Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Von Ehrics - A Week Of Living Dangerously

“Well, I got out of work and I headed for the neighborhood beer joint.” He sure did, guitar in hand, with the crowd moving wildly despite the 104 degree heat because if they stop for even one second the electricity will catchy the joint on fire. This band is hot! And a blast to listen to. The singer could probably front a country band – but we’re sure glad he chose to hang out with some rockers. Shoutout for the story about Jimmy Blades. The Von Ehrics

Recorded live 2009 using a Flip Video:

Monday, June 29, 2009

Revolver - Balulalow

The drumbeats start my week with a vision of strength. This is our final week of summer school, and the kids are ready to dance. I’m ready to dance. The beautiful harmonies of these guys take the dance to a whole new level of dancing within my head as my body moves around. It’s a fantastic experience - the physical and the mental dancing going on in two dimensions – one body. That’s what happens when you teach high school biology to one group of children for many hours every day for a month. The mind can travel and perform many marvelous acts while the body stays imprisoned in a classroom. The students feel the same way, so we can laugh together about the absurdity of the situation. So, what’s that got to do with Revolver?

I see Balulalow on an album and my mind floats to Christmas. There’s bunches of famous renditions of a Christmas carol named Balulalow. Well, this dance ain’t no Christmas dance except in the fact it fills the mind with joy. So, I looked the word up. Apparently it simply means ‘lullaby’. Huh? This is one dang modern lullaby. The drums alone will get the 2 month old up out of the crib boogieing all day long. Sure, I admit the harmonies are angelic. So what’s up? Well, it’s not easy to decipher all the lyrics, but I have the feeling the narrator is giving advice to a youngster, or a body who is still dressed in a young mind. “You go out to the river at dawn. You walk around trying to keep yourself warm until the day comes up. Go where you want to, and don’t look back.”

Birds In D Minor has a true lullaby feel, a lone guitar and voice for a verse. The band enters with a ballerina dance. “All that you say will be said back to you.” Complete with string quartet. Luke, Mike & John is a joyful tune with a friendly title (“soon you’ll forget everything you’re supposed to need”). Get Around Town brings a rock and roll guitar waking up the neighborhood, and I swear they’re singing about the “buzz countdown”. Or perhaps the “bud counts down”. Whichever, it makes me giggle in a good way – the video is funny too. Stranger has a tune and lyric that fits the title (“don’t have many friends in this town”), and is a very strong performance. “Things get always better in the past, but today tomorrow cannot pass. Anyone can see I’m a stranger here.” You Drove Me Home is a porch-strumming guitar ditty with the sons of the pioneers swaying in the non-existence 105 degree breeze swooning “you know how it feels to talk to yourself every night. And it’s alright.” Gets even deeper. “You don’t know your ma, you don’t know your pa. You don’t know your friends or yourself, and it’s alright.” Despite what sounds like sorrowed lyrics, this cd brightens my day every time I hear it. This would make a wonderful Christmas in July gift for someone you love, even yourself. Revolver

Balulalow portions:

Get Around Town:

Leave Me Alone:

A ‘wish I had been there’ lullaby party:

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens - What Is This?

Naomi has something deep in her soul she needs to share. “Whatever it is, I cannot hold back my peace! It makes me love my enemies. It makes me love my friends! It won’t let me be ashamed!” Scrumptious gospel truths couched in tasty blues power. “I just can’t hold my peace! Keep on praising God!” Naomi has the true depths of one that I know I’d spend a few hours with and come away blessed, glad to be alive and glad to know the truth of the Lord. The music feeds a hunger in this list of shoutout tunes you’ll be dancing on top of your pews singing along to - What Have You Done?, Trouble in My Way, By Your Side, and Lift My Burdens. A special shoutout for the powerful message of Am I Asking Too Much? In this song we are reminded of some simple truths that our nation has ignored for far too long. “When a child is hungry, he ought to be fed.” She chastises in a way that shames our “Christian” nation – “it don’t take a miracle to put food on the table”. She keeps the barbs coming. “They take my son and ship him off to Iraq. Am I asking too much to ask when he’s coming back?” Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens

Friday, June 26, 2009

Rob Thomas - Her Diamonds

“‘Oh what the hell’ she says, ‘I just can’t win for losing’, and she lays back down.” I have a total admiration for the ear of the poet here. We’ll probably never know if he is depressed and creating an imaginary listener, or if he is close friends with an extremely depressed person, or if he has the ear to listen to someone who is living with a depressed person. And in the end, it doesn’t matter what the situation is. He is able to capture in a few words what some live for years trying to cope with and understand and never be able to put into words the depths of the pain. “I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, but if she feels bad then I do too. So I let her be.” The song is uplifting because he is able to put feelings into words that many people have struggled with. The song won’t end the struggle, but will help to define the ache. When we share the word diamonds in our deeply private conversations, we’ll be paying homage to Rob. And, in case you wondered, the music is the catchy pop music that Rob is famous for, so yes, you can sing along.

In Give Me The Meltdown, the narrator gives permission to his loved one to melt down. He will accept the pain and will accept the fact that the “world is spinning round and round” and that the ‘secrets’ held deep inside the person having the meltdown may never come out. The narrator is simply willing to let the person in anguish ‘take it out on me’. Awesome. Many people take this role on and feel they’re all alone. The narrator here lets us know there are others who willingly bear the pain of loved ones. Shoutout also for Cradlesong (“love can be so cruel, but I will sing to you”) and Getting Late (“that’s the way it is, you can’t deny when it feels like this”). Rob Thomas

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Rachel Taylor Brown - Susan Storm's Ugly Sister

Knock knock knock. Is anyone in there? Are you listening? Wake up. The band doesn’t barge into my life to wake my body, but it’s obvious they have an intense purpose to wake up my mind. “I can go undercover. I can slap your mind!” The music is at once both relaxing and intense. The narrator makes it clear that even if I want to understand the depths of her intent I should keep some distance because she warns “I could kill you!” And that’s only the first cut. There’s more here that scratch into the depths of my ears enough to keep listening over and over. I’m intrigued by Ambush Bug/Reduviidae (“my brother precedes me, my brother’s a disgrace; no cockroach or bedbug; he chose the human race”), Lonely Galactus, The World Eater (In the interest of humanity I bring you fond regards, with infinity, oblivion and death and all infinity”), Bruce Wayne's Bastard Son (“daddy’s doesn’t know it but I’m sitting over here”), and St Fina (“Jesus love you when you hurt”). The music will challenge, but in a welcoming manner. The lyrics are a heavier challenge, but I feel it’s worth the effort to understand the poetic purpose of the narrator. The musical composition built around the meaning of the words fascinates because that means each movement in this cycle will have a different purpose for the musicians to explore. A challenge for the composer, and one that’s met perfectly here, thanks to some wonderful musicians willing to confront the dreams once held deeply within the mind of someone else. Excellent. Thanks to Alex for introducing us! Rachel Taylor Brown

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Skidmore Fountain - Cloudless Blue (CD)

It’s not very often an entire album captures my imagination. Skidmore Fountain starts off this CD with two violins introducing a standard rock tune called Asylum. It’s a good tune, and one I would have easily picked for a song of the day. The violins are playing in a different time signature than a tune, but that intro soon leaves room for a standard “take no prisoners” tune that asks “are you having a good time?” I’m sucked in as an audience member & fully convinced that these guys will entertain me and I’ll be totally pleased with the experience, even as one of the characters in the song states he “lost his way.” When they ask again “are you having a good time?” I’m shouting yes!

Then the magic happens. Purple Mountain starts with a drumstick hitting 4 times, but we are not in standard rock 4/4 time. No need to bore with time signatures, etc, just know that many bands have tried this and failed. What makes this succeed? “Sweat is dripping down” is an easy answer, but for my ears, it’s the fact they can play with time signatures AND be melodic. This is not a common experience, so there’s a fresh flavor here that I can only exclaim as awesome. The rock guitar solo helps to ground the experience and enhances the overall dream. I’m impressed, but the journey is just beginning.

Drive By Reflection is a word montage that meanders around the image of a girl who becomes a playground in the narrator’s imagination. The tale in and of itself is fantasy, however, the musical arrangement is fantastic. Guitars meet violins in this symphony of visual metaphors. “Sideways with butterflies, I’m losing my grip. Everything is coming undone.” The poet character is exploring the places we seldom want to reach for, and what’s exciting me is the musicians are reaching those spaces with their personal flights into these spaces. Kudos especially for the percussionist who manages to keep the guitars and violins balanced and not smashing into each other as they do their blue angel behaviors miles above my head.
When The Sun Shines starts with vocal harmonies that perfectly suck me into a party atmosphere. “I would fly away” the narrator explains while a breath later he says “I’ll stay by this house all day”. A lesser poet would simply say “I don’t know what to do with myself”. Again the poetry becomes second to the sonic realities of the musicians. Wisely placed, this central philosophy has a music that is easy to dance to and re-center the musical neurons while still managing to sound fresh and unique.

I could keep on this mode, but I’ll stop and simply say the rest of the CD is just as powerful, and should be on your short list of CDs that you should purchase soon. Cloudless Blue (“we spill our secrets”) is a slow mental picture that approaches a psychedelic feel. Whole World Crashing Down (“we live underground”) has a powerful build, and features some pretty cool contrapuntal excitement. Sun In The Sky returns to a central image in this song cycle with beautiful 3 part harmony while the guitar slowly plucks chords. The narrator begins to sound apocalyptic and anticipates a thematic climax. “One man in charge leaves us standing, our backs against the wall” introduces Have We No Right. We’re brought back down to earth in a very interesting way with Memory. The guitars are slightly off, but so are the voices. Not off to sound bad, just off from what we think we want to hear. Masterful performance and powerful experience.

I’m most impressed by the fact these guys can’t be categorized. They work with jazz rhythms, but have a firm rock foundation. Their melodies are pure pop with story lines nearing pure poetry. I’d bet words like art and experimental follow them, and I hope this doesn’t limit their audience. It’s a music that challenges, but quickly becomes knowable and familiar. A special thanks to Laura for introducing us.

Skidmore Fountain

CD Baby Music Discovery Podcast #39

The first two acts on this weeks podcast are must-hears. The Ivys sing Never Let You In, a fun pop rock tune, and Jordan Tice has a cool instrumental he calls Salad Days. I'd definitely give them a heads-up if they thought to send CDs here. But they didn't, so head on over to http://musicdiscovery.cdbabypodcast.com/ and listen in to the first few songs on show #39.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Lonely H - Cold Blues

“H-h-e-e-e-y, hey! I never treat my body well. Spend my nights in heaven, spend my days in hell.” Take one part good doobie boogie bar band add an equal part of a frontman willing to shout out his love of living a life filled with music - shake, pour into a huge beer mug – and kick back for a great time. But don’t expect to stay kicked back long, the drummer works in tandem with the bass player to drag my feet up to move the many ways my body is capable of when it’s in full joy, especially when the back-up singers smile their harmonies above the wonderful guitar symphony. Shoutouts for another r&r dance track, Other Side Of The Water (“I’ll be gone today, I’ll be back tonight”), and the slower acoustic flavors of The River (“it’s gonna feel good as we wash our sins away and we fall back down again”). Thanks Alex, for the introduction!The Lonely H

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Thromboes - Back To The (Concrete Pond)

“I can’t hold my breath much longer! Only wish that I was stronger!” This is great! My desk is clean and I can pick anything I want to blast my Monday awake before the mail arrives with tons of new stuff. So, I choose the loudest and proudest new band of 2009 to bring my week to a blazing start! It was sorta “hard to choose” the one tune to get my week started, but since it’s been 105 degrees every day this week, I’m shouting out the coolest area I can think of. “I’m going back to the concrete pond”. I’ll even hang out with the Thromboes as they engage in the world’s favorite pastime – girl watching. The Thromboes even brought a few of those girls back to the garage to sing background on the song! Yes! Summer! “There was a fine redhead – she wore some skinny threads!” My favorite part is the rap the background singers get into.

Shoutout for Junk. A great song to play while cleaning out the garage to make more room for amplifiers and speakers. And the drummer wants a bit more space for that new cymbal he’s adding to his kit. Of, “the hoops you have me jump through.” But the garage is cleaner, so let’s get back to practicing and recording! Buy The Thromboes

The Thromboes On Eartaste

Sunday, June 21, 2009

George Harrison – Any Road b/w Marwa Blues

“If you don't know where you're going. any road will take you there.” I guess this new CD is released to celebrate the 40 years since George hit the #1 spot with “Something”. The CD has 4 cuts from his first solo CD, 3 from the Bangladesh concert, and several from his last CD. As a listener who owns all the CDs, this is an odd collection, but for someone looking to taste the wonderful music of George Harrison for the first time, this is as good a starting place as any. Most of the hits are included, along with a few that shoulda been.
George Harrison


I haven't been real hot on internet radio because of the programming. They either have "all the hits" or extremely obscure, but nothing in between. I went ahead and accepted the invitation to Spotify, and I am excited. If the radio show I accepted is not set up to loop, I'll probably have Spotify on 24/7. I picked the 60's and have heard Spirit, Sly And The Family Stone, Art Blakely, Grateful Dead, Dionne Warwick, Tony Williams, Rhinocerous, Charles Mingus, Pete Seeger, Mies Davis and much much more - all great songs, but none were the "top hits", which means I'm enjoying familiar flavors, but not overly familiar. I love this type of listening because my ear stays tuned better. The overly familiar "hits" tend to make my mind wander.

Based on a few hours of joy, I will very highly recommend Spotify. They have radio stations for all eras, so take your pick and try it out.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ross Shifflett - 20 Pound Hammer

“The hammer slowly takes my life.” A tale of how the rich get richer while the people who create the wealth suffer. Imagine just one of those bailed out bankers picking up a seven pound hammer, much less a twenty pound hammer. And is anyone ever going to bail out the guys who actually lift the hammer? Sounds to me like we’re being prompted by the new administration to understand and accept hammer-holders will stay unemployed for several years to come while the thieves in suits who never break a sweat get bailed out. When funds are loosed to build things, it’s not the guys building the highways who will profit.

How does that affect the music? Ross has done something really special with this tune and created a folk-flavored tone poem. Really hot guitar-picking. You can actually hear the sweat on the song, especially toward the end. The man who got rich off the labor of the hammer bearer will not appear at the funeral of the man who made him rich. Shoutout for The Charmer. Ross and the band have taken the words and created another tone poem, pulling in folk music from the middle east to flavor the ‘charms’. Very cool. Keep an eye out for the soon to be released CD - Chasing Bullets. Ross Shifflett aka Shiffy The Kid

Ross on Eartaste

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tiny Masters Of Today - Monkey In The Middle

These folks put out one of my most favorite albums of 2007, and it’s great to hear they survived to make a second album. Since I really loved the first CD, this one kinda threw my brain in a mess – hip hop? Well, I thought it through and realized given the age of these youngsters, it’s a smart commercial move. They’re good at it, and probably unique. I haven’t heard tons of punk flavored hip hop yet, so these kids are still on the cutting edge. Harder for my ears to get used to but I hope it’s just perfect for folks their age. The Archies for the 21st century – lots and lots of sugar! A few cuts, of course, struck me as perfect for kids of all ages. Monkey In The Middle is an energetic fun summer dance song. Plan to sweat! The shoutout tune is Big Bass Drum. Tiny Masters Of Today

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Carlos Núñez - Assum Preto/Asa Branca

Some fine flute playing with help from some great players, el gran guitarrista Yamandú Costa y el maestro Dominginhos. The composition begins with an acoustic guitar preparing a fine meal and offering up an appetizing dream to introduce the hypnotic flute melody. Supporting the flute is a tango enhancing accordion flavor that soon comes out for his own solo. A fine addition to any meal. Half way through the composer adds dessert to the mix, and creates a mood for a sensuous glass of wine. Carlos Núñez

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beautiful Small Machines - Robots in Love

I had this one all figured out before I listened to it. The lust had diminished, life was same-ol same-ol, day in day out, love was there, but robotic. Well, that’s okay I figured – as long as the music is good. The back cover on the ep warned me I’d hate this. Beautiful people dressed in white doing their best to look sad or bored, but too dang picture perfect to ever pull it off. I was all set up to dismiss this as bunk, but I did my duty ad listened. My little promise to artists is that I’ll listen to everything that comes in here at least once.

Turns out I wasn’t wrong on the pop, but this is perfectly delightful pop. Summer time blues taking away get up and dance pop music – great fun. And I was way off on the lyric. “It’s a simple computation. You take easy conversation, add erotic exploration. But when he said ‘I love you, girl,’ shoulda come with a warning.” Internal rhymes with excellent rhythm – some great pop writing. But it gets personal and dark. Before the event, the guy says “I’ve got to go, go go, ‘cause it hurts to feel.” Ouch. Pretty deep for a pop song. The short but effective guitar solo is icing on this tasty bubblegum flavored cake. The narrator later says “I’ve got to go, go, go because I need to feel.” Several shoutouts here, Superconductor is a humorous 80’s flavored joyful bouncy dance-floor beat (“I’ve got the frequency to turn you on”), and So Long 2 U shows the versatility of the Beautiful Small Machines with a slow dance (“nothing I’ve seen ever taught me how to let things go”). Beautiful Small Machines

I guess I should mention that these folks are the same ones who had us giggling way back in the day to a song called David Duchovny, and the equally hilarious Guttermouth from the infamous album called Cheap and Evil Girl by Bree Sharp. That explains why the writing is so good here – her writing was just as precise when the X-Files were still on TV.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lone Star Pickerz - Only In It For The Music

The picture's a year old, but I ain't getting any younger. Trying to teach high schoolers Biology during summer school is a gas. They can't figure out how to remember all these new terms, etc, so I explain to them pretend it's an album. How many of you know every song on the new Enimem album? They don't only already know the titles, but they know all the lyrics already. So, I explain, study it the way you do lyrics, rap it. Let's face it, the terminology sounds like it came right out of the rock & roll canon. Kreb's Cycle had a hit with Matrix of the Mitochondrion b/w Oxidative Phosphorylation. Golgi Apparatus had a big seller with Synthesis of Proteoglycans b/w Extracellular Matrix. Then I start thinking - what a brainstorm, this could be the next big thing - Science Rocks! Then I realize the heat today, well into 103 degrees, mixed with the humidity is begging me to go out for a beer at the local beer garden.

These guys don't have a CD out, but they sure are fun to watch, dance, and drink to. There's a few videos at their site to watch, along with 31 streaming songs to smile away an afternoon. It helps me to clear my brain so Monday I won't forget that Condensation Reaction does not mean running from the rain or getting out the umbrella. Just another forgotten rock and roll group with it's long forgotten oldie but goodie Diester Molecule b/w Nucleophilic Acyl Substitution. Don't worry kidz, after you graduate you can join the rest of us at the beer garden one Friday night a month to listen to Lone Star Pickerz.

Aynsley Lister – Time’s Up

Tonight’s double-header Blues party starts with the wonderfully loud guitar of Aynsley Lister. “You’ve been hanging on to all my dreams way too long, now I’m breaking free.” The guitar has entered a spectacular place in my dance cells as the bass and drums support the aging bones within this human frame! Love the short, but meaningful drum solo. Aynsley Lister

Live video with not great sound, but good energy:

Shawn Pittman - Call Them How I See Them

The second act for tonight continues the Friday night blues with a total Texas boogie dance floor filler. The narrator is concerned that his baby is “out all night”, with some fine r&r lead playing. Shawn does a fine job of emulating some of the best blues players, but giving it a personal flavor that lets you know he’s not just imitating the past. He’s making blues for a new generation of broken hearts. Love it - thanks! Shoutouts for My Luck Has Changed, Let's Blow This Joint & the fine instrumental which is a beautiful tone poem of a guitar turning into a wild Hurricane being pushed around by the percussion & bass. Play it again! Shawn Pittman

You Can’t Sit Down:

Shawn w/ Cricket:

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Otis Taylor - I'm Not Mysterious

“I’m not strange at all. I just want to follow you home.” The kind of guy we warn our kids about, but you gotta admire the narrator for being honest about his feelings. What attracts me to this song is not the creepy guy wanting to follow people home, but the music. The guitar lovingly starts off this party with a sweet intro, then as the narrator begins his story, the guitar is joined by a steady thumping bass in tandem with a fiddle, an engaging trumpet opening the heavens, and a piano player percussing the earth with power to raise dried seeds to life. Shoutout for If You Hope. Otis Taylor

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hoots and Hellmouth - Root of the Industry

”What makes a man labor for labor’s sake when he ain’t even in on the take.” LOL!!! Great question. Don’t worry, there’s no answers here – just a hell-raising song about a lots of things that are more fun to listen to than think about. I really really love the way the chorus of singers hold out the word ‘foundation’! Gives the word a new, exciting appeal. There’s a bit of revolution in the air here – the whole group singing – that’s a lotta fun, and then there’s some more words that invite dancing in the streets: “Gather up your axes, forget about paying your taxes.” Shoutout for the total American acoustic rock and roll of What Good are Plowshares If We Use Them Like Swords. Takes Isaiah’s words and throws them out there into the modern world with a twist of reality. If there ever came a time when our swords would become plowshares, people would still hit each other over the head with them. That’s humanity for ya. Fun music for fun times! Hoots and Hellmouth

Different day. . .

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Brendan Themes - Slow

Some people have fun fooling with my head, and I love ‘em for it. For example, Brendan ends this EP with a song called Slow. That’s okay, lotsa artists end their CDs with a slow song, it’s a given. But it’s fast. And full of lyrics! They slide by so fast that Brendan sneakily makes me listen over and over. Of course by then, it’s a part of my life, and I have to keep it in my forever collection. And like everything else in my forever collection, I have to tell my eartasting friends about it. “Shut all the windows, open up the floodstream.” Brendan Themes

Brendan’s band, Karmic Whiplash on Eartaste

Monday, June 08, 2009

The Thromboes – Overture To The Sun

The Thromboes play a fast and loud instrumental ode to the sun for the first Monday of summer vacation! The recording sounds perfectly live in a garage with a souped up car or two nearby. The garage door is of course wide open – you can almost hear the police car pulling up as the neighbors call about all the noise these men are managing to produce in the hood.

Larry is known here in Eartasteland as one of the writers and performers on the wonderful Histrioniks CDs. I’m hoping for more Histrioniks in the future, but I’m plenty happy with this in the meantime. A few cuts even feature cameo appearances from his Histrionik co-hort. The shout-out this week is the super-hilarious I'm On The Underground. Anyone who has been in a band in the past 42 years will be laughing along. And anyone who knows people who has been in a band will be laughing along. “I was lost and now I’m found on Little Steven’s Underground.” Again, it’s the sound bouncing off the garage walls that give this tune its wonderful ambience.

Visit The Thromboes on Myspace. Then click here to buy the CD: The Thromboes - She's Like A British Car (CDBaby).

The Thromboes On Eartaste

The Histrioniks On Eartaste

Another incarnation (Histrioniks):

Sunday, June 07, 2009

David Malmberg - Merida

100 years ago, when I was 8 years old I got my first guitar, along with a book called ‘Play Guitar In 7 Days’. The frets were ¾ of an inch away from the strings, and my fingers bled a lot, but I accomplished the task by practicing every day for 2 hours a day. I sounded good enough to start playing in a band after a week. It was probably the same book all the people on the radio used, because it wasn’t hard to play along with the radio after a month or two. But that soon bored me, because I kept hearing other things. Solo guitar players, fancy little tricks, and worse – I discovered Segovia at the library. The good thing about Segovia was that he was first and foremost a teacher, so each of his albums would have easy, medium, and advanced pieces. He didn’t call them that, of course, but it was inspirational to be able to play a piece like Segovia played it after a month of practice, and the harder pieces after months of practice, and there were always the pieces that no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t figure out. Even though as a teenager I was making money teaching guitar, it wasn’t until I reached college that I learned about technique and exercises so I could aspire to play the more difficult pieces.

Which brings us to David Malmberg. Like Segovia, he has produced some classical guitar albums that are melodically interesting and great for a listener. They are also great for guitar players because these are original compositions by David that can add to a young player’s repertoire. And, like Segovia he includes a few challenging pieces to give a young player something to aspire to. If you’re not a guitar player, the tunes will still inspire your thoughts to take journeys. Like all classical composers, David will take inspiration from popular music and make the trip a memorable one. For example, the tune Old Friends has some distinct flavors from the Paul Simon tune of the same name, but the melody takes a further reach into the depths of the themes, with some solid variations on a theme.

On the second CD, Cuentas de Hadas is a pleasant composition that invites a player to the challenge of recreating the technique David sneakily makes sound easy. That’s the best definition of a master, he makes the difficult sound simple. His long piece ‘The Fruit Of The Spirit’ is subtitled Nine Impressions for Guitar, and is a collection of tone poems called Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Meekness and Temperance. They are wonderful meditation pieces.

If there is a guitar player in your life, these CDs will thrill, so when buying a copy for yourself be sure to buy an extra set for them. Plus, David assured me he has scores available at minimal cost if you contact him at his website, DavidMalmberg.com.

David Malmberg - Andalusian Sojourn

David Malmberg - Reunion

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Leslie Mendelson – Hit The Spot

Good old fashioned BBQ chicken with potatoes and home grown slowly sweating a nice crisp outer crust on the edge of the grill while the bass player lovingly mixes King Of The Road with These Boots Are Made For Walking up and down the neck, with finger snappin’ Leslie getting ready to ask “What’s the fuss?” The aswer to that question is easy, and I think she really knows, but she’s playing coy. The fuss is the music is fresh, the spirit is free. There’s touches of Rickie Lee Jones meeting her youthful self and shouting to Chuck E, “there’s something in the air! I used to fight it, but now I just don’t care!” Leslie has enlivened the party, and with her excellent musicians preening alongside, the music definitely hits the spot! Flip the chicken and dance along, it’s going to grill for an hour. “I never understood how further education could ever feel this good!” Give the horn players an extra beer! Shoutouts for the slow roasting dance of I Know You Better Than That, and the sultry spices of Be My Baby. Leslie Mendelson

Big Star – #1 Record / Radio City (CD)

Loni from specialopsmedia let me know about this set. These two records are being re-released on a single CD. Seems like 100 years ago I bought these albums when they first came out. Later, I secured copies of the CDs when they were released in the 90’s. I still keep those handy, but I’m guessing they are no longer available. The good news is that both are available again on a single CD. So, if you don’t have a copy, this is your chance. There’s always a new generation that needs to hear folks that influenced other musicians. Big Star was never really a “big” act, but they made enough noise that other writers came to admire and/or copy them. The fact that the record company did not get behind the band in the manner that most bands of this caliber would expect had a lot to do with what eventually became the ‘indie’ scene. Why sell your soul if you couldn’t profit from it somehow? The CD includes both albums, and the mixes that made it to 45 back in the day.Big Star

Friday, June 05, 2009

High Ceiling - Reality

The last thing I’d expect to see on an album called “Illusions” is a cut called ‘Reality’. Catching my eye is one thing, catching my ear is another. I’ve listened to this cut many times this week waiting for it to start boring me. Never did. Describing it is another issue. It starts off in almost a jazz mode, but it doesn’t take long for the rock to kick in. Flavored with reggae, funk, powerful percussion and outer space sounds – this cut is wild on speakers, even wilder in headphones. Definitely presents a great method to get people up to the dance floor at any Friday night party. The best thing about this cut is its instrumental energy will fit well into any genre of party you happen to be enjoying. A good one for your toolkit, my DJ friends – you’ll wild up any good times with this. Special thanks to Maria for getting this one out to Texas! High Ceiling

Monday, June 01, 2009

short break

lots of music still showing up here everyday. I'll be back to write about it the very best of it soon, just reveling in the bittersweet time of students leaving for another campus - they're growing up & I'll miss 'em. If you get a chance, check in on their blog - the very last post is a video they made that takes a crack at me that I can't decide is an insult or not, but I love their honesty. In one scene the kid is talking about the ancient computers at the school that were "born in the 20th cebtury" - he says, "this computer is even more boring than my teacher." Insult? Compliment? Or merely stating a truth? Perhaps all three - LOL!