Archive for piano

LORRAINE SEGATO-Invincible Decency

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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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DRUCKFARBEN-Second Sound

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druckfarben3I recently received a copy of the new album Second Sound, by Toronto band Druckfarben, and I have spent the last 3 days repeating the same 2 words: Freakin’ amazing!!

The 8 track album is filled with cool keyboards, great drum shots, and wonderful harmonies. The guitar is dynamite, offering wonderfully subtle riffs, and blistering solos. The melodies are insanely good, fused with beautiful harmonies. The bass lines are intricate and subdued.  The instrumentation, rich and varied. Piano, organ and synthesizer appear throughout. I heard banjo, and mandolin. The arrangements are spectacularly full, and layered with texture.

 

druckfarben1Two tracks merit special mention. “Long Walk Down“, a sweet, melancholy ballad with a Klaatu-esque feel, delivers a wonderful melody with a spectacular vocal track. “Second Sound“, without a doubt, the best progressive rock track I have heard in 40 years, is reminescent of Yes: Somewhere between “Siberian Khatru” and “The Gates Of Delerium“, with shades of Tales From Topographic Oceans. This suite offers incredible keyboards including some interesting piano and organ, and way cool violin, that wanders from classical to rock to western themes. The instrumentation in this track is wonderful. There are cool changes and transitions, and a kick ass guitar solo. There are sweet melodies and terrific harmonies. The song ends with  beautifully arranged acoustic guitar.

 

I am not certain why this band has been a mystery. These musicians are insanely talented. It is an impressive work. Standing out is Phil Naro’s vocals.The style, the sound, the inflection, had me thinking Jon Anderson. Second Sound offers wonderful musical themes in an array of movements that are woven together in layers to create an incredible musical journey. This is way cool arena rock, out of the 1970s, with a 21st century bite. Druckfarben is the real deal.

Check out Second Sound  here:  https://www.facebook.com/druckfarben/app_204974879526524

 

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BETRAYERS-Let The Good Times Die

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by TheManicBlogger

betrayers2betrayers3I seem to be drawn to the weird. The different.The unique and original. Its okay. I like it. Particularly when it comes to music. It’s the excitement of finding something that defies genre; something new; something truly entertaining. And, as luck would have it, hiding deep in the underground of Edmonton, Alberta, I found the weirdly wonderful Betrayers, a fuzzed up, punk out, psych, 60’s garage band.

Their earlier EPs,  December 2012’s, Treat Me Mean, and the February 2013, The Betrayers, foreshadowed the sound of things to come.  Fair warning for December 2013’s full album, Let The Good Times Die.

betrayers4The album is filled with great guitar riffs, that often lie just below the bass and drums.I hear tambourine and a way cool organ. It doesn’t get more 1960s than that. There are choppy piano riffs and a drone that permeates the band’s sound making me think of Love And Rockets and the 1980s. I particularly enjoyed “Do You Smoke?”, with its dark, eerie mood and fuzz guitar solo, and “Little Girl (You’ve Got Some Growing Up To Do)“, a Ramone’s punk song with pop influence, cool harmonies and great drumming. My favorite track, “Song For Sue“, has an almost surf-pop melody that is counter balanced by the instrumentation. It has great changes and a cool bridge.

betrayers1Musical influences are varied. There are hints of The Clash, Be Bop Deluxe, and the opening of “”Born To Cry” had me thinking of The Four Seasons.  “Call Me When You’re Blue“, off of the Treat Me Mean EP, has that 60s, girl group feel. There are shades of The Beach Boys. But this is a fuzzed up, psyched-out rock band. I checked in with Travis Sargent, the band’s slightly eccentric front man, who confirmed that the band has 2 drummers. Yes, there are 2 drum kits! In the studio, and live. This is way cool.

betrayers5The songs are short, yet poignant. The sound is full. The music seem to want to  go somewhere, but the vocals and the melody take it somewhere else. There is tremelo everywhere. This is not music for the masses. Betrayers create a unique world with their music, perhaps a world on a yet to be discovered planet. Let The Good Times Die is not for the focused. I refer to this as the ADHD sound: Its all over the place. Yet, it makes sense. And it works. It is different. It is weird. It is amazingly cool. A great album. A great listen. A wonderful experience.  Can’t wait for thee guys to make it to Toronto.

You can listen here:  http://thebetrayers.bandcamp.com/

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JON MULLANE-Shine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

What do you get when a Canadian boy from Halifax, Nova Scotia walks into New Jersey garage? Jon Mullane. His most recent album, Shine, caught the attention of Indie label, and keeper of the Jersey sound, Bongo Boy Records. They were so impressed, they signed him. jm3The ballad, “The One That Got Away“,  has a hauntingly beautiful melody. There are great changes, sweet harmonies, and I like the piano. The 1960’s pop song “Take Me Away“,  offers amazing changes, a cool guitar riff, a great musical hook, and hand clapping that has this track destined to become a classic. “So Into You“, with its wonderfully subtle guitar, demonstrates once again that less, is indeed more. The background vocals are terrific. The up tempo “Shine On Tonight“, has a nice groove. The chorus and bridge rock and the  synth gives this track a 1970’s-1980’s feel. “In Your Life” opens with vocals and guitar only, and adds some great keyboards. There are nice effects and harmonies.  “Born Beautiful” gives up some great changes and transitions. The guitar riff and vocals are great, and the drumming rocks. The synth sounds of “Body Rock” give it a fullness that supports the great guitar riff, powerful vocals and wonderful hook. Add to this the sound of horns, and you’ve got an amazing song. “Any Other Way” has a beautiful melody and some cool jm1acoustic guitar. There is a great bridge, but this track is all about the melody and the vocals. “Way Up” and “Way Up (Radio Mix)” are similar versions of 21st Century pop. The overlapping vocal tracks, cool guitar riff and solo, and driving beat, make for a cool tune, a surprisingly great dance tune! My favorite track, “My New American Girlfriend”  had me thinking garage pop-rock at first listen. On the second listen I heard a wonderful summer on the beach feeling. This Beach-Rock song delivers a great melody, and some great power chords in the chorus. The vocals are wonderful and the lyric contain soon to be classic lines-“she’s original, not so typical, a little naughty, but nice”, and “photogenically, schizophrenically, she’s broken all of the rules”. Amazing. The solid hook, dead on vocals, and wonderful background vocal arrangements, make this one way cool track. A wonderful song, that rocks all of the way through. Seems this Canadian boy has struck gold with his new American girl. jm2Shine rocks. It rocks Halifax and Jersey. Jon Mullane writes amazing songs with exceptional melodies. He has that cool, gravelly voice, and subtle approach to instrumentation. His passion for 1960’s pop and 1970’s garage create a near perfect hybrid  of garage-pop. And he looks the part. White t shirt, jeans, and a bit of a snarl that reminds me of early Springsteen. But Mullane is his own force to be reckoned with. With three singles already lifted from the album-My New American Girl, Body Rock, and Any Other Way, and several more to chose from, Great things are happening for Jon, and I anticipate many more. With Bongo Boy Records behind him, I am certain they will come. A great writer, a great musician, a great album. One of the coolest albums I have had the good fortune to have listened to. Congratulations, Jon. Well done. Definitely one for your collection and your car. You can listen to Jon Mullane: https://myspace.com/jonmullane bb Check out Jon and other great artists at:  http://www.bongoboyrecords.com         newlogo https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/ Follow us on twitter:

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THE NURSERY-Carnival Nature

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

nursery3One of the most intriguing and interesting albums i have heard in a long time, Carnival Nature by Toronto band The Nursery, contain 6 tracks of musical mastery. Released in June, 2013, The Nursery dance to the beat of a very different drummer.

Lysurgically Yours” opens the album with wonderful piano work, and a magical, carnival feel.  The harmonies, hypnotic vocals, theremin and guitar riff create a wonderfully esoteric feel. The steady drumming of “It’s A Sin“, coupled with the over the top guitar, synthesizer and theremin create a very different atmosphere while providing a catchy melody that makes me think of court jesters. “Lucy” delivers a strangely cool melody amid a western tempo countrified guitars and great transitions. The synth opening of “Domino“, accented by drum rolls, delivers a great melody in an unconventional song. It is just plain weird, but I do like weird. “The Wild Heart” contains an REM style acoustic guitar opening, with a very eerie vocal track that creates a wonderfully dreamy sensation. The psych-rock guitar solo compounds the ethereal sensations.” I Was I Was Someone Else” comes with acoustic guitar picking, horns, a sophisticated melody and spectacular vocals. A wonderful song.

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Alex Pulec

nursery1For the first time I was unable to find an identifiable favorite track. The music defies genre. The Nursery have incorporated several styles and arrived at a sound that can best be described as acid/rock/soul/synth-folk/pop. Let’s be honest. Its just plain weird! Eccentric. Bizarre.  But it is simply incredible. Alex Pulec’s voice, akin to Robert Smith of The Cure, in its tone and phrasing, is perfectly suited to sing these  songs. In fact, I don’t think anyone else could do them justice. I have listened to Carnival Nature several times, and enjoy it more with each listen. The songs are  unconventionally spectacular. The arrangements are weirdly wonderful and I’m having the time of my life listening. This is a band I want to interview.  This is an album you won’t want to miss.

Check The Nursery out for yourself here:      http://thenursery.bandcamp.com/album/carnival-nature

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