursed To See The Future. It’ll be exciting to watch this band continue to evolve; they’ll certainly be one of Relapse Records MVPs. If you can catch them on tour make sure you buy them each a quadruple espresso!
Does anyone remember what an album was? Do they still call a music “release” an album anymore? Well, back in 1980, when a band released an album, you bought an album, a piece of vinyl inside a paper sleeve slipped into a cardboard sleeve. I think I might have paid about $8 for this record when it came out in 1980. I was 15 years old. A bit of background may be in order.
To call Orenda Fink’s Blue Dream meditative isn’t at all a stretch. It’s an exploration of the meaning of love, death, and spirituality, all filtered through a dreamy, gauzy haze and sung in an incredibly intimate way. Listening to Blue Dream is like walking into someone else’s slumber: a place where you’re welcome, but it’s all a bit disorienting and dark and a little eerie. It’s a captivating record.
The 1983 Canadian tax write-off known as Curtains has long been out of print, except for deplorable VHS and DVD transfers. In the 30 years since its theatrical release, it’s become an iconic cult horror film, particularly because of its uniquely chilling ice skating murder sequence. Now, Synapse Films has restored the film from its original negative and released it on Blu-Ray. So, does Curtains hold up?
The Muffs have released Whoop Dee Doo, their first album in a decade, and for one musical moment all is right with the world. Long time friends and bandmates Kim Shattuck (guitars, vocals, organ), Roy McDonald (drums, percussion), and Ronnie Barnett (bass, vocals) bring excellent musicianship and songwriting as well as a spirit of fun every time, so it’s no surprise that Whoop Dee Doo follows suit. Six albums into their career, what band hasn’t released a clunker or put a bit of filler on a couple of albums? The Muffs, that’s who. The Muffs move in, kick your ass, and move out in under four minutes.
If there were any justice in the world, Janiva Magness’s newest, Original, would be as ubiquitous as Adele’s last album. You should hear her songs pouring out of car windows, women (and men) singing along, tears in their eyes from the sheer power of it. After all, Magness has an unbelievable voice, emotive and strong, and writes personal lyrics that speak to everyone. Janiva Magness, of course, isn’t marketed that way, which is a shame. She needs to be heard by a wide audience. She’s amazing.