Friday, March 31, 2017

Dia Frampton - Lights

I find it hard to believe that Dia Frampton doesn’t have anything to do with rock immortal Peter Frampton, but I haven’t uncovered anything yet. Be that as it may, this is some really good stuff. A nice ethereal voice, with sorrowful piano followup up by some booming drums. I loved all 3 songs on my Feb 2017 AllMusic Editors’ Choice playlist (you should listen - 130 songs almost 9 hours!) and so I can’t wait to listen to the rest of her album Bruises. This is her second album, after a 5 year hiatus full of disappointment and heartbreak, which she channels into her music.
This is Lights :

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness - Brooklyn You're Killing Me

Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness is, in fact, just Andrew McMahon. He’s been around for awhile, first with Something Corporate and then doing some solo projects, like Jack’s Mannequin. His newest release is Zombies On Broadway under the moniker Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness, the second release under this name. It is music I generally shy away from, the “melodic pop” kind of sound, but this song has a nice extra “high grade dance pop” feel to it, as the AMG review says.
Here’s Brooklyn You’re Killing Me :

And how about a bonus Andrew McMahon song, this time with the ever lovely Lindsey Stirling? This is Something Wild from the movie Pete's Dragon:

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Acceptance - Colliding By Design

 Acceptance home page

It may be pretty straight forward indie rock, but sometimes that’s all you need. Seattle quartet Acceptance has probably set some kind of record with 10 years gone since their debut Phantoms and this, their sophomore effort Colliding By Design but I sure like what I have been hearing so far. A good beat, some solid guitar work, and soaring harmonies make for some great summertime sounds, if summer (or even just spring) would ever show up here in the US Northeast! I can see myself cruising a winding 2 lane road in the mountains, windows down, sunroof open and these songs cranked.
Here’s the title song:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Flashback Friday : Jeff Beck

Yeah, I know it isn’t Friday but I didn’t get to do one last Friday and I saw a post from Jeff Beck’s Facebook page that Jeff Beck’s only Top 10 album was released in March of 1975, so I had to toss this one in while I remembered. That would be the rock/jazz fusion of Blow By Blow and it is one of the few disks I have on SACD (yup, they even still make those - Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell recently came out in that incredibly high fidelity version). And, to be honest, it’s really just for one song - the absolutely amazing cover of Stevie Wonder's Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers. I could sit and listen to this classic jam for hours on replay.

Monday, March 20, 2017

2016 Favorite Albums: Congrats by Holy Fuck

One of my favorite albums of 2010 was Toronto-based electro-rock band Holy Fuck’s Latin. Its driving, hard charging electronica really perked things up and I was glad to see they didn’t lose a step with 2016’s Congrats. I really love the intensity of all the songs and you can’t go wrong with any of them.
They play an excellent selection of tunes from Congrats on their KEXP appearance. A particular favorite is the second song, Tom Tom but they are all great. Here’s the playlist:
  • Chimes Broken
  • Tom Tom
  • Neon Dad
  • Xed Eyes
  • Caught Up

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sacred Paws - Nothing

I’ve always been a fan of pop African-sounding polyrhythms, going all the way back to Juluka (you’ll probably being hearing more from them in a flashback Friday soon). Sacred Paws, a Glasgow/London duo, nails it with the song Nothing from their January 2017 release Strike A Match :

Monday, March 13, 2017

2016 Favorite Albums: Opus by Eric Prydz

I am a pretty big electronica fan, although much of it can sound awfully same-y sometimes. So I really appreciate an artist that can put on an album of electronica that really shows a wide variety of sounds without getting too repetitive. And Eric Prydz, a Swedish DJ who had released a lot of singles under various other names, hit a home run with his debut double CD Opus. The 19 tracks show an astonishing range of music, from pulsing, lo-fi to some really nearly disco-ish songs with infectious lyrics. I love nearly every track on this, so much so I even bough the CD ( gasp ).
The opener, Liam, gives a hint of what’s to come - a slow burn leading up to an beat that’s hard to forget:

One of my favorite songs from 2016 was Moody Mondays, with vocals from The Cut:

And then there is the epic title track, which he revealed to the world in 2015. It starts off quiet and then fairly explodes with energy and drive:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Delbert Mclinton - Don't Do It

One of my favorite genres of music beside alternative / indie rock is the blues. Sometimes it can be derivative I guess, but man a good blues beat just gets me right here. And Delbert Mclinton has been doing it for nearly his entire 76 years and he is still going strong. The opener for Prick Of The Litter is typical yet powerful. Don’t Do It tells the story of leaving, with hints of darkness. Crank this one!

Monday, March 6, 2017

2016 Favorite Albums: Wild Pendulum by Trashcan Sinatras

One of my Top Ten albums from 2016 was the Trashcan Sinatras’ Wild Pendulum. This Scottish indie pop guitar band has been around for a while - their debut was 1990’s Cake. This is their first album in seven years and it has all kinds of great tunes, from the foot tapping Ain’t That Something :

to the sweet crooning of Best Days On Earth :

Toss in the epic Autumn :

and you have an album that has everything I’m looking for - great tunes, of course, showing consistency and a connected style but with enough different sounds to keep it interesting from start to finish. I still need to check out some of their earlier stuff, especially the aforementioned Cake.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Flashback Friday - Goanna

In 1982, the Australian folk rock band Goanna came out with Spirit of Place, which immediately transformed me into a raging Australia fanatic, and I couldn’t wait to get there. I had already loved plenty of their bands, including Flash And The Pan, but combine this with Men At Work’s seminal Business As Usual, I just couldn’t get enough of music from Oz.
The big hit from this album is, of course, Solid Rock :

But there are plenty of great tunes on the album, including the opener, Stand Yr Ground :

It would be another 15 years before we made it to Australia but we spent an unforgettable month Down Under:

One of my prize purchases while I was there was Goanna’s 1985 release Oceania, which I’m not sure was ever released here in the States. And I like it even more from start to finish than Spirit Of Place. One of the standout tracks is Common Ground :

But one of my favorite songs of all time is the wistful dreamy song about places to go, places already been to and places missing. It’s called Every Passing Day :
thoughts come back to haunt me
haunt me all night long
if ever there was nowhere
I’ll sing that song
Jinny I think I’ve seen
the other side of paradise
I know this sounds indulgent
but we go there once or twice

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Bucket List - SXSW

High up on my bucket list is to spend a week at the SXSW Music Festival. I just can’t imagine anything more fun than just going from concert to concert for 7 to 10 days, just overdosing on the sounds.
If I went this year, I would be sure to check out !!!, Agnes Obel, Allison Pierce, Big Thief, and Boogarins - and that’s just through the letter B! I probably couldn’t last the whole festival but I would give it the old college try.
NPR Music annually does a collection of 100 songs from 100 bands that will be there. It’s a pretty amazing selection of music and this year they have made it downloadable even. You can listen to it on their site, play the Spotify playlist, or just get the MP3s themselves. Think I know what I’ll be listening to for the next couple days!
You can find it here: The Austin 100