Archive for jazz

THE CONTACTS

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 5, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

While there isn’t a recent album out there, The Contacts have some way cool music floating around cyberspace.

the contacts32003’s Black & White Days is an insanely good body of work. Despite being recorded in a small home studio, the album rocks. At times I hear shades of Pink Floyd, The Kinks, and Zappa. There are jazz, pop, punk, and rock vibes throughout. The songs are melodious pokes at life, uniquely written and arranged, incorporating wonderfully played organ, some way cool bass lines, and interesting vocal tracks. The harmonies, borrowed from 1960s Brit Pop, are as perfect as one can get in a basement. The changes are great, the hooks standout, and the vocals are wonderfully raw, as they deliver some bizarre thoughts. Pop-Rock, kissed by Punk. A wonderful sound. A wonderful time. Notable tracks include ‘Rain, Rain, Rain‘, ‘Road Rage‘, and ‘Have A Biscuit‘.

 

 

 

the contactsThe band’s Soundcloud page has a truckload of other tracks as well. There is the 1980’s electro pop style ‘No Way Out‘, that reminds me of Love & Rockets. ‘If You Only Knew‘, offers a dynamite melody, electric piano, and way cool organ. You need to check this out. Head over to Soundcloud, and check them out on facebook. I have heard through the British grapevine, that there are thoughts of heading into a studio and working on another album. Could we really be that lucky? I hope so. The Contacts are unique, and interesting. The music is simply a good time!

 

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LORRAINE SEGATO-Invincible Decency

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2015 by TheManicBlogger

I started listening to Lorraine Segato way back in the days of Mama Quilla ll, a Toronto rock band playing the local club scene. I kept listening when she formed The Parachute Club. It was wonderfully exciting for me to have an opportunity to listen to her latest solo project, ‘Invincible Decency’ prior to its January 2015 release.

ls3The album opens with “Only Human“, which gives us a great melody, a wonderful riff, and some way cool organ. “We Give The Night Away“, has wonderful harmonies, and what sounds like electronica. I like the reggae feel of “Hole In The Wall“, with its great vocal track, sweet harmonies, and a great bridge. There is a way cool offbeat groove to “All Went Wrong (At The Right Time)“, with a cool, bluesy vocal track, and organ. The changes are dynamite, and I know I heard a tambourine! I had to look up the translation to “Tengo Le Tasche Vuote“, which apparently means keep empty pockets. The song is sung in Italian, which I find molto bello, and I like the electric piano. The wonderful beat delivers a great Mediterranean groove. The social commentary of “Invincible Decency“, ls4wonderfully Lorraine Segato, has beautiful Latin sensibilities.”Who You Are (Be What You Be)” delivers an incredibly powerful message over a great funk feel. “I’m Coming Back” offers more great organ, a dynamite melody, and sweetly simple guitar. “Times Like This“, one of the most beautifully touching songs I have ever heard, pays tribute to Billy Bryans, Segato’s friend and partner, who passed away. It delivers an emotional kick in the stomach, with a wonderfully sweet melody. The harmonies and guitar effects are incredibly cool. My favorite track on the album, “Living On The Outside“, offers way cool saxophone, some slick jazz piano, and a dynamite melody. The piano solo rocks, and the placing of reggae vocals over the jazz instrumentation,well, its brilliantly done. The track delivers a way cool jazz groove for the beatnik in all of us!

ls1Well, I didn’t really know what to expect from Invincible Decency, considering its Lorraine’s first release since 1998. I had asked her about the time between albums, and she said that she only makes a record when she feels she has something to say. Perhaps that’s what makes this release so enjoyable. I like what she has to say. I enjoy how she says it. Its been 16 years, but Lorraine Segato hasn’t lost the passion. Or the groove. And this album is all about the groove.

Check it out for yourself: http://www.lorrainesegato.com/

 

 

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Psych’d Out In The U.K.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

 

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The British Empire has always managed to export groundbreaking music that transcends not only international borders, but cultural barriers as well. After tracking the wonderful wave of British Pop for the past year, I have wandered into an amazing array of psychedelica that is guaranteed to blow your mind! Some of my favorite mind altering music makers are shared below.

 

 

l&lLois & The Love

This London band delivers a hybrid of rock, ska, and psych. There are great vocals, and way cool harmonies drifting across a driving rhythm section. The songs are well constructed, and wonderfully melodic, and there are way cool keyboards. Performing what they refer to as dirty, psychedelic sleaze, I really like this band. Check out “Eye Of The Storm“.   https://www.facebook.com/loisandthelove

 

 

bbBlonde Bunny

Best described as psych-funk, this band delivers an interesting take on the genre. The songs are uniquely wonderful, with heavy bass, nice guitar effects, great changes, and wild transitions between musical themes. The vocals are originally divine, and divinely original. A wonderful blend of psych and jazz influences. I am particularly fond of “How Do You Cope, Hope?”.  https://www.facebook.com/blondebunnyband

 

 

Purple Heart Parade

php2Hailing from Manchester, this shoegaze/psych/fuzz rock band professes Cosmic Love. There are great guitar effects, and I really dig the dreamy, distant vocals. The songs are beautifully melodic, with great changes and transitions. The guitar is cool, and the drums, heavy. Check out the organ on “Star**cker Blues“. A wonderful blend of psych with pop melodies! My favorite tracks: “The Room“, and “Painting Pictures“. Dynamite psych with pop melodies!   https://www.facebook.com/PurpleHeartParade

 

 

Loaded

loadedThis London band offers some very cool guitar effects, with great vocals layered beneath the insanely melodic instrumentation. There are nice changes and transitions, heavy bass and drums, and a free flowing jam at the end of the songs. A raw, edgy take on psychedelic rock, a kind of Velvet UndergroundLou Reed thing. Check out the reverb on “Little Girl” .  https://www.facebook.com/thebandloaded

 

 

tangerinesTangerines

I was only able to find 1 track to listen to, but this London band delivered a pop song with punk-psych elements. Raw with nice changes and transitions, sweet guitar, and a wickedly great melody. “You Look Like Something I Killed” is a wonderful song. I really like what I heard, and can’t wait to hear more.  https://www.facebook.com/feelmytangerines

 

 

 

Black Market Karma

BMK1Another London band, these guys have recently released their 5th album on Flower Power Records (yes, even the label name is cool). “Upside Out, Inside Down“, self described as supersonic psychedelic, has great effects, and wonderfully musical melodies. The vocal effects are dynamite, layered beneath the instrumentation, and the guitar solos are amazing, with a whack of reverb. There are cool transitions and changes in tempo. I hear sitar and tabla. Not your traditional songwriting formula, a sort of psych free for all. A consistantly good psych album, heavy on the psych. Like being on an 11 track acid trip. Pay particular attention to “Semper Fi“, “I Am Life“, and “The Whites Of Your Eyes“.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Black-Market-Karma/29367551190

 

 

 

So, there you have it. Way cool. Lay back, turn on, and tune in!!

 

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THE DISGUISES

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

One of the coolest bands I have had the pleasure of listening to, The Disguises, have kept me waiting for a new album long enough. I am determined to write about this Kitchener, Ontario band even if it means going back to a debut album from 2009. The self titled release contains 13 tracks of pop perversion.

disguises1Hot Air Balloon” has a wonderfully, playful jazz theme overlayed with a pop melody. The vocals, keyboard, and changes are great. The cool pop harmonies highlight “The Brush Off“, and “Gossipy Chicks” is filled with amazing organ and some way cool psych-rock elements. “Blues On A Rainy Day” has a dynamite piano and guitar that can, at times, get lost in the amazing melody and harmonies, and I am certain I hear mandolin in the acoustic,almost jug band sound of “Jacob Eldermyer’s Bleeding Heart“. The showtune/jazz sensibilities of “Pick ‘N’ Reed” are fun, while “Four disguises2Letters For You” , offer Beach Boys like harmonies in a Spanish theme. I would really like to hear this with Spanish vocals! “Slow Down” offers a reggae song with a cool country-rock guitar solo dropped inside of it, and “In A Bind” has a wonderful pop melody, with interesting harmonies and great guitar. “The Dip” is an interesting, almost experimental track, with way cool instrumentation that moves into and out of rock ‘n’ roll with guitar effects and a great solo. Yes, “Funky Disco Cat‘ sounds like it should be a 1970’s disco song. It has a pop feel to it, with cool harmonies, a wonderful change in tempo, and power chords to remind us that this is a rock band. By the way, the synthesizer is perfect. “Animals“, a way cool trip to some psych-rock place, has great effects. My favorite track on the album,  “I Get Sick Without You” has a rock beat with a pop vocal melody line. The guitar is brilliant, with wonderful solos and riffs. A way cool track, that could have been on any Spirit album.

 

 

 

 

ggtwThe songs, written by George Guitierrez and Tyson Webb follow no format I know. Each is a well crafted work of art. Ecclectic, esoteric, and engaging. They incorporate several genres in their music, and make the complex seem simple. The album is filled with twists and turns, that surprise and excite. The album is fun. You can listen at Soundcloud, and even download it for free! A wonderful journey to places you have probably never been before.

 

 

 

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THEY’RE NOT CANADIAN, ARE THEY?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

Frank Gutch Jr. continues to entertain and educate, in a way that only he can. This time he writes about Petunia & The Vipers. Don’t ask. Read the review.

 

P&VWell, he evidently is, he being a guy named Petunia (a name, I believe, last attributed to a pig) and whose band, Petunia & The Vipers, are ready for the onslaught.  That onslaught, gathering steam for the past few years, is going to vault the band not only onto many stages but into many music fans’ consciousness not only because they can play but because of what they play. And what is that?  I’ve been trying to figure that out.

It is country.  Some of it.  It is jazz.  Some of it.  It is gypsy.  Kind of.  It is twenties, thirties, and forties.  Here and there.  It is even rock, as if the majority of rock bands can be as creative.  In the end, it is entertaining as hell and music seemingly made for video.

 

 

What say you to that, music fans?  Most of you are too young to have caught the boogie woogie and rag days of bands like Pee Wee King and Jimmy Bryant & Speedy West and a plethora of others.  Hear that beat reminiscent of Bill Haley & The Comets?  Would it surprise you to find that Haley was, before that, Country & Western?  He had a couple of bands, fronting both The Four Aces of Western Swing and Bill Haley & The Drifters (under which name he recorded two 45s), and even gained a reputation as a yodeler, wearing the soubriquet “Silver Yodeling Bill Haley” for a time.  Ol’ Petunia has more Haley in him than most folks realize.  See, before they rocked, they boogied.

 

 

Petunia, it seems, is following old paths taken by such Canadian greats as Hank Snow and Montana Slim, spreading the joy through the music.  While radio P&V!does not have the power it once had nor Nashville the mystique, the live shows could well put him/them over the top.  The tracks on the latest album, Inside of You, grabs the music and runs with it,  certain tracks such as They Almost Had Me Believing and Runaway Freight Train Heart making it hard to believe that they have not been buried in the archives some 60 or 70 years before miraculously reappearing.  This is roots music, sports fans, done better than you have heard it done before.

If you get a chance, catch these guys live.  People tell me they blow the roofs off on an off-night (though the jury is still out regarding whether they ever have off-nights).  Imagine what they could do when the cylinders are clicking.

 

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Frank Gutch, Jr. is an international man of mystery, searching high and low for Indie music most of us would otherwise never hear. Check out more of Frank’s writing at rockandreprise

 

 

 

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THE SUPERLATIVE-Numero Deux

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

One year following the release of their debut album, ‘Chester‘, The Superlative, one of the coolest bands to come out of Ottawa, Canada, have done it again with ‘Numero Deux‘.

superlativeno3The 8 tracks show the band’s flair for incorporating different musical styles into their body of work. “Forget To Remember“, a punk-pop tune, opens with cool effects, and displays wonderful changes and acoustic guitar. “Life Is Good” offers great drum fills, a dynamite vocal track, and a way cool guitar solo, with effects. “Fallout” delivers a solid chorus, amazing guitar within a punky instrumental arrangement. “Keep It Here” with its blues feel, has a great bass riff to end the track. “JAMaca” offers up a rock song that shifts in and out of reggae. The powerful guitar, and cool use of effects, are an added bonus. “Glory” offers beautifully, subtle harmonies with some jazz elements. The guitar and vocals make this an interesting track, while “Dad Rock” displays a very sweet guitar riff and some exceptional drumming. “Homewrecker” contains a reggae beat with pop flavor. There are psych-rock guitar effects, and a dynamite rock solo over power chords. All of that, plus the great riffs, vocal track, and wonderful ending, make this my favorite track on the album.

 

 

superlativeno2Numero Deux is a wonderful treat. It is a change from ‘Chester‘: It is grittier, edgier, and it has bite. There is a wonderfully full sound, with layers of instrumentation that blend together in magical, musical mayhem. And once again, the album cover is way cool. Give this a few listens, as it gets better every time. And purchase a copy. An exceptionally thrilling adventure.

http://thesuperlativeband.bandcamp.com/

 

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