Music Review http://culturecatch.com/index.php/music en Gig of the Week: Bokanté http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3924 <span>Gig of the Week: Bokanté</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/webmaster" lang="" about="/index.php/users/webmaster" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Webmaster</a></span> <span>February 23, 2020 - 11:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/766" hreflang="en">world beat</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KZrr5v9N4o4?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Grammy-nominated, world-music supergroup Bokanté are coming to Joe's Pub next Sunday, March 1st. Check out their <a href="https://open.spotify.com/album/4jy0qfVL2jNJOXFHsVf7WF?si=_nuM08gLQsOCFY2BTcO4FQ" target="_blank"><em>Strange Circles</em></a> (2017) and <em>What Heat</em> (2018) albums on <a href="https://open.spotify.com/album/2ks7K8DI5MjJWfm3W56qjm?si=cbuyVk_VQOyxrjF-4GcOdQ" target="_blank">Spotify</a> to get a taste of how wonderfully infectious and moving this music is. The band was formed by musician/composer <b>Michael League</b>, he of Grammy–winning, Texan–bred, New York–based instrumental jazz collective, Snarky Puppy. His new project collects epic players from five countries and four continents, different genders, races and generations "working in harmony, celebrating individuality." A band giving a voice to those that don't have voices, sharing their passion for life and justice through music. Vocalist Malika Tirolien sings in both French and Guadeloupean Creole, the language of her childhood home. Bokanté means "exchange." Make no mistake, this is world beat music for the masses.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3924&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="orNMTBCgHWqUYR41mJBpHav0lxgzg0ODkGvYiwA51Fo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 23 Feb 2020 16:02:28 +0000 Webmaster 3924 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: "Runaway" http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3923 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Runaway&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>February 22, 2020 - 08:43</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/139" hreflang="en">singer-songwriter</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/uhQhfelnC5M?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Happened upon this singer/songwriter via a PR friend and was immediately drawn into his easy delivery and heartfelt lyrics, so much so that I started exploring his fantastic catalog of work. He's lived in NYC, Austin, and now Nashville. And he's absorbed the best of each city. He reminds me of early Jackson Browne. <a href="https://open.spotify.com/track/7q2Gop07LK0mswNlgeo4jS?si=M1qBKxfsSZuXINgWZ8SPEg" target="_blank">"Runaway"</a> is an easy slice of love balladry that will warm your soul. A refreshing song about commitment.</p> <blockquote> <p>"I refuse to runaway / I'm going to stay."</p> </blockquote> <p>If you don't know <a href="http://www.anthonydacosta.com/about" target="_blank"><strong>Anthony da Costa</strong></a> you may want to take some time out of your busy social media schedule and do so today.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3923&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="d8UMuuKk9i3jJxU5y8phlEhdlyqk8x85dgNdsXQ5sog"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 22 Feb 2020 13:43:12 +0000 Dusty Wright 3923 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: "Beautiful Stranger" http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3914 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Beautiful Stranger&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>January 28, 2020 - 08:27</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/255" hreflang="en">jam band</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/N2tQFLUE6ss?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><a href="http://marcuskingband.com/" target="_blank">Marcus King</a>, just 23-years old, has rightfully inherited Greg Allman's baton as the new "voice" of southern rock. From his soulful R&amp;B/blues vocals -- a little Amos Lee's vibe -- and blistering guitar fretwork, he is a major talent worth following. His new album <em>El Dorado</em> is a wonderfully old school affair produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. This heartfelt ballad could easily have been on any number of Allman Brothers albums. Check out his band live, too. They bring the goods.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3914&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="vurf9nkRWEvto8cCNbVdfj06uqCVIji4AEHYoqM_Dfo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 28 Jan 2020 13:27:04 +0000 Dusty Wright 3914 at http://culturecatch.com Something For Everyone http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3911 <span>Something For Everyone</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>January 18, 2020 - 19:19</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/255" hreflang="en">jam band</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="900" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2020/2020-01/everyone-orchestra-2020.jpg?itok=4YUMjdvQ" title="everyone-orchestra-2020.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /></article><figcaption>Photo credit: d. Bindi</figcaption></figure><p>The Everyone Orchestra</p> <p>Gramercy Theatre, NYC </p> <p>Friday, January 17, 2020</p> <p>For twenty years, Matt Butler has been "leading" a revolving cast of jamband musicians in his wonderfully engaging, utterly spontaneous collective called <a href="https://www.everyoneorchestra.com" target="_blank">The Everyone Orchestra</a>. Matt carefully curates musicians that he knows can deliver some inspiring improvisational music for an eager audience ready to dance, chant, and swing. He stands with his back to the audience at his conductor's dais, in tophat and tails, scribbling a key on his wipe board, holding it up for the musicians and audience to see, pointing to the drummer or bassist or guitarist, etc., to start the "song," to improv on a riff or beat in the "key" proffered, finding within the groove via the riffing the foundation of the song so the other musicians can fall in. From there, Butler will influence the tempo, the soloists, the volume, maybe even modulating the key to keep everyone on the ready. It is pure magic.</p> <p>Here's some footage from a previous show to give you an idea of how it goes:</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Gkyxs8yhrSk?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Friday night's jam featured pedal steel guru Robert Randolph, along with bassist Rob Mercurio (Galactic.), keyboardist AC Carter (Tauk), guitarist Chuck Garvey (moe.), drummer Vinnie Amico (moe.), flautist Domenica Fossati (Underground System Afrobeat), trumpeter Mike Maher (Snarky Puppy), and saxophonist Chris Bullock (Snarky Puppy). Right out of the gate, the music was funky and jazzy and groovy. These amazing players were eager to share their individual chops with this free-flowing collective and an all-too-eager audience. Randolph started several of the jams. One in fact featured a wicked riff that seemed nearly impossible to duplicate on the other instruments, but his peers on stage where more than up to the task. The audience ate it up. Moving and swaying and dancing and smiling. It's an evening one truly has experience to fully enjoy the proceedings. Never boring or dull. Just pure music and spontaneous creativity for all to hear and share. </p> <p>Opening the evening was the Ashville, NC instrumental jamband quartet Marsupial. With hints of progressive rock, psychedelic, and jazz music, these virtuosos provided the perfect bridge for the audience and the forthcoming headliner. I look forward to seeing them again.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3911&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="_RdXmJ71pdWhDZVHUnSrp1yuhl1V1ppUeF3bgNSo3hQ"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 19 Jan 2020 00:19:11 +0000 Dusty Wright 3911 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: "Looking For You" http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3906 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Looking For You&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>January 13, 2020 - 15:35</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/769" hreflang="en">pop rock</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/-E8mdwFNwXY?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><a href="http://www.nadasurf.com" target="_blank">Nada Surf</a> does it again. The Brooklyn-based juggernaut releases yet another killer track from their forthcoming album <em>Never Not Together</em> available February 7, 2020. The song starts out in a languid mellow vibe with a background vocal ensemble singing quietly and as the song builds the guitars start to enter the scene. Cascading and careening off of the chorus. Inspirational and majestic.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3906&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="2K4e4Uf8Ld5u6IeF8ZIH4lOf8TuH7OuT-qr9Gh6CoLs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 13 Jan 2020 20:35:21 +0000 Dusty Wright 3906 at http://culturecatch.com Christmas (Is Coming Down) http://culturecatch.com/index.php/dusty/christmas-coming-down-mp3 <span>Christmas (Is Coming Down)</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>December 24, 2019 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/339" hreflang="en">holiday music</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"><article><img alt="Thumbnail" class="img-responsive" height="600" src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-06/christmas_cover.jpg?itok=c5k_L0Z1" title="christmas_cover.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="600" /></article><figcaption>Cover image: Shiloh Jenz</figcaption></figure><p>Here's my holiday single, <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/christmas-is-coming-down-single/id405368311?uo=4&amp;at=11l4R8" target="_blank">"Christmas (is Coming Down),"</a> featuring Kenny <span data-scayt_word="Margolis" data-scaytid="1">Margolis</span> (Cracker), Dan Levine (They Might Be Giants), David Ogilvy, Ms. Laura Fay Lewis, and artwork by <a href="https://vimeo.com/wormintruder" target="_blank">Shiloh <span data-scayt_word="Jenz" data-scaytid="2">Jenz</span></a>.</p> <p>This pop rock ditty, and all of my music, can be purchased and/or streamed on <a href="http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dustywright3" target="_blank">CD Baby</a>, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-Is-Coming-Down/dp/B004DAT4MS/ref=dm_att_trk8" target="_blank">Amazon</a>, <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/dusty-wright/id75369250?uo=4&amp;at=11l4R8" target="_blank">iTunes</a>, <a href="https://open.spotify.com/album/7vfSF0RPG0sGrCzMHgcJvq" target="_blank">Spotify</a>, <a href="https://youtu.be/HS9KjP1q7nc" target="_blank">YouTube</a>, and other digital music outlets.</p> <p>Happy Christmas! </p> <!--break--></div> <section> </section> Tue, 24 Dec 2019 15:00:00 +0000 Dusty Wright 1620 at http://culturecatch.com Best New Music from 2019 http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3901 <span>Best New Music from 2019</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>December 9, 2019 - 17:28</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/857" hreflang="en">best of 2019</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/9KgNaRQ_J-c?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>It's that time of year again... to share my Spotify music playlist and album picks for 2019. Always a joy to share what I loved from the previous year. The video above for the single "This Land" was my co-favorite single of the year. Thank you, Gary Clark Jr. and Tanya Tucker for releasing two epic tracks. But there's plenty of young bands, new bands, and veteran artists rounding out my list. Feast on it. Dive in and swim around. These songs are good for your constitution. And your heart.  And your soul.</p> <p><iframe allow="encrypted-media" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="380" src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/playlist/2ZfOEUWZfJKjHkJfLU9x0U" width="300"></iframe></p> <p>This year I decided to pick just ten of my favorite albums. I've added videos to some of my favorite songs from those albums, too.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/CfizQsGWOxI?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Brittany Howard: <em>Jamie</em> (ATO)</strong></p> <p>From the spotlight of the retro roots-rock stylings of <a href="https://consequenceofsound.net/artist/alabama-shakes/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Alabama Shakes</a> that scored with their massive international hit "Hold On," frontwoman Brittany Howard steps out magnificently on her solo debut. And what an album. Top to bottom. Dedicated to her sister Jamie who died from a rare cancer when she was 13. Much to confront and unpack. Pushing boundaries and textures and tones, more sophisticated, but keeping it together with fantastic tunes, vocal phrasing, and smart lyrics. This is the sound of modern yet retro R&amp;B/Soul and Americana filtered through modern production flourishes. Check out the mid-tempo single featuring actor Terry Crews above. And  then listen to the guitar and vocal ballad "Short and Sweet" where she channels the ghost of Billie Howard wrapped around a tune that one could hear Bill Withers or Curtis Mayfield singing way back when. Simply stunning. Or the rap meets aggro-blues "13th Century Metal" collaboration with jazz keyboardist Robert Glasper where she chants "We are all sisters!" layering the dense tune with drum rhythms and pronouncements and a wicked organ loop. Solange's masterfully sonic palette comes to mind. 11 songs in 35 minutes. Well-worth every second.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/YEFLR2JnMd0?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Andrew Bird: <em>My Finest Work Yet</em> (Loma Vista)</strong></p> <p>Andrew Bird is smart. His music is smart. But he's funny, too. And did I mention that he's clever? And cheeky, too. Why else would name is an album <em>My Finest Work Yet</em>. And while the LA-based singer/songwriter/violinist/whistler's new album may be another feather in his silly cap it isn't really all that silly; it is mostly a memorable, melodic, and well-played and produced affair and thus worthy of my year's end list. </p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wrxW5PCIp5I?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Wilco: <em>Ode To Joy</em> (dBpm)</strong></p> <p>It's easy to dismiss, or miss out on, Jeff Tweedy and his perfect rock band Wilco. He's always releasing fantastic music. And that's not easy.  "Love Is Everywhere (Beware)" is one of my playlist staples. Comforting, like a favorite pair of blue jeans or that old cashmere sweater, it envelops the listen. And with Jeff's secret weapon guitarist Nels Cline, well, his guitar flourishes always add a sonic color that most bands would give their eye teeth for. Sometimes simple music is not so simple to execute. But Wilco were born to serve that edict.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LrSX_OcpeJg?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Lana Del Ray: <em>Norman Fucking Rockwell! </em>(UMG/Polydor)</strong></p> <p>Her sixth and best album. Hands down. The opening track lays it all out for the listener. This is an artist who has matured in her songwriting. It may not be your cup of tea as this ballad-heavy, piano-driven confessional effort pulls no punches. Dealing with life and love as a grown up doesn't always translate to song for many artists, but this is sophisticated music. This is an artist at the top of her game. Moreover, I haven't heard an audacious opening stanza of lyrics since Patti Smith once sang: "Jesus died for somebody's sins, but not mine" before ripping into her punked-up cover of "Gloria." But on the album's title song, Lana laments:</p> <blockquote> <p>"Godamn, man child / You fucked me so good that I almost said, 'I love you'."</p> </blockquote> <p>And on "Fuck It, I Love You" she laments that even moving to California doesn't guarantee happiness. No fun in the sun when it's all a state of mind. Perfect Sunday morning music. </p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Za26VEYgz24?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Morrissey: <em>California Son</em> (BMG)</strong></p> <p>An album of cover tunes, twelve of them. But what a cool selection of tunes. And with <a href=" https://morrisseyofficial.com/" target="_blank">"Moz"</a> delivering some stunning vocals and his band's fantastic arrangements, it's a must-listen collection of some of his most beloved songs. Like the video above of the Dionne Warwick classic "Loneliness Remembers What Happiness Forgets" or the Laura Nyro-penned/Fifth Dimension soulful hit "Wedding Bell Blues"or the obscure glam rocker Jobriath's stunning album opener "Morning Starship." By the way, I would encourage one to hear it on vinyl. </p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0xsQd3VwUrc?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Virginiana Miller: <em>The Unreal McCoy</em> (Santeria Records)</strong></p> <p>Italian Americana. With hints of The G0-Betweens. Formed in 1990, these dynamic Italian rockers released their 7th album back in April. It's also their first in English. Frontman/singer-songwriter <a href="https://jame5cook.blogspot.com/2014/01/il-capitano-cook-incontra-i-virginiana.html" target="_blank">Simone Lenzi</a> is a true Renaissance man. He's also a novelist, screenwriter, translator, and actor. In 2012 his first novel <em>La Generazione (Generation)</em> was adapted into a screenplay and the resulting film, <em>Tutti i santi giorni (Every Blessed Day)</em>, directed by Paolo Virzì, was released the same year. Lenzi worked on the film as a screenwriter, and his band Virginiana Miller wrote the title song for the film, which won the  David di Donatello (the Italian equivalent of an Oscar) for Best Original Song in a Film in 2013. Regardless of Simone's impressive resume, this new album is fantastic. </p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RXt3TQJJF30?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Jerome Hadey: <em>JHADEY </em>(Villa Lena Recordings)</strong></p> <p>This is a fantastic chill out album even though it's only 38 minutes long. Released by the Strausborg-born, Tuscan-based DJ, composer, and cultural curator Jerome Handy. For the 38-year old it's his debut. Though he's worn numerous hats in the music biz, including a stint as Wu-Tang Clan's manager, Hadey has struck a real groove on this long player. Like New Order meets a hypnotic film score. It comes as no surprise that he studied under uber film scorer Hans Zimmer. Or that his son's godfather RZA guests on two of my favorite tracks -- "Tomorrow" and "Like Children in Candy Stores." Operating out of Villa Lena, his Tuscan-villa that he runs with his wife Lena must offer the perfect environment to compose.  </p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EJa5FvCaBJc?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Elbow: Giants of all Sizes (UMG/Polydor)</strong></p> <p>Elbow are just too good. This UK quintet do not release mediocre content. <em>The Seldom Seen Kid Live at Abbey Road</em><em> </em>remains one for the ages, one of the best live albums ever released. This new effort certainly continues their trend of excellence. The mid-tempo ballad "Empires" could be the theme song for MAGA/Brexit hardliners alike, Guy crooning.</p> <p>"Baby, Empires crumble all the time"</p> <p>As is expected this is a true album listening experience to fully appreciate the artistry. </p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/WVEd0YUx7X8?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Tanya Tucker: <em>While I'm Livin'</em> (UMG/Fantasy)</strong></p> <p>Country as it should be. Heartfelt, no bullshit Nashville-cookiecutter crap. A mature woman singing her heart out. The confessional ballad "Bring My Flowers Now" -- co-written by Tucker with Brandi Carlile and Carlile's bandmates, twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth -- is a song for the ages. Just Tanya's raw vocals and piano. And the piano, acoustic guitar, and cello ballad "The House That Built Me" -- written by Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin and covered by Miranda Lambert in 2010 -- is just as impactful. The album and "Flowers" single have rightfully been nominated for Grammy and multiple country music awards. The entire effort was perfectly produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings. It's one of those classic country albums that will stand the test of time. Even if you don't like country, you will be moved.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RSUYngnt-D0?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Tedeschi Trucks Band: <em>Signs</em> (UMG/Fantasy)</strong></p> <p>If you've never seen TTB in concert you're missing one of the best touring jam/rock/R&amp;B bands on the planet. Think Delaney &amp; Bonnie meets Mad Dogs &amp; Englishmen with one of the best guitarists in the world. They never disappoint. And that goes for their recorded output too. <em>Signs</em> is their fourth studio album. And it delivers. Eleven fantastic tunes -- soulful ballads, new jam band classics, horn-fueled R&amp;B ditties --  basically something for every music fan.</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/_cPcjBdTHYg?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Rob Baird: <em>After All </em>(Hard Luck Records)</strong></p> <p>If Steve Earle wrote and recorded a "break up" album, this could be it. Austin-based Americana singer/songwriter Dan Baird said in his press release: "Probably the only girl I have really loved in my adult life thus far and this is how we got this record." It sure is. You can hear his pouring out of all ten tracks. Heartfelt. Heartbreaking. His pensive reflection and ultimate acceptance of love's journey with the album's debut single  "I Tried" is one of the best songs of the decade. Released in January of 2019, it may have been lost in the deluge of albums this past year, but it's a must-own.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3901&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="G-rqc7NqbNgx3D54aVoq626iiNjJkpW9rSyeu20POU4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 09 Dec 2019 22:28:13 +0000 Dusty Wright 3901 at http://culturecatch.com Prog Me Two Times! http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3899 <span>Prog Me Two Times!</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/ian-alterman" lang="" about="/index.php/users/ian-alterman" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ian Alterman</a></span> <span>December 6, 2019 - 21:02</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/629" hreflang="en">prog rock</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D_5kc3tleEY?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>In the category of "better late than never," here, finally, is the follow-up to my original article on Culture Catch from 2007. In that article, I noted that "as punishment for the insane level of angst this is causing me, I have blackmailed Dusty: if he wants me to do this, he has to accept <i>two</i> lists: one of 'classic' prog, and one of 'neo-prog,' since the latter is a major subset all to itself." I added (a bit too hopefully it seems) that "the latter list will follow in a few weeks." I don't know if 624 can be considered "a few," but that is how many weeks it has been.</p> <p>In order to get some sense of what I am about to offer, it would help (a lot) to read the <a href="http://culturecatch.com/music/essential-progressive-rock-listening-guide" target="_blank">introduction to my original article</a>, in which I offer a working definition of "progressive rock."</p> <p>That said, let me get to it.</p> <p>Obviously, "neo-progressive" rock is of a time period sometime after seminal or "classic" progressive rock. And while it may seem odd, there is even less agreement on when neo--prog began than on when classic prog began. Classic prog initially developed out of the early and mid-period efforts of artists such as Frank Zappa, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, and a few others in the mid-1960s. <em>Sgt. Pepper </em>is also cited (correctly, in my opinion) as being a proto-prog album, though I would argue that parts of The Beatles' <em>Revolver</em> may qualify as well. It is important to note that another "thread" of prog was being developed simultaneously by what became known as the Canterbury School in England. And there are additional threads that came out of Germany and Italy in particular. In any case, classic prog developed during the mid-to-late 1960s, and is generally agreed to have had its "absolute" beginning with King Crimson's debut album<i>, In the Court of the Crimson King.</i></p> <p>"Neo-prog" is not as easy to pin down. Classic prog reached its apotheosis in the early to mid 1970s, but died a heinous death at the hands of disco beginning in the mid-1970s and boy bands and corporately manufactured music (including many solo female arists) in the late 1970s and early 1980s. True, some of the classic prog bands were still out there, putting out albums (some of them superb and highly important and influential) and playing concerts (some among the highest-grossing concerts of all time). And at least two "new" prog bands arose during this period, Canada's Rush (who were highly influential in at least one or two subgenres of neo-prog), and, to a somewhat lesser degree, Kansas. As well, bands such as Pallas, Twelfth Night, Solstice, Quasar and Pendragon had begun putting out what would later come to be considered the beginnings of neo-prog.  But neo-prog is usually said to have begun in earnest in 1983 with the near-simultaneous release of Marillion's <i>Script for a Jester's Tear </i>and IQ's <i>Tales From the Lush Attic</i>. These were quickly followed by a wealth of new  progressive, or "neo-prog" bands, including Arena, Spock's Beard, Flower Kings, Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree, Echolyn, and Transatlantic, as well as a wealth of non-English and non-American bands, such as PFM and Deus ex Machina (Italy), Anglagard (Sweden), Ark (Norway), Magma and Gong (France), and Tangerine Dream and Can (Germany), among many, many others.</p> <p>One interesting fact about neo-prog is that a great many of the bands were influenced specifically by Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes, The Moody Blues and Gentle Giant (in that order). Even more interesting is that the "sound" that many of the Genesis-influenced bands adopted came from  two specific albums, <i>Trick of the Tail</i> and, especially, <i>Wind &amp; Wuthering. </i>Not even my truly brilliant colleagues at prograrchives.com can figure out why that is. (Although it is true that the "sound" Genesis achieves on <i>Wind &amp; Wuthering</i> is extraordinary.)</p> <p>One issue with choosing an "absolute" list for neo-prog, as opposed to classic prog, is the sheer number of subcategories of the genre.  In choosing my list, I have kept to the same philosophy as I did in my classic prog list: "Imagine yourself -- a progressive rock aficionado -- on that hypothetical desert island to which you can only take a given number of albums (usually around a dozen). Now imagine that you are going to share that island with someone who has a keen interest in, but little real knowledge of, neo-progressive rock music, and you are looking to choose the dozen or so absolutely essential albums that will not only serve to give this person a fairly broad perspective of neo-prog. but will not become tedious after a few hundred listenings: i.e, the cream of the genre." That last part is critical.  So that was my goal.</p> <p>Finally, as before, I have derived my list by choosing what I believe to be the dozen or so most “essential” neo-prog bands, and choosing what I believe to be their most important or representative works.  This time, however, the albums are listed in alphabetical order by artist. So, off we go: the dozen neo-prog “Desert Island Discs” -- some of the absolutely essential neo-progressive rock albums. And even more so than last time, I expect to have lots of CDs by unchosen bands and albums thrown violently at my head. But that's okay, I am at peace with my choices, and will enjoy them whether you do or not.</p> <p><b>I. Neo-Prog (1983-?)</b></p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/otdxVuSFRYk?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>The Church <em>Priest=Aura </em>(1992)</strong> </p> <p>:Although The Chruch had been putting out albums since 1981, and their 1983 album <i>Séance</i> had definite elements of neo-prog, it was not until this, their seventh album, that they entered the realm of neo-prog -- with a vengeance. With bassist-songwriter Steve Kilbey's amazing lyrics and chord progressions, and a new highly atmospheric sound that simply envelopes the listener, The Church would go on to become a driving force in neo-prog from this point on. (2<sup>nd</sup> choice: <i>Forget Yourself</i>, 2003)</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/jSpfFSWU1TM?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Deus ex Machina: <em>Equilibrismo da Insofferenza</em> (1998)</strong></p> <p>I simply had to include at least one of the non-English, non-American neo-prog bands. And it doesn't get much more non-English-speaking than an Italian singer almost screaming lyrics in Latin. But don't be fooled. This quintet is among the most musically and technically accomplished groups you are ever likely to hear (their drummer, Claudio Trotta, may well be among the best drummers in the world), and their writing is as ultra-progressive as anything ever written. This is complicated, sophisticated stuff, and their catalogue is well worth delving into. (2<sup>nd</sup> choice: <i>Cinque</i>, 2002)</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bktMpOrFofo?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Dream Theater: <em>Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From a Memory</em> (1999)</strong></p> <p>I never thought I would like "metal" music in any form. Yet Dream Theater, almost unarguably the leader in the subgenre of metal neo-prog, is something different: a truly "musical" metal band. Even guitarist John Petrucci's speed metal guitar is more melodic than anything I have ever heard in the genre. And Mike Portnoy (now sadly gone from the group) is definitely the most melodic speed metal drummer ever. This album is not simply a brilliant concept album, but is included in another list I hope to present, the greatest concept albums of all time. It ranks up there with Pink Floyd's <i>Dark Side of the Moon</i> and <i>The Wall</i>, Jethro Tull's <i>Thick as a Brick</i>, Genesis' <i>The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway</i>, and Marillion's <i>Brave </i>(see entry below). (2<sup>nd</sup> choice: <i>Systematic Chaos</i>, 2007)</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Cyx1r1f7V7k?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>IQ: <em>Dark Matter</em> (2004)</strong></p> <p>As noted in my introduction, IQ was one of the progenitors of neo-prog. So this was among my two most difficult choices by far. Every album beginning with <i>Seventh House</i> (2000) is worthy of inclusion. I chose <i>Dark Matter</i> because I think it respectably represents what IQ was and is about. A somewhat "darker" view, and a "heavier" sound, occasionally even approaching "metal." They remain one of my three favorite currently active progressive bands.  And Peter Nicholls is my favorite neo-prog vocalist. (2<sup>nd</sup> choice: <i>The Road of Bones</i>, 2014)</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/D_5kc3tleEY?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p> </p> <p><strong>Marillion: <em>Misplaced Childhood</em> (1985)</strong></p> <p>I am giving myself two picks here (both of them difficult, for the same reason as my pick for IQ), since Marillion has had two very separate lives. The first one included their original lead singer and songwriter, Fish. Of the four albums he recorded with them, this is the one that I believe does him the most justice as a songwriter, lyricist, and singer. It is a quasi-concept album, and shows off Marillion's early style of Genesis influence, filtered through their own prog sensibilities. (2<sup>nd</sup> choice: <em>Clutching at Straws</em>, 1987)</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ycNDhICNwf0?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Marillion: <em>Brave</em> (1994)</strong></p> <p>Marillion's second life began with the departure of Fish and the arrival of singer-songwriter Steve Hogarth (simply referred to as "h"). And it took just three albums for him to come up with not only Marillion's best mid-period album, but one of the greatest concept albums ever written. Taking off on the true-life news story about a girl found wandering on an English bridge, who did not know who she was or where she came from, and otherwise refused to speak on her own behalf, Hogarth wrote a back story that is simply one of the most spine-tingling and sometimes breath-taking quasi-musicals you will ever hear. The album is filled with lyrical, musical and sonic brilliance. (2<sup>nd</sup> choice: <i>Marbles</i>, 2004)</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RKsBl_HMKTY?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Mars Volta: <em>Amputecture</em> (2006) </strong></p> <p>When Mars Volta released their first album, <i>De-Loused in the Crematorium</i> (2003), the response from critics and prog fans alike was, one either loves it or hates it, there is no in between.  It was among the most unexpected and (to many) unintelligible neo-prog debuts ever. But for those who "got it," it signaled the entry of a formidable new progressive band, and sound. Their approach had more in common with King Crimson than with Genesis, and their sonics were among the most dissonant and innovative in quite some time. Led by singer-songwriter Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist-songwriter-producer Omar Alfredo Rodriguez-Lopez, the band took an unapologetically uber-progressive approach to their music, which shows in both the often schizoid lyrical and songwriting style, and the extremely technical virtuosity required of every player who recorded with them, not least the frighteningly brilliant guitarist John Frusciante. (2<sup>nd</sup> choice: <em>Octahedron</em>, 2009)</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cQhqsczPm1M?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Neal Morse: <em>Sola Scriptura</em><i> </i>(2007)</strong></p> <p>Neal Morse is the busiest progressive rock artist out there. In addition to his own output, he was a founding member of Spock's Beard (see below), a founding member of Transatlantic (see below), and has recorded with his own band (The Neal Morse Band) and with Flying Colors. Both Transatlantic and Flying Colors are "super groups" of some of the top currently active progressive rock artists. Morse is a Christian minister, and his solo output is what could be classified as Christian progressive rock.  However, it is completely approachable by anyone. Among those albums, this is the most interesting and exciting. Morse is uncompromising in his approach to progressive writing, and his solo work is among the best prog out there today. (2<sup>nd</sup> choice: <i>Momentum</i>, 2012)</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2G5hHEuG65I?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Pendragon: <em>The Masquerade Overture</em> (1996)</strong></p> <p>As noted, Pendragon is among the earliest of the neo-prog bands. Their 1985 album, <i>The Jewel</i>, is considered almost as seminal as the debut albums of Marillion and IQ. However, although some of their other albums were also critical in building their reputation, it was <i>The Masquerade Overture</i> that cemented their standing as a standard-bearer of neo-prog. A concept album, many progressive rock fans consider this among the best neo-prog albums of all time. Given the range of musical motifs and emotions the album covers, it is difficult to argue with that assessment. (2<sup>nd</sup> choice<i>: The Window of Life</i>, 1993)</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GMEwM3YHiME?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Porcupine Tree: <em>Deadwing</em> (2005)</strong>.</p> <p>Steven Wilson may be the second busiest progressive rock artist after Neal Morse. In addition to founding Porcupine Tree, which, like The Church, has become a standard-bearer for neo-prog, Wilson is also the founder of Blackfield and Opeth, and somehow also finds time to produce and/or remix albums by many other artists, most notably King Crimson. And although Wilson had put Porcupine Tree through a number of style iterations, from its early experimental albums to its heavier, even quasi-metal style, <i>Deadwing</i> is the album that probably did the most to bring them to the masses.  It is uncompromising in its strength and heavy atmospheric rock style, and every song is a gem. (2<sup>nd</sup> choice: <i>In Absentia,</i> 2002)</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KLiS6YbBecU?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Spock's Beard: <em>The Light</em> (1995)</strong></p> <p>Although it is true of many neo-prog bands, with Spock's Beard the best place to begin really is the beginning, with their debut album, which sets out their style perfectly. The album includes not just one but two extended conceptual compositions, "The Light," and "The Water." As noted above, the driving force in Spock's Beard for at least its first few albums was co-founder Neal Morse (see entry above). But Spock's Beard was truly a group effort, and each member contributes his own stylistic approach to the whole. (2<sup>nd</sup> choice: <i>Snow</i>, 2002)</p> <div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/zIN0I8Cvotg?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong>Transatlantic: <em>The Whirlwind</em> (2009)</strong></p> <p>Transatlantic is a neo-progressive rock "supergroup" comprised of keyboardist Neal Morse (Spock's Beard), bassist Pete Trewavas (Marillion), guitarist Roine Stolt (Flower Kings), and drummer Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater). Almost needless to say, everything they have done is great neo-prog and worth a listen. However, it was their third album that really brought everything together. Working from a Christian concept (care of minister Neal Morse, but fully endorsed by the other members, all of whom are Christians of one ilk or another), the writing on <i>Whirlwind </i>is the strongest they have done, unrelenting in its refusal to be pinned down within progressive rock. Some passages are absolutely breath-taking in their complexity and technical virtuosity.  (2<sup>nd</sup> choice: <i>SMPT:e</i>, 2000)</p> <p>And there you have it. As noted, I realize that many people will argue with my choices, and I fully admit that I have left much out. Maybe I will do follow-ups to both of my lists. Watch this space.</p> <p>And there you have it. As noted, I realize that many people will argue with my choices, and I fully admit that I have left much out. Maybe I will do follow-ups to both of my lists. Watch this space.</p> <p>Peace.</p> <p><em>Mr. Alterman is a Senior Writer and a founding moderator of Progarchives.com, the number one progressive rock website in the world. He writes there under the name Maani. (Don’t ask.) He has been a contributor to Culture Catch since 2007.</em></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3899&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="xYCzJhT5T0dOMg70RCNwJf1VYqiW15Kiu7wqFjuVo8U"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 07 Dec 2019 02:02:52 +0000 Ian Alterman 3899 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: "Something I Should Do" http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3897 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Something I Should Do&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/index.php/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>November 19, 2019 - 17:14</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/769" hreflang="en">pop rock</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C1YIf-AIH18?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>If you're a regular CC reader then you know my devotion to the band <a href="http://www.nadasurf.com" target="_blank">Nada Surf</a>. Well, the NYC-based indie pop rock quartet --  Matthew Caws, Daniel Lorca, Ira Elliot, and longtime friend and collaborator, Louie Lino -- have done it again. Another gem. Somehow they've managed to meld The Cars (synth hook) with The Byrds (harmonies) and still keep it all sounding fresh. It's rockin' and relentless -- guitars, bass, drums, and that damn snakey-synth hook that keeps weaving in and out. Even a clever "rap" break rant about the perils of social media work. And a way simple, but clever lyric video, too, animated and edited by Jonny Sanders. "Something I Should Do" is the first track from the new/ninth Nada Surf album <em>Never Not Together</em> available February 7, 2020. And their 6-month world tour starts on January 14th in Seattle. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3897&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="Bri76zPMUWb3MGiHlYfhdVPwsD5QXZe2gbcUCeSRnVI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 19 Nov 2019 22:14:40 +0000 Dusty Wright 3897 at http://culturecatch.com How Charlie Parker Taught Me to Fly http://culturecatch.com/index.php/node/3893 <span>How Charlie Parker Taught Me to Fly </span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/index.php/user/6775" lang="" about="/index.php/user/6775" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Brian Boston</a></span> <span>November 11, 2019 - 10:51</span> <div class="field field--name-field-topics field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Topics</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/music" hreflang="en">Music Review</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-tags field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <div class="field--label">Tags</div> <div class="field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="/index.php/taxonomy/term/73" hreflang="en">jazz</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><div class="video-embed-field-provider-youtube video-embed-field-responsive-video form-group"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UTORd2Y_X6U?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>It was just another Thursday on campus when my professor put on one of the Bird's popular recordings of "All the Things You Are" as an example of his work. Sitting in darkness in the back row, I found my mind racing as I was suddenly fourteen years old again, trying to make sense of that very same recording and why such a seemingly plain song was so important to jazz.</p> <p>“All the Things You Are” is often the first standard that budding jazz musicians will learn as it encompasses some of the most common chord changes -- 2-5's, chords moving in fourths diatonically, the chromatic walkdown at the end of the form, and that unmistakable intro/outro made famous by Bird himself. However, when lectured on the significance of this just a few years ago, I was left frustrated and confused with all questions and no answers.</p> <p>Coming into high school, I was a drummer -- nothing more. Three music classes a day, five days a week, and I still couldn't tell you what made up a scale or name a note on the staff. Each day brought humiliation. Ready to throw in the towel and daydreaming about transferring schools, those walks to the band room filled me with dread. While my peers worried themselves over Chemistry and History, Jazz had become the bane of my existence.</p> <p>As a teenager, Bird allegedly had a cymbal flung at him on the bandstand. If a sixteen year-old Parker could persevere, why couldn't I? Mama didn't raise no quitter after all. I relocated my lunch period to the practice rooms, and after school I spent hours hulked over the Vibraphone, fumbling over scales and arpeggios. Days turned to weeks, weeks to months, and soon I had upgraded from two mallets to four mallets, working on chord voicings and comping patterns.</p> <p>A summer of regimented practicing came and went, and I began sophomore year confident in my abilities. "All the Things You Are" showed me that I couldn't be any more wrong. I had all my scales down, minor, major, dominant, bebop, diminished, whole step, you name it. I was successful in teaching myself not only treble but bass clef in the span of a year. I could read down a lead sheet and comp the chords no problem. What I could not do, however, was improvise.</p> <p>The sole basis of <i>all jazz music </i>is improvisation. The art of instantaneous composition, of creating <b>your</b> own ideas and phrases over chord changes to tell <b>your</b> story -- that’s what makes the music. It’s what the greats from Monk to Miles were all renowned for. They say that the page is just a road map, a loosely interpretable guide to the music. Even still, staring at the first four chords (Fm7, Bbm7, Eb7, Abmaj7) I had no idea what to do with them, no understanding of what they had to do with each other. I was a dog, and my owner put the leash in my mouth and left me to walk myself.</p> <p>A new door had opened before me, a door to a previously unexplored world. Countless lessons and innumerable hours of practice later, I played my first solo at a concert (over Mingus' "Love Chant," in case you were curious). In time I was piecing together the puzzle, understanding the functions of each chord and what I could do to best serve them in my own playing. Armed with a new kind of confidence, it was hard to believe that music had seemed so grim and daunting just a few months prior. My playing evolved past any and all prior expectations I had reserved, and I began to experiment, pushing past my preconceived limits.</p> <p>The year I learned how to blow over "All the Things You Are" was the same year that I first composed music of my own. The same year that I took up playing the bass to sub in for a musical. The same year that I transcribed my first solo, Miles Davis' two choruses on "So What." The same year that I led a section for the first time, taking control of the drumline to arrange parts for the marching band’s repertoire. Although I began playing as a child, the flower of my musical career found the nutrients to blossom in high school.</p> <p>During those four years in high school, I had the privilege of meeting many great musical minds, orchestrating and performing my own written works, and learning four more instruments than I came in knowing. If I were lucky, I got to go home right after classes three or four days a month as I spent most of my time practicing in rehearsals or solo after school. I’ve played venues from the likes of Carnegie Hall to the streets of Little Italy and Chinatown. All of the things I am today, all thanks to Bird's "All the Things You Are." </p> <p><i>Mr. Boston is a Staten Island native studying Environmental Science at the Macaulay's Honors College at CCNY. </i><em>This is his first article for CultureCatch.com.</em></p> </div> <ul class="links inline list-inline"><li class="comment-add"><a href="/index.php/node/3893#comment-form" title="Share your thoughts and opinions." hreflang="en">Add new comment</a></li></ul><section> <a id="comment-1428"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="js-comment"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1573513773"></mark> <div> <h3><a href="/index.php/comment/1428#comment-1428" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Beautifully written piece ,…</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Beautifully written piece , awesome article !</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1428&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="RnxoY28Yw_xKGP6zXvXQWVUYqZ2fCPrAEyO6tQQTfbk"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/extra_small/public/default_images/avatar.png?itok=RF-fAyOX" width="50" height="50" alt="Generic Profile Avatar Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> <p>Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Chris </span> on November 11, 2019 - 17:11</p> </footer> </article> <a id="comment-1461"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" class="js-comment"> <mark class="hidden" data-comment-timestamp="1574351386"></mark> <div> <h3><a href="/index.php/comment/1461#comment-1461" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">Great article. All hail Bird.</a></h3> <div class="field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Great article. All hail Bird.</p> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=1461&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="PAalZC73loNZN0r0I5LqdbIMjJafIeKCGBvTFTl1xL8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </div> <footer> <article typeof="schema:Person" about="/user/0"> <div class="field field--name-user-picture field--type-image field--label-hidden field--item"> <a href="/user/0"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/extra_small/public/default_images/avatar.png?itok=RF-fAyOX" width="50" height="50" alt="Generic Profile Avatar Image" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </a> </div> </article> <p>Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Ben Lauter</span> on November 20, 2019 - 18:59</p> </footer> </article> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3893&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="AG08D3q5hfbTBFV5oVz2yW1CdfI9RaHpkee0aELoaO0"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 11 Nov 2019 15:51:41 +0000 Brian Boston 3893 at http://culturecatch.com