Tuesday, January 31, 2012

John Mayall - Sitting Here Alone

Oh how I love that classic Blues feel. I love it when the lyrics pieced together with that soulful melancholic melody can bring a chill to my spine. It's a release.

Today's track is by John Mayall, one of the greats. And when listening to a great musician, one should expect great things. If you like your Blues at all, you should enjoy this at least a little bit.

But as this specific track is a bit less popular than some others, and being that I can only really find it on Grooveshark, a lot of you won't be able to hear it. Don't feel bad, I'll explain why that's fine after the link.

If you can though, give it a listen.

Sitting Here Alone by John Mayall on Grooveshark

Some of you that are able to listen might hear some low quality sounds. This isn't because it's a messed up version, it was actually recorded this way.

There's still talent; Mayall doesn't disappoint. We've got the only slow, sad, true Blues track of the album. I like it.

But of course, that same fuzzy live recording quality is featured on this track and the rest of the album. It's a turn off, but at least it has a vintage ring to it. Right?

Buy: CD | mp3

I think the only way I could recommend this album is if you're a serious die-hard John Mayall fan. The audio quality is mediocre. The talent put into the songs is plentiful but that doesn't make up for the sound of 60's pirated cassette tape. Just add how it's slightly overpriced and you have a wreck.

It's not really his fault, either. Someone had to record these live, and either they didn't know how or didn't have the necessary tools.

If you want the songs, the talent, and decent quality though, it's actually possible to find. The Private Collection is the same price, the same unknown songs and twice as many more where those came from. If those versions weren't even harder to find online than Howlin' at the Moon's, I probably would've written about it instead.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mark Sultan - Beautiful Girl

I'm feeling like something simple. Some Garage Punk will do the trick for me. Nothing excessive, simple riffs, simple vocals but by no means minimalist.

It'll sound like a group of teens just learned how to play instruments together and they pulled off a nice sounding song. And one of those teens has a xylophone.

It'll also sound like it's recorded in a garage, so I'll warn that you might wanna turn the volume down.

Give it a listen.


You gotta give it to the guy, for a one man band he's not bad at all. I don't think he was going for much anyway, just to create and be heard.

Well, while he's definitely gotten heard, it's a pity I've got to mess with the equalizer settings to enjoy the song. Sadly, (and fortunately too, actually..) you can use the same funky equalizer settings for the rest of the album.

Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl

Actually, if not for those crappy equalizer settings I have to mess around with, I'd probably have a lot of nicer things to say about this album.

All the same, The Sultanic Verses is just his first solo album, and it does a great job of showing you what Sultan's capable of. The album is full of short, catchy and interestingly put together songs, much like this one.

Pretty much all the songs have the guitar just a bit louder than it should be. The exception is made on the final track, Unicorn Rainbow Odyssey (oh yes) which instead features a louder than necessary drum. If not for the name, I'm not sure I'd like the track at all.

It is just because it's the first album, he's fixed the issue in later albums. It's still worth it for the raw Sultan-ness. His mix of Punk tendencies with Classic Rock influences makes for an interesting listen. After switching up the equalizers, of course.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Jess Mills - Pixelated People (Nocturnal Sunshine Remix)

A few hours ago Jess Mills released her Pixelated People EP, and if not for Nocturnal Sunshine I don't think I would've found out.

Nocturnal Sunshine is just Maya Jane Coles' alias for electronic feels away from her usual House. She's got this sweet fuzzy electronic sound going on, which is probably why she takes my vote as the best of the 4 released tracks.

Give it a listen.


If for some miracle of a reason the Soundcloud link isn't working, here's a Youtube link.

Now, I heard this remix before hearing the original, and that may have been why I preferred it. It's more of a travel, easier to listen to, easier to just lay back with.

If you'd like, listen to the original here. I wouldn't say it's a bad song. It's produced by Sam Frank who's probably best known for his work with Skream. Not exactly my cup of tea, but it's already got its foot in with the masses, and he seems to work pretty well with Jess' voice.


The EP will come with 2 more songs in addition to the original and today's remix. One of them is a second remix by Wilkinson. The other is a cover of Roy Davis Jr. and Peven Everett's classic Gabriel, which is also produced by Wilkinson.

The Gabriel cover is decent, by the way, but it might be a little too commercial for those of you who've grown attached to the classic version. It's understandable.

I should probably mention I'm not the biggest Jess Mills fan out there, so I might have a slightly more negative view on these than I should.

For the most part though, I enjoy it. Just some remixes and a cover, they're all decent. I admit, though, if not for Maya J   Nocturnal Sunshine's remix, I might not have given any of these tracks a second listen. I'm glad I did.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Parliament - Handcuffs

Anybody else feeling groovy today? Hm? Anyone..?

Well I'm in the mood for some Parliament. Classic stuff, we're going back to the mid 70's for this one and I'm going to enjoy every second of it.

If you don't mind your blast from the past and your smooth bass lines, give Handcuffs a listen.


For some reason, this song isn't a classic. It's known, it's funky fresh, sweet vocals, I can't even explain my love for that bass line, but it's not like everyone knows of it. That's kinda sad.

Still, it's Parliament. It's not like the song goes unnoticed for months at a time.

The song is a bit light hearted. It's a simple song, universal, no gigantic debates will form over it. The rest of the album can be pretty different.

Buy: CD | mp3

This album, Mothership Connection, is a classic. If for some reason you're still unsure of who these guys are, or what this album means, you might want to give Give Up the Funk a listen. Actually, you might want to give that one a listen anyway because it's an amazing song.

The album might not have enough substance to keep the attention of some younger crowds, but if you're the type of youth that feels like you're musically 4 decades ahead of where you should be (I can't be the only one!) this album is a must.

It starts off with that perfect blast from the past (P. Funk [Wants to Get Funked Up]) that makes you feel like you're not only talking to the hippest hustler on the block, but he wants you to feel like you're what's happ'nin'.

It's worth it. This is a great album. All that jazz.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rorschach Test - Hold

Someone recommended me this band a while ago. I'll give anything a go with music. I'll hit play and let my ears take it from there for a while.

I think I had my hopes too high. The song I ended up liking the most, today's track, is probably the furthest from what this band strives to be. 

This track starts off with a spacey didgeridoo sound with some bright guitar work over it. It evolves slowly from there, but the first few seconds should be enough to let you know if you'll like it or not.

Give it a shot.


It's working with an all right sound, overall. Very simple, fairly clean. Nothing outstanding or unheard of though. Then again, this is  Metal/Industrial band. It might have been a risky move on their part.

My biggest issue with this particular song is the lyrics. Now, usually I don't care too much about the lyrics. Usually, if the music is decent, whether or not the lyrics suck doesn't play a part on if I'll like it or not, but this one has a cheesy angst of teenage broken heart feel that I'm just not down with.

On a similar note, the rest of the album has a teen angst feel to it. After hearing it through, it sounds to me like what a very angry passive aggressive teenager would wanna be listening to.

Buy: CD | mp3

Unclean is their second release, and is exactly what it states to be. It's some very noisy, very underdeveloped Industrial Metal. 

There's one decently legitimate sounding song on the album, and it's also one of the longest and technically the title track. It's Clean, and you could give it a listen if you're interested.

The album starts off letting you know exactly how the rest of it will go. Satan is the beginning track, it starts off pretty interesting but gets boring after a couple of minutes. This is what's gonna happen with maybe 90% of the rest of the album. Awesome.

The overall album is cheesier than last nights pizza. If you don't look at it as something honest and start looking at it as the comedy it pulls off, you might enjoy it more than I did. Try that.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rosa Passos - Dindi

I mentioned Rosa Passos a little while ago on a Yo-Yo Ma post. It's only fair to give her some separate spotlight, since she's one very fine, very talented individual.

Today's track is one that I admire. I love a good cover, something that keeps the essence of the original while still being totally different is hard to find. Rosa pulls it off with flying colors here. In fact, It's hard enough to realize what song it is without having the title right in front of you.

Give Rosa's take on Tom Jobim's classic a listen.


I don't care how old this song is, or how many times I listen to it. This song will always have freshly broken a mold when it seeps into my ears.

For those of you unfamiliar with the original, Dindi is a Bossa Nova standard, an iconic romance song composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim.

The above link is sung in Portuguese, here's an English version. For the curious.

What I really love about this version, in addition to breaking the originally composed mold and showing off some wonderful silk vocals, is the slow but seductive Jazz instruments working behind her. The little details make everything work.

Buy: CD | mp3

Today's track can be found on Curare, Rosa's 1991 release, and it's a release that's still definitely worth checking out if you missed out on it.

Between notable covers like today's Dindi or Coisa Mais Linda, proper use of instruments, and a voice as beautiful as Rosa's, I'd say there's enough motivation for a variety of people.

Some people may not tolerate a whole album of silky smoothness in that tempo. I don't blame you. I'd recommend searching up some newer material, though. If you're looking for a change of pace, you won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shiguoxiamo

Dear reader,

 This post is for you. The odds are that you've reached here via your search engine of choice attempting to find information on a Classical/Post-Rock Fusion 5 piece Chinese band. You've come to the right place.

I've spent more time than any sane human being would, attempting to find information on a band that might as well name their songs riddles. I may not know much, but according to the sites I've visited within the last few weeks, I would say I know more than most.

Some months ago I stumbled upon a song called Thanks. The song was moving, passionate, it stuck with me. It's nearly 11 minutes long, and feels like uplifting movie music.

Give it a listen, if you'd like.


According to Discogs, iTunes and other music selling websites; the song was by a band called Shi Guo Xia Mo. I learned the hard way that the band prefers to refer to themselves as Shiguoxiamo, but in English are called Summer Fades Away.

The song is lengthy, but well timed, and well portrayed. I applaud its composition and delivery. It was good enough to make me look for more (as Shi Guo Xia Mo) and I was able to find a Single. Thanks.

Also fair to note, and this is a trivial detail, but the song was later released as Thank You in their EP. I'll get to that  in a bit.

Buy: Discogs | eMusic

The B side, or simply second track to Thanks is called Forgiving (Kuan Shu), and would actually be heard first. It's a tender Piano piece with a rainy background to it.

It's about 6 minutes long, and it feels completely different than Thanks. If Thanks isn't growing on you yet, or if you're alright with switching sounds, it might be a good idea to switch Forgiving on.

Though, I'd wait for Thanks to finish, it's a decent song. Getting better as it goes on and such.


Soft, tranquil, put-the-baby-to-sleep-and-enjoy music. It's got the rain right on the track, come on. It's beautiful. It still has some movie music potential, but not as obvious as the main attraction.

This track also went through some minor name changes during the transition to EP. This one will have been Forgiveness instead.

If you liked both tracks, you might be in the mood for one more. The EP, Unkind Time, Beautiful Memory has it.

Enjoy finding this EP.

The additional song should be worth it, though. A Pavilion is the final track and is just shy of 15 minutes long. It's definitely a decent listen. Elaborate, powerful, unique.

The blend of genres will really show on that one, if you've liked what you've heard so far, I'd suggest giving it a listen.

Sources also tell me that there's a demo with more songs on it. I can't find a single track on that that I haven't already mentioned. Unless Qingxie is one of them and I just can't translate it yet. In any case, if I find anything else about the demo I'll update this page with a link to the demo's post. Hopefully I'll find it.

And that concludes my talking about/posting every single Shiguoxiamo song I've ever been able to hear. If any reader has any helpful information to share, it's appreciated and always welcome!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dick Dale and his Del-Tones - Misirlou Twist

This song is pretty iconic, it's the first recorded Surf Rock version (we're going back to 1962!) as well as being the base for many covers and pop culture icons.

The actual original dates back to a recorded 1927 in Greece. It was called Misirlou, which means Egyptian Muslim Girl, which really isn't very Surf-y at all.

Had it not been for a young fan at one of Dick Dale's performances, he might never have attempted to play a song using only one string, and magically turned it into something more Rock & Roll.

Give it a listen.


I'll just mention that this is not the same version found in Pulp Fiction or in The Black Eyed Peas' Pump It. That one would be 'Miserlou', a shorter version with huh huh hah's. It's a good thing he thought ahead and changed how it was written, or this post would have a lot more explaining to do.

Aside from the fact that some of you went "ohhhh that song!", the song's got some notable moments. I prefer it to the more popular 2 minute version just because of the details.

Sure, the few lyrics the shorter version has do a great job of fueling souls, but the Twist version really has something going for it with the strings.

Then there's that whole riff at 1:57 that feels like it's where Desperado got its riffsperation from, and between nostalgia and admiration for such decent early music, things start looking great.

Buy: CD | mp3 | Vynil

Surfers' Choice is the debut, a classic, and an album I can honestly say I love. There's little bias in that opinion. I can admit to some flaws, but the bright sides of the album make overlooking the bad ones worth it.

It's definitely not for everyone, it falls out of tempo sometimes and it might take your emotions for a ride. The track list could have been handled a little better, in my opinion.

Then again, it's a fairly well rounded set. Surf and Classic Rock just ooze out of this, as well as some slower jams to keep things balanced.

If you can get by and enjoy songs like Death of a Gremmie or Fanny Mae, I'd recommend giving it a look. It's a very enjoyable, very fun listen. For anyone up to it, at least.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Browska - Silver Glitter (Free Download)

It's been a while since my first Browska post, I've acquainted myself with the duo's selection of tracks, and have a standard as far as the quality I expect from them goes.

So when they presented me with their brand new release, Silver Glitter, they had expectations to live up to. I wanted something Browska-ized. What I got wasn't what I expected, but it was also very welcome.

It's what I'd call a Funk-House track (they call it House) and can be a little repetitive, but it's got a nice catchy feel, some sweet bass, and a chill guitar backing it up.

Give it a listen.


It's a free download! If you can't find  the little download arrow on the right of the player, you can always just click here.

The song is based on many samples, the original piece took them 3 weeks to create, what they consider "fast". The song's journey doesn't end there, they decided that while good, the song wasn't theirs due to the samples.

They then spent over 3 months re-playing the samples with their own instruments, getting the right feel to it, and piecing that together. To them, it was worth it, to many listeners it'll be worth it too, but I just have an intense respect for the work they put into it.

Silver Glitter has its own meaning too, it's what they nick named their reverb effect. When they were nearing completion of the track, a friend said something like "Why don't you put some silver glitter on it?" And then they did.


Browska might not be handing out an album/EP anytime soon, but they're working on getting themselves out there by other means.

They don't consider themselves DJ's, and aren't willing to put up a pre-recorded live show in a banana costume just to entertain the crowd, there's too much respect for real DJ's to be doing that (this is their words).

Instead, they're gonna end up doing things the hard way. 60 minute shows with their own tracks and their own instruments. "Two guys, two laptops, two guitars, a bass, some synths and a talk box."

The above highlighted is word for word what they said in the email. You don't have to take my word for it, you'll see for yourself when they're touring your area. Wink.

They're also currently seeking a booking agency and a label. Anyone interested can contact them at their site. Get at 'em while you can!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Steely Dan - Fire in the Hole

Sometimes I just feel like listening to something with an undeniable music base. Something with obvious talent and enough musical standard to (pretty much) be accepted as music anywhere.

I mean we're talking Steely Dan here. If the name is new to you, well, you'll get it soon. But even if it isn't, it's possible you haven't heard this one.

It's a great track, give it a listen.


See? Right off the bat we get that Rocked piano. The vocals might not be the most pleasing to all, but it works for me. Plus, the piano makes up for it.

It's a simple song. I think it's because of how simple it is that I've found myself listening to it over. It's nothing too complicated, but it's got enough going on not to be minimalist.

Similar can be said for the rest of the debut album. It might range in style a bit, but it's generally decent music, nothing overdone.

Buy: CD | mp3

The 1972 debut Can't Buy a Thrill should be an album I praise. It's got a fusion of genres and styles that I really love, mainly Prog-Rock and Jazz. It's even set in in my favorite musical decade.

And yet, for me it falls a little short. It's definitely a great source for undeniable early talent. And being inspirational to many and many more to come, it definitely earns my respect. But even at 40 minutes it feels like it's too long.

The sound varies, but I don't think they explored the full capacity of their talents throughout it. I might just be spoiled, having listened to some of their best songs back to back before.

All the same, it's a good album to start listening to the band if you haven't already. Maybe not for everyone, but it'll be a gem for many others.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Etta James - A Sunday Kind of Love

Every once in a while the Earth is graced with a revolutionary talent. Someone who can blend something and create the path that so many others will walk through.

It's literally yesterday's news that Etta James has passed. I've been spending some time listening to the magic, and have brought some right onto here.

Give her a listen.


Maybe not her best, and maybe not the best song to show her range in genre/incredible voice, but it's the song that's been sticking with me, so it's the song I decided to share.

It's just sad to see these talents fade away. Luckily, she will live on, and songs like these will never be completely forgotten.

And if you're just hearing something other than At Last and liking it, you might wanna look into the debut album.

Buy: CD | mp3

The 1961 classic At Last! is a great place to start if you're in dire need of that sweet Etta James sound. A lot of people will try shoving Best Of's down your throat, but the magic of this initial release is such that you could live without it.

Yeah, you'll miss a few singles, and maybe it's a bit too well rounded for some, but it's grade A material, I'm not sure I could possibly recommend against it.

R.I.P. Etta. You live on.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Jimmy Rogers - Gold Tailed Bird

There's just something about this raw ugh Blues sound that I can't shake off. I don't need it, but once it makes its way into my ears it  better stick or else bad things will happen.

Luckily for me, I stumbled on (and stayed with) Jimmy Rogers. This particular song is almost painful, it's so good. And I do believe that's the point.

Give it a listen.

Gold Tailed Bird by Jimmy Rogers on Grooveshark

I can play this song over and over for a nice long time and I wont get tired. It's decent in length, it's got enough talent to satisfy me, I wouldn't change a thing. I'd just also play it over.

Because even though it's enough, it's not and I need more.

Luckily there's a whole album full of delicious Blues-ness. Maybe not as good all the way through as this song, but it's decent.

Buy: CD

Ludella has a nice varied sound to it. A great pick for the overall Blues lover, or for the novice who needs a fix of everything.

We got Sloppy Drunk, our alcoholic Blues, then we've got some more upbeat and longer songs  like Why Did You Do It?, and some more old-school sounding tracks like Rock This House. There's something in there for every Blues lover.

It should be expected that I recommend the album, then, but it might be hard to get your hands on. If you find it, grab it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

23 - Fuck You [Cortexelus Remix] (Free Download)

I wrote about the original to this song a little while ago, back when it was being used to gain more followers on Facebook. Considering today's is very different, I'd recommend listening to the original, even though a lot of you don't like the type of Dubstep it brings.

Today's track is a piece of art. It was a submission to 23's remix contest, and somehow didn't win, despite being the most original, and despite leaving my mind splattered up against a wall.

Don't get your hopes up too high though, guys. I've already shared it and I've gotten some negative views. It takes an open mind to enjoy this.

Give it a listen.


It only takes 35 seconds to get to that nice shaman/didgeridoo sound, that's actually Cortexelus' own voice. You're introduced to the light percussion just a few seconds later, and you've officially started your journey.

You'll start spiraling in or out of control at around 1:40, eventually dipping yourself into heavy machinery sounds. It'll get light, and it'll go back to that machine sound. At around 3:22 the Fuck You's kick in, which are actually a little funny even, it'll fade in and out of some interesting sounds before at around 4:30 it gets into some nice guitar riffs.

I won't spoil the ending much more, I'll just say it sounds like something belongs after it, and I really wish there was an album to continue it.

Sexy

No album, no continuation, just Cortexelus' Soundcloud with a bunch of songs that pale in comparison. He did mention that this was his best track ever, but I gave the benefit of doubt and hoped he was modest.

While there are some listenable (and free!) tracks on there, nothing really lives up to today's track. Maybe the reason I like it so much is because he had a psychological background to it. That's kinda my thing, so maybe he won me over, but not many of you.

I think I'll keep an eye on Cortexelus anyway. Maybe a light one, just checking up every once in a while. Maybe this was just the start, seeing as his remixes seem to be decent. Maybe I'm witnessing a new love. Or maybe I'm just way too into this one song.

We'll see in time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Clazziquai Project - You Never Know

Anyone aware of Clazziquai should also be aware of what we're heading towards for today's post. Though granted, today's post is from back when they were a 'Project'.

It's technically Acid Jazz, but the mix of acoustic guitar with a well balanced bass and Electronic music to support it all feels like it should be another genre to me. Maybe it's just a me thing.

Give it a listen yourself.


If you're wondering why you can't understand it all, know that the Korean trio love to be confusing, mixing their native tongue with English. It makes for a peculiar and beautiful listen.

This is what I'm in the mood for today. Something nice and smooth to chill with. Lounging around, but actively. Listening to the well strummed guitar, and enjoying silk vocals over a smooth bass line.

The track is the first on the album, and while I wouldn't say it's misleading, I would say it's significantly better than most of what's in store.

Buy: CD

The album, Instant Pig, isn't a masterpiece in my eyes. It has its ups and it definitely has its downs, but it manages to keep your attention throughout it just the same. Just beware of how catchy it can be.

It's got ridiculously Pop influenced songs like Tattoo, which aren't a huge deal I guess. I just think they could sound better without those. Better overall album quality.

Then again, there are songs like Novabossa or Gentle Rain, which have such an obvious Bossa Nova influence that I just can't dislike it. There's a little bias in play here, but if you appreciate your Bossa-guitar, you'll probably appreciate some of these tracks too.

Overall, I don't love it. There are a few tracks that make the rest of the album worth it. Not a shocking album, nothing spectacular, but it's a decent listen.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chris Zabriskie - Laserdisc

Well, I've taken a beating. The soles of my feet hurt, my eyes aren't happy with me and my patterns are attempting to normalize once more. I'm lucky there's music for everything.

Ambient it is, today. Simplistic music that I can put on, leave on and relax with. Now there's plenty to relax with, but after 4 days of action (with wonderful live music) what I need is the exact opposite.

Chris Zabriskie offered that. It won't be for everyone, but give it a listen and find out.


That piano. That amazing sound, alone, telling its story as you relax. It's a wonderful feeling, especially if you need a break from more crowded tracks (like I do at the moment).

It's important to note that the song doesn't quite fit too well with the rest of the album. It's got the same simplistic background, but the rest of what's to be heard is more Electronic. Not bad, but not the same.

Buy: mp3

Although there's a buy link up there, it should also be noted that you can own I Am a Man Who Will Fight for Your Honor for free. Zabriskie fully supports the launch of free music and I would say he only has the option to buy songs so people can show their appreciation. Because of this you can listen to this album and all his others for free before acquiring them via his website.

It's short in length, but fairly long in song titles. Take for example I Am Running a Marathon With Thousands of Other Highly Qualified People Who Are All Trying to Defeat Me.

If you liked today's song, it might be worth checking out the rest of it. If you're not a fan of repeating sounds for more than 5 minutes, maybe you should wait until you need different music. Either way, decent sounds will await you.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rhapsody of Fire - From Chaos to Eternity

I'm not normally deep into Power Metal. I had my phase, I've heard some bands, but for the most part it was never something to go out of the way for.

Today's song is a song I'd go out of the way for. It has your basic Power Metal roots in there, but it's also a bit on the Prog side and it hooked me immediately. Literally, immediately.

Give it a listen.


I was expecting a lot less than that when this was recommended. The first song on the album (Ad Infinitum) had a catchy riff, the narration topped it off. It felt weird, but it worked. Then it turns to today's track, and 8 seconds into that one I decided that this album "is perfect".

I can admit to being a little hasty. I blame not hearing Power Metal for years and suddenly listening to the latest album of a really decent band.

Buy: CD | mp3

Wait a second. Look at that f****ng album cover. That is a Pegasus/unicorn hybrid emerging out of those warring bodies. Anyway.

The album, From Chaos to Eternity, lived up to that perfect feeling for about 5 tracks before it started growing tame. I was getting upset that such a great intro was going to waste.

Then I heard the final track. If another Power Metal band has ever made such a track more epic than the 20 minute long Heroes of the Waterfalls' Kingdom, someone better let me know.

The track starts off in what seems like an ancient Italian folk song, it builds up tension for the amazing Progressive Power piece. I saw the corners of the Earth will be what you sing along to at first. At least until you memorize the rest of the track.

Then there's the solos and the evil sounding death growls. At one point I decided I honestly respected the drummer, something not common for the usual one trick ponies found in the genre.

If you like your occasional set of heavy music and don't mind a talented vocalist over those sounds, I'd recommend giving the album a listen. If you honestly like Power Metal though, don't listen to it. Listen from the beginning, this is part of a fantasy saga and the ending was so perfect, that if you can down yourself all the other albums and remember the story of it all, when you finally get to this final album, the ending, the reward will be great.

Then again, I haven't heard the other albums. Yet.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Willie Bobo - Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries

Feeling hungry yet? Maybe neckbones don't sound to appealing, but today's song might be. It's a slow Salsa/Jazz combo, worthy of a 50's gangster's walk of fame.

Until the fried neckbones start chiming in, then it can be a little creepy. Make what you want of it, I'm going with 50's gangster is sent to prison and he's plotting revenge.

Give it a listen.


Ring any bells? The song was later covered in a slightly more popular version by Santana, it was played at Woodstock. (Willie worked with Santana, thus the many similarities in Evil Ways, Spanish Grease, etc.) It was also sampled in Snoop Dogg's Murder Was the Case, a west coast Rap classic.

What we have on this song is Willie outside of his comfort zone on the congas instead of the timbales while still delivering a solid percussion, a classic piano riff, and that mature air that manages to suck you in. I love it.

Buy:  mp3

I'm not really a fan of combining two albums into one. I just think that if they sound different, they belong apart. That being said, Uno Dos Tres 1. 2. 3. and Spanish Grease placed together isn't too shabby. Maybe a bit too long, but nice.

Between the two albums you'll feel the entire range that was Willie Bobo's Afro-Cuban Jazz. The variety was wide, and so I doubt that the whole album could reach excellent status for everyone.

Today's song is slow, but just the same you have something fast and talent based like Elation, or something a bit more old fashioned like Boogaloo in Room 802. I'll also mention that it seems his inspiration came in the shape of women, watch out for tracks named after them. Songs which really portray a type of soul, like Michelle. (Sorry for the lack of links, I can't find them!)

Overall, I can't swallow it in its entirety. At over an hour and a half in length, it's a bit too much. The talent is there and it's obvious, I just wish they still distributed the single albums. Would make a world of a difference.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pendulum with DJ Fresh, Tenor Fly, and $pyda - Tarantula

So I was sitting there skipping songs on the music library, waiting for a good one to post on my very busy weekend, and this one came up. At first I thought:

Please, everyone knows Pendulum!

And then I sat down for a while and enjoyed it. I remembered the first time I heard it, hearing that Dancehall/Reggae and Drum and Bass for the first time. The urge I got to hop around in an effort to dance ridiculously (I later realized that this was normal for such music).

And then I remembered all the people that hadn't heard it, and all the people who started listening to the band after Hold Your Colour. At that point I decided I'd post the song today. For those of you.

If you've heard and it's just not your thing, well I don't blame you. But if you if you just wanna hear or haven't before, give it a listen.


So it's a little over the top, a bit repetitive and fairly catchy. Younger me loved this, and so slightly older me goes back to that happy place when I hear it over.

Also of note, I have a feeling this is a remix. I've never been sure, but the song goes "Black Tarantula", right before to referring to acts that he ($pyda) would do. $pyda's alter-ego is Black Tarantula. Being that the guy is the kind of DJ that doesn't even have a Soundcloud, I'd say he might not have protected his rights and Pendulum's using it for themselves was to his benefit anyway.

The above is by no means fact, it is a speculation. I have not been able to find any information on Pendulum and $pyda's relationship, or anything that would help clear up my thoughts on the matter. If you can find some, I'd appreciate it!

Buy: CD

This album was a checkpoint in the music of my childhood. I'll try and bypass my positive bias of it, but it's gonna be difficult.

See, these guys and The Prodigy (Voodoo people, magic people!) are what got me listening to Electronic based music in the first place. It was unnatural to my "real music" backgrounds. If not for the ridiculous success that this album was (for years!) the impact might have been less, and my music taste different.

I can say the album is a bit commercial in the sense that it has elements people in bulk will love, and I can say that a few songs are a bit repetitive but.. I can't say much more negative beyond that point. Sorry! If today's track wasn't for you, listen to Hold Your Colour, and if that still doesn't do it, it's not for you.

I won't blame you and I won't hate you for it, I just have an audio firewall against badness for the album. The whole thing.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Say Anything - The Futile

Say Anything ring a bell to anyone? Yes? No? Well I lost touch with them years ago. Apparently they went off without me to become relatively successful and I'm happy for them.

Honestly, never was a giant fan. A few of their songs I loved, yes, but that's about it. Today's song is one of those that I loved.

Give it a listen.


It might take a few of you a little while to realize the sarcasm in this song. Actually, it's kinda funny when someone doesn't get it. It's portrayed through the eyes of the very people they're critiquing.

The song is pulled off so well that not only can it be misinterpreted for their actual beliefs, but that people end up agreeing with the sarcastic statement.

And those people can go choke on their irony! I love it because the song defends itself.

The music isn't anything stunning, it's decent at best. The real focus is the message and how that message gets through. It's an angst-y hidden message so that only people with an open mind can fully get it. Kinda like the rest of the album.

Buy: CD

...Is A Real Boy is the bands second album and their rise to success. Originally released independently, it was we released after being discovered for the gem it was and from there they boomed. It's a classic, and a few of you will have heard it and/or have fond memories with it.

And yet, I can't listen to it all the way through. The reviews for this one are positive, but I'd say they're a tiny bit over hyped for what it is.

Lyrics, well written angst, disappointment, humor, and it's all done in a fairly original way. This doesn't make up for the band though, at least for me. Maybe I'm being picky, but if I won't listen to a lot of Rap if it doesn't have decent music, I sure won't be making an exception for Rock.

And then there are songs like Admit It!!!, an anti-hipster song before hating on hipsters was cool. The irony of it all is amazing, but the listen is good. Actually, even writing about it feels weird. I'd love to read a review for that song.

Even the gems have a generic sound to them. Some of you can handle it, and if those of you haven't checked the album before, you should.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Héctor Lavoe & Ismael Miranda - Que Barbaridad

This is probably not the best way to introduce someone to Héctor Lavoe. Ismael Miranda, well, this song will do. For anyone new to Lavoe, though,  just know that he was nicknamed "El Cantante" which means "The Singer". This is not his best performance, but it's not his worst either.

I should probably also mention this is Salsa. It's got some finely played instruments going on while also being very classic and easy going. It's great for keeping a beginner motivated while also not being that hard.

Give it a listen.


The song is about all the young girls who wear revealing clothes to go out to dance. The best part? This was the 70's, imagine what they'd have to say now. I'd love to hear it, myself.

It's a live recording, and in this particular song it's not great to hear those random cheers every once in a while. There are moments where artists outdo themselves, and it's fun to hear the crowd there, but I understand disliking it.

Buy Volume 1 or Volume 2 in FLAC, WAV, mp3 or CD

I posted about Live at the Cheetah a while ago, I wrote about Anacaona which is still my favorite song on the album. I think when you compare that one to this one it's not hard to understand why.

The reason I write about this album again is because it's no longer the shady unheard of hidden gem that I thought it was. The album was re-issued in 2011 in amazing quality (compared to the original) and has made its way into my music library.

It won't  be for everyone though. The album is more of a memory than anything. This isn't the All-Stars' first live performance, but it's the one where they boomed. This was the atmosphere of people enjoying something fresh for the first time, this was magic.

If you listen closely, you can hear that magic in the crowds cheers. You'll hear synchronized awe as they edge the musicians on for more. And that's not even music, that's a feeling. If the feeling isn't for you, there's better 'Best Of' albums out there.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jaga Jazzist - Airborne

This one shouldn't be too unknown for a lot of you, but if Jaga Jazzist doesn't ring a bell and you like either your Jazz or Electronic music, you'll be in for a treat.

Today's song will incline more towards the Jazz though, but still with some notable Electronic influences. The blended wind instruments against the cream of Jazz is what takes the spotlight.

Give it a listen.


If you like, you can enjoy a shorter version with a video by Lasse Gretland here. I prefer the sound of the original, but the story on that video is well made and worth a watch if you have the time.

The song lets you ease into it. Starting off with nothing but a bass line, some glitchy sounds and some piano work before caressing your ears with wind instruments.

It takes the song up until 2:18 to start a stronger transition. A bit longer for the drums to feel comfortable in there, but it works out smoothly. Once 3:42 hits, you could swear it's a different song altogether. Beautifully pieced.

The rest of the album may be as unpredictable as today's song, but not nearly the same.

Buy: CD | mp3

Their 2001 debut A Livingroom Hush is a classic in the Nu Jazz genre, and with good reason. It varies in sound almost effortlessly while maintaining a clear flow throughout the album.

It ranges from softer pieces like today's Airborne, to Animal Chin which starts the album off with a strong Electronic feel, to more older sounding songs like Made for Radio.

If for some reason you enjoy both your Jazz and your Electronic music, and haven't heard this one already, you're wasting your time reading this and should be getting your hands on it now.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Seu Jorge - Changes

Today's post is supposed to be something awesome on Tuesday =D. And well, when people ask, I do try to comply.

I figure a Brazilian's Acoustic take on a David Bowie classic counts as something awesome. And today is Tuesday. I'm doing it right so far, someone give me an applause!

No seriously, it's an interesting take on an old classic. Once you switch the language and make the excess in instruments disappear, you get something even Bowie is proud of.

Give it a listen.


Sound a little familiar? You might have heard/seen this one on City of God, or might have heard similar on The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Actually, this guy keeps himself close to cinema, so if he rings a bell just don't be surprised.

Now if you don't like today's song, if you have a problem with the fact that he doesn't say ch-ch-changes the same way or as often as Bowie would, that's okay. This song is on an album where 13 of the tracks are Bowie covers. One of them is bound to fit.

Buy: CD

With 14 tracks total and the 14th track being a very fun original made solely for The Life Aquatic (Team Zissou), The Life Aquatic Studio Sessions is a very chill, very relaxing album full of David Bowie-Mania.

I think the best part is that you don't even have to be a Bowie fan to enjoy this one. If you like a relaxing Acoustic guitar, the album is for you. Like some strong Portuguese male vocals? The album is for you, too.

Now originally this post was gonna be about The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou's Soundtrack, and while it's a decent listen ranging from sounds like Ennio Morricone to The Stooges, I just got addicted to Seu Jorge's style. And found today's gem of an album.

That being said, had it not been for the soundtrack, I wouldn't have found this, and special thanks go to the birthday girl Melanie for recommending it. In case you missed the link, here's her blog. You should check it out if you have a stomach. You should also congratulate her, it's her birthday! Don't be rude, go!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kaori Kobayashi - Kahlua Milk

Some odd mix of Jazz and Funk and other stuff is coming up today, but then it's Japanese. You should be expecting something a little weird.

Kaori Kobayashi is (primarily) a saxophonist. And a damn good one at that. Today's song sounds like it could be used in the casino portion of an older game. It won't be for everyone, but it's addictive.

Give it a listen.


The song can be a bit repetitive, sure, but there's so many influences showing off at once that my ears stay nicely occupied.

Occasionally it'll get a little dull and it's at those times that I figure it's too long. It isn't.

The problem is that the band and Kaori aren't completely comfortable. Maybe not just with each other, but with recording in generall. It's really sad too, because the album could have been a lot better.

Buy Precious here

Precious is her 2011 release, and its contents are fairly similar to today's song. The songs have recurring themes, they can be a little on the long side, and  if you try you can hear a little discomfort on about 80% of the tracks.

That being said, it's still a pretty decent album. I could easily compare it to Eminem's earlier albums, in the sense that she tries a lot of different and interesting things. They don't all work, but when they do they sound intense.

There are songs that really don't work for me at all like Peridot. Then there's an odd, and in my case nostalgic cover of Nothing's Ever Gonna Change My Love for You (remember that one?). Then there's what would seem like 80's/90's "Sax Rock" Maximum Attack, and it just goes on. She even goes back to her flute roots on Organic Relation.

Every song on the album is unique, they just won't all mesh. Definitely worth a listen, though.

I blame the producing for that. I can hear the band is talented, and at certain points they do exert themselves, but it's all just to make Kaori's spotlight shine brighter. Listen to her having fun playing sax over herself on Garniture and you'll see the difference. It's because of this production problem that I was glad to find that her most recent album, SEVENth, is self produced. I'll try and grab that one soon.

But if you liked today's song, you might want to give her album a listen. It's hard to come by, but the entire album is on Grooveshark. Those of you fortunate enough to have it work can listen here.

Enjoy.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Beautiful Creatures - Wish

Usually I like being able to say that a certain band doesn't have their hard sought after recognition. I usually really enjoy talking about these bands, because I remember when I started learning about them and acknowledging their talents.

Well, none of that is gonna happen today so sit back, hit play, and see if it's for you or not.


If you try real hard and have some type of chronic mental condition, you might be able to see how original this is.

Yes, it's a little catchy, I get that. But it's making it really hard to enjoy this song. It's decent on its own, yes. Not that bad some of you will think. But you know what? I just heard half an album of this not-that-bad music, and I am not pleased.

Buy: CD

I wish I could say something nice about this album. Let's try.

You remember when I said I heard half the album? That's because by the time I got to the halfway point, I realized that every song had the same base. It's fun, generic Rock that will only get noticed commercially. Think cheap movies and TV shows.

I suppose if you don't mind listening to radio "Hard Rock" for half an hour or something, then it'll be alright. But I'm pretty sure it won't get past 'all right'.

If you really, really liked today's song, go ahead and give it a listen for yourself. You should also note that this is just my opinion, and many others don't agree with me at all.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Agonist - Martyr Art

If you don't like Metal gut growls, I'd recommend staying away from today's post. Fair warning, as there's gonna be a lot of it for this one.

If you happen to like those growls, and also enjoy yourself the sounds of a female vocal over any kind of Hard Rock, then you probably already know about today's band, don't you?

Give them a listen.


Alright so I'm behind. Melodic Death Metal isn't really a priority to me. I'll listen, but it's not like I'm in love with these guys. In fact, I think the only reason I gave them a chance is because of the lead singer, despite the steady talents of that drummer and the more so appreciated guitarist.

Because of this I'm not a huge fan. I can enjoy this one, there's a really nice ending to it and the vocals win me over. They've got their talents and they're doing a fine job representing the Canadian Metal scene.

The album, considering it's a giant mess of riffs with screams and pterodactyl sounds, is oddly well balanced out.

Buy: CD | mp3

Lullabies for the Dormant Mind was the e-recommendation. It's their second album and there seems to be quite a few positive reviews for it (especially compared to their first album, which I'm very curious about). I had my hopes a little too high and maybe that's why I'm slightly disappointed. Maybe.

By no means is it a bad album, though. I just didn't get what most people made of it. If not for the beautiful belching broad, I'm not sure my attention would've been well caught. But even if I were blind, an A Capella take on Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake is enough to grab my attention.

And there's a few other songs that start bordering some Prog sounds, too. They're worth checking out, but definitely not for everyone. Give them a listen if today's song was of interest, but if it didn't spark anything, just leave it be and find something else.

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