Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Buckra - Andy's Room

“Never turn your back on a good time – it don’t grow on trees!” Thus starts our rock and roll hump-day party this week. Shoutouts for the party pleasing Camouflage Playboys International, Bad Idea, Don't Fight and Beautiful Thing. A special mention for the 60’s bluespowersteppenwolfrock of Cruelty. Buckra

Cavedoll – Decoder

“Turn it up, take a look at yourself.” This song is purely a humpday dance – the lyrics there simply to keep bubbles bursting in the soda tickling my alcohol. Hands in the air, moving wildly around the floor with no thoughts of anything except release release “move me round Jarona”. Shoutout for the heatwaves of Broken Eardums. Cavedoll

Eljuri - Yo Soy

Eljuri sambas into the party playing her guitar with a joyful voice and filling the dance floor without breaking a sweat. Her voice is smoothly elegant and life enhancing. The rest of us drinking margaritas and dancing our feet off are sweating profusely. Thanks! Eljuri

Aline de Lima – Terra

Rumba that samba into a percussive style that moves every bone into the earth and back out again. This trip goes through the earth, out past the regions of the moons of Saturn and back again while smiling deeply at the enchiladas flavored with salsa endowed with finely chopped black olives enhanced by a few green olives designed within by a jalapeno style. The poem whispered by Aline brings me back to earth momentarily for a quick breath of air before twirling once more with the guitars fading out. Aline de Lima

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jim Stubblefield - Gitana Mora

The guitar work is superb, but what makes this album stand out is the addition of violas transporting my spirit to a Moorish village to watch the dancers pronounce benedictions on Ruben, Randy, Bryan and Novi enchanting Jim on to flourishes that are found only when inspired by other superb musicians bringing out powers previously unknown. A powerful group effort bringing a vision to my ears that allows me to travel far distances in mere moments. I have to also make special mention of Novi Novog. All the musicians add depth to this music, but the interplay between Novi and Jim on several tracks is breathtaking. Shoutouts for La Selva Negra, Rumba Arabe, Eye of the Sun Pt 2, and A Gypsy's Kiss. Jim Stubblefield

Monday, April 28, 2008

Atomic Atoms - Still Ain't Comin' Home

“This story is a long one, the characters are flawed. There’s no happy ending, just a lot of moving on.” Well, the moving on is the part the band picked up on and this cut moves joyfully despite the melancholy lyrics. Up and attem! This is not music to sleep away a Monday morning to. Wakes up all my muscles, and makes me glad to be alive! “Never seems to disappear, it was always in my head!” Shoutout for Here We Go Again, a fantastically fun romp through psychedelia. Atomic Atoms

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Steve Vaclavik –Run Mary

A story about Billy and his sister Mary. “Billy sees things none of us see”. Steve’s sound is augmented by Luis Torres, a sensitive percussionist who enhances the nuances in this memorable story. I won’t give away the story, but will let you know the plot that Steve masterfully weaves into 3 minutes will take 2 hours to display on a movie screen. The rest of the album serves up a complete meal, with 8 movies to watch in your ears. When The Water Comes Running Cold (“I’ve rebuilt before and I’ll rebuild again”) is a song about a flood that ends with inspired brilliance. Smile With Me is a hilarious take on music fans and the movies they play in their heads while listening to music. “Listen up people, this song’s for you, you can listen to it anyway you want to. You can take your shoes off or leave them on. Maybe even learn the words to this song.” Shoutouts for Speak Of Me (“everything is gone except for this sad song”) and Tall Grass And The Tall Trees (We all just do the best that we can do to get through”). Steve Vaclavik

See previous eartaste mentions of Steve.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bravo Johnson - Sacrifice Yourself

“Let me clean it up best that I can so that when you return I’ll be a better man.” Put the needle down anywhere on the album and ask your neighbor to name that tune. Sounds like we just tuned into Classic Rock on the radio and these are long-lost songs by some of the best groups of the 60’s & 70’s. In fact, I had to do some checking to be sure this wasn’t a lost “best hits” of some obscure group from middle America that I missed out on. Take a BIG mixing bowl. Add two cups of the Grateful Dead, a cup of The Band, a cup of The Heartbreakers, ½ cup of Dylan, ¼ cup each of Steve Forbert, Rickie Lee Jones, Steely Dan, Santana and Sheryl Crow, and tablespoons full of the Allmans and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Mix together well and allow to sit in the freezer for 30 years. Take out and bake at 500 degrees with a hot mix of impeccable musicians who keep everything fresh with riffs we remember from the future, deliciously old and never stale. Shoutouts for Ship Of Fools, Cahoots, Hobo, and Losing My Mind. Bravo Johnson

Friday, April 25, 2008

Gabriella Cilmi - Sit In The Blues

In the corner waiting for a person who makes lots of promises but never fulfils them, nursing a glass of red red wine signifying the sacrifices one makes for relationships. Nice, slow blues dance to sway with alone or with a partner. The lyrics are by an honest narrator who has these deep understandings that something is wrong with this relationship, yet has a struggle “cause I can’t explain why I can’t let go.” Amen to that. We cling to things we know aren’t working, for no good reason. We allow ourselves to remain in circumstances that will never get better, and we “can’t explain.” Shoutout for the faster dance rhythms and horn-like synthesizers of Cigarettes and Lies. Gabriella Cilmi

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Frank Turner - Reasons Not To Be An Idiot

“She’s not as pretty as she thinks she is. Imagine her after she’s had kids.” Cynical narrator, heavy strumming acoustic guitar that morphs into an electric, with just plain pop for the final high school dance party. Great fun. “So get up and get down and get outside. It’s a lovely sunny day to go and hide yourself away!” The narrator takes off and becomes cynical on several other characters, all in fun and all so close to the truth but with the end result that he’s constantly looking outside and never inwards. No matter, “that’s not the point anyway.” The point is “you’re not designed to be alone.” Shoutouts for Photosynthesis and Love Ire & Song . Frank Turner

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Estelle - Pretty Please (Love Me)

“Do you believe in love? Yes, I believe in love!” I love the way this hump-day party song sneaks up on me. A few tinkles, then – no lie – goodvibrationsbeachboys explode from nowhere. Picture Brian Wilson co-producing with Ike and getting Tina to sing her heart out with the Supremes singing back-up. “Come along with me!” Party! Estelle

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Gnarls Barkley - Who's Gonna Save My Soul

“Got some bad news this morning, which in turn made my day.” When bad news makes your day you know you’ve got the blues. Spiritual blues. “How will my story ever be told?” Tasty confessional performance. “I know I’m outta control now.” Gnarls Barkley

Monday, April 21, 2008

Counting Crows – Sunday

“It feels like love, I better get a little of it in me.” How come you’re listening to Sunday on Monday. I knew you were going to ask that, just as you know I was going to say – it’s a wake-up song. Besides, he says, “I don’t believe in Sundays, I don’t believe in anything at all.” Too bad for him. I believe he got me outta bed feeling happy, which is all I need to believe. Bright, energetic, and mind-juices flowing into a dreamy meal of crunchy granola. Up-beat & smiling despite the lyric. I have no idea what the point of the song is, but that doesn’t matter. “Try to remember what you might forget.” Counting Crows

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lizz Wright - Coming Home

“Coming home to your shelter, coming home where I stand. I go down in the water, and I won’t turn away.” Take a bit of Saint James Infirmary, add a perfect voice, and a well-tempered percussion player and life is sweet so sweet. “You may not understand me, but I hear you so well. You’re a voice comes in the cold wind, a tune I know so well. I can see you through any darkness, you’re a light that leads me home.” Whichever plane you decide to listen to this song, physical or spiritual, it’s a beautiful performance. Shoutouts for My Heart, Another Angel, and When I Fall. Lizz Wright

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Weepies - All This Beauty

“We traveled all night, we drank the ocean dry and watched the sun rise...” Upbeat happiness in a petulaclark kinda maryhopkin story. “Let me assure you, friend, every day is ice cream and chocolate cake.” Shoutout for Hideaway (“I try to be honest, I try to be kind, and honestly leave when I know that it's time.”) The Weepies

Friday, April 18, 2008

James Rabbit – George Gershwin

“I had to write a song about it.” Wanna just party with humor? Me too. These guys fit that bill just fine. A big bottle of Chianti with orange juice (I use ¾ orange with ¼ wine so I can dance longer), a buncha folks who love to laugh at real stories that happened to all of us, and Friday night is alive! Mom didn’t like the music you liked. Until one night, something clicked, then she’s partying with you! Yep, them’s the good days and the good times. I heard that. Someone just whispered I’m not describing the music. Well, that’s the beauty of James Rabbit. They fool you. They crawl into the hole and you follow and an undiscovered world is found. It’s pop, but with a twist of lemon. Its psychedelic, but with a dose of joyful jazz. Shoutouts for Welcome Back (“don’t have to worry about having to be interesting”) and the melodrama of We’re all In This Together (“I feel like I’m being watched, even criticized”). James Rabbit

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Get Cape Wear Cape Fly - Young And Lovestruck

“All my infatuations, they never made it past the internet or a night you'll regret, and all the fashion types are shagging indie types and teaching them how to smoke and how to dress. And they're dressing to impress. And they're dressed like all the rest.” Upbeat summer song. This one will be on the top of the party list all summer. “You never know why.” Great with BBQ and any other party food. Dance before you eat though or all the shaking will leave stains down your front. “I'll pretend that it's for you and with that sentiment intact, please keep the first line as a fact. You never know, you never know, you never know why” Get Cape Wear Cape Fly

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Steve Lukather - Jamming With Jesus

“I’ll clean out your mind.” Heavy duty promise – done with some hefty ear washing guitar licks that taste absolutely marvelous. “Just walk on the water, just catch the next wave.” Fun dance with some of God’s wine to guide. Steve Lukather

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tues Asa – Jailer

Interesting look at prison from the inside. The folks guarding the prisoners are just as much prisoners of the state as those behind the bars. “I wear uniforms, and you wear uniforms too.” Of course, we get the deeper message that everyone is being held down by a jailer in one fashion or another. “So you treat me like a modern slave.” We all kinda know that, so what makes this song worth eartasting? The music of course. And the voice. We are treated to some reggae flavored jazz dance with Asa keeping the tension just right in her voice to keep my attention smiling. Shoutouts for Bibanke and 360 Degrees. Asa

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hayseed Dixie - That's It, I Quit

“I’m busting outta this cell”. Wake me up with a happy tune and a freedom song & I’m up yelling whoopee yah ti ye in Texan. These guys don’t pull any punches in the caffeine department – no extra outside lift needed with Hayseed Dixie playing loud. “You think I’m dumb sitting under your thumb and following your rules. Making YOU money, bet you think that’s funny, bet you think that I’m your fool! That’s it, I quit!” Well, shoot, Maynyrd, didn’t you listen to the American history class about hows capitalism took slavery out from under the carcasses of the farmer man and stuck it in the factry? It grewed up from there to be what it is today – a few rich greedy folks and the rest of us. What the heck you thik you’re gonna do when you quit, Maynyrd? Live offa your mother? “I know what I’m gonna do. You can’t make no dough without me, no, so I’m thinkin’ that the fool is you.” Ah, shoot Maynyrd, you know you cain’t make it without me payin’ you a teensy bit of what you’re making for me. I work hard going over the books back there in that air-conditioned office making sure the government don’t get enny of my money. You just get yerself back to work in shovelin’ seed for the next guy pulls up. Get outta this office beforen you start ter git yustait. “I can see you lookin’ at me, you think I ain’t too bright. This world is turnin’ and your world’s gonna burn when the workers of the world unite.”

No one wants to admit it’s the workers making the money, not the folks in the big fancy offices. Truth be known, the government has stopped this movement before, and will probably stop it again when people start starvin’ again and lookin’ around at the fat cats profiting from the labor of the workers. That doesn’t make this song any less fun. Thanks Maynyrd! Hayseed Dixie

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Maggie Walters – Fingerprints

“I wait for the rain to come wash the fingerprints that you left on my face, in my heart, in my veins.” Extremely poetic music singing strong lyrics about a relationship that probably is not worth giving a second thought. Of course we all do. Maggie gives words to pain that is difficult to describe, and we can thank her for that. I know I’ll ‘borrow’ these words for memories that haunt me – “Shoved it inside and said I’d deal with this later”. And, of course, later never seems to arrive. The entire album is a meditation on life and relationships; some fun “I loved a madman once, I loved a felon once, I did it just because” (Midwestern Hurricane), and others more serious, “Made you love the little things about me, the very things you loved in me are the things you took away” (Sundays). Well-crafted poetry with excellent tunes and fine singing, along with a sensitive back-up band who enhance the music and do not distract. More shoutouts for Under The Table, Girls Like Us, and Be Careful Love. “They would not sing if there’s no such song.” An entertaining Sunday afternoon, complete with thought-provoking, delightfully spiced eartaste joy. Maggie Walters

Friday, April 11, 2008

Worth Dying For – Revolution

We start this Friday night praise dance with the band singing loud and proud “We are the sound of a revolution”. A revolution in pop-rock pogo-dancing and raising our hand in love to my first shoutout, “the reason I dance” (Let It Out). Rock with a purpose and an eartaste of love everlasting. An extra shoutout for The Change (“a generation who will not live an unholy life”). Worth Dying For

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Zap Mama – Sabsylma

Eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance eartaste dance dance. Shoutouts for Mr. Brown & Adiosio Omonie.
Zap Mama

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Robby Lochner - Call Of Monsoon

I was attracted to Robby’s playing on the latest Dig Jelly CD because his playing was an integral part of a group sound. His playing skills were obvious, but he never went out of the way to overwhelm the group, but added the spices to make the album the exciting rock and roll that it is. The only thing I could have asked for on the album was to have one song where the musicians could stretch and share their abilities to jam. Didn’t hurt the album not to have that, but could possibly have enhanced it.

Well, here we have Robby stretching and showing off his skills on his own album. There are other players here, but it’s definitely Robby’s show, and that’s alright because his guitar solos never get to the point where they dawdle and start boring the listener. He keeps himself reigned in to deliver a message of joyful virtuosity and rocks the Wednesday night dance floor with lots of good old fashioned rolling down the back sweat. Robby’s solo CD is a dessert on top of the delicious meal that is Dig Jelly's ParaNoize. Shoutouts for Vigor Of Expression, Remember When and the fun guitar/drum interplay of The Walk. Robby Lochner

Chicane Theory - Decision

The hump day dance party continues loud and proud. Guitars happily introduce the narrator who “feels so good to be home and lose track of time.” Although the narrator initially sounds depressed, after reaching home he makes a firm commitment to “decide to live”, and sings in chorus with band mates to the happy guitars making the dance a joy to swirl to. Chicane Theory

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Anouk - Ball And Chain

“I know the drill, you got your ball & chain.” First, let’s take a private moment & say Happy Birthday Anouk! 10 years in the recording business, and still singing powerfully! Now on to the real business at hand – this song starts off with a voice, close to sneering, but definitely in the rock tradition. The guitar & bass quickly join the story. “Don’t wait for things to blow up in your pretty face.” Uplifting song that spreads the message – be alert, be yourself, live your life to its fullest potential. The orchestration is close to being overwhelming, but Anouk’s vocal meal has the strength to match the intensity. Tasty addition to a fine body of work through the years. Anouk

Monday, April 07, 2008

Switches - Killer Karma

This starts off with an acoustic guitar, but it is very easy to picture this song being played in an arena with 8,000 kids singing along. Play it loud and wake up with a smile, despite the lyrical content. It’s the energy that feels exciting. “We’d all like to know what our lives have yet to show, but there’s one place we can go and that’s minds. We’d all like to be with who our eyes have yet to see, but there’s no one fooling me cause that’s a lie.” Sounds real good here, would sound even better in the arena with loads of kids singing along. Good job! Switches

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Drive-By Truckers - Perfect Timing

Upbeat pleasures for a Sunday afternoon, with lots of humor to kick up the heels. “I used to hate the fool in me, but only in the morning. Now I tolerate him all day long.” Love that motto, think I’ll steal it for my own. Would look great on my desk at work. The group is a fantastic mix of artists because everyone takes turns singing on the album, and every song sounds different from each other. One minute I feel like we’re influenced by Merle Haggard, the next by Lou Reed. Fills me with pleasure because my ears remind me all music is from the same source, and life is made for the living. Shoutouts include Bob (“goes to church every Sunday, every Sunday that the fish ain’t bitin’. . . he always had more dogs than he ever had friends”), A Ghost to Most (“Skeleton’s ain’t nowhere to stick their money, nobody makes britches that size”) and You And Your Crystal Meth (“I used to love you, now you suck”). Tough, intelligent and picturesque album. Drive-By Truckers

Friday, April 04, 2008

Heath Street - Song For Jim Carroll

It’s been a tough week, and I can’t bring myself to get up and dance tonight. Just want to kick back, have a glass of wine, enjoy the sunset and listen to a guy sing me some thoughtful tunes. Heath Street fits the bill perfectly. This particular song is fun because it has me thinking about Jim Carroll, who used to make me dance frenetically. I don’t know the relationship between Heath Street and Jim Carroll, so I have to make one up. Jim Carroll and I used to run around with the same sorta crowd and our memories had to be cleansed, and Jim did a wonderful cleansing for myself and many others with All The People That Died.

“In the middle of the daylight I'm walking through the valley. In the middle of the daylight, coming around, I hear the good sound”

I’ve created a (false?) scenario in my mind that Heath Street is giving us the other side of that song. What, specifically, happened to all the people that died? What a calm, tranquil picture I receive as I visit with those friends who I miss yet don’t think about as much as I used to 20 years ago.

“In the middle of the daylight I've finally got nothing in my mind. I can even dig the clutter of a hanging cloud and that's a good sign.”

Despite the violence of life in the city streets, the daisies in the graveyard remind me that it is probable that the aftermath of death caused by inappropriate uses of government will still end up the same as the death of folks who were not exposed to the extremes of humanity. I love the line, “I’ve finally got nothing on my mind” that my friend is speaking to me across the dimensions between us.

“The legend rolls on: if you don't know these things, you're gone.” Even in this light-hearted pop tune Heath Street is wise and mature enough to remind me that the scenes in the cities are not gone. There are still children dying daily for reasons very complex and deep – each year there seems to be a way to make drugs cheaper and available to younger and younger children while the authorities turn their face to the issue and pretend it isn’t there. Houston may have sent a man to the moon, but have no will and desire to clean up the streets. They have no desire to stop another generation for needing mental cleansing for knowing “all the people that died.”

Thank you Heath Street. I know I’ve taken a perfectly wonderful song and probably made up a story that was far far from your mind when you wrote it and sang it, but you have no control over the images and how they affect individuals, right? Great song that, believe me, had iot not been for the title, would have simple had me thinking of puppy dogs and warm streets. “Man in blue passing at my back. Crossing too soon, as I pass a schoolyard.”

Shoutouts for The One Time

“The one time I saw your face
The one time you fell to grace
The one time I saw your face
You blew my self away

The one time you heard me cry
The one time I couldn't lie
The one time you heard me cry
I blew your self away”

and Cambridge Song

“They’re doing work on the road outside again
To pave the way to turn a thousand schoolboys into men
I’ve had ugly thoughts, I think I’m not the only one
I don’t intend to see my father told he has no son”

and the powerful meditation of Will’s Song

“Your sneakers made it through
A linen sheet of pale blue
On a bed of wheels . . .

. . . My whole life I've been a fool
In the slow-burning afternoon
Not an hour earned
In the loneliness of time
I'll be sitting drinking my wine
To you, conqueror”

When you are in the mood for contemplation and listening a convincing voice atop some beautifully played instruments reminding you that life has a deep beauty in every single emotion we are capable of, you should have this album on hand. “I know what you're looking for, and it's okay.” Heath Street

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Phoebe Killdeer and the Short Straws - Big Fight

Finger snapping reminiscent of the jets, along with a flowing flute. I’m tasting a full-fledged broadway show with. A trumpet warms in jazz style with Tom Waits hanging out on the corner smoking cigarettes watching the excitement. A satisfying fantasy pop tune. The shout-out Licorice Skies is a slow jazz flavored tune that evokes deeper thought and emotion. Phoebe Killdeer

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The Duke Spirit - The Step And The Walk

“How, how did I do this? Me, I put the wall around my heart. Why didn't I notice such cold detachment from the start? Oh, the joys they slammed down and the one in this town was bright enough. Without joy, joy, joy in the rain I could feel forever the same.” With a steady hump-day dance beat. Very cool, with just enough psychedelic flavoring to make for deep soul satisfaction. Shoutouts for Dog Roses and This Ship Was Built To Last. The Duke Spirit

Pete Francis - Armies of Angels

“Everybody needs a Savior, everyone needs a saint to pray with us in the morning and take away all our pain.” Just enough beat to make the guitar dream my feet flying through the skies in dance perfect movement. The drummer stays kin with the earth to keep the rest of me grounded and smiling brightly as the narrator is swaying to a “freedom song.” Nice work. Pete Francis

Omar Torrez Band - We Are

“I thought that we were all just human.” Me too. I thought that. But listen to people. How far we think we’ve come. Until we listen to people talk about the presidential candidates. Never heard one reporter say “the white candidate McCain.” That’s one of the points of this dance, but it’s much more. “Just take a look inside yourself and shout!” I’m with you, Omar. “We are the sad little love songs. We are the single mother just holding on.” With a very high chance that the girl’s parent are fundamentalists who have rejected her. Wouldn’t Jesus love that? “We are enternity!” Shoutout for the wonderful instrumentation and psychedelic singing of Blue. Omar Torrez Band

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Cathy Mowder – Smile

The tom-toms keep the music swaying here, as the singer defines the difference between times that cause crying in our lives, and times that are more vividly happy. “I know a man named Jimmy, he likes to dance with all the girls anytime I see him. I like when he dances with me. I just smile.” The song is about balance, and the truth that we can work toward balance. This is a hard thing to teach adolescents, and it’s great to have songs that can help teach balance. Thanks Cathy! Cathy Mowder