Music Review http://culturecatch.com/music en Song of the Week: "Everything Is Falling Apart" http://culturecatch.com/node/3823 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Everything Is Falling Apart&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>February 20, 2019 - 13:58</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="/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="/taxonomy/term/679" hreflang="en">song of the week</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/AffiHHlAbWQ?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>That sumptuous indie rock jangle is back! All the way from Scotland, Teenage Fanclub, 30 years together, have released one of the best singles of this new year. A toe-tapin' homage to middle-age life's angst. From the album of the same name <em>Everything Is Falling Apart</em>. This epic tune features the band's new official touring line-up: original members Raymond McGinley (vocals, guitar) and Norman Blake (guitar, backing vocals), with Francis Macdonald (drums, backing vocals), David McGowan (bass, backing vocals), and Euros Childs (keys, backing vocals). The video was filmed by Donald Milne on location at Clouds Hill Recordings, Hamburg, Germany in January 2019. Get tickets for Teenage Fanclub's upcoming North American tour here: <a href="https://www.teenagefanclub.com/live/" rel="nofollow" spellcheck="false" target="_blank" title="Teenage Fanclub tickets">https://www.teenagefanclub.com/live/</a></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3823&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="IyQA-HyrXzW3QZWGBpr9mCqziHy59X7d-N2tsImQ0Bo"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Wed, 20 Feb 2019 18:58:53 +0000 Dusty Wright 3823 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: "Echoes" http://culturecatch.com/node/3820 <span>Song of the Week: &quot;Echoes&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>February 8, 2019 - 09:59</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="/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="/taxonomy/term/679" hreflang="en">song of the week</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/e8iO1kmY8A8?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Americana prog cover tune anyone? If anyone could pull it off it would be the much-beloved Mexican acoustic rock guitar duo <a href="www.rodgab.com/" target="_blank">Rodrigo y Gabriela</a>. Huge fans of Pink Floyd, "Echoes" is from their latest album entitled <i>Mettavolution </i>(ATO Records), released on April 26th. It takes up one half of their new album, much like the song did when it was originally released on Pink Floyd's <em>Meddle</em> album in 1971. But this is a much different journey, one accented by stunning acoustic guitar work, the duos interplay creating their own mesmerizing and psychedelic acoustic textures. Sit back and enjoy.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3820&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="qHvumWpnAK7pNTtDDTjW655M6VkUMVgH_Y_1j0X_NFY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Fri, 08 Feb 2019 14:59:28 +0000 Dusty Wright 3820 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: I Tried http://culturecatch.com/node/3818 <span>Song of the Week: I Tried</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>January 26, 2019 - 10:29</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="/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="/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/_cPcjBdTHYg?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Austin-based Americana singer-songwriter <a href="https://www.robbairdmusic.com/" target="_blank">Rob Baird</a> has been steadily building an audience of fans and critics since his 2010 debut. This mid-tempo ballad from his fine new album <em>After All</em> is one of ten wonderfully heartfelt moments on his fourth long player. He crafts his songs out of deeply felt experiences and he delivers them with a plaintive simplicity that will make you sit up a notice.  "Making my way out of DLA  / Runnin' with the light of the breaking day..."</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3818&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="2nrNDdDzPBDxmzDyOpJDX7PUDJ4v17LB5P4SdCmtRgM"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 26 Jan 2019 15:29:27 +0000 Dusty Wright 3818 at http://culturecatch.com Steve's Favorite Jazz of 2018 http://culturecatch.com/node/3814 <span>Steve&#039;s Favorite Jazz of 2018</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/steveholtje" lang="" about="/users/steveholtje" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve Holtje</a></span> <span>January 17, 2019 - 14:30</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="/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="/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/052G6nMA2WA?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>The first paragraph of a year-end list is traditionally supposed to be a summary pointing at trends. Sorry, I've done too many of those. You want a trend? It's harder every year to make money from music, and five times as hard (at least) to make money from jazz, yet people still keep making great jazz albums. Hooray for them! These were the best of 2018.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>[Notes: (BT) at the end of a review means it's reprinted from <i>The Big Takeover</i>, where I am the jazz editor. Also: It gets harder and harder for me to avoid conflicts of interest when reviewing jazz releases, as each year running the ESP-Disk' label (which I've done since December 2012) finds me dealing with more artists from a business angle. In 2018 ESP-Disk' released albums by Matthew Shipp and Thollem, and William Parker plays on one of them, and those three artists are on this list.]</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>NEW RELEASES</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span>1. Dave Holland: <i>Uncharted Territories</i> (Dare2)</span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>A double album by a half English (bassist Holland, tenor saxophonist Evan Parker) and half American (keyboardist Craig Taborn, drummer Ches Smith) quartet -- though Holland has lived in the U.S. for decades. He and Parker were friends and collaborators in their youth in England, however. Taborn has separately played with Parker and Holland before, and Taborn and Smith have played together in New York. All four have released albums on ECM, but this is not an ECM-style release, often much more aggressive and free than ECM's cool norm. By using not only the quartet formation but also every possible duo and trio combination, and adding electronics (by Taborn) at times, and having Smith play vibes in addition to drums, the group is able to offer a wide variety of timbres and textures, which helps make the two-hours-and-twelve-minutes length bearable in one sitting of concentrated listening. But that could seem like damning with faint praise; better to say that these four masters of improvisation make every track a fresh and new experience. It's worth noting that much of this seems at least partly composed; this is not just four guys getting together and blowing, though some of it could be entirely spontaneous, and that too adds to the variety. But in a way the most interesting aspect here is that, dropping in on the middle of the album with no idea who was playing, one would be hard pressed to recognize the players' sounds even though they are some of the most distinctive players around. They are prioritizing what the music demands in the moment over their own styles. This is one of the most selfless collaborative albums I've ever heard.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span>2. William Parker: <i>Flower in a Stained Flass Window/The Blinking of the Ear</i> (Centering)</span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>Bassist William Parker's monumental three-CD set <i>Voices Fall from the Sky</i>, a mix of previously released material and newly released tracks that all find him working with a wide range of vocalists, has gotten most of the love on year-end lists. This two-CD set, by contrast, no doubt partly because it was released in mid-November and didn't have as much time to make an impression on reviewers, has received relatively little attention, but I prefer it. The first disk is a collaboration with singer Leena Conquest, with whom Parker has worked on several notable projects; it is highly political (which may also have affected its reception) but says things that need to be said at this point in time. The band consists of veterans Dave Sewelson (alto sax) and trombonist Steve Swell plus a number of newer players: pianist Isaiah Parker, tenor saxophoist Abraham Mennen, alto saxist Nick Lyons, and drummer Kesivan Naidoo. The following disc is also, in its titles ("Meditation on Freedom"; "Without Love Everything Will Fail"; etc.) political, but from a more philosophical perspective, and singer AnnMarie Sandy has an entirely different style from Conquest; Sandy's mezzo-soprano voice, with its stentorian projection and big vibrato, sounds more operatic. But the focus on the second disc is more instrumental, with Swell, saxophonist/trumpeter Daniel Carter, pianist Eri Yamamoto, and drummer Leonid Galaganov, getting to stretch out more. The music on both disc, though adventurous as always, is more tonal and composed than what some listeners may expect from Parker, but of course he has always embraced a wide range of styles and, as he has released more albums this decade, that range naturally gets displayed more, and to excellent effect here.</span></span></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/uWI7WHDCJdM?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span>3. Marilyn Crispell/Tanya Kalmanovitch/Richard Teitelbaum: <i>Dream Libretto</i> (Leo)</span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>The booklet includes an excerpt from a Robert Gibbons poem; the last line is "If only silence could climb to a whisper..." Well, here's the embodiment of that (at least, at times), moving far from Crispell's early style. We hear two suites: <i>Memoria/For Pessa Malka</i>, five movements for piano (Crispell), violin (Kalmanovitch), and electronics (Teitelbaum), and <i>The River</i>, seven violin/piano improvisations. <em>Memoria </em>could be composed, and integrates the electronics (including processing of Crispell's piano sound) very smoothly. Is it jazz? Perhaps not, but that's the tradition Crispell comes out of, so here it is. It is absolutely beautiful in a reserved but occasionally unsettling way. <i>The River</i> is purely acoustic, indeed revels in the natural timbres of the instruments, especially the violin's granular sound. Some parts here are busier, less silence (notably "Dark Reflection), but still full of intimacy. This is an absolutely striking release, starkly standing out from everything else I heard in 2018.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span>4. Thollem/Clouser/Chase: <i>Dub Narcotic Session vol. II</i> (Personal Archives)</span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>This trio consists of the prolific Thollem<b> </b>(Fender Rhodes), arguably best known in the jazz world, but also memberof an Italian agit-punk band; guitarist Todd Clouser of A Love Electric, who's also played with John Medeski; and drummer Brian Chase of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, also a presence on the NYC "experimental" scene. What they do here on the first two lengthy (12:47 and 1#:37) tracks sounds like it's probably free improvisation that's expressed through shadowy grooves that suggest mid-'70s Miles Davis minus horns and heads. The longest (14:36) and last track jumps, suite-like, through distinct sections that might have been pre-composed, at least to a degree. Both styles heard here are mentally stimulating and viscerally satisfying. (BT)</span></span></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/l-rtl8KrkUs?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span>5. Andrew Cyrille: <i>Lebroba</i> (ECM)</span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>This all-star session of the drummer/leader, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, and guitarist Bill Frisell is intimate and sui generis. Some tracks might be utterly spontaneous, some might have composed heads, but it's impossible to be sure, and that's a good thing -- these guys are such good listeners that anything is possible; this time they gave us a sparsely textured album, with Smith often using a mute, but it could just have easily been a screaming blowout (don't forget that Frisell used to be in John Zorn's Naked City), though only TGD occasionally hints at that side of these players. Smith gets as many textures out of a trumpet as anybody since the late Bill Dixon, and Frisell seems determined to match him at that, while  Cyrille is, as always, the master of the perfectly placed subtle accent and less-is-more drumming.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span>6. Yuko Fujiyama: <i>Night Wave</i> (innova)</span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>Fujiyama has been on the NYC free jazz scene since the '90s, but has a regrettably slim discography, so this is a welcome release. Joining her after the opening solo track are violinist Jennifer Choi, drummer Susie Ibarra (who played with Fujiyama on the sole album, in 1997, of the One World Ensemble), and cornetist/flugelhornist. Graham Haynes. Haynes, a great player in more structured settings, seems a tad uncomfortable in such a free context, and sounds generically avant-garde here, whereas Choi and Ibarra fit perfectly into Fujiyama's shifting moods while deploying their personal styles. It's still an excellent album, though, its textures and density varying drastically from Zen spareness ("Beyond the Sound") to frenzied action-energy ("Up Tempo"), showing how deserving of more recognition Fujiyama is. (BT)</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span>7. Akira Sakata/Simon Nabotov/Takashi Seo/Darren Moore: <i>Not Seeing Is a Flower</i> (Leo)</span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>After being underrecorded (based on discogs.com) as a leader/co-leader in the '80s (6) and '90s (2), and those mostly on Japanese labels, Japanese saxophonist/clarinetist Sakata had better luck in the '00s (9) and has been stunningly prolific in the '10s (22!). A free player of unceasing inspiration, he was captured here on a short Japanese tour in an international quartet with Japanese bassist Seo, Russian-born/Germany-based pianist Nabatov, and Australian drummer Moore. They masterfully vary textures, sliding from density to space within a blink yet doing so quite organically. Nabatov, a great "inside" player with a number of recordings on Leo, plays with as much unfettered imagination here as I have heard him display, while Seo and Moore are a most stimulating rhythm section. The first five tracks are a continuous improvisation that was their first set on 11/27/17; the boisterous final track is drawn from the second set.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span><span>8. Tim Berne/Matt Mitchell: <i>Angel Dusk</i> (Screwgun)</span></span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span>Mitchell has been the pianist in Berne's band Snakeoil since 2011. This duo is a different twist on their collaboration. One might expect it to be more intimate, but though that's true a few times here, mostly it's even more intense and dense. This is some 3D-chess-level composition/improvisation where thickly intertwining lines are layered into complex alternate worlds of sound. Or, if that sounds too cosmic, Rubik's Cubes of sound. And for an occasional change of pace, delicate piano harmonies underpin a lovely sax melody, because these guys are nothing if not versatile.</span></span></span></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/YEOdodub7FE?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span><span>9. Andreas Varady: <i>The Quest</i> (Resonance)</span></span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span>Resonance gets lots of well-deserved attention for its reissues of big names from the past. I'm not going to say that's easy, because nothing is easy in the music biz nowadays. But Wes Montgomery and Eric Dolphy have built-in audiences thanks to their status as legends, and garnering accolades for releasing music by legends is easiER than getting attention for young, up-and-coming artists such as Slovakian guitarist Andreas Varady. So kudos to George Klabin and Zev Feldman of Resonance for taking a chance on him. And, really, on his band, because this is a very democratic-sounding group. Of course, Andreas Varady is the frontman for good reason; he's a whiz, compared in the booklet notes to George Benson by executive producer Quincy Jones (I'd say a cross between Montgomery, Metheny, and Frisell). But just as much sonic space is granted to saxophonist Radovan Tariska and pianist Benito Gonzalez, who are also superb, and bassist Bandi Varady (Andreas's father) and powerhouse drummer Adrian Varady (Andreas's 15(!)-year-old brother) excel as well. The harmonic vocabulary is peak '60s, including moments of exploratory daring, but there are rhythmic and production touches that modernize the sound with hip-hop and electronica flavors. And Andreas is a highly talented composer as well; all the tracks here are originals, and compelling ones as well.</span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span><span>10. Various Artists: <i>Winged Serpents: Six Encomiums for Cecil Taylor</i> (Tzadik)</span></span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span>Cecil Taylor's passing last April at age 89 took from us an icon of avant-jazz piano. It has always been the case that pianists compared to him rarely actually sounded like him. Of course there's early Marilyn Crispell, and arguably Borah Bergman, but other than them (and they retained their own originality and evolved away from Taylor), who really adopted many aspects of his style? He was more a shining exemplar of creating a sound of one's own outside of both the mainstream and academia, and this tribute with one track each by pianists Craig Taborn, Sylvie Courvoisier, Brian Marsella, Kris Davis, Aruan Ortiz, and Anthony Coleman reflects that. There are no Taylor-penned compositions here, and aside from, to an extent, Brian Marsella's burly "Minor Magus," you wouldn't mistake them for Taylor's style-- making this tribute quite apt if you ask me. And I'm thankful to this album for introducing me to rising talent Aruan Ortiz.</span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span><span>11. Salim Washington: <i>Dogon Revisited</i> (Passin' Thru)</span></span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span>Purchased on the enthusiastic recommendation of Bruce Gallanter at Downtown Music Gallery. Yes, Julius Hemphill's 1972 classic "Dogon AD" is played, but so is Thelonious Monk's "Four in One." The rest of the program is originals fitting into the territory between those two signposts, with Washington (alto sax, oboe, flute, kalimba) reminding me of Yusef Lateef. Most of the album is a trio, with the superb rhythm section of bassist Hill Greene and star drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Melanie Dyer joins on viola on the boppish "Uh Oh!" and "Dogon AD" and recites Amiri Baraka's lyrics on "New Invasion of Africa."</span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span>12. Idris Ackamoor &amp; the Pyramids: <i>An Angel Fell</i> (Strut)</span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>The comeback of this '70s spiritual jazz outfit continues. At this point it's basically saxophonist Ackamoor and whoever he ropes in; only violinist Sandra Poindexter remains from 2016's acclaimed <i>We Be All Africans</i>. But the mix of mellow Afro-pop grooves, occasional Sun Ra-esque lyrics, and jazzy solos is relatively unchanged and still entrancing. Ackamoor's sax playing is fervid in the Pharoah Sanders style without being outright atonal. The California-based band went to London to record, produced by Heliocentrics drummer Malcolm Catto, who fully grasps this vibe. Though the aesthetic is retro, the references can be contemporary, as on the poignant "Soliloquy for Michael Brown" (the man murdered in cold blood by Ferguson, Missouri police). (BT)</span></span></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/motDeoTLSm0?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span>13. Ivo Perelman/Matthew Shipp: <i>Oneness</i> (Leo)</span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>These guys record together so much that one thinks they might be overdoing it, especially when this is a three-disc, 142-minute album of duos, with only four of the thirty-three tracks topping six minutes. Yet they have developed such a rapport (naturally, working together so much -- this is their thirtieth album together this decade) that this never wears out its welcome and is continually fresh, exploratory, and unpredictable.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span>14. Todd Marcus: <i>On These Streets: A Baltimore Story</i> (Sticker Street)</span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Marcus plays bass clarinet -- not as a "double," but as his main axe. Working in a modern straight-ahead jazz style with some top-notch collaborators (guitarist Paul Bollenbeck, pianist George Colligan, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, bassist Kris Funk, drummer Eric Kennedy), Marcus crafts a cool set of excellent compositions full of fetching melodies. But <i>On These Streets: A Baltimore Story</i> is more than just nice music;  the Egyptian-American Marcus (who also runs an anti-poverty non-profit) portrays his neighborhood in Baltimore -- the neighborhood wherein resided the late <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-mysterious-death-of-freddie-gray/391119/" target="_blank">Freddie Gray</a></span></span><span><span> -- by including spoken-word tracks that explore a variety of Baltimore's cultural and sociopolitical facets.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><strong><span><span>15. Kamasi Washington: <i>Heaven</i> (Young Turks)</span></span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span>Yes, Washington's 2018 release is titled <i>Heaven and Earth</i> and consists of four slabs of vinyl, the first two under the <i>Earth</i> rubric and the last two dubbed <i>Heaven</i>, altogether sixteen tracks totaling two hours and twenty-four minutes. It wasn't going to make my list because the <i>Earth</i> half is inconsistent and often cheesy. <i>Heaven</i>, though, is everything Washington does well: late '60s/early '70s modal jazz infused with hip-hop rhythms, lush arrangements featuring choir (the debt to Alice Coltrane is unabashed), and plenty of hip solos -- and nothing seems extraneous. Perhaps the symbolism of <i>Earth</i> being flawed and <i>Heaven</i> being perfect is intentional, but even if that's true, it doesn't make me enjoy listening to <i>Earth</i>. <i>Heaven</i>, though, I will be listening to (and deejaying, because its rhythms work for that) for years to come. It's true that one cannot buy a physical release of just the <i>Heaven</i> half, but it can be streamed that way if you choose. And yes, it's arrogant for me to presume to improve upon Washington's plan.</span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>HISTORICAL RELEASES</span></span></span></span></p> <p><strong><span><span><span><span>1. David S. Ware Trio: <i>The Balance</i> (AUM Fidelity)</span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The third and final album of this group with the leader on tenor sax and saxello, William Parker on bass, and Warren Smith on drums consists of the band's three-movement set at the 2010 Vision Festival, plus four outtakes from their 2009 studio session for <i>Onecept</i>. Freely improvised, this is master musicians operating at the highest level of spontaneous creation. Part of the second section of <i>Vision Suite</i> sounds like Ware paying tribute to his mentor Sonny Rollins; the other two sections are Fire Music at its freest; in total, it's forty minutes of nearly continuous soloing, a real <i>tour de force</i>. The studio tracks have more finely detailed sound and shorter, more tautly focused improvisations with Ware also playing saxello, including a great duo section on "Bodhisattva" as Parker bows. The loss of Ware is great, and makes every archival release such as this more precious; thanks to AUM Fidelity for its dedicated service to his memory.</span></span></span></span></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/q7X2X7LDFok?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong><span><span><span><span>2. John Coltrane: <i>Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album</i> (Impulse!)</span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span><span>This consists entirely of previously unreleased studio Coltrane with his classic quartet in 1963. Do I really need to go into more detail? </span></span></span></span></p> <p><strong><span><span><span><span>3. Eric Dolphy: <i>Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions</i> (Resonance)</span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span><span>This is mono versions of the albums <i>Iron Man</i> and <i>Conversations</i> plus an abundance of alternate takes. So, yes, if you've already got those albums, you're thinking, do I really need this? Well, yeah, because there's twice as much stuff here plus, how can you resist mono? And the chance to hear alternate takes with greats Sonny Simmons, Prince Lasha, Clifford Jordan, Woody Shaw, Garvin Bushell, Bobby Hutcherson, Richard Davis (who is especially featured here thanks to two takes each of the duos "Alone Together" and "Muses for Richard Davis"), Eddie Kahn, J.C. Moses, and Charles Moffett? And the packaging is up to Resonance's legendary standards, with extensive interviews with those who played with Dolphy and learned from Dolphy, not least flutist/composer James Newton, to whom Dolphy friend and composer Hale Smith had given these tapes that Dolphy had left with him before going to Europe in 1964, from where, tragically, Dolphy never returned. Now, there is a bit of a catch, which is that the vinyl was released on Record Store Day and sold out, and the CD version doesn't come out until January 25, but hey, that's not so far away. You can already pre-order it. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><strong><span><span><span><span>4. Alan Braufman: <i>Valley of Search</i> (Valley of Search)</span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span><span>I can't quite say this came out of nowhere, because serious jazzheads knew about it and its original label, India Navigation, has cult status, but damn, this is a deep dive into the '70s loft scene. Though, contrary to what some have written, alto saxophonist/flutist Braufman did make more records after this 1975 release -- but under the name Alan Michael. The guy on this album who went on to the most subsequent fame also changed his name, from Gene Ashton to Cooper-Moore; his keyboard work here is fascinating for those familiar with his current work. Bassist Cecil McBee is also jazz-famous; drummer David Lee much less so, though he acquits himself well here. Before you shell out $60 for the latest Kamasi Washington vinyl, pick up this album re-released by the artist and his nephew; it's redolent of the loft vibe that inspires Washington.</span></span></span></span></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/IecX90BouU0?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p><strong><span><span><span><span>5. Charles Mingus: <i>Jazz in Detroit/Strata Concert Gallery/46 Selden</i> (BBE)</span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span><span>A rare configuration of Mingus's band, with tenorman John Stubblefield and pianist Don Pullen the big attractions, captured in 1973. Sound (recorded by WDET public radio) is good, piano's not too out of tune to enjoy Pullen's inimitable playing, Roy Brooks (complete with a turn on musical saw!)  is an surprisingly stimulating alternative to Mingus's longtime drummer Dannie Richmond, and trumpeter Joe Gardner is pretty good if not quite at the level of the other players (but few were!). The repertoire is not entirely classic, which is refreshing, and most of it gets extensive readings. I know vinyl is cool, and lord knows I'm happy to have it that way, but go for the CD box or at least stream it, because there's so much more in those less restricted formats. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><strong><span><span><span><span>6. Wes Montgomery: <em>In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording</em> (Resonance)</span></span></span></span></strong></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Recorded for French state radio on March 27, 1965 at Theatre des Champs-Elysees, this captures the famous guitarist at the peak of his powers with a superb band, joined for 33 minutes by tenor sax great Johnny Griffin, then living in France because jazz was more appreciated there than in the U.S. Resonance has done its usual excellent job in presentation, not only in remastering that makes this clearer than on old bootlegs, but also with booklet notes by multiple observers, including producer Zev Feldman's interviews with Harold Mabern, the pianist whose contributions on the recording make this much more than just a Wes album, and with<b> </b>Russell Malone, who delivers the perspective of a guitarist. (BT)</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p>Here's a sampling of what's available on Spotify:</p> <p><iframe allow="encrypted-media" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="380" src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/223g72srw42hus6l5ygqn3vxq/playlist/6uX9GeHypPRmcQEQb0NRea" width="300"></iframe></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3814&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="0iOmSqOLoMCb1s3B6pD5Si1fSA-ZJk73E8VWgVDFQ-s"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 17 Jan 2019 19:30:17 +0000 Steve Holtje 3814 at http://culturecatch.com Video of the Week: "This Land" http://culturecatch.com/node/3812 <span>Video of the Week: &quot;This Land&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>January 10, 2019 - 18:03</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="/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="/taxonomy/term/357" hreflang="en">guitarist</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/679" hreflang="en">song of the week</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>Blues artist/guitarist Gary Clark Jr. is angry and this tune sets things straight. This is a tweak on an original refrain from a chorus from an original protest singer from a bygone era, rewritten from an African-American's vantage. And wait until the epilogue hits you square in the face. This is an extremely moving song and video about racism in American. Epically executed by Gary and his director Savanah Leaf. </p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3812&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="iDayz7wPxXedzlLwJGdPdWf9HiHNTR6wZ0EjbG38FOI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 10 Jan 2019 23:03:58 +0000 Dusty Wright 3812 at http://culturecatch.com Augmenting Bowie's Reality http://culturecatch.com/node/3808 <span>Augmenting Bowie&#039;s Reality</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/webmaster" lang="" about="/users/webmaster" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Webmaster</a></span> <span>January 3, 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="/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="/taxonomy/term/380" hreflang="en">AR</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/381" hreflang="en">VR</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/474" hreflang="en">Bowie</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2019/2019-01/bowie-as-is-app.jpg?itok=2CaJqPzK" width="1000" height="1285" alt="Thumbnail" title="bowie-as-is-app.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>Even in death, Bowie continues to embrace the future.</p> <blockquote> <p>"<strong><em>This brings the amazing </em>David Bowie is<em> exhibition to a wider audience. It's great that his fans get to experience it. It was a privilege to be involved.</em></strong>" - <strong>Gary Oldman</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>The <em>David Bowie is</em> AR (augmented reality)/VR (virtual reality) mobile app is the first release resulting from a collaboration between the David Bowie Archive and Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., who hosted the exhibition in Tokyo in 2017. The New York-based studio Planeta is designing and developing the AR/VR interpretations of the original museum experience at the V&amp;A. The AR adaptation mirrors the physical exhibition through a sequence of audio-visual spaces through which the works and artifacts of Bowie's life can be explored. 3D renderings preserve and present his costumes and treasured objects such as musical scores, storyboards, handwritten lyrics, and even diary entries--all in 360-degree detail, enabling intimate "behind the glass" access rivalling that of the visitors to the original exhibit, and enhanced by an immersive audio experience featuring Bowie’s music and narration, best experienced with headphones.</p> <p><em>David Bowie is </em>record-breaking exhibition drew over 2 million visitors across 12 cities -- the most visited touring exhibition in the history of the V&amp;A -- and has been granted digital immortality. <em>David Bowie is</em>, curated by Victoria Broackes and Geoffrey Marsh, set the standard for others to follow. The visual richness of this show and visionary nature of Bowie and his music made this a must for AR/VR reality.</p> <p>Award-winning actor Gary Oldman provided the narration for this new mobile app. (Check him out as a priest in the audacious Bowie video for the single "<a href="https://youtu.be/7wL9NUZRZ4I" target="_blank">The Next Day</a>." He and David were close friends.) </p> <p>The app which debuts on Jan. 8th -- which would have been David's 72nd birthday -- will cost $7.99. More info here: <a href="https://nastylittleman.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=13daec772857eef90d4e2c19a&amp;id=ff0ba6ef71&amp;e=f553d89571" target="_blank">https://davidbowieisreal.com/</a></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3808&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="d9ssolGrE4HFHIFdaAqqPOYTVxwH6xVX7t_tjIDKp1w"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 03 Jan 2019 15:00:00 +0000 Webmaster 3808 at http://culturecatch.com Steve's Favorite New Rock/Pop/R&B Albums of 2018 http://culturecatch.com/node/3805 <span>Steve&#039;s Favorite New Rock/Pop/R&amp;B Albums of 2018</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/steveholtje" lang="" about="/users/steveholtje" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Steve Holtje</a></span> <span>December 31, 2018 - 11:39</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="/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="/taxonomy/term/651" hreflang="en">Kamaal Williams</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/482" hreflang="en">Prince</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/652" hreflang="en">Garcia Peoples</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/653" hreflang="en">Fucked Up</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/654" hreflang="en">Harriet Tubman</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/655" hreflang="en">David Crosby</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/656" hreflang="en">Arkhtinn</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/657" hreflang="en">Glass Traps</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/658" hreflang="en">Ebony Bones</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/659" hreflang="en">Ruby Karinto</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/660" hreflang="en">Aorlhac</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/661" hreflang="en">Ezra Feiberg</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/662" hreflang="en">Buffalo Tom</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/663" hreflang="en">Michelle Malone</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/Lp5iJGOHOlY?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Okay, maybe there's no pop this time. My dozen picks plus three additional categories are definitely a Cardi B-free zone. But only five artists here could be characterized as old-timers; there IS plenty of good new music from good new groups that aren't constructed in Sweden via algorithms. [Note: (BT) at the end of a paragraph means the text was was first published in the print edition of <em>The Big Takeover</em>.]</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">1. Harriet Tubman: <i>The Terror End of Beauty</i> (Sunnyside)</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">I could list this on my jazz best-of-2018 with just as much justification; this is an instrumental record that draws from many musical strands. This supergroup of drummer J.T. Lewis, bassist Melvin Gibbs, and guitarist Brandon Ross came together in the '90s, made two albums, then went silent for a decade. When it reappeared in 2011, its next two releases included guest musicians, but here it's just the core trio, and there's something about the focus on these three giants that's special. Gibbs (known in the mainstream for membership in the Rollins band, but so much more active than that) works with lots of effects and frequently seems like a co-lead instrument; the power ad timbres of his lines sometimes puts me in mind of King Crimson, another rock band with a penchant for improvisation beyond the rock norm, but just as often sparks comparisons to Jamaaladeen Tacuma's work in Ornette Coleman's Prime Time. Ross, also a masterful user of effects, still has an instantly recognizable set of tones that ranges from gauzy atmosphere to coruscating leads, and both Ross and Gibbs also have a compelling sense of melody. Lewis spins out some of the most amazing polyrhythms you'll hear, but can also dig into a groove. The multiple talents of these men cohere in a dazzling display of tasteful virtuosity and blinding power.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">2. David Crosby: <i>Here If You Listen</i> (BMG)</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">This is not nostalgia. This is a vital and innovative songwriter going through the most productive half a decade of his storied 56-year career. He's also been touring a lot; here he works, very collaboratively, with the core of his tour band: Becca Stevens, Michelle Willis, and Michael League (Snarky Puppy). With no drums, it's an intimate album, and though some political points are made, it's also highly personal, especially "Your Own Ride," where the 77-year-old Crosby ponders his looming mortality. Forget about the stereotype, listen to the music. </span></span></span></span></p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">3. Glass Traps: s/t (s/r)</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">This Cleveland quintet featuring singer Sarah Paul (ex-Terrorcake) and guitarist Chuck<b> </b>Cieslik (Obnox) reminds me of Pretty Girls Make Graves (the 2000s Seattle post-punk band, not the Smiths song) minus the keyboards. It's the headlong momentum of the gritty riffs and pounding rhythms, the incredible tightness of the arrangements and playing, and the frontwomen's voices, though Paul's immediately gripping tone is tougher and lower in range. The songs are never rote or generic; a couple listens and they stick in the mind. There's an intriguing sense of mystery to the lyrics here; I usually have no idea what's going on, yet am riveted by their aura. Striking album art by Kristina Kuhn is added incentive to buy the vinyl LP. (BT)</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">4. Ebony Bones!: <i>Nephillim</i> (1984)</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Ebony Thomas got her stage name from Damned drummer Rat Scabies; this is the British actress/musician's third full-length album. It deals with racism in the U.K., but the sentiments transfer all too easily to the current climate in the U.S. I have no idea what musical genre this fits into, but it's the most haunting album of the year, mixing minimal martial rhythms with brooding orchestration (the Beijing Philharmonic Orchestra is frequently heard here). A children's choir delivers a chilling rendition of Junior Murvin's "Police and Thieves," while infamous British racist Enoch Powell's notorious "Rivers of Blood" speech is sampled on "No Black in the Union Jack."</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">5. Ruby Karinto: s/t (HoZac)</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">This Victoria, BC (Canada) quartet's debut LP is a No Wave/electronica/psych hybrid that actually lives up to the oft-used but rarely accurate phrase "sounds like nothing else." (That said, this 25-minute record includes a cover of Section 25's "Always Now," though it is rather different from the original.) Synthesizer bleeps and whooshes and dissonant keyboard chords abound, but simple drumbeats and angular bass lines keep things danceable in a <i>Sprockets</i> kind of way. Japanese vocalist Ai recites, bleets, expostulates, etc. over it all, sometimes in English, other times in Japanese. I'm glad it's on vinyl because I'm going to deejay the heck out of this whenever the crowd starts looking too comfortable. (BT)</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">6. Aorlhac: <i>L'esprit des vents</i> (Les Acteurs de l'Ombre Productions)</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Why do I like French black metal so much more than other black metal? Perhaps because it is sonically cleaner; perhaps it carries less cultural baggage; perhaps it has better riffs. Anyway, there is a whole Occitan concept behind the series of albums of which this is the third, but I don't understand a damn word (and since it's got black metal vocals, it's not a language barrier), though when the bagpipe bit kicks in on "Infame Saurimonde," that is a universal language. Mostly I enjoy the classic combination of power drums and tensile guitar riffs.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">7. Ezra Feinberg: <i>Pentimento and Others</i> (Stimulus Progression)</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">This co-founder of Citay goes ambient instrumental on his first solo album, with lots of guitar patterns (possibly loops at times) and electronic treatments but also tastefully deployed Fender Rhodes keyboard by himself and fellow Citay co-founder/Fucking Champs member Tim Green. Keenly balancing repetition and development, soothing and stimulating, the seven tracks here cross several subgenres. The label above is for the cassette tape; Discogs shows there's also vinyl on Related States.</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">8. Buffalo Tom: <i>Quiet and Peace</i> (Schoolkids)</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">It may not be fair to call this a comeback, given that this band has stayed active (with the same three members) and never made a bad album. Yet by virtue of the group's best sound this decade, thanks to production by David Minehan and mixing by the legendary John Agnello, frequently the effect is a triumphant return to the full-bodied tone of their glory days -- and it is their first album since 2011. Though the basics of their arranging and songwriting largely unchanged, there are a few new developments -- female harmony vocals  -- including from main lead singer Tom Janovitz's daughter -- and there is a cover song (!), an effective reimagining of Simon &amp; Garfunkel's "The Only Living Boy in New York" (which is where Lucy Janovitz can be heard). So yes, it's a comeback, and a successful and welcome one. (BT)</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">9. Michelle Malone: <i>Slings &amp; Arrow</i>s (SBS)</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">This veteran Americana rocker wields her slide guitar like a deadly weapon and her gritty voice with expressive agility (and she also plays harmonica, mandolin, and acoustic guitar). It's not easy to work in this style and not sound like some roadhouse clich</span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">é</span></span><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">, but after 15 studio albums she still sounds only like herself, rawer and realer than ever (I was going to compare "Sugar on My Tongue" to the Rolling Stones because the riff recalls "Beast of Burden," but the Stones haven't written anything this good in decades). Her words are not fancy, but neither are they hackneyed, least of all on "Love Yourself," which is more a plea for tolerance and unity than the new-agey advice the title suggests. If you have any affinity for this style, you have to hear this. (BT)</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">10. Jesse Ainslie: <i>Only in the Dark</i> (Epifo)</span></span></span></span></p> <p style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:12pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif"><span style="font-size:11.0pt"><span style="font-family:&quot;Calibri&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;">The Castanets/Phosphorescent/Virgin Forest guitarist decamped to California and finally made his solo debut album, which shows him to also be an excellent songwriter with a riveting voice (the latter being something Brooklynites witnessed, pre-move, in sadly undocumented local ensemble Friends Band). The gruffness of his singing fits perfectly with the '70s-centric production and arranging, making for a classic sound that never falters its timeless appeal. In both music and lyrics, he's operating on a less-is-more aesthetic; the words in particular have subtle depths in their plainspoken way, with simple sentiments made poignant via his aching delivery and his profound knowledge of folk and rock tradition (which can be heard more directly on his three-song 2018 EP <i>City of Sorrow</i>, which includes covers of "Rambling Man" and "Black Is the Color").</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">11. Kamaal Williams: <i>The Return</i> (Black Focus)</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">After the split of Yussef Kamaal, Williams continues in much the same vein (imagine a British Flying Lotus), mixing modern beats (which I'm too unhip to know the exact genre names of) with funk bass and jazz-influenced improvisation. The results are simultaneously danceable and mood-creating instrumentals that suggest what Herbie Hancock might be doing now if he were still interested in moving forward.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">12. Arkhtinn:<i> VI</i> (Fallen Empire)</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">The metal/ambient intersection has been a thing for over a decade, but rarely is it as explicitly presented as it is on this cassette/download release: one side (a single, though definitely sectional, 20:47 track) of unbridled black metal presented as a wall of sound in which the vocals function as another instrument amid the forcebeats and power strums, and the flip side (also one track, 21:39) of much quieter and beatless yet equally intense ambience.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">arkhtinn.bandcamp.com/album/vi</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><b>Best Live Band</b>: Garcia Peoples</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Their release this year, <i>Cosmic Cash </i>(Beyond Beyond Is Beyond), might be here if I'd done a longer list, but pales beside their exuberant concert performances. Their name makes them seem like a Grateful Dead tribute, but there are other '70s influences in their sound, not least the Allman Brothers Band. Nor are their reference points all that obvious; their ripping set at Union Pool in December included an Agitation Free cover.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><b>Most Insanely Ambitious Album</b></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Fucked Up:<i> Dose Your Dreams</i> (Merge)</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">I think we can stop referring to Fucked Up as "hardcore" at this point, no matter how much it sounds like Damian Abraham's throat is trying to commit suicide. This is a psychedelic concept album/rock opera that ropes in saxophone, string arrangements, a variety of rock styles, and a passel of guest vocalists offering a break from Abraham's raspy screaming -- though often, listening to the smoother voices, I immediately miss the rough texture of his. I can't summarize this album's plotline, but it seems like somebody's been reading a lot of Philip K. Dick. And yet, what carries this album, and will make me listen to it again, are the intricate yet epic sonic constructions that overshadow the story with their sheer unpredictability but compelling musicality.</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif"><b>Best Archival Release</b></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Prince:<i> Piano &amp; a Microphone 1983</i> (NPG/Warner Bros.)</span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><span style="font-size:11pt"><span style="font-family:Calibri,sans-serif">Yeah it's just demos, and not even band demos. But the man immediately sets up a groove on "17 Days" with just his piano and his tapping foot that's as funky as anything that got released this year. This is the master in his workshop, and we are privileged to be able to eavesdrop. Plus songs we never before got to hear him sing (unless your bootleg collection is really good), not least Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You, albeit not all the way through as he free-associates through a medley.</span></span></p> <p><iframe allow="encrypted-media" allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="380" src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/223g72srw42hus6l5ygqn3vxq/playlist/73nRdgZPr6xw51CD3ygPRF" width="300"></iframe></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt">My jazz list will follow tomorrow. </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"> </p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing" style="margin:0in 0in 0.0001pt"><em>Mr. Holtje is a Brooklyn-based composer</em><em> who also runs the ESP-Disk' record label. His song cycle setting five of James </em><em>Joyce's </em>Pomes Penyeach <a href="http://soundcloud.com/steve-holtje/sets/5-pomes-penyeach/" tabindex="-1" target="_blank"><em>can be heard</em> <em>here</em>.</a></p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3805&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="gkvy99-19-mzoaxbMQ5iUBA3Qp3MmWuVDTX-n6C_NnE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 31 Dec 2018 16:39:38 +0000 Steve Holtje 3805 at http://culturecatch.com Song of the Week: Change of Pace http://culturecatch.com/node/3800 <span>Song of the Week: Change of Pace</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>December 6, 2018 - 17:53</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="/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="/taxonomy/term/580" hreflang="en">folk rock</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/636" hreflang="en">indie rock</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/94" hreflang="en">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/Q5cVWCChpPo?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p>Check it out! <a href="http://www.andyfrasco.com/" target="_blank">Andy Frasco</a> &amp; the U.N. have just released yet another catchy, badass tune to uplift and inspire. It's Friday and time to get on your good foot. Hailing from LA, Frasco (lead vocals, piano), Andee Avila (drums), Shawn Eckels (Guitar), Ernie Chang (Saxophone), and Chris Lorentz (Bass) know how to throw it down. From his soon-to-be released third studio album <em>Change of Pace</em> (2/22/19), check out the studio version <a href="https://soundcloud.com/andyfrasco/change-of-pace-2" target="_blank">here</a>.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3800&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="mYW0BtVeVp99xNhYcKOBMSgpvjwtPAm158kO7J9MDH4"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 06 Dec 2018 22:53:04 +0000 Dusty Wright 3800 at http://culturecatch.com Vinyl of the Week: Stay Awake http://culturecatch.com/node/3796 <span>Vinyl of the Week: Stay Awake</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>November 27, 2018 - 13:36</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="/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="/taxonomy/term/93" hreflang="en">album review</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="/taxonomy/term/92" hreflang="en">album of the week</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><article class="embedded-entity"><img src="/sites/default/files/styles/width_1200/public/2018/2018-11/stay-awake-album.jpg?itok=CMTbfiOa" width="1016" height="1002" alt="Thumbnail" title="stay-awake-album.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></article><p>I hail producer Hal Wilner, not just for his short-lived but innovative  music variety television show <em>Sunday Night</em>, or his Sirius radio show with Lou Reed, but his excellent tribute records including the timeless classic Disney tribute <em>Stay Awake </em>(A&amp;M/UMe). Originally released in 1988, this remastered Record Store Day Black Friday album on double vinyl (only 3500 copies) sounds simply amazing. And it features a marvelously eclectic mix of artists like Michael Stipe, Bill Frisell, Harry Nilsson, Aaron Neville, NRBQ, Sun Ra Arkestra, Suzanne Vega to name but a few. One can't help but applaud a producer who would willingly take on the music of the Disney catalog and then set those beloved songs on fire by allowing the musicians complete poetic license. </p> <p>The sonic depth and quality of these iconic tunes jump off the album. And with so many extraordinary tracks to choose from one must listen to it in its entirety to experience the aural majesty. Some of my favorites include Bonnie Raitt and Was (Not Was)'s soulfully bluesy reading of the ballad "Baby Mine" from <em>Dumbo</em>, James Taylor's poignant and moving cover of "Second Star To The Right" from <em>Peter Pan, </em>Tom Waits' clanging and  banging "Heigh Ho (The Dwarves Marching Song)" from <em>Snow White</em><em>, </em>and my very favorite -- Los Lobos' spirited Americana roots-rock take on "I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song)" that was originally done by Louis Prima for <em>Jungle Book</em>.</p> <p>Treat yourself to an early holiday gift and <a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07JJ5WH56/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B07JJ5WH56&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=cultcatc-20&amp;linkId=9df4c54d7bb352570fef4b2896ca09dd" target="_blank">buy this album</a> now!</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3796&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="COAc01DGAMhi1af4-8fX9pDBxjuC5B_dKMjoRk7LHn8"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 27 Nov 2018 18:36:54 +0000 Dusty Wright 3796 at http://culturecatch.com Video of the Week: "Alexa" http://culturecatch.com/node/3793 <span>Video of the Week: &quot;Alexa&quot;</span> <span><a title="View user profile." href="/users/dusty-wright" lang="" about="/users/dusty-wright" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Dusty Wright</a></span> <span>November 15, 2018 - 08:57</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="/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="/taxonomy/term/127" hreflang="en">music video</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/tYQyKFud64w?autoplay=0&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> <p align="left">British folk/indie singer-songwriter <strong>BEANS ON TOAST</strong> new single and video for "Alexa" is required viewing for all tech savvy, tech-challenged, and music lovers alike. This clever animated video -- using discarded Amazon boxes -- is a cautionary tale that examines the future of AI, voice-activated Internet controls, and Amazon's continued world domination. The video begins with Beans saying: <em>"And this one's got an intro that goes 'ALEXA play Beans on Toast... ALEXA' so nobody can listen to it on their Amazon Echo." </em>This is a funny but thought-provoking tune warning us about our <em>Brave New World</em>.</p> </div> <section> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=3793&amp;2=comment_node_story&amp;3=comment_node_story" token="SLpblTKUrSI5pOGX7VFJHsTX-gixRBmWoZbbr0qGh10"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 15 Nov 2018 13:57:32 +0000 Dusty Wright 3793 at http://culturecatch.com