Friday, August 18, 2017

Carl Craig - Sandstorm (Versus Version)

Carl Craig is an electronica wizard that has been putting out sounds for a long long time (debut album came  out in 1992!). His 2017 release, Versus, is pretty great. I guess him and bunch of other musicians (like a pianist and a French orchestra!) put on this fantastically well received live show and, rather than just create a live recording, they went into the studio and refined the sound for almost 10 years before releasing this. And it is well worth it. My electronica album of the year so far. This is the song Sandstorms which you can immediately tell features the orchestra, with some intense horns and some great synthesizer mixed in.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Dollyrots - I Do

Well, looks like Courtneys II could have some competition for album of the year. The Dollyrots, a duo out of LA, has a power pop/punk sound that just demands playing on repeat. On their fifth album, Whiplash Splash, this duo of singer/guitarist Kelly Ogden and bassist/sometimes drummer Luis Cabezas pounds out a great sound, keeping the pedal to the metal and not letting up for the entire album. Just love it.
I Do is the album opener and will give you a great idea of their sound:

And the ending song is my cover of the year this far. What a smashing job they do with Walking On Sunshine:

Friday, August 4, 2017

Anathema - Ghosts

I finally got my Google Music playlist finished for the June(!) 2017 AllMusic Editors' Choices. It is over 13 hours of music, with nearly 200 songs from the Alt, Rock, Pop, Country, Folk, Blues and Electronic genres. Well worth a listen!
One of my favorite tunes so far (done listening to about half the songs so far) is the song Ghost by the veteran Liverpool rockers Anathema. I guess they have changed their sound quite a bit over the past 30(!) years, from death/doom metal to the current introspective prog rock. And it is right up my alley. I immediately listened to the entire album, The Optimist and I think it will end up on my Top 10 album list. I guess it tells the tale of the unnamed protagonist from their 2001 release, A Fine Day To Exit, but each of the songs is a whole story unto itself. Ghost has Lee Douglas’ vocals hovering over a sad beat and dark piano, singing of, I think, a glimpse of the character:
Take after light
Start from the night
Tired and confused
Saw you. Saw you
Give it a listen:

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

LP - Lost On You

LP (born as Laura Pergolizzi) is a “genderfluid” singer / songwriter out of LA who prefers to be known as “they”. The title track from their fourth album is a real winner, combining heartbreak and beats, with a little ukulele over everything. I liked all three songs from my AllMusic May playlist and can’t wait to a listen to the whole album.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Ozomatli - Eres

Nearly done with my Google Play Music Editors’ Choice May 2017 playlist and I’ve enjoyed a bunch of song. This one, Eres by the LA sextet Ozomatli, really makes a hot afternoon dance. The whole album marries Mexican tunes with Jamaican rhythms and seems like it will be the perfect summer sound track.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Flashback Friday: Nick Lowe - Labour Of Lust

One of my favorite albums of all time is Nick Lowe’s 1979 masterpiece, Labour Of Lust. Every song is a touch of indie pop magic. And I used to play this for my daughters incessantly, as he writes hooks that can entertain any age. I’ll bet I can play any of these songs and my girls would be able to sing along.
We used to play Cracking Up when my youngest used to do the same:

And I just adore the quick rhythm of Switchboard Susan:

And, of course, the fantastic album opener, the New Wave classic Cruel To Be Kind:

Interestingly enough, Nick’s backing band these days (he does “slower” stuff now), Los Straitjackets, has just released an album of Nick Lowe cover instrumentals called What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Los Straightjackets?, with a languid yet powerful version of Cruel To Be Kind:

Monday, June 5, 2017

Wire - Forever & a Day

Wire is a seminal British band who just released an album celebrating their 40th year making music together - incredible! And it is actually a long lived band that I have followed for quite a while. I really enjoyed their 2015 release Wire and their 2016 release Nocturnal Koreans. My favorite cut from that album was the soft, brooding, and mysterious Forward Position:

The 2017 release is called Silver / Lead and is equally brooding and mysterious, albeit with a slightly more upbeat tone. My favorite cuts are Diamond In Cups and Forever & a Day: