July 2015 Comics and Reviews by


Stream "Camera-Sized Life"

Sydney Alese
Ancient Warfare

Louis Babin*
babysue comix #232

babysue comix #233
babysue comix #234
babysue comix #235
Camper Van Beethoven*
Church of Betty

Civil Youth
The Corner Laughers
Will Currie and the Country French

Del Bel
Jon DeRosa*
Doctor Who

Electric Bird Noise*
Find The Others*
Fractal Mirror
The Great Depression

Dave Greenslade
Trey Gunn*
Chester Hawkins*
Jesus comic #47
Freedy Johnston
Journey To Space

Last Days of April
Jerry Lawson

Leaders In The Clubhouse
Jackie Lomax
Lourdes Rebels
Love Amongst Ruin*
Robert J. Martin / Neely Bruce

Cliff Martinez
Rod McKuen

Salim Nourallah
Ocean Carolina

Tom Paxton
Jesse Payne
Plastic Macca*
Round Eye

Satellite Sky
Billy Shaddox*
Ships Have Sailed
Tracy Spuehler*
John Statz
The Super Fuzz*
The Vagaband
Mark Wingfield
Wolf Hall

*Top Picks =

Additional Items Received


Sydney Alese - Time (CD, Curly Sheep, Pop)
Unlike many up-and-coming underground music artists, Sydney Alese has an image and sound that could reach a huge audience. But don't be scared away by the fact that Ms. Alese makes accessible commercial sounding music because the good news is that...her songs are actually rather killer. Featuring a Salvadore Dali-esque front cover photograph, Time is a totally friendly album chock full of super catchy songs. Sydney writes songs that are ultimately very positive and she's got a super smooth voice that is a perfect fit for her material. One thing that immediately sets her apart from the pack is that Ms. Alese is both very beautiful and very talented. Yup, strange but true, as the two somehow seem to rarely combine. Ten clever cool tracks here and they're all memorable. Our initial favorites include "Time," "Pass You By," "Inspire," "Prisoner," and "Rave."

Ancient Warfare - The Pale Horse (CD, Alias, Moody pop)
Wow, this one's coming from a totally cool and different direction...neat. The first thing that caught our attention was that this album is on the Alias label (a great label we've admired for a very long time). The second thing we noted was that the band is based in the unlikely city of Lexington, Kentucky (we've always loved Lexington). The third thing we noticed was that lead vocalist Echo Wilcox was once a student of the Savannah College of Art and Design (a school that always seems to attract cool creative types). Fourth and finally...we noticed that The Pale Horse is an album filled to the brim with gripping underground pop/rock tunes with a difference. Rounding out the band are Emily Hagihara (drums, keyboards, vocals), Rachael Yanarella (violin, vocals), and Derek Rhineheimer (bass, vocals). The songs on The Pale Horse are a far cry from the commercial dreck that is so popular in 2015. These folks are creating music with darker edges and a more rough spontaneous feel. Ms. Wilcox has a killer voice that really makes these tunes kick. Hard to compare these songs to any one artist or band, but you will probably hear a ton of influences swimming around in the mix. If you loved underground bands from the 1990s, there's an excellent possibility you'll totally dig this album. Uniquely rewarding cuts include "Earlin," "Gunsmoke," "Rolling Tides," and "Wintertimes."

Louis Babin - Saint-Exupery: De Coeur, de Sable et d'Etoiles (Independently released CD, Classical)
We haven't heard many independently-released classical albums. Saint-Exupery: De Coeur, de Sable et d'Etoiles is an adventurous undertaking to say the least. On the lead composition Canadian composer Louis Babin presents music that "is an exploration not just of the novel but of the author's entire life, representing both the clarity of Saint-Exupery's thinking and the tumultuous events he faced." For those who are not familiar with the man, Saint-Exupery was a French national hero and as well as the author of the children's novel The Little Prince. Under conductor Peter Vronsky, the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra masterfully presents three moving sections that will undoubtedly please discerning music fans. Beautiful stuff that sounds very much like the soundtrack to a truly moving art film. In addition to the title track, the album also contains the intensely emotional "Couleurs" and "La Suite du Promeneur," which is presented in five short sections. Louis Babin certainly is a composer to be reckoned with now and in the years ahead. Amazing material that is riveting, pure, and completely beautiful. Recommended. Top pick.

Bird - Figments of Our Imagination (Independently released CD, Pop)
The third full-length album from Bird, the one woman band created by Janie Price. This talented young lady is living proof of how far women have come in the world of music. Figments of Our Imagination is a very smart album that combines commercial sounds with threads of artistic integrity. Bird got her start in music singing and playing cello in a supporting role for other artists, most notably Just Jack and Emeli Sande. But as is the case with most truly creative types, she found that playing in the background wasn't enough. Figments is a very slick sounding album but it's a far cry from the world of commercial dribble that most folks are familiar with. Price is exceptionally great at arranging and layering, particularly with her vocals. She got a velvety smooth voice that comes across sounding totally real as well as totally resonant. Engineered by Al Lawson in London and mixed by Lee Groves in New York, this album truly captures the sounds and styles of both American and British music. With a bit of luck, Bird could easily find herself flying high in the charts with this one. Groovy tracks include "Girl Can't Decide," "Stereotype," "Love Love Love," and "Think So." Smart, reflective, and slightly dreamy.

Camper Van Beethoven - New Roman Times (CD, Omnivore, Pop)
We're not supposed to admit this publicly but...we are stupid and totally uninformed. After all, what else could explain the fact that we weren't aware that Camper Van Beethoven was still going strong? The guys in this band got together way back in 1983...but stopped making music from 1990 to 1999. But in 2000 they decided to have another go at it...and thus Camper Van Beethoven was...reborn. The band released a couple of new albums in the early 2000s but New Roman Times (originally released in 2004) was the one that seemed to stick with their fans. Another admission, of course, is that we never even heard this album until now. We're kinda pathetic, to be certain...but we're sure glad that we finally got turned onto this one because it is easily one of the best albums ever by this perpetually popular band. This "sci-fi alternate-reality rock opera" is being reissued on a double vinyl album, CD, and of course as a download. If the reissue of this album weren't enough to please the band's fans, the bonus tracks are the icing on the cake. For a rock opera, this album is surprisingly listener friendly...featuring what to our ears sounds like mainly underground hits. How many bands can you think of that record one of their best albums two decades after forming...? In addition to the original 20 cuts on this album this disc also includes four bonus tracks: "Los Tigres Dub," "Alien Ghost Song," "It's Gonna Rain," and "Might Makes Right Dub." Long live Camper Van Beethoven. Top pick.

Church of Betty - Swirled World (CD, Fang, Pop)
We haven't heard anything from Church of Betty in quite some time so we were pleasantly surprised when this arrived in our trusty ol' mailbox. We've enjoyed previous releases from this ultra-creative band and we're pleased to report that Swirled World is yet another stellar addition to the catalog. If you've never heard this band before they make music that is sometimes reminiscent of classic artists like Apples In Stereo, Todd Rundgren, and XTC...without ever sounding too much like any of the three. Bandleader Chris Rael has a great knack for writing smart winding melodies with intelligent lyrics and he's consistent. You won't ever find yourself fast forwarding through material on Church of Betty albums. Swirled World presents ten groovy tracks that include the talents of Chris Cochrane (guitar), Rima Fand (violin), Pinky Weitzman (viola), Claire de Brunner (bassoon), and Brian Geltner (drums). No wonder this band is a favorite among critics, their music always hits the target. Totally rewarding tracks include "Wake Up," "I Remember You," "Endure," and "Muse."

Civil Youth - Disguised In Color (Independently released CD, Pop/rock)
This album is an excellent example of what bands and artists are capable of accomplishing in 2015 without the assistance of a record company or music professionals. The guys in the Boston, Massachusetts-based band Civil Youth make music that could easily be embraced by a large segment of the listening audience. The band is comprised of Michael Kepko (keyboards, vocals), Daniel Chapman (guitar), and Johnny Zabo (drums, backing tracks). If you want to get an instant dose of what this band sounds and looks like, check out their web site (link above). They've already done several videos, all of which are slick and thoroughly entertaining. But it's the songs themselves that make Civil Youth such a cool experience. Disguised In Color presents songs that are gripping and intense, all the while retaining important ingredients like melodies and cool arrangements. Whether the band is playing mid-tempo pop or all-out rock, they manage to succeed on all levels. You can bet your britches that this band is a knockout in concert. Thirteen gripping tracks here including "It's Been A While," "Back & Forth," "Psychological War," and "Apathy."

The Corner Laughers - Matilda Effect (Independently released CD, Pop)
Totally upbeat resilient smart modern pop with the potential for addiction. Although most people don't seem to realize it, in a world full of sarcasm and negativity it is actually very difficult to come up with genuinely heartfelt positive music. It's a helluva lot easier to whine about bad stuff and make horrible noise. But rather than take the easy way out, the folks in The Corner Laughers choose the path that will hopefully land them in the hearts of music fans. The songs on Matilda Effect remind us of some of the super catchy jangly pop that was popular among hipster cliques in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band is comprised of Karla Kane, KC Bowman, Khoi Huynh, and Charlie Crabtree...four super talented up-and-coming musicians who obviously aren't interested in following current trends in popular music. The tracks on this album are pure pop all the way. They're smart, absorbing, super hummable...and delivered with true class and style. Every cut is a keeper but our initial favorites include "Fairytale Tourist," "Queen of the Meadow," and "Good Hope."

Will Currie and the Country French - They Killed Us (CD, FU:M (File Under Music), Progressive pop)
The folks at File Under Music continue to offer credible and cool artists, and they release music that falls within a wide variety of genres. Thus far in their career the folks in this band have taken some rather unconventional paths. They began playing together at Wilfred Laurier University as classically trained percussionists. After releasing their debut album (A Great Stage), Jay Ferguson of Sloan got hold of a copy and reissued it on the Murderecords label. The band then signed with File Under Music and released their second album Awake, You Sleepers! (which is exceptional, in case you've never heard it). The album was well received but then the band members decided they wanted to pursue other opportunities for a couple of years. Afterward, they regrouped and recorded They Killed Us which brings us up to the present. This album is yet another resounding success. The songs are smart, thoughtful, and extremely well-conceived. We would probably have to categorize this as orchestrated pop in the vein of other classic artists like Van Dyke Parks. There's a heavy emphasis on arrangements, but the songs are never overlayered. Hard to compare this music with any other current bands or artists that come to mind. Intriguing tracks include "They Killed Us," "Philadelphia," "Danger," and "Summer Is For Boys."

Del Bel - Del Bel (CD, Toronto Arts Council, Pop)
Del Bel is the Canadian quintet led by composer Tyler Belluz and vocalist Lisa Conway. Rounding out the band both on recordings and in concert are a variety of artists from other cutting edge Canadian bands. This is the sophomore album from Del Bel. This self-titled release presents smoky moody modern pop that will remind many listeners of Amy Winehouse but the music is, in actuality, much more progressive than such a comparison might imply. These songs are smart and slightly unsettling...and Conway's voice is pure magic. Our guess is that this band will catch on quickly among underground artsy circles in Canada, the United States, and beyond. Nine well-crafted tracks here including "In My Solitude," "Intermezzo," and "Fifty Below."

Jon DeRosa - Black Halo (CD, Rocket Girl, Pop)
We've enjoyed previous recordings we've heard from Jon DeRosa. But we have a feeling that--if others react to this one the way we did--Black Halo is going to be the album that puts this man's name and face on the map. Based on previous releases, who would've thought that DeRosa is one hell of a crooner...? The truth is almost always stranger than fiction. Even though he doesn't really fit the mold at all, this chameleonic fellow can most definitely croon his way into your heart as well as anyone. DeRosa's fans, as well as others, are likely to be surprised at what a great resonant voice this man has. Imagine crossing Roy Orbison with Morrissey...and you'll have some idea of what this album sounds like. Recorded with collaborator and producer Charles Newman, Black Halo is going to make Jon a major force to be reckoned with in no time flat. Yes, it truly is that focused and effective. Twelve focused cuts that combine the best of the past with the best of the present. Our favorite cuts include "Fool's Razor," "Give Me One Reason," "Knock Once," and "Black Halo." Top pick.

Doctor Who - Series 8: Original Television Soundtrack, Music by Murray Gold (Triple CD, Silva Screen, Television soundtrack)
Music that's guaranteed to lift you out of your seat regardless of whether you're watching the television show or not. The legendary television show Doctor Who was revitalized in 2005 and is still going strong, and one huge reason for the show's continuing success is the solid and totally gripping music by Murray Gold. This lavish triple disc set contains a wealth of riveting music plus a thick and super slick booklet filled with photos and information. This music was performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (with Ben Foster conducting) plus Gold himself on computer instruments, guitars, and synthesizers. If you like roller coasters there's an excellent possibility that this music will blow you away. Truly exciting music here that will get your heart pumping and make your brain sizzle. It's no wonder this man has racked up five BAFTA nominations (two for the television series) and three Royal Television Society nominations (which yielded a win for the music in Queer As Folk). This not only essential listening for Doctor Who fans...but also for anyone who just loves truly great and thrilling theatrical music. The folks at Silva Screen sure do a helluva job seeking out and releasing the very best. Recommended.

Electric Bird Noise - Birth (Independently released CD-R, Experimental)
Sparse, peculiar, hypnotic...all of these adjectives (and more) could be used to described this music. Birth is a short album, presenting four mind altering instrumentals that may very well make you feel as if you are having a very strange dream. For those who haven't yet been exposed, Electric Bird Noise is the one man recording project invented by Brian Lea McKenzie. Using this moniker McKenzie continues to write and record exceedingly esoteric music. These four pieces stream along exceedingly nicely from one to the next, using similar sounds combined and prepared in different ways. Gotta love the song titles...numbers spelled backwards ("Evlewt," "Neetriht," "Neetruof," "Neetfif"). We're big fans of Electric Bird Noise. Love the simple scribbly cover art on this one. This is a band that never fails to entertain in its own unique way. Top pick.

Find The Others - Empire of Time (CD, Forward Music Group, Progressive pop)
Some bands and artists present more of a problem than others for underground music snobs trying to come up with appropriate ways to describe the music. In this case, let's go with the following. Imagine combining Michael Franks with Sparklehorse, then add a healthy dose of valium and a Ph.D., And there you have it. A slightly oddball way of describing the sound of Find The Others. That may sound stranger than the music actually is. The band is a project created by Andy Sheppard, a man obviously destined for greatness. If there's one thing that immediately stands out about this guy, it's his voice. Wow. With so many bands and artists, the vocals are usually the weakest link. This is definitely not the case here. Mr. Sheppard has a totally killer voice that is precisely focused and genuinely heartfelt. Empire of Time is a super resilient album chock full of soft modern progressive moody pop with a difference. As if the music weren't enough, this band is also heavily involved in visuals. For a totally groovy visual trip, check out any of the band's videos on the internet. They're all mindblowing. This is without a doubt one of the strongest albums we've heard in 2015. Nine hypnotic tracks here including "We Stared at the World," "Empire of Time," "The Things You Want," and "Lost Boys Choir." Totally captivating and just slightly surreal. TOP PICK.

Fractal Mirror - Garden of Ghosts (CD, Third Contact, Progressive)
Yet another album made possible by the internet and electronic file exchanges. The initial phase of this band began in the mid-eighties when three friends in Amsterdam began making music together. Garden of Ghosts began when drummer Frank Urbaniak wrote some lyrics and e-mailed them to vocalist/keyboard player Leo Koperraat and bass player Ed van Haagen in Holland. They put the words to music and added keyboards, bass, guitars, and vocals. The tracks were then sent to North Wales, Pennsylvania where Urbaniak's drums, producer Brett Kull and Don Fast's guitars, and Larry Fast's keyboards were added. We're particularly pleased to see that this album was released on Larry's Third Contact label (which was formed to reissue and release Synergy recordings). The Dutch and American players met for the first time when van Haagen came to the U.S. to help with mixing. Garden of Ghosts is a particularly well-realized album, particularly considering the geographics of the project. These eleven tracks have a cool, dreamy, hazy sound but they still manage to keep vocal melodies as the main focal point of the music for the most part. Folks into progressive bands from the 1970s will appreciate this music. It's a far cry from commercial music in the 2000s, as the main focus seems to be on integrity and creativity. Cool moody cuts include "House of Wishes," "Solar Flare," "The Garden," and "Stars." Plans are already underway for the Dutch members to travel to the United States so that the entire group can record together. Should be interesting.

The Great Depression - In A Starry State (CD, Princess, Progressive pop)
Have the folks in The Great Depression really been making music for two decades? Hard to believe but yes...this band jumped off the diving board of artistic expression way back in 1995. For the past few years the band was dormant as some of the members were exploring other avenues in the world of film and television. But eventually the desire to create as a band again won over and now, once again, the world is treated to a brand new Grand Depression album. This band is comprised of Todd Casper (vocals, electric & acoustic guitar, piano), Tom Cranley (bass, synthesizers, programming, vocals), Chadwick Nelson (drums, programming), Brent Sigmeth (electric guitar, pedal steel, engineering), and Wendy Lewis (backing vocals). Spin this once or twice and you'll quickly realize that this sounds nothing like a comeback album. In A Starry State has all the fresh presence of the band's previous recordings. This will not only please the band's fans but probably be of interest to a whole new slew of folks who never heard them the first time around. Clever well produced tracks include "Discorporate Melody," "New Salen," "Thirteen Bells," and "Sophia and the Fool."

Dave Greenslade - Time To Make Hay: A Collection of Original Recordings (CD, Angel Air, Progressive pop/rock)
This is a different sort of release from Dave Greenslade, who was the leader of the 1970s progressive rock band Greenslade. Time To Make Hay is a collection of demonstration recordings made between 1979 and the mid-1990s. These were recorded to lay the foundation for tracks that were later re-recorded for albums by Greenslade, Colosseum, and Dave's solo albums. These tracks have never been heard or made available until now. Some of these cuts may surprise longtime Greenslade fans. A few of the tracks remind us in many ways of David Bowie's 1970s albums (?!). While probably not the best starting point if you're wanting to get into this man's music (mainly because the recording quality isn't as slick as on studio recordings), this album is probably mainly intended for folks who are already fans. These are one man recordings featuring Dave on all instruments and vocals. Nine well-conceived songs that have that nice cool feel of music that was probably made without the confines and restraints of a clock ticking away in the background. A pleasant musical universe where progressive rock meets mature adult pop. An interesting look behind the scenes.

Trey Gunn - The Waters, They Are Rising (CD, 7D Media, Progressive)
We've yet to hear anything by Trey Gunn that we didn't love. Although far from being a household name this talented man has connections all over the place and he continues to make music that is simultaneously creative, imaginative, and totally credible. To quote directly from the online press release, The Waters, They Are Rising "is a combination of live performances based on Peter Gabriel's piece 'Here Comes The Flood' and music for a recent film score." This album was created entirely using Trey's trademark touch guitar. Compared to other Gunn releases, this album is much more subdued, serene, and atmospheric. If you like music that allows you to transport into a dream state, you'll love this stuff. Sparse and hypnotic, these compositions were recorded as artistic creations. These recordings are pure and just slightly odd. Rather than grabbing you by the throat, most of these tracks exist in the background...and allow their relaxing and reflective sounds to slowly inspire your consciousness. Beautiful stuff that should appeal to just about anyone who loves cool ambient music. Top pick.

Chester Hawkins - Apostasy Suite (CD, Intangible Arts, Experimental)
If everyone in the world were as imaginative as Chester Hawkins...the earth wouldn't be cluttered up with so many artists who all sound alike. Hawkins is known to many as the man behind the band Blue Sausage Infant. While he now records and releases music under his own name the overall style remains very similar. In Chester's own words, his goal is to create "deep and elegant trance states with a glaze of paranoid tension." We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Apostasy Suite is an excursion into the mind of a man who knows how to manipulate electronics and create moods. The suite is divided into six lengthy pieces. The shortest is nearly six minutes long while the longest clocks in at over twenty minutes. If you've never seen Hawkins' videos, there are a couple on his web site that will definitely make an impression. Lots of folks make interesting experimental electronic music these days but few have a trademark sound as refined and identifiable as this guy. Once again, this one is highly recommended for folks into the more peculiar abstract side of experimental music. If you want to set a strange mood with sound, Apostasy Suite is sure to do just that. Pure creativity. Recommended. Top pick.

Janita - Didn't You, My Dear? (CD, ECR Music Group, Pop)
Slick and strangely moody modern pop from Brooklyn's Janita (pronounced YA-nee-tuh). The critics are all over this one. Spin Didn't You, My Dear? once or twice and you'll know why. This beautiful lady has an even more beautiful voice and these expertly-arranged tracks caress her vocals like a glove. These songs have a familiar sound and yet there's also something fresh and intriguing about them. Our guess is that this exceedingly talented young lady is perfectly poised to make major waves across the globe with her music. It's that good. These tracks are accessible enough to please casual music fans while also sounding artsy enough to please more discerning listeners. One note. To get the full effect of these compositions you first need to hear them several times. Only then do the nuances and subtleties come clearly into focus. Ten captivating tracks. For us, the obvious standout track is "They Call It Love." It is truly...mesmerizing. Remember this young lady's name. You'll be seeing and hearing it...a lot. Top pick.

Freedy Johnston - Neon Repairman (CD, Singing Magnet, Pop)
Freedy Johnston has recorded and sold a ton of albums over the past few years. And nowadays his music seems to be splattered through just about every huge box of yard sale CDs that are currently being thrown around the United States. If there's one word to describe this man and his career that word would probably be...consistent. Instead of growing weary and burning out, Johnston manages to retain the same positive uplifting vibe that made his music such a hit among music fans years ago. Neon Repairman is another excellent addition to the Johnston catalog. If you're a fan, you'll immediate fall in love with this album. If you've somehow managed to escape this talented man and his magnetic music, then this is as good a starting place as any. Ten intelligent well-crafted tunes including "Neon Repairman," "The First to Leave the World, is the First to See the World" (gotta love that song title...), and "A Little Bit of Something Wrong." Smooth solid stuff that will stand the test of time.

Journey To Space - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Music by Cody Westheimer (CD, Lakeshore, Soundtrack)
Curious about what the future holds for space exploration? If so, you may be very interested in this documentary about future space crafts and planned projects for the coming years. This 2015 documentary takes a look at current and developing projects that are underway and some of them might surprise you. Narrated by Patrick Stewart, this film gives glimpses into what we will see in the years to come. One segment that film goers will be particularly interested in is the segment on the (already) planned mission to Mars. The music for the documentary was created by Cody Westheimer who is a very busy up-and-coming name in the world of television and film composition. Plenty of beautifully orchestrated tracks here. The album ends on a humorous note with a short section of "The Blue Danube" which begins, only to dissolve into a round of laughter.

Last Days of April - Sea of Clouds (CD, Tapete, Pop)
Here in the twenty-first century some of the best pop music in the world seems to come from Sweden. This has been proven many times over the past few years. And now here's another superb pop band to add to the continually growing list of stellar artists that make Sweden so exciting...Last Days of April. This, the band's ninth full-length album, was recorded entirely on analog equipment in one of the very few professional analog studios in Sweden (Atlantis Studios...previously utilized by legendary artists like Abba and The Cardigans). The band did away with the idea of overdubs on these recordings, opting for a more organic approach that results in what sounds like real people playing real instruments. So few artists seem to realize that the unlimited boundaries of digital recording has resulted in a world where more and more artists sound more and more alike. As such, Sea of Clouds is a refreshing change of pace because the listener is actually able to concentrate on the songs themselves rather than the overdubs and effects. Super cool smooth cuts include "The Artist," "The Way Things Were," "Everybody Knows," and "Every Boy's Dream."

Jerry Lawson - Just A Mortal Man (CD, Red Beet, Pop)
This album has a built-in audience ready to embrace the music. As the founding lead singer of The Persuasions, Jerry Lawson's talents initially reached millions of music fans decades ago. Now seventy-one and still ticking, Lawson has finally recorded and released an album under his own name (thanks to the fine folks at Nashville's Red Beet label). The album was almost connected with tragedy. Just as it was being completed, Jerry was diagnosed with a torn esophagus and a collapsed lung. Fortunately three months later Lawson was finally out of the hospital in time for the release of Just A Mortal Man. We have to admire anyone who can make music for such a long time and still remain credible and real. And on this album, Lawson proves just that. These smooth tracks feature slick arrangements, a cool overall vibe, and of course Lawson's super smooth vocals. Thirteen pleasant mid-tempo pop tracks here including "Peace Like A River," "Never Been To Memphis," "Woman In White," and "I'll Come Running Back To You."

Leaders In The Clubhouse - Won (Independently released CD, Pop)
When a band lists their influences and/or favorite artists in their press release it usually means they either sound nothing like any of them or they're trying to copy them. But in this case...the influences give an excellent idea of what this cool band sounds like. So if you like classy/classic artists like Randy Newman, Fountains of Wayne, Flaming Lips, They Might Be Giants, Beck, Electric Light Orchestra, Warren Zevon, Weezer, Ween, and/or Queen...there's an excellent possibility that you will totally dig the groovy songs on Won. Leaders In The Clubhouse is the duo of Charlie Recksieck and Spud Davenport, two super talented fellows who have an uncanny knack for writing songs that sound like familiar hits that you've never heard before. All of the songs here are originals with the exception of an excellent cover of Harry Nilsson's "Old Forgotten Soldier." If these guys don't end up with at least one hit here, it's not because of a lack of solid material or top notch recordings. Won is slick, smart, inventive, and ultimately very memorable. Cool hummable cuts include "She Gets Loud," "Hater," "Awkward Town," and "Lawn Chairs."

Jackie Lomax - Rare, Unreleased and Live, 1965-2012 (Double CD, Angel Air, Pop)
This is a double disc retrospective whose time has come. Featuring tracks that span Jackie Lomax's entire career, this impressive set contains a wealth of material that is sure to delight fans. Although most people just know Lomax as the first artist signed to The Beatles' Apple label, this collection of tracks makes it perfectly clear how much more there was to this man's career than such a slight generalization might suggest. These discs present no less than thirty-eight (!) cuts that shed light on what a varied and intriguing catalog of music this man produced. Jackie is sadly no longer with us (he passed away in 2013). But thanks to the fine folks at Angel Air this collection will help his memory live on forever. Totally groovy tracks include "Soul Light," "Give Your Heart To Somebody," "Throw Your Love Away," and "She Took Me Higher."

Lourdes Rebels - Snuff Safari (CD, Aagoo, Experimental)
Another strange release from the folks at the increasingly peculiar Aagoo label. Lourdes Rebels is the Italian duo of Rodolfo Villani (keyboards, electric guitar, drum machine, voice) and Luigi Bonora (sampler, electric guitar, keyboards, bass, voice). There's a lot of spontaneous improvisation going on here as these two musicians let their imaginations take them wherever they may. To our ears, this six track album sounds something like the soundtrack to a weird underground experimental film. To quote directly from the press release, Villani and Bonora's music "is a mix of animal sounds, slags from the past, psychedelia and confused voices from beyond. They play distorted toy-keyboards, samplers, electric guitars, drum machines and filtered microphones." To be so unorthodox and unpredictable, these recordings are surprisingly listenable (!). We're tempted to call this album experimental mood music...because it sets a definite tone and mood when being played. Really groovy cover art completes this nifty l'il package.

Love Amongst Ruin - Lose Your Way (CD, Ancient B / Membran, Rock)
Love Amongst Ruin is a very, very, very cool band. We instantly fell in love with Lose Your Way. The songs on this album remind us of bands from the 1980s when technology was beginning to play a major role in the sound of many albums, while the basic rhythms remained strong and organic. But while we're reminded of bands from that decade, we can't come up with any instant or obvious comparisons. Love Amongst Ruin is the latest band/project created by Steve Hewitt, a man who needs no introduction if you're well-connected. After spinning this album a couple of times we visited the band's web site (link above), only to be totally blown away by the video for the title track. Wowwwwww...unbelievably beautiful graphics layered over a totally incredible song. This is what video should be (but usually isn't). Lose Your Way was recorded by Hewitt and Donald Ross Skinner. The songs are moody groove-oriented compositions with neat distanced vocals and strangely subtle electronics. The more we spin this album the better it sounds. Totally groovy cuts include "Lose Your Way," "Modern War Song," "Paper Tigers," and "Oh God." Can't get enough of this one... TOP PICK.

Robert J. Martin / Neely Bruce - Playful Edge of the Wave (Double CD, Ravello, Classical/piano)
This lengthy double CD set is an excellent introduction to the unpredictable piano sounds of composers Robert J. Martin and Neely Bruce. Playful Edge of the Wave begins with the complex and adventurous "100 Views of Mt. Fugi: 100 Pieces in 100 Minutes-Homage to Hokusai." This lengthy and peculiar piece is anything but standard classical piano. This composition is unorthodox and unpredictable and far stranger than most classical piano pieces we've heard in the past. Neely Bruce then presents two pieces: "Improvisations" and "Homage to Seb." Divided into thirteen sections, "Improvisations" resembles Martin's compositional style in many ways. The sounds are slightly odd and unpredictable, and in many instances the overall mood seems more important than the notes themselves. "Homage To Seb" is sparse and at times strangely and slightly atonal. Rounding out the package is Martin's "stone & feature" (neither of the words are capitalized). This one is difficult to describe and compare...you need to hear it and form your own opinions. A huge amount of music here...a total of more than two hours and twenty-six minutes. If you think you know what classical piano should or ought to sound like, think again. These complex peculiar compositions will challenge even the most seasoned classical music buffs.

Cliff Martinez - Film Fest Gent and Brussels Philharmonic present Cliff Martinez (CD, Milan, Soundtrack)
An excellent overview of composer Cliff Martinez' contributions to the world of film as presented by The Brussels Philharmonic (with director Dirk Brosse). Cliff's journey to the world of film music composition was an unlikely one. Years ago he was the drummer for legendary bands/artists The Weirdos, Lydia Lunch, Foetus, and The Dickies. His connections eventually even landed him the opportunity to do music for an episode of Pee Wee's Playhouse. Perhaps due to his peculiar beginnings, Martinez approached film music from a different perspective. This riveting sixteen track album features orchestral interpretations of some of Cliff's most magnetic pieces. Tracks included are from the films Solaris (2002), A l'Origine (2009), Kafka (1991), Only God Forgives (2013), Espion(s) (2009), The Underneath (1995), Wicker Park (2004), The Company You Keep (2012), and Contagion (2001). A uniquely different adaptation of one of America's most intriguing composers of music for film.

Rod McKuen - A Boy Named Charlie Brown (CD, Varese Sarabande, Motion picture score)
Reissue of the popular score from the 1970s film A Boy Named Charlie Brown. This was the first full-length motion picture starring the beloved characters from Charles Schultz' Peanuts comic strip. Unlike the television specials that were laced with the spontaneous fun of Vince Gueraldi's complex piano pieces, this film was driven mainly by the vocal talents of Rod McKuen. This film came out at a time when both Peanuts and McKuen were experiencing all-time-highs in terms of popularity. While admittedly sounding somewhat dated, these tracks have held up well over time. Rod's raspy voice is a perfect fit for the peculiar philosophy of Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy, and the other members of the Peanuts cast. If you never saw the film, the main bulk of it deals with the characters being involved in a Spelling Bee...a phase of school that surely conjures up horrors in the minds of many. Pleasant smooth cuts here include "Champion Charlie Brown," "Failure Face," "We," and "Bend Down and Touch Me."

Mittenfields - Optimists (Independently released CD, Rock)
We're huge fans of 1990s bands. So when we slammed Optimists into our player we were immediately drawn into these five guys' gripping sound. In 2015 there are thousands upon thousands of super tame artists...seemingly driven by the desire to not push their fans to any new limits. And that's probably because the majority of the listening public seems perfectly content to listen to boring music. The guys in Mittenfields spent almost three years working on this album and it shows. Unlike many loud rock bands who simply turn up and blare noise these guys' compositions are smart, intelligent, intricate, and quite mesmerizing. And their overall sound reminds us very much of the 1990s when there were so many great and credible loud guitar rock bands all over the place. The band is comprised of Dave Mann (vocals, bass), Brian Moran (drums), Sam Sherwood (guitar), Michael Ball (guitar) and Donald Seale (guitar). Readers should note that no one plays keyboards or diddles with electronics. We love guitars and we love great rhythms. On Optimists you get plenty of both. Eight intriguing well-executed cuts here. Our favorites include "Optimists," "We've Become Numbers," "Goldmine," and "Birth to Broken Hearts."

Mutts - Fuel Yer Delusion (Independently released CD, Rock/pop)
Mutts is the Chicago-based trio comprised of Chris Pagnani on drums, Mike Maimone on keyboards and vocals, and Bob Buckstaff on bass. Fuel Yer Delusion is another hard-hitting collection of modern pop/rock tunes that kick. What is perhaps most interesting about this band is that it doesn't really sound like all the others. These three guys play songs that combine funk, soul, pop, and rock...and then deliver the goods in their own unique style. Lyrics are a critical part of the equation so it seems particularly fitting that this album includes a lyric sheet. Maimone's vocals are the focal point of the music...the guy has a cool raspy voice that sounds something like Tom Waits at times. Thirteen gritty tracks here that should impress even the most jaded listeners on the planet. Nifty cuts include "Everyone Is Everyone," "Shake It Up," "Proof," and "Black Ties & Diamonds." Housed in a cool silver reflective cardboard sleeve... NEAT.

Salim Nourallah - Skeleton Closet (CD, Nourallah Factory Music, Pop)
One of the absolute best kept secrets in pop music today. We feel damn lucky that we're very familiar with this fellow's music because he is most certainly one of the most talented and resilient pop songwriters on earth. We've been huge fans of Salim Nourallah (and his brother Faris Nourallah) for quite some time now. The two started out as a duo many years ago (The Nourallah Brothers) but then both went solo. Salim is a super talented in-demand producer but he's really more cut out to be in the spotlight. Skeleton Closet follows in the footprints of previous albums. The songs are straightforward and ultimately very melodic. The lyrics are supremely intelligent, offering keen insights into the world around us. But those vocal melodies (as well as the vocals themselves) are what always have us back craving for more. Salim has a super smooth voice that comes across sounding completely genuine, sincere, and real. One of the traits of this music that always blows us away is how effortless it all sounds. Salim somehow manages to make his music sound as if it was simply created on the spot and it all sounds so...easy. But we know it's not. These tunes (as well as all of the other tracks on his previous albums) are extremely focused and arranged to perfection. This man's music combines all the very best elements of pop music: cool rhythms, perfect arrangements, great lyrics, and vocals to die for. Once again, Salim knocks it totally out of the ball park. We could never ever get enough of this guy's music. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Top pick.

Ocean Carolina - Maudlin Days (CD, Old Hand Record Company, Pop)
Our guess is that the band Ocean Carolina is going to be very successful in a very short period of time. With so many people focusing on 1970s music lately, this band's sound should be instantly appealing and familiar. If you ever loved or appreciated folky mid-tempo smooth pop from the seventies there's an excellent possibility you will instantly warm up to the super smooth flowing tunes on Maudlin Days. Ocean Carolina is driven by the songwriting skills and voice of Michael Simone, a fellow who has a remarkably cool knack for writing warm laidback melodic pop songs. This is the follow-up to the band's debut album (All the Way Home) and also features the talents of Tony Leone (drums) Jon Graboff (guitar, pedal steel), Dave Wanamaker (guitar), and Alex Cox (bass). The thing that's probably going to stand out here for most folks is that voice. Simone has a voice that is simultaneously friendly and totally unaffected. Twelve cool flowing cuts here including "All I Can Do," "Words," "Something," and "Someday Soon." Smooth ultra-relaxing mid-tempo pop that can be appreciated by just about everyone.

Tom Paxton - Redemption Road (CD, Pax, Folk/pop)
One of America's longest surviving and most prolific folk artists ever. This is something like the 62nd (or something like that) album from 1960s icon Tom Paxton. Recorded at the Butcher Shop in Nashville, Tennessee, Redemption Road features more of the thoughtful personal songs that Paxton is known for. The album features a wealth of backing talent from artists like Al Perkins (dobro), Tim Crouch (fiddle, mandolin), Geoff Bartley (steel guitar), Kirk "Jellyroll" Johnson (harmonica), and Cathy Fink (banjo, harmonies). The album even includes the vocal talents of Janis Ian and John Prine. Tom has been an active voice in the world of folk music for such a long time. We have to admire the fact that he has never burned out or given up. And Redemption Road shows no signs of him letting up, although this year he has decided to stop touring. That is, after he finishes his final tour with his good friend Janis Ian. Fourteen subtle contemplative cuts here including "Virginia Morning," "Time To Spare," "If the Poor Don't Matter," and "The Parting Glass." Few musicians have maintained their originality and sense of integrity for such a long time.

Jesse Payne - Heirloom (CD, Capture Music, Progressive pop)
According to the press release that accompanied this album, Heirloom is "an audio-painting of the passage of time and the baggage we bury." A rather great way of describing this music...much better than trying to compare this man to other artists or this album to other albums. This is smart stuff delivered from a slightly different universe and yet...these tracks ultimately sound strangely familiar and smooth. Jesse Payne impressed a lot of listeners with his 2010 debut Nesting. Joining Payne on this album are Mike Creager, Thomas Warren, Steven Janes, Daniel Long, Mason Boyd, Matt Devine, and Michael Shackleford. We weren't really sure how to categorize these songs so we finally decided to go with the admittedly generalized "progressive pop" because the term encompasses a wide variety of sounds and styles. Heirloom is a difficult album to describe. But perhaps it's biggest strength is the fact that you can listen to these tracks over and over and over again and they never sound tired or repetitive. That could be because of the spontaneous feel of the music or the fact that the instruments and voices seem to have purposely been left slightly raw. You never get the feeling you're listening to processed cheese here. These songs sound like real people playing real instruments. While we can't compare Jesse to any one artist in particular, we'll just close by saying this fellow writes music with true substance and genuine appeal. Eleven smart reflective cuts including "Ulysses," "Origins," "Bear Flag Revolt," and "Wireless Creatures." Cool smart stuff that will stand the test of time. Recommended. Top pick.

Plastic Macca - Plastic Macca Sensation / Plastic Macca Is Here (CD, Dippy / Fake Parlophone, Pop)
Robert Houdaille is one of the most prolific popsters on the planet today. Like previous/present super-prolific pioneers like R. Stevie Moore and Robert Pollard, Houdaille seems to be able to write and record an endless stream of quality music. He already made a splash with lots of folks years ago as the driving force in the band Ex Norwegian. But one band certainly could never confine the stream of songs this man produces, so he decided to create another band as a vehicle to release even more smart, absorbing pop. This album is a twofer of sorts, presenting the first two Plastic Macca albums on a single disc...thus making it a double debut. Interestingly, the tracks on this album remind us in many ways of the overall sound of The Grip Weeds. The songs are basically pop but they're threaded with subtle psychedelia...and, as always, they have that trademark ultra-catchy sound that we've come to know and love. Most bands struggle to come up with ten good songs for an album. Here Houdaille presents twenty...and they're all smart, captivating, and entertaining as hell. If you love any of the previously mentioned artists (R. Stevie Moore, Robert Pollard, The Grip Weeds) you owe it to yourself to hear this man's music. If you never heard any of those but you just love pure resilient pop music that holds up to repeated spins...then this disc is for you. Instantly addictive cuts include "Life," "Accident," "Swank," "Easier By Far," and "Don't Know Why." Top pick.

Poldark - Music From the TV Series: Composed by Anne Dudley (CD, Sony Classical, Television soundtrack)
Poldark is a hugely successful British television series that is now being aired in the United States. The series tells the story of a man named Poldark (played by Aidan Turner) who "returns from the American War of Independence to his beloved Cornwell, having spent three years in the army to avoid charges of smuggling, leaving behind his sweetheart Elizabeth." Composed by critically acclaimed composer Anne Dudley, the music for the series is no doubt one of the main reasons for its success. This is truly gripping and majestic stuff which no doubt evokes strong emotions as the story runs its course. After hearing this, you will probably never forget Ms. Dudley's name. She is absolutely one of the best composers for film and television...ever. Wonderfully melodic and chock full of cool vibes, this is music for the heart, soul, and brain. Twenty unforgettable tracks here including "The Crossroads," The Longest Walk," "Daring To Hope," and "Luck of the Devil." Top pick.

Poltergeist - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: Music by Marc Streitenfeld (CD, Sony Classical, Soundtrack)
We were huge fans of the original Poltergeist film. Who wasn't? Movie fans were probably apprehensive about a re-make because of their fierce devotion to the original. Although we haven't yet seen the 2015 film, from what we're hearing it does not live up to the original. But then you must remember, that film was--admittedly--a very hard act to follow. Regardless of the re-make and whether it's valid or not, fans can still find a wealth of strange cool music on the soundtrack that features music by Marc Streitenfeld. Marc is probably best known for all the soundtracks he has created for Ridley Scott films. The Poltergeist soundtrack contains tracks that range from smooth and contemporary to spooky and surreal. These tracks sound grrrrrrrrrreat turned up really really LOUD. For some reason, horror and suspense soundtracks always seem to provide that extra punch that some listeners seek out. This one's mighty intense at times, and we love the bizarre moody moments that creep in and out. Twenty nifty cuts including "Poltergeist Opening," "Maddy Is On TV," "Somebody Is With Her," and "Home Free."

Round Eye - Round Eye (CD, Ripping, Experimental rock)
Shanghai's Round Eye have a harsh disorganized sound that is something like The Stooges swirling around inside the soul of Hawkwind, except more aggressively experimental than either. The band's publicity photo is great...a shot of all five members wearing shades with identical distant eyes staring through all ten lenses. This is crazy noisy stuff so be forewarned. These guys aren't playing for the masses, they're playing for that small yet enlightened segment of the popular who demands something more. Seventeen riveting rip-roaring tracks here from a band that refuses to compromise. Raw emotional cuts include "PMS 2.5," "Big Barn," "Fear The Consequence," and "Wait/See."

Satellite Sky - Magnetize (Independently released CD EP, Pop/rock)
Bright hummable upbeat modern pop from the brother and sister team called Satellite Sky. Australia's Pete Kicks and Kim Kicks have a winning sound and style, presenting purely uplifting pop/rock that is pleasant and strangely hypnotic. Things are reversed from what music fans may be used to. Instead of a male drummer backing a female guitarist/vocalist, Kim bashes the drum kit while brother Pete plays guitar and sings. The duo has already had several of their songs featured in film, television, and commercials and they've done a good bit of touring. Magnetize is bound to expand the band's fan base and create even more excitement among music fans. Six totally cool with a totally groovy vibe. Our favorites include "Tell Me," "Rivals," and "Along Into the Night." Cool stuff.

Billy Shaddox - I Melt, I Howl (CD, Folkwise / Great North Sound Society, Pop)
Up-and-coming singer/songwriter Billy Shaddox is often described as a folk or Americana artist. But from the sounds we hear on I Melt, I Howl we can't help but think Shaddox is a true popster at heart...whose music just happens to have sprinkles of folk and Americana threaded into the mix. Billy has an intriguing sound and image that may remind many folks of 1970s artists. His long hair and straightforward approach are definitely out-of-synch with the world of popular music in 2015. And because the 1970s have seen such a strong resurgence over the past few years, this is a man who just might be on the brink of big success. He's certainly got the skills, talent, and the voice to make it happen. I Melt has all the ingredients necessary to become a modern classic. Billy's smooth friendly sound is instantly satisfying. His refreshingly organic songs are always right on target. The last harder rocking track is probably a good indication of what might be just around the corner. Fans and critics are gonna be all over this one. You can bet on that. Our favorite songs include "I Melt, I Howl," "My Hands Don't Lie," "Story of You and I," and "Not Easy Anymore." Highly recommended. TOP PICK.

Ships Have Sailed - Moodswings (Independently released CD, Pop)
Really beautiful, melodic modern pop with flowing dreamy qualities. Ships Have Sailed is the Los Angeles, California-based trio comprised of Will Carpenter (guitar, vocals, programming), Daniel Hange (bass), and Mike Odabashian (drums). These guys are treading on that fine line where artistic integrity merges with commercial appeal. Few groups can effectively combine the threads of both worlds, but these guys manage to do so with grace and style. This band whet the appetites of listeners with their 2014 EP Someday. And now with the release of this, their first full-length release, these guys seem perfectly poised to capture a large and devoted fan base. Here you get everything. Excellent melodies and lyrics, killer arrangements, and an overall positive vibe that is difficult to ignore. With a bit of luck, these guys could easily find themselves hugely popular all around the globe. Plenty of cool groovy vibes abound here. Our initial favorite cuts include "Drive," "If Only," "You Should Know," and "Imaginary Friend." This one sounds better with every repeated spin.

Tracy Spuehler - Awake (Independently released CD, Pop)
Tracy Spuehler is an excellent example of why we continue writing about music after so many years. If we weren't connected to the undercurrents in the world of music we might never have heard the music created by this exceptionally gifted young lady. We love great melodies and Spuehler's music is chock full of them. Her upbeat feelgood pop is inspired and real. In today's musical climate glutted with so many artists driven by all the wrong motivations, albums like Awake come across like a nice fresh splash of cold water. Recorded with producer Liam Davis, Tracy's fourth full-length release is another resounding success. Using only the most basic traditional instruments, Spuehler manages to succeed where so many others fail. And that's probably because her music is so simple and direct. These ten songs are all smart and resilient. This music exists in a universe where creativity meets artistic integrity. These songs weren't written or recorded in order to make money. But with the right marketing and luck, they surely could. Cool sincere tracks include "This Is The Season," "Yellow Painted Line," "Never Noticed," and "Naptime." Great pop music that comes straight from the heart and satisfies the soul. Top pick.

John Statz - Tulsa (Independently released CD, Americana/pop)
Recorded in the middle of an ice storm in Vermont (in an indoor space, of course...), Tulsa is a warm and inviting collection of soft and soothing mid-tempo Americana pop. The album was produced by Jeffrey Foucault who recently toured Colorado with Statz. This album will instantly appeal to anyone who appreciates the sound of artists like The Jayhawks or very early Neil Young. Using only the most essential basic, classic instruments, these songs succeed because they feature magnetic melodies and lyrics. And because the musicians never overplay, it's easy to focus on the main ingredients. The backing band here is most impressive: Billy Conway on drums, Mark Spencer on electric guitars and pedal steel, Jeremy Moses Curtis on bass, Jeffrey Foucault on guitars and vocals, Caitlin Canty (vocal harmonies), and Matt Lorenz on fiddle. Tracked live, these recordings have the spontaneous appeal of a real band playing without unnecessary tweaking and effects. Twelve cool resonant cuts here including "Tulsa," "Home At Last," "Any Town Will Do," "Motion Picture Soundtrack," and "One Way Opens." Good solid stuff with soul.

The Super Fuzz - Super Famous (CD, Leftfield Recordings, Pop/rock)
No matter how long or no matter how far we go we will never ever get enough of pure feelgood pop/rock played with balls and conviction. That's just what you'll find plastered all over the latest release from the ultra cool guys in The Super Fuzz. So many bands and artists out there try way too hard and end up failing because they just don't have "it." If you loved the sound of all those incredible underground power pop bands from the 1990s you're gonna go apeshit over Super Famous. These guys definitely have the "it" factor...plus they've got totally addictive songs full of powerful feelgood energy. The press release that accompanied this album compared the band's sound to Foo Fighters, The Beach Boys, Cheap Trick, and Weezer. We can hear traces of all of these and more threaded through these tracks. Cool driving rhythms...powerful guitars...fantastic soaring melodies...and kickass vocals...what more could a power pop fan ask for? Killer tracks include "Hooked," "Surprised Your Boyfriend's Still Around," "Promises," "Lover's Homicide," and "Love Everyone." We'll be playing this one into the ground, that's for sure. Top pick.

The Vagaband - Medicine For The Soul (CD, Eggsong Recordings, Americana/roots/pop)
Hmmm...this is the first time we've ever heard a British band treading into Americana...?! But hey if folks up in Canada can do it (lots and lots of Americana floating around up there)...then so can the folks in Great Britain. Medicine For The Soul is the sophomore album from this eight member group based in Norfolk. The band's debut album (Town & Country) garnered lots of positive praise. And now with shows upon shows under their belts (they're reportedly quite entertaining live...interestingly, they started out as a street band), these folks seem perfectly poised for even greater success with the release of this album. It's interesting hearing this style of music played by folks whose British tendencies lend an interesting slant to the overall sound and feel. Using traditional instruments and an overall basic sound, the folks in The Vagaband create toe-tapping music that can easily be appreciated by folks on both sides of the ocean. The album is chock full of super strong melodies, solid playing, and vocal harmonies that are totally outasight. Eleven cool tracks here including an intriguing cover of Ween's "Gabrielle."

Mark Wingfield with Yaron Stavi and Asaf Sirkis - Proof of Light (CD, Moonjune, Progressive)
This is a super smooth collection of modern progressive rock instrumentals that is often reminiscent of the dreamy sparse sound of 1970s progressive underdog band Camel (one of our favorites even though they never received as much success as many of their contemporaries). On Proof of Light Yaron Stavi (bass) and Asak Sirkis (drums) provide a solid foundation, allowing Mark Wingfield's inspired guitar playing to tread and float into multiple regions of the mind. The reason these tracks remind us so much of the band Camel is because of the sparse overall dreamy sound. So often progressive bands layer their recordings to death. That is not the case here. The press release that accompanied this album described the music as "gloriously sensitive, nuanced trio work, with a preeminent level of musical communication that borders on the telepathic." We couldn't have said it better ourselves. Wonderfully satisfying music played with conviction and style.

Wolf Hall - Original Television Soundtrack: Original Music Composed and Conducted by Debbie Wiseman (CD, Silva Screen, Television soundtrack)
This British television series seems to be getting extremely positive reviews across the board. Britain seems to be riding high with popular and ultra successful television shows lately. So either there's a spike in creativity and expression...or there are just more and more folks out there who have nothing better to do than watch television. Whatever the case, Wolf Hall seems to be on just about everyone's list of favorites lately. The series was taken from Hilary Mantel's best-selling novel of the same name and its sequel Bring Up the Bodies. The music for the show was composed and conducted by Debbie Wiseman and features the talents of The Locrian Ensemble of London. This music no doubt provides the exact period sound necessary to make the show succeed. This soundtrack has been hugely successful in Great Britain...recently hitting the number one position in the Classical charts. Wiseman has racked up an astounding 200 credits in TV and film productions and is currently one of the most in-demand composers. Hear this one and see why. Amazing stuff, executed to perfection.

XaDu - Random Abstract (CD, Moonjune, Progressive)
XaDu is the duo of Xavi Reija on drums and Dusan Jevtovic on guitar. The press release that accompanied this album referred to the music as "math metal jazz and fuzzy fusion"...which is an excellent way of summing up the overall sound here. Reija and Jevtovic are two musicians who are truly in synch with one another, seeming to read each other's minds as they allow their music to take them into other unique universes. There's plenty of improvisation here, although these compositions also have clearly distinguishable and identifiable segments. Sometimes somber and subdued and at other times rather aggressive and ferocious, these recordings showcase two men who are absolute pros on their respective instruments. Over fifty-six minutes' worth of material here for music fans with open minds. Cool perplexing cuts include "Secrets," "Something In Between," and "Workplace."


Additional Items Received:

Concettta Abbate - Falling in time
Lee Actor - Piano concerto
James Adler - Introspections
Alarm Clock Conspiracy
Alchemilla - Hearts
Amarachi - All or nothing
Amplifires - Llife's a gamble
An American In Paris - Original Broadway cast recording
Arjun - Core
Aylin - Cloud

Blind Willies - Every day is judgment day
Crystal Bright & The Silver Hands - Crystal Bright & The Silver Hands
Emilyn Brodsky - Eats her feelings
Dewa Budjana - Hasta karma
Doug Burr - Pale white dove
By The Red - Folk songs from the Red River Valley

Leah Capelle - Leah Capelle
Carry Illinois - Alabaster
Jon Chi - Another rising sun
Child 44 - Original motion picture soundtrack
Climax Blues - Broke heart blues
Coastal - Beneath the snow and streetlights
Cobbler - Original motion picture soundtrack
Phil Cody - Cody sings Zevon
Colorway - THe black sky sequined
John Conlee - Classics 2
Cracker Factory - Chasing ghosts
Rodney Cromwell - Age of anxiety
Cusses - Here comes the rat

D Train - Original motion picture soundtrack
Nicholas David - Make hope
Dandelion War - Opposite shores
Karl W. Davis & The Sweetpeas - It's high time
Dawa - Psithurlsma
Death - Death
Debug - Original motion picture soundtrack
Deckchair Poets - Searchin' for a lemon squeezer
Reina del Cid - The cooling
Desert Dancer - Original motion picture soundtrack
Donna Deussen & The Paul Weitz Trio - On the street where you live
Double Naught Spy Car Stew - Panorama city
Dovekeepers - Original television soundtrack
Dust on the Radio - Halfway to the stars

East Cameron Folkcore - Kingdom of fear
Elasticity - Elasticity
Elements Rising - Modern works for chamber ensemble
Exovex - Radio silence

Far From the Madding Crowd - Original motion picture soundtrack
Farmer Jason - Christmas on the farm with Farmer Jason
Fernando - The dogs
Jamila Ford - The deep end
Guy Forsythe Blues Band - The pleaser
Furious Seasons - My love is strong

Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah - Lee Gallagher and the Hallelujah
Rachel Garlin - Wink at july
Get Ahead - Volcano
Susie Glaze - Not that kind of girl
Golden Eels - Periscopes in the air
Good + Kill - Original motion picture soundtrack
Go Time! - Ratsel
Grahams - Glory bound/rattle the rocks
Great Human Odyssey - Original television soundtrack
Great Spirit - Front porch to frontier
Gypsy Lumberjacks - Giants of America

Hildegard - Hildegard
Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank - American shuffle
Cody Joe Hodges - The good stuff
Honey Barbara - Wave grass
Tim Houlihan - Anthems
Andrew D. Huber - Mercury gets a moon
Tod Hughes Project - Changing gears
Stephen Hunley - The other side of never
Jordan Hurwitz - Here I'll stand
Bobby Hustle - It's the hustle

In Sonitus Lux - The equinox session
Interview - Original motion picture score

Lucas Jack - Before i forget
Jack Kerowax - Jack Kerowax
Jacob and the Good People - Rotten
PI Jacobs - Hi-rise ranch
Heidi Jacob - Beneath winter light
Ethan Jano - I'll be fine
Suzanne Jarvie - Spiral road
Mary Ann Joyce-Walter - Immortal diamond

Mikaela Kahn - Milk & honey
Stephen Kalinch / Jon Tiven - Each soul has a voice
Kelly's Lot - Don't give my blues away
Knack - Zoom

Librarians - Original soundtrack from the television series
Ligro - Dictionary 3
Brian Lisk and the Unfortunates - Curtisinterruptedus
Peter Liu - Bamboo groove
Mike Love - Gypsy man
Lunden Reign - American stranger
Luxury - Bones & beaten heart

Tim Mahoney - Peace of winter
Mantoes - Mangoes
Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura - Many Arms & Toshimaru Nakamura
Graig Markel and the 88th St. Band - Graig Markel and the 88th St. Band
Pamela J. Marshall - Through the mist
Max - Original motion picture soundtrack
Jimmy McIntosh and... - Jimmy McIntosh and...
Medici - Red eye
Mono Pony - Idle beauty
Moon & Polution - The box borealis
Moors & McCumber - Pandemonium
Moto Continuo - New works for pinao trio and solo cello
Zae Munn - They were mysterious guests
Jordan Myers - Ruin me with love

Neighborhood Bullys - Callin' all rockers!
Neu Human - How to stop time
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb - Original motion picture soundtrack
Noah's Tape - Vol. 2

One The Huggler - Nearly a sin
Orange is the New Black - Music from the original series
Orphan Black - Original television score
Orphan Black - Original television soundtrack
Pete Oxley / Nicolas Meier - Chasing tales

Gabrielle Papillon - The tempest of old
Daniel Pearson - Alone, together
Kat Perkins - Fearless
Pinder Brothers - Melancholy sea
Playing It Cool - Original motion picture soundtrack


Brad Reiman - Walking in the unknown
Rewrite - Original motion picture soundtrack
Sarah Lou Richards - The woman behind the curtain
Kimm Rogers - Where the pavement grows
Lila Rose - We animals

Sasha's Bloc - Heart on fire
Elliot Schneider - Better a fool than aloof
Seahorse - The fire's heart
Shack Band - America
Shae - Can you feel the music
Shams - One and all
Shoe Birds - Southern gothic
Sick of Sarah - Anthem
Cameron Siegel & Friends - World junk
Siena Root - Pioneers
Ian Sims and Divergent Paths - Conundrum
Soda Pop Sun - Soda Pop Sun
Bert Sperling - Renaissance
Spuyten Duyvil - The social music hour Vol. 1
Stubborn Son - Birthright
Sweet - New York groove plus

32 Below - Every little thing about you
10,000 Maniacs - Twice told tales
Joe Jack Talcum - Home recordings 1993-99
Rachel Taylor - Magnetic
Them Howling Bones - Them Howling Bones
theSHIFT - 7th direction
Tidelands - Old mill park
Tornado Project - Trios for flute, clarinet, and computer
Tree Machines - Tree Machines
Tripping Souls - Don't waste your life
Trust Fund / Joanna Gruesome - Split vinyl EP

Ugly Guys - Still twenty-five in your head
Unfinished Business - Original motion picture soundtrack
George Usher / Lisa Burns - The last day of winter

Toomas Vanem - Toomas Vanem
Various Artists - Sweet Relief: Love is Everywhere
Michael Vlatkovich Septet - Ask 7
Vogue Dots - Mauka

Skoota Warner - Vignettes
Wasted Wine vs. The Hypnosis Center - Wasted Wine vs. The Hypnosis Center
Wendy Webb - This is the moment
Geoff Westen - I'm not crazy
Megan Wilde - Wildfire EP
Words and Pictures - Original motion picture soundtrack
Wyatt - Here comes everybody

Xraw - Rawx

Yillie Momo - Puckie the minchster

Daniel Z - Some romantic night - the solo years


©2015 LMNOP aka dONW7