Mew is a special kind of band. One of those bands who, when someone asks you what they sound like, you can’t think of one group to compare them to—and that’s a good thing. Led by the fantastically gorgeous, angelic pipes of front man Jonas Bjerre, Mew create epicly layered soundscapes atop unpredictable time signatures that create a musical experience like nothing you’ve ever heard before.
And that’s just how they sound on record. Add in the live element that seemingly can’t be reproduced and they deliver, better yet, they astonish and dazzle. While the band has proven itself to be one of the biggest and most influential bands on the Danish indie scene—having achieved several Gold and Platinum albums as well as winning numerous awards—they have never broken wide open here in States.
Instead, they have sort of a cult following that celebrates the band’s entire catalog. It’s mind-boggling as to why a band that can create such incredibly unique, thought-provoking music can garner such a huge audience in one country with a lopsided following in another. Then again I think that Europeans are simply much more open to music that pushes the envelope, rather than worshiping conventional radio pop.
Tuesday night, the Seventh Ward hotspot best known for many epic brass band and trad jams back in the day, will be getting considerably more electric when this new band welcomes special guest Greg Thomas, the saxophonist for Parliament/ Funkadelic, to the bandstand. Sidney’s Saloon is located at 1200 St. Bernard Avenue and it’s very close to where N. Rampart Street splits and turns into St. Claude Avenue.
Full Orangutan came into being this past summer after a casual conversation between bassist Bru Bruser, best known around town for his work with Gov’t Majik, his Fela-inspired Afrobeat orchestra, and now with trombonist Corey Henry’s Tremé Funktet, and Raja Kassis, the guitarist for Antibalas and recent New Orleans transplant. Kassis also plays in Pirate’s Choice for those keeping track.
Thomas, the longtime sax man for George Clinton, is sticking around town after the P-Funk show at the House of Blues this past Saturday night. He will have his hands full as the band will also feature Rex Gregory on sax. Gregory wears numerous musical hats around town and plays with who’s who of young musicians as well as impressing the veterans with his versatility and impeccable tone.
All jokes aside, New Jersey is a pretty great place. While it has a lot to offer as a state, it also has a rich musical history of which many people remain unaware. Everyone knows Sinatra and The Boss, but there’s much more.
Tune in to Garden State Sound with Evan Toth to explore the diverse music with connections to New Jersey. You’ll hear in-depth interviews with some of Jersey’s best music makers and have the opportunity win tickets to some of the best concerts in the state.
“Today, nobody sells five million records. Even in the good (bad) old days, it was no small feat to sell five million records. Chris Barron helmed the Spin Doctors through the ’90s. Remember the ’90s? There was a lot of wonderful music around, much of it dark and gloomy. But, like after a long stretch of rain, when the sun finally breaks through, your neck muscles melt.
That’s what “Two Princes” was like for me. A melody! It was fun, a party. I—and apparently five million others—needed a break from the maudlin grunge and punk we loved so much to have a few laughs—it meant a lot.
But, let’s not spend too much time in the past—let’s talk to Chris Barron about the future as well. You’ll hear the great music he’s writing lately, and learn that the Spin Doctors are very much alive and kicking in 2015. You’ll hear about how he learned about music at the Princeton Record Exchange and how adept he is at turning weaknesses into strengths. Of course, we’ll talk about New Jersey, too!” —EZT
“I’m old enough to remember getting my first record player one Christmas when I was around five years old. It was a Mickey Mouse record player. It came in a white plastic case, kind of like a typewriter case (I’m old enough to remember those, too), and on the inside of the lid, which had a little speaker built into it, was Mickey Mouse.”
“Mickey Mouse’s arm was the arm of the record player, and the stylus protruded from the tip of his white-gloved index finger …. I’d sit cross-legged on the floor next to it, listening to my mother’s Beatles LPs over and over again, leafing through the Magical Mystery Tour booklet and pondering the significance of the lyrics.
My mother also had a sizeable collection of folk music albums—many of them on the Smithsonian Folkways label—that were a bit smaller than a standard LP and were made of really thick, heavy vinyl. I think I liked the look and feel of those as much as or more than the music itself. They had wonderfully serious titles like American Folk Songs And Ballads and Blues, Volume 1.
It’s silly, really. Like I’m banging my head against the wall. All these years I’ve spent trying to convince a dubious public that Madison, Wisconsin’s Killdozer was one of history’s greatest rock bands, utterly wasted. I’ve convinced no one and will continue to convince no one, not one single person, that Killdozer was the ultimate shit. What is so apparent to me, that Killdozer was a simultaneously hilarious and serious protest band that played pile driver rock at volumes designed to explode Ming vases, moves the record-playing public not a jot. They—sob!—just don’t care.
But I’m going to give it one more try. One more try, and then you’ll never have to hear me natter on about the genius of Killdozer ever again. But here, I’ll start you off with just a taste of Michael Gerald—vocalist, bassist, and songwriter extraordinaire—and his amazing talent. It’s a song called “New Pants and Shirt,” and it opens with Gerald shrieking, “Enter the 49 gates of uncleanliness!” and then, after some quiet bass, singing, “Enter the 49 gates of uncleanliness/Said she pushing up her skirt/I held my breath against her fetidness/As I gazed upon the swinish flirt.” You will not find lyrics so despicably hilarious anywhere, except in the work of Anal Cunt.
But Gerald didn’t limit himself to writing about the despicable. He wrote great songs about disaster movie director Irwin Allen, the writer Flannery O’Connor (“She wrote many books/Before death came upon her”), Earl Scheib the car-painting king, a dog named Knuckles who helps people, horrifying train accidents and grain elevator explosions, free love in Amsterdam, Ed Gein, a man with a ¾” drill bit lodged in his brain, you name it. And he sang them all from a Trotskyist perspective, one that I think he was at least semi-serious about. One of the most interesting things about Killdozer is trying to separate the sincerity from the satire, and I remain convinced Killdozer had every bit as much empathy for the common man as Bruce Springsteen. And they were never as smug about it.
Why Don’t Major Labels Release Rap Albums on Vinyl Anymore? “I was watching an interview with Earl Sweatshirt telling NPR’s Frannie Kelley and Ali Shaheed Muhammed that in order for him to conceive of a new album, he first imagines its cover on iTunes. The possibility of a physical release of his music wasn’t even mentioned.”
Apparently some copies of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Born To Die’ LP have Wildhoney on them: “Gordon Dufresne, founder of Deranged Records, the label that released “Sleep Through It,” confirms that this is a legit error and not an elaborate stunt. “All copies of this particular pressing of the LDR record were pressed this way,” he writes via email. “A good portion will be recalled and likely recycled but lots of copies are now circulating.”
Jaime’s Local Love: Stinkweeds Record Store, “Walking the aisles of Stinkweeds brings me back to my weekends in high school perusing the records and cassette tapes at Zia Records. In fact, Zia Records is where Stinkweeds owner Kimber Lanning got her first job.”
The new teenage must-have is … a record player and vinyl collection: “Weirdly, my lad, who makes Gadget Man look like a cave man and is so technically advanced it terrifies me, asked for a record player for his birthday – and a spare stylus.“
Teach me how to hobby: Vinyl records, “You’ve seen them before: stacked in long rows at Al’s Music, hidden in suitcases at the Fremont Vintage Mall, and shining in the windows of Urban Outfitters. On the street they’re casually tucked under someone’s arm or peeking out of a rucksack. Sitting in your parents’ attic are boxes full of them.“
20 Brilliant Vinyl Record DIY Ideas You’ll Definitely Love: “If you’re planning to drop your records…or you’ve a whole bunch sitting around gathering dust, you many want to take them out right now and turn them into any of these 20 unique DIY vinyl record ideas!“
Seems like I dig talking about the weather. Fall officially came last weekend but the heat of September 2015 continues swelling through our canyon. Tomorrow should be another 90 degree Indian summer day. Sunday night, after a yummy udon dinner in Little Tokyo, we cruised Mulholland Drive to take a peak at the lunar eclipse. It was a rare chance to have a glimpse at a “supermoon.”
Yes, I know I’m likely the last soul on the internet to write about this occurrence, but the combination of the crowds, clouds, heat, and “blood moon” was indeed special. It conjured songs in my head, and I craved the words of Jim Morrison. This motherfucker’s…
Let’s swim to the moon, uh huh/ Let’s climb through the tide/ Penetrate the evenin’ that the/ City sleeps to hide/ Let’s swim out tonight, love/ It’s our turn to try/ Parked beside the ocean/ On our moonlight drive…
You can count the number of artists who can fill a stadium on one hand, and the mighty AC/DC lead the pack. Touring in support of their latest release, the not-surprisingly great Rock or Bust, Angus Young and company brought their one of a kind rock ‘n’ roll experience to AT&T Park and was warmly greeted by a sold out crowd.
This is one of those once in a lifetime shows which is truly bigger than anything happening in rock ‘n’ roll at the moment. I would even put AC/DC above the Stones in this case as I don’t think there is any band on the planet that sounds this good and continues to deliver rock solid records even though they could certainly tour just to be touring.
Being one of the most important and influential rock bands in history isn’t an easy task, but these guys are certainly up for the challenge. From the very first note of “Rock or Bust” the capacity crowd sporting glowing devil horns lit up immediately and pledged their allegiance for those about to rock. Just walking through the crowd you could see both hard core fans and the latter absolutely losing their shit over this band. Each song played perfectly into the next as a sort of crash course in the history of hard rock—past, present, and future.
The two time Grammy Award winner is preparing to release Lalah Hathaway Live on October 30th—available on vinyl, CD, and DVD from Hathaway Entertainment with distribution by eOne Music. This album was recorded at the Troubadour in Los Angeles this past April. It’s the same stage upon which her father, Donny Hathaway, recorded his Live album in 1972.
Several surprise guests joined LaLah Hathaway in NYC—jazz legend Chick Corea, Valerie Simpson (Ashford & Simpson), Freddie Jackson, Jonathan McReynolds, and songwriter James Day.