// Category Archive for: Music

Music Review: Circulatory System, Mosaics Within Mosaics

Published on July 18th, 2014 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By John Lane

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Two things I want to get out of the away in the beginning of this review: Comparisons have been floated already in numerous reviews about this new album. The first is the comparison to The Beach Boys’ SMILE; while flattering perhaps to them in a remote way, I cannot think of a more off-base touchstone. To compare Mosaics Within Mosaics to SMILE is like visiting a wax museum and comparing the waxworks (SMILE) to the Easter Island statues (Mosaics). This is not to denigrate SMILE or Mosaics Within Mosaics, but rather to illustrate that the two albums occupy two entirely different planets not worthy of comparison. It’s like gazing at the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, observing the moustaches, and then saying the whole thing reminds you of The Village People because, you know, moustaches.

The second point of contention is the casual throw-around of the word “psychedelic” in all these reviews. Again, lazy and misleading, as the term itself has a sort of anachronistic dusty taint to it—would Steve Reich be considered psychedelic because of his experimentation with form and structure? I feel like the old person shaking his head at a young woman wearing styles that were unflattering in “my day.”

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Music Review: The Last Hombres, Odd Fellows Rest

Published on July 18th, 2014 in: Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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After a decade of not recording together, roots rock band The Last Hombres have reunited for Odd Fellows Rest. Noted for being the band that Levon Helm asked to join, The Last Hombres make what could be considered bar band music: bluesy guitars, that certain middle of the road tempo, sing along choruses. The thing that sets The Last Hombres apart and far above the fray is their outstanding musicianship. Each song is like a master class on how to play with technical excellence as well as passion and is paired with literate lyrics.

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Music Review: Jim Mize, Jim Mize

Published on July 18th, 2014 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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You can call Jim Mize a lot of things: eccentric, a hopeless romantic, and a visionary. You can also call him a great storyteller in the fine Southern tradition of raconteurs. On his latest release, the self-titled Jim Mize, he makes snapshots through well-placed words and his singular guitar work. The album feels rooted in the South in music and lyrics, though there’s not much that explicitly states it. But the South gets in, like kudzu, and Mize is an Arkansas native. It’s in the water. Or the air. Or possibly the dirt.

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Music Review: Frog Eyes, Carey’s Cold Spring

Published on July 11th, 2014 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Hanna

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After a hiatus of three years, during which the album was already mostly finished, Frog Eyes’ Carey’s Cold Spring was self-released by Carey Mercer through Bandcamp last October, and is now being released by Paperbag Records on vinyl and CD.

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Waxing Nostalgic: The Cure, The Same Deep Water As You

Published on July 11th, 2014 in: Music, Waxing Nostalgic |

By Jeffery X Martin

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Some real wrist-cutting music came out in the Eighties. Gloom and doom, Reagan and Bush, annihilation from without and within; if you weren’t depressed and suicidal, you weren’t paying attention. The fact that anyone made it through the Eighties alive is a testament to how good Full House really was. That’s the only reason we stayed around. We put the blades down long enough to watch Full House, laugh for a few minutes, and when the show was over, we picked the pretty sharps back up and prayed for the cold hands of death to take us away from the living nightmare of suburbia.

If you were to take a poll of Eighties Survivors and ask them what the most depressing album of the decade was, a strong contender for that top spot would be Disintegration by The Cure.

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Music Review: Tom Freund, Two Moons

Published on July 11th, 2014 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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There’s a gorgeous easiness to Two Moons, the latest album by singer/songwriter Tom Freund. It’s a sunny, low-key, nostalgic record that was funded by a PledgeMusic campaign. It’s the kind of record that you put on after a dreadful day, one that uplifts and feels like a perfect secret, full of fine musicianship and sagacious lyrics.

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Music Review: Anders Parker, There’s A Blue Bird In My Heart

Published on July 11th, 2014 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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You know those TV shows that have artful music direction, like early Supernatural or Friday Night Lights or Parenthood (Jason Katims, I salute you!)? The ones that use quietly epic, devastating songs that push Matt Saracen’s story forward or underscore Sam and Dean’s struggle beautifully in a way that mere words can’t do, perhaps with an acoustic flourish? Anders Parker has written that record. There’s A Blue Bird In My Heart is packed with songs that have a quietly epic quality—the kind you feel deep down in your heart and guts.

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Music Review: Marc Almond, The Dancing Marquis

Published on July 11th, 2014 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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As a young record buyer, all I needed to know about decadence, I learned from Marc Almond. His records taught me about Jacques Brel, euphemisms for masturbation, the grand alienation of aging out of your passions—you know, the stuff of life.

Now, ages later, it’s delightful to know Marc Almond hasn’t tamed his decadent leanings, and that both his writing and voice have gotten better with time. He was always a fine writer, able to capture a moment or a mood with an artfully placed word and a bit of cleverness. He wasn’t always the greatest of singers, though he did show that with passion and a well-versed torch song, you could overcome any vocal limitations. Don’t dream it, be it, and all that.

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Music Review: Louis Prima, Jr. and The Witnesses, Blow

Published on July 11th, 2014 in: Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Melissa Bratcher

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It’s got to be tough to be in the same racket as your old man. If you were brought up in his footsteps and following his path, and heaven forbid, if you have the same name as him, then there’s always going to be that comparison, that competition. Then imagine if you were a musician and you made the same kind of music that your Pops made, and that he was one of the greatest jazz/swing musicians of all time. You’d really have to bring your A-game always.

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Music Review: Young Widows, Easy Pain

Published on July 11th, 2014 in: Current Faves, Music, Music Reviews, Reviews |

By Jeffery X Martin

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Imagine being thrown through a fortieth story window. Hear that rush of wind in your ears, the whistling and howling blotting out everything but your own panicked shrieks, your clothing ripping and flapping in the wind, pounding out a flat parachute rhythm as you continue to plummet, a failed bird, picking up speed, the ground rushing towards you (or vice versa) and even if you aren’t precisely sure where you’re landing, you know it’s going to be hard and it’s going to hurt. There’s nothing to do but resign yourself to it, embrace it, and let whatever happens happen.

That description fairly accurately echoes the first sixty seconds of Easy Pain by Louisville band Young Widows. There are still nine more songs to go.

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